Ann Commanding Infinity
Ann Commanding Infinity is a narrative work composed of seventeen chapters accounting for one year in the life of an empathic artist named Ann. Installations employing photography, painting, video, text and sculpture based on inquires of study, research and themes are created in the form of excerpts from individual chapters. Primary ideas being explored in the narrative include: finding balance, emotion, perception, shared identity, the concept of home, a sense of place and locale, movement and transience, community in a world of increased globalization, and the creation of a self-reflexive look at contemporary art. Each chapter re-evaluates these ideas while also expanding on smaller themes, creating a self-referential language that connects them as a whole, but allows them to work as standalone parts. This method also trickles down into the installations, which can be viewed as one complete work whose parts can then be repurposed individually.
For Ann Commanding Infinity, the process of storybuilding is threefold: Location, Action and Conversation.
Locales are chosen based on a number of criteria including geographic location, historical or geological significance, personal experience or thematic connection. These locations act as the backdrop for the narrative to unfold. A realistic portrayal of a place is necessary for the crafting of a world founded in reality, to allow the audience to connect with the characters and put themselves into the situation. To create this realistic portrait of a place, an initial research trip is done; source material, objects and photographs are gathered. In this sense, travel acts as a medium in the creation of experience.
Actions, or the things that happen, be they personal or environmental are laid on top of the location to create a dialogue between place and human interaction. The way that the characters act within the location can be a direct result from being in that location or can act in opposition to the location. The actions of the characters further the narrative and create a sense of movement through a place.
The conversation of a scene or a chapter can vary in its content, use and method. It can be dialogue, imagery or editing; it can be narrative, the voice of the main character, or the voice of other characters. The conversation can be directly related to the location and the action, though is not tied them. If the action is subjective relying on the location, the conversation allows for objectivity. The conversation takes the connection with the audience further than the location, by allowing them an active role in the work. This connection with the audience is gravely important, as the goal of the work is to ostensibly turn the audience into Ann, to create empathy, to create feeling.
In its ultimate incarnation Ann Commanding Infinity will be a series of artist books collecting all of the work and research source material from initial trips and a single looping film made of the entire scripted narrative.