Hangmen Also Die 2010
Hangmen Also Die is a programmed video installation that I created with director Robert Allen. Together, the installation and an associated live performance model the problematic nature of collective memory as a bulwark against ideological corruption. It premiered at the Laguna Museum of Art in 2010.
The links at left launch brief screen-capture videos from one of the installation's nearly infinite number of unique cycles.
On opening night, the actor seen here (John Mellies) interacted with a projected video environment as he delivered a short monologue. When this live phase of the piece ended, the installation component was activated to continue, echo, and extend the live event. In the installation, video clips of the actor's monologue are embedded in a semi-randomized visual environment. Over the course of a 70-minute cycle the piece is programmed to gradually break up and degrade, triggering successive attempts to salvage meaning by re-interpolating material. Because of the aleatory nature of the piece, no two cycles are ever identical, meaning that the clips seen here are unique to the cycle from which I captured them.
The text for this piece is a poetic montage I wrote, incorporating text fragments by Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, Arthur Koestler, and others. The title comes from a 1943 movie directed by Fritz Lang and written by Brecht, Lang, and John Wexley.
Director and co-creator: Robert Allen.
Actor: John Mellies.
Videography: Amy Kaczur.
Text and programming: Antoinette LaFarge.