ITP Spring Show 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2-6pm & Monday, May 11, 5-9 pm

Patrick Grizzard

Action is the Absence of Inaction

A video installation that analyzes footage from Andy Warhol's _Empire_ frame by frame, splitting the image into two channels - one displaying difference or change from frame to frame, the other displaying repetition or continuity.

The World-Pixel by Pixel

**To view the video at the URL provided, let both QT videos load completely and then click play on each video (as quickly as possible so the videos are as closely synced as possible)

Andy Warhol's _Empire_ is about the passage of time in the most literal sense - a single, stationary 8-hour shot of the Empire State Building. The "narrative", if any could be ascribed to this work, becomes the passage from dusk to darkness and the minor "events" that occur throughout the duration of filming (lights turning on or off, etc.). My piece examines an hour-long fragment of Warhol's work and, in so doing, interrogates the notion of "action." While there is seemingly little action at a narrative or representational level, all kinds of interesting things are happening at the level of pixels or information. With a few lines of code, I split the image into pixels that have changed from the previous frame (on the right) and pixels that have remained the same (on the left). This process makes apparent the amount of action taking place at the level of information.

Importantly, much of this action is due to flaws and imperfections in the "unauthorized" excerpt of the film (which is the only copy I was able to obtain). In this way, the material qualities of the original analog film (scratches, water damage, etc.) are translated into the digital realm. In fact, it is these very imperfections which make the building itself visible - since I have rendered it as a black silhouette against a black field, it only becomes visible as changes wash over the frame, creating a green field against which the silhouette of the building becomes legible.