Deep Black Incantation, 2-channel digital video, 2014

 

The Omen Project
Installation Proposals

The proposals below represent 4 phases of a body of work that I have been developing over the past 18 years. A mosaic or puzzle telling this story with video, photography, painting, installation, objects, text, and performance centered on the synthesis of The Iliad & The Odyssey with Star Trek: The Motion Picture — the separation of the heart and the mind. While these two epic stories differ greatly at first look they are united in their thesis, whether by war or misadventure – without love we are lost. So while for 18 years I have been making art about a man who is leaving life (cycles 1, 2, and 3) I am now looking to find him — searching for what has been forgotten by this Odysseus of outer space.

Synthesis of The Iliad and The Odyssey with Star Trek The Motion Picture

In both The Iliad andTthe Odyssey and Star Trek The Motion Picture the intellect, a hero and his ship, launches on a voyage of discovery to conquer the unknown but is humbled by a foe greater than self, enters the cave of self discovery, and then returns to a state of harmony after reuniting the heart and the mind. For king Odysseus, who has lost everything from his conquest, he must find a way of returning to his home and the love of his Queen. While in Star Trek The Motion Picture there are 4 sets of characters who have become separated and then seek to be reunited with their other. For Captain (Admiral) Kirk it is his ship, the Enterprise, after he has been promoted and moved on to an other position. With Spock it is his human half which his Vulcan training looks to purge. Commander Decker is presented with his former love the Delta Ilia who, not unlike Spock, takes vows which have separated her from this love as she purges her emotions. And in the final case we have a mechanical race devoid of emotion, mortality, or corporality, who seeks the creator of V'Ger a Voyager spacecraft launched long ago by NASA to seek knowledge. This race having found V'Ger and completed its mandate stops to ask (according to Spock) "Is there nothing more?" It returns to the birthplace of V'Ger to find and reunite with the 'creator' who will answer this riddle. In The Odyssey it was a hubris of conquest and the retribution of the Gods that transformed Odysseus and brought his return. With these characters the transformation is brought about when this all powerful intellect of their own making, V'Ger and the mechanical race, returns and declares it will destroy all if its Riddle is not answered. This is answered on several levels but most importantly, it is accomplished through the reuniting of two separated lovers, as Ilia who has been digitized and subsumed into the alien craft is able to remember her love for Decker. These two then unite the V'Ger of Intellect with the emotions (love) of its maker completing the circuit of this voyage of discovery, creating a being harmonizing the heart and the mind. The Alchemists gold, the Elixir of the Mystics, through self discovery and love the opposites are united and a new being formed — in the movie at least our lovers are transformed into a higher being of pure energy and light. Again and again it is a story of love which brings together that which has been separated, the heart and the mind.

A previous example of this was Episode #34 of the original Star Trek series titled, Metamorphosis, again we have a battle between love and logic, the heart and the mind. In Metamorphosis we find the crew of the Enterprise crashing on a terrestrial body only to discover the long lost Zefram Cochrane creator of the Warp Drive, renowned Genius and man of the mind, and mysteriously still alive after over a 100 years. Spock discovers that Cochrane has been sustained by an entity called the 'Companion'. Spock is able to communicate with the Companion discovering it is a sentient energy derived from the planet, whom he discovers is in love with Cochrane. Cochrane the engineer and man of the mind is unable to comprehend this love and is revolted by the idea of a planet or entity of non human form loving him and in fact holding him there for this reason. With the crew of the Enterprise is Commissioner Nancy Hedford who proclaims she would give anything for the love of another, and is dismayed that Cochrane would refuse this love, the love of one who has sustained and cared for him. The Commissioner we learn is with the crew of the Enterprise to receive treatment for a terminal disease which while stranded on this rock and without medical care she will die from. The drama is resolved when the Companion offers to cure the Commissioner but there is a catch. To do so will require the end of the Companions immortality and powers both mental and physical, a sacrifice it will gladly concede. As for the Commissioner while she will be cured she must remain with Cochrane pm the Companions planet where both will be sustained though without the rejuvenating powers the Companion previously held, they will now grow old and one day die, but all three will find the love which Commissioner Hedford proclaimed she would give anything to attain. It is this story which I am now focused on.

 

 

Foundation:
The Body Of Light
Single-channel Video & Installation

This is the foundation of The Omen Project. Following the 'Trinity' nuclear test at the Alamogordo test range in New Mexico J Robert Oppenheimer remarked on this momentous occasion quoting the Bhagavad-Gita saying, "I have become death, destroyer of worlds" and the world would never be the same again as humanity gained the power to destroy the world. The Body Of Light is the alpha and the omega of The Omen Project.

