Constellation, 2008

To make this piece, I used a consumer video camera to shoot birds in flight against the sky at the Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, CA.  Using a video animation software application, I tracked the motion of the birds and inscribed lines between various pairs.  The lines extend and contract as birds change position relative to each other, and as individual birds leave the frame or drop out of focus, the line’s end point is fixed to its last location.  From an initially clear sky, a constellation is etched into the frame; the clip is then run backwards, unwinding the image.  Empty frames bracket the clip at its front and back end, making it difficult to read the precise moment when the footage is reversed.  The indistinct nature of the original video also makes it difficult to discern whether the birds are flying forwards or backwards, further abstracting the piece from its origin in the natural world.