Robyn Voshardt & Sven Humphrey have collaborated since meeting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They live and work in New York. Their video installations explore states of being, temporal records, and patterns of thinking - from anxiety and restlessness to motivation and control - on personal, social, and institutional levels. They intend to create a pause for a contradictory experience: intimately inside one's head yet a universal thought, requiring patience yet timeless, about that moment but lingering in an afterimage.
"Voshardt and Humphrey's video is a kind of visual play, carried out in several acts where there is neither a climax nor a dramatic denouement, stopping the same way it starts: right in the middle of a thought or feeling. The details and reflections are touching because they're universal, as a viewer, one can identify with many of them, giving the work an instant and lasting affect". - Suzie Walshe
Eternal Return (2009) contemplates an intensive five-part study of a view and how we form aesthetic and cultural judgements about landscape. An exploration of time, patience and suspended expectations reveals the inevitable question of whether the pursuit of the sublime in nature is still able to elicit a visceral response. Somewhere between boredom and engagement the mechanics of our focused attention allow unmitigated perception as the images continue indefinitely. The meditative yet ominous footage in The Fall (2006) came from a rural area in Nova Scotia that stands on the brink of over-development. A branch from a 150 year old apple tree is the focus of this extreme view of natural and metaphorical decay.
In Bad Blood (2005) the constantly morphing forms and extreme slowness of the audio create a feeling of disorientation - much like the throbbing sensation of blood rushing to your head. The blood-like shapes are manipulations of reflected light and reference the sublime qualities of abstract painting as much as violent imagery. The layered sound was derived from separate recordings (without the purpose of creating any particular "soundtrack"), but juxtapose with these moving shapes creates a new level of meaning and is surprisingly in sync with the image.
Cloudland (2004) opens with an ominous sky and the phrase "Soon we must worry about time…but not for almost a day," spoken by us at various speeds and on multiple tracks. It's a visual and verbal conundrum that seems pressing – yet begs procrastination. Seeing the work in a large-scale projection to the floor, you're transported to a sense of temporary weightlessness via stills of dissolving clouds and vapor trails as the sound falls silent, then builds again.
Channel (2004) experiments with perception through variable intensity of projected color and amplified sound. No traditional footage was used in this process. Instead, color combinations of red, green, and blue light (RGB) peak and recede from one to the next. The white square forces an irresistible focal point and becomes a visual channel for the sound – demonstrating the interdependence between both senses. Complementary hues and contrasting values also play with convex and concave form as the square appears to emerge or melt back into the colorfield, even though the image is entirely flat.
Bleu Acier (Tampa, FL) www.bleuacier.com