  • The Body Of Light, slide series of 10, 1998
  • The Body Of Light, series of 5, Polaroid, 2003
  • Deep Black Incantation #1 (shadows video), 2001
  • Body of Light bookshelf:
      • The Body Of Light, book cutout #1 (On Thermal Nuclear War), 1997
      • J. Robert Oppenheimer, A Life Inside The Center, biography (Hard Cover)
      • The Bhagavad-Gita (paper back), opened to quote
      • Framed photograph of the first moments of the 'Trinity' explosion in 1945
      • Framed photograph of J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1950

 

Starry Night
Single-channel Video & Installation

Starry Night is a simple installation recalling a childhood memory of time spent with a grandmother star gazing, a love of Astronomy, and wonder at the mysterious world beyond the small town. This begins a voyage both personal and epic, the dreams of a child traveling in magazines and science fiction stories and the hero's journey of The Iliad and The Odyssey navigating under the stars.

  • Green turf
  • Red tent (with a copy of The Iliad and The Odyssey, and National Geographic and Astronomy magazines)
  • Pick-nick table with two lawn chairs and a popcorn machine with bags of popcorn
  • Video of Perseid Meteor shower projected onto the facing wall.

 


War:

Before you are the Hero's journey into darkness - the Mysterious Deep Black. Deep Black having ravaged the earth produced a rupture separating the completeness of her body, producing the Moon. An incomplete world always reaching out schizophrenic in its split, cold and barren, warring perpetually with the Earth. The Earth bleeding in turn through this strife, heart and mind lost to each other. Within this realm we find the darkness of his being and the rough bearing of his actions upon the world ('Ensanglante' covered in blood) a land of the dead. These are the Hazards of the Moon and his dark separation. He is indeed a 'Mother Fucker' plumbing the deep, at war with the world and himself. In the Hero's Journey Deep Black (Person, Nemo, Odysseus) must undergo this trial through a fall from grace before arriving at understanding. The Hero must be tested, broken even, until alone he enters a cave of sorts, the center, of self-discovery before transformation.

 

Deep Black Incantation
Multi-channel Video & Installation (developed 2001-2011)

  • the entire space is made black and is mostly unlit for projections
  • video on surrounding walls with complete coverage
  • 2nd room in the center of the main room with video, 1 each on each wall inside and out
  • Deep Black Incantation #12 under a pedastal and only partially viewable

 

Hazards Of The Moon
Single-channel Video & Installation

  • Deep Black Incantation #7, #8 and #9: Amok, video projected on the wall
  • Red light and fog would pervade the space
  • Ensanglante, series of 9 C prints, 30" x 30"
  • Blood On The Floor, C print, 50" x 50"
  • Transmission Polaroid’s of Him and Her (individually framed)
  • Mother Fucker wall installation
  • The smell of sex, burning plastic and human hair
  • A machine producing electrical sparks, ozone and smoke

 

Scratch
A dream play (or opera)

This is a metaphysical play of a dream in the state of dying. These are writings that began prior to 911 but which were then radically altered by those events. The play follows the interaction of the seven aspects of a man as his mind departs this ruptured body, a life destroyed by the events that consumed it - War.

 

 

Loss (Lost):

Meditations on the stranded and isolated voyager, a call, a transmission, a cry in the dark across the void searching for what has been lost. For Odysseus the return to his beloved comes only after he has lost everything and finds himself stranded and humbled before the Cyclops in the cave. This culminates in him realizing that he has left behind and possibly lost everything he ever needed --- his family and their love. In Star Trek: the Motion Picture the crew faces annihilation within the (cave) alien ship and find themselves in a similar situation of having become isolated, separated, from their love and from their family (crew). Spock who has undergone a process of purging all emotions finds in the alien (V'Ger) a brother of sorts, one who has, as he, perfected a logic unencumbered by emotion but also, as he himself, has come to question this path asking as Spock puts it -- "Is there nothing more?" So V'Ger seeks answers from ‘the creator’, humans. The answer arriving through the love of Ilia and Decker thus the split is healed, heart and mind being brought together and balanced, and the Hero's Journey completed.

 

Odysseus In Space
Paintings and Installation

Bookshelf: 

  • The Iliad and the Odyssey, Homer, ca. 1194 - 1184 BCE, (Hardcover)
  • Mahabharata, attributed to Vyasa, 8th and 9th centuries BCE, (paperback)
  • The Tibetan Book Of The Dead (Bardo Thodol), compiled and edited by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, Oxford University Press, 1927, (paperback)
  • Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, 1597, (paperback)
  • The Mystic Bible, (Exodus) Dr. Randolph Stone, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Punjab [India], 1956
  • Star Trek, episode 36, Metamorphosis, directed by Ralph Senensky, 1967, (VHS)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, Based on The Sentinel, by Arthur C. Clarke, directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1968, (VHS)
  • El Topo, written and directed by Alexandro Jodorowsky, 1970, (DVD)
  • El Topo (a book of the film by Alexandro Jodorowsky), 1971, (paperback)
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture, created and written by Gene Roddenberry, directed by Robert Wise, 1979, (VHS)
  • Blade Runner, writers Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples, based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, directed by Ridley Scott, 1982, (DVD)
  • Battlestar Galactica, created by Glen A. Larson, 2003 miniseries, (DVD)
  • The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life Work (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) Joseph Campbell and Phil Cousineau, 2003, (Hardcover)
  • Fringe, created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, 2008,  (DVD)

