Afterimaged (2018 DOWNIE KAISER)

America Afterimage’d (forthcoming) will be a 3D installation that conjures an urban afterlife out of predawn darkness. Its scenes emerge gradually from the mists and glimmers of light of the sleeping city, like fragments of a dream just barely recalled on awakening. The imagery is in motion, but not steadily or smoothly — instead it tentatively advances until it suspends itself to take in the composition that has coalesced within the frame. It exists at the borderline between moving and still image, between film and photography.

All of this is called forth by piano notes. The piano-playing is speculative, exploratory — the music tries things out, sees how its phrasings and rhythms advance us into the imagery. When a note is sustained, so too is the image, even as the note fades into silence; and when the pianist’s hands continue up or down the keyboard, the image also moves on through different fragments of footage until the next perfect shot is alighted upon and settles into its exquisite three dimensions. When key images reverberate in the viewer’s mind, they are colored with the bell-like quality of the piano sound.

Credits: imagery and code: Downie and Kaiser; composer and pianist: Jaroslaw Kapuscinski