What is this?
Raphael Montañez Ortiz, 1985, 9'11''

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‘Through my computer programming, I interactively
determine not only which laser-video disc frames occur
and record on the videotape, but in what numbers, se-
quence, and speed they occur. It is a process in which I dis-
assemble and reassemble any and all parts of a storyline,
directly restructuring the time space and expectation in
continuity of events of the film an d video footage on the
Laser-Disc . It is a structural reorganizing and/o r disor-
ganizing of the existing logic of visual and language cues.
In all this free fall of fractured time, space, sounds, and
images of my work, special attention is paid to language
and the emotional impact of its sound; words fractured
into phonemes become, in a free association of pho-
nemes, a Rorscha
h imaging of words, a Rorschac h
imaging of meaning. By releasing language and gesture
from their Platonic and Aristotelian logic, I release lan-
guage and gesture to its visceral, to its paleo-logic exag-
gerated meaning and meaninglessness.
In my video work, I seek to suspend time, to magnify
beyond all proportion th e fantasy, dream, or nightmare I
glimpse in even the most realistic straightforward docu-
mentary footage. in even the most innocent storyline.
Technologically, the one to ten seconds of appropri-
ated film segments that are the source of my works
become editorially available after I transfer them to a
Laser-Disc to which I create frame structure interactive
access through a computer interface to Laser-Disc player.
All sound is manipulated through wave form generators,
while titles are voiced by a votrax synthesizer.’

'Each of the video works on my tape is created from
only one carefully selected segment of appropriated foot-
age. It is that single segment that is expanded by disas-
sembling and reassembling the frame structure from its
original seconds of an event, to however many minutes of
that event are necessary to reveal its submerged secret, its
concealed crime, as in PUSHANN PUSHANN, or sexual
violence, as in BEACH UMBRELLA, or outrageous eroti-
cism, as in BACK BACK BACK BACK, or alienation and
anger, as in the work entitled YO U BUST YOUR BUNNS. In only one of the segmens of appropriated footage, a
ten-second piece I disassembled and reassembled to a
length of nine minutes entitled WHAT IS THIS, did I add
a frame, an image of Clark Gable from another source, to
contribute to the revealing of the danger of blossoming
sexual curiosity submerged in the sequence.
BRIDGE GAME was an opportunity to surface the
nightmare and terror of Armageddon we all struggle to
contain.'
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  • Date: 1985
  • Length: 9'11''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: appropriation, poetry, scratch