Space flight paintings group 1, oil on gessoed panels, 2012: 

  • Skunkworks X-15 in flight, 12" x 24"
  • Test Pilot Scott Crossfield, 16" x 12"
  • the edge of Earths atmosphere, 12" x 16"
  • Gemini space walk by Ed White, 16" x 16";
  • Lunar module lifting off the moon, (Apollo 16), 14" x 18"
  • Astronaut walking on the moon, (Apollo 16), 12" x 12"
  • Decker merges with V'Ger (Ilia probe), (Star Trek The Motion Picture), 18" x 14"
  • Zefram Cochrane, (Metamorphosis), 18" x 14"
  • Nancy Hedford, (Metamorphosis), 14" x 18"
  • David Bowman (2001: a space odyssey), 12" x 16"
  • David Bowman (close up of his eye from 2001: a space odyssey), 12" x 16"

Space flight paintings group 2, oil on gessoed panels, 2012-13:

  • Deep Field Survey, 18" x 18"
  • Io (moon of Jupiter), 12" x 12"
  • Europa (moon of Jupiter), 12" x 12"
  • Ganymede (moon of Jupiter), 12" x 12"
  • Titan (moon of Saturn), 12" x 12"

Installation:

  • Synchronicity lines on the floor
  • Transmissions, signals from an audio feedback stack and amplifier
  • Deep Black Incantation #17


Cesura
A dream play

This is a one act play for two characters. He has wandered astray from his love which he now calls out to across the void.

 

The Lost Shore
Video & Installation

  • The entire space is made black
  • Black mirrored floor
  • The walls are covered with Drift Video
  • Digital static projected onto the installation
  • Centered in the space is a raft built from scrap atop a large mirror, with personal items
  • with Astronomy charts, equations and Drake Equation installation on standing Plexiglas
  • Pulsar Map with hand prints, a large pink letter H, 5 years worth of days marked out
  • Video of Person (Odysseus) alone on the raft floating in space, monitor on the raft
  • Deep Black Incantation audio (low rumble) from the monitor
  • Black monolith emitting SETI transmissions softly fill the space from the raft
  • Binary transmission video loop projected onto the installation

 

The Mysterious Deep Black:
Desire is a Void opening to Eternity
Multi-channel Video & Installation

This is a cyclopean cave of dreams for one (Person a.k.a. Deep Black) who is lost in the darkness and cold depth of space. Calling out from the void for a life remembered, a lover left behind. These are His signals "Where have you gone?" he intones, "I am not the one who left" She replies, Her transmissions from the heart ‘all I ever wanted was your love.’ But can he hear? ‘Somewhere between the heart and the mind some thing went wrong.’ These installations are a combination of many ideas that I have worked with over the years: space, shamanism, magic, Egyptian death rites and Nuclear War. Odysseus is in his cave, rites of death for the Earth, Nuclear War has shaken the Universe, the Shaman probes the silence of space between the stars for signs of life, signs of Her, signs of his love which has been lost, attempting to return Her or perhaps it is to return Himself from the land of the dead, the ‘Lost Shore’.

  • A blacked out room, with green fluorescent edges
  • Synchronicity lines on the floor
  • An opened small door high on the wall and to one side with strobe lights and fog from within
  • Wall piece:
    • Silhouette of a man holding his hand out to his left (Voyager plaque sans)
    • ‘All I ever wanted was your love.’
    • Pulsar Map with a large pink letter H, and multiple hand prints
    • Rocket equation
  • Magic Circle with:
    • MDB #12 loop on the floor within the magic circle
    • Electronics and blinking lights emitting transmissions from the audio stack Monolith
    • Truncated pyramid with fetish objects and binary pulse video placed in cubby-holes
    • Antennae
  • Memory Of Her installation
  • Deep Black Incantation #18: Cesura
  • His (Deep Black) costume hanging from a coat stand
  • Her tunic hanging from a coat stand
  • Light sources casting shadows

 

The Poet Assassin on Kindle (booklet of poetry)

 

Nerve Scales

This is a visceral eruption of a heart of the World brutalized, contained, estranged -- Screaming out from the void of it's isolation fighting the mind which enslaves it. In a world at war with its self, with reason, this is a scream carnal and naked before the void between the stars, putting one self in a state to transport the body and the mind, running ones nerves through a type of scales. Scales of exploration, scales of understanding, opening like a carcass to the world.

