words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Video Art

into abstraction | a better place


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Sometimes in the waking the reality is more pressing than the dream. And the search for “a better place” takes me inside the abstract. It seems that for only a moment, when art becomes a reality, that I am free from the stress and trials of life. When burden by the complexity of life, I long for escape: Into the abstract. Into the meaning of what it is to be alive. To delineate the constraints of the mundane. To have passion. It is here, in the expression and story of my life through the process of creativity, that I encounter that which gives me any measurable sense of peace and self-awareness.

“Into Abstraction | A Better Place (a viable nuance remix)” continues the theme of the smallest of nuances being the focal point. Within those nuances, the layering of sound and imagery are explored through the digital process. Each film builds upon the vision and nuances of the previous films.


your world beginning | catalogs, maps, and memories – final day


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This is the final video in my 2014 series Your World Disappearing and Your World Beginning. It explores past artistic influences and reflects on the creative process as well. In 2015, I will be starting a series titled “Into Abstraction”. I have not completely thought out the direction of this new series. It may in some form be a continuation of the 2014 series or a new direction with an emphasis on the abstraction of imagery and sound. I want to explore and utilize visually, the micro-tonal effects of the new video software I just purchased. And musically, I want to produce a more distinct electronic sound from my own remixing and editing of sound samples. And again, in addition to the new video software, I will be using a new music editing program to produce the music. This process will be a challenge indeed, and a learning curve over time.


your world beginning | there’s never a dream i need to follow . video remix . piano and waterfalls pt 2 . day 10


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2014 is coming to a close. The major theme has been the two video series entitled “Your World Disappearing” and “Your World Beginning”. I initially created the two series as separate entities, however they have morphed into the same conceptual idea i.e. our lives and the experiences within it are simultaneously disappearing and beginning again and again. There is a merging of the sustainability of the mundane and the wishful aspirations of dreams and a better life. As I worked through the series this year, there was a lot of emotional ambiguity. I have tried to explore the comings and goings of my daily life, and put it into a perspective that negates anything more than what exists in the present moment. However, I can get lost in dreams and desires, the past and memories; believing that there is something significant there. So perhaps the thing that I have discovered is that there is no real disappearing of things or beginning of things just now. The present, mundane, and wishful dreams … inside my head.

Technically the film is a product of several excursions into the process of filming life at home and out in nature. Again, I have used footage from my recent hike along the Graveyard Fields’ trail in North Carolina. Upon reaching the top where the Upper Falls is located, I treaded out among the rocks. I then filmed using a macro (zoom in) setting, the pulsating flow of the falls. It gives the film a lot of its movement in an abstract form. I combined this movement with spatial and ethereal forms as well; fusing the two elements to further the sense of abstraction. These two forms are juxtaposed by the three ‘Transcending the mundane’ clips of life at home; repairing my bike, feeding the cat, and making pasta. The soundtrack continues the theme of “Piano and Waterfalls”. I used samples of field recordings and sublime piano phases to produce a rather delineated and ambiguous sense of being in the moment.


your world beginning | piano and trails – day 9


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Day 9 in “Your World Beginning” is a multi-layered abstraction of landscape and portrait. Filmed in beautiful Haywood County, North Carolina during the Fall, while on the back roads to Waterrock Knob off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is my second video featuring the trail and summit of Waterrock Knob (see the post Maps Mountains and Trails – Day 7). This is the second video using my new Sony software, and I wanted to explore some layering effects with a colored pencil effect as well. And again, I am combining samples of piano and electronic field recordings for the soundtrack. Actually the audio composing, is a very exciting aspect of the video production. Especially when it is within the realm of ambient and electronic composition.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail” ~ John Muir


your world beginning | a history before now


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Day 6 in the “Your World Beginning” series is entitled “A History Before Now.” This film has a more ambient feel to it than the previous “A Life of Contradictions and Disappearing Things. It is sparse in its visual content, while imploring some elements of poetic prose inspired by a fellow poet. It continues the theme of the exploration of daily life, with hints of ambiguity and historical musings as abstraction. Initially, when I created this series, I wanted it to be a distinct leap from my previous series entitled “Your World Disappearing,” giving birth to a new beginning. However, the emotional content that fueled the “Disappearing” series has slowly found its way into this series as well: ‘Everything changes except a persistent memory.’ To some degree, although everything is in constant flux–giving way to things disappearing and beginning simultaneously, there is an ambiguity and mundane existence to it all.


your world beginning | drifting into everything – day 2 : video art HD


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The fourth short film in the “Your World Beginning” series, again explores the connection between our relationship with our memories, dreams, and everyday life. The series is my attempt to delve deeper into those moments when we are living through the patterns of life that we have created for ourselves, while simultaneously feeling the ambiguity and lightness of our dreams and aspirations.

In composing the music, I am using sound samples to create a layered sonic ambience, with hints of melody and tonality. In the series, organic sounds and industrial technological sounds merge to create dreamlike structures to enrich the imagination and supplement the visual composition.


your world beginning | transcending the mundane – day 1 – video art HD


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On the edge of everything beginning … the further away we are, the closer the moment. Waking, dreaming and making pasta.


traveling without moving | your world beginning – video art HD


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“Traveling Without Moving,” is the bridge between the past and the future i.e. “Your World Disappearing” and “Your World Beginning.” A video self-portrait that is a visual journey of memories, delineated thoughts, dreams and aspirations. There is a slight contradiction at work here. The body is in motion in time, and the mind is still; the painful past and uncertain future struggle against the stillness of being present in this time and space i.e. traveling in the present moment.


your world beginning | video art

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“Your World Beginning”, is a new series that reflects a new path of inner soul-searching. It is the aftermath of my previous work entitled “Your Word Disappearing”. And again it is in a short film format. Technology, organic ambience, abstraction, self-portraits etc., will all be featured in the series.


form and void | your world disappearing | video art

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My fifth video “Form and Void”, in my short film series entitled “Your World Disappearing” continues the exploration of ambiguity, magic and lost, and on the edge of everything ending. Again, I am using film that I shot from various locales such as the shore, mountains, and forest combined with some sampled imagery to bring this series into an elemental sense of organic ambiance. I composed the music from samples and each piece is constructed to give the feeling of alienation, detachment and a bittersweet wonderment.