"Burning from the inside open the flesh."

 

The Mysterious Deep Black:
Black Mass

The Beings who inhabit the 5th Dimension are not happy with humanity, I can tell you that, and frankly who can blame them? Enrico Fermi - commenting on the conjecture that the universe being so old, and galaxies filled with billions of stars, should be teaming with life - once famously asked. “Where is everyone?“ Well, would you want to talk to a bunch of murderous, crazed animals like humanity? Donald Rumsfeld spoke of ‘War Without End’ as if we hadn’t already been at War without end, when have we not been at war? Empire building - Slavery and Jim Crow, the Native Genocide, Nuclear War - the great American Trinity. SETI scientist’s have tried to send a message to any potential alien civilizations and would like to do so again but personally I would send an S.O.S. or a Warning. These are two conflicting notions held by Humanity, one self destructive, the other searching for life. A schizophrenic civilization - brother, fighting brother, oppressing and abusing women, mothers, wives - destroying the Earth while looking for life elsewhere. Obsessing over the love lives of others. Loosing ones own love and life with fear, hate and greed for the ‘other,’ recapitulating the story of Odysseus again and again.

BASTA! Enough already.

 

  • A blacked out room, with green fluorescent edges
  • Synchronicity lines (geometric relations of the room, North, and loal terain) on the floor
  • Corner and Wall Installation:
    • Broken mirror, maps, mixed media pieces, and dousing pendulum
    • grafity, and print text
    • fetishes
    • looping resonate audio system
    • Magic Circle with planetary alignments and sigil
  • Wall Installation:
    • False Doorway, strobe and fog
    • Antennas and standing geometries
  • Nerve Scales #7 from 4:3 TV Monitors on the floor with audio on headphones
  • 2 Electronics and blinking lights collumns emitting transmissions audio loop from the audio installation
  • New World Order, pyramid with glitch video loop and audio loop on headphones
  • Black Mass - Void, 2 projected drift videos
  • Text For The Dead, black text pannels
  • Nerve Scales, photography series
  • Dark Clouds, Polaroid photography series
  • Screams, photography diptych
  • Pink Nuclear Shadows, wall print
  • Sermon on the Mount, pink punch bowl on pedestal
  • Dark Clouds, pile of broken black umbrellas

 

The Mysterious Deep Black:
How To Stop Time, painting series

 

The Mysterious Deep Black:
How To Stop Time, performance installation

Elements:

  • Lights out, strobe and shadows
  • Alarms
  • Mirrors, some broken in performance
  • Void Noise tracks
  • Drift video
  • Overhead projector with mixed media
  • Black Mass, pile and antenna
  • Fetish items
  • Suitcase (contains props, and electronics)
  • Brown briefcase with the Body of Light project
  • Alluminum briefcase with Deep Black affects
  • Small amp and noise generator
  • Ren, Chalk board and equations
  • How To Stop Time, text

 

Text For The Dead
Multi-channel Video & Installation Performance

Elements:

  • Lights out, strobe, fog, shadows, and mirrors
  • Video Projections
  • 2 Suitcases (contains props, Fetish items and Costumes)
  • 2 Briefcases (with various props and items)
  • PA, electronic noise makers, tape loops and samples

Text For The Dead Actions:

  • 50 minute action performed center stage (30' minimum)
  • Begin noise electronics and audio loops
  • Abruptly turn off the house lights
  • Alarm clock goes off
  • Start strobe
  • Open the kit containing items
  • Video started
  • Make a magic circle
  • Text For The Dead
  • Fall down in heap of flesh
  • Equipment goes off triggered by the artist
  • House lights come on

 

Revolt:
Multi-channel Video & Installation

  • Room:

A blacked out room

  • Barricades:

Standing Piles of Black Objects forming Barricades.

  • Umbrellas:

Piles of Black Umbrellas

  • Graffiti:

"Somewhere Between The Heart And The Mind, Something Weant Wrong."

"Burning From The Inside Open The Flesh."

  • Text:

LED Sign running the War text.

Street Advertising Sign with "Stop It!"

Walls covered in War text, onto walls or pannels.

  • Strobes and smoke

 

Love:

 

The Mysterious Deep Black: Transmission
Multi-channel Video & Installation Performance

"Somewhere between the heart and the mind something went wrong."

In a world at war with it’s self with reason this is the story of a voyager among the stars carried away by his search for a love lost. The stars twinkling with so many eyes of discovery and longing with dreams as real as memories reverberating through the darkness. This is a transmission home to love and lovers lost.

Elements:

  • Lights out, strobe, fog, shadows, and mirrors
  • Video Projections
  • Binary Signals, video loop for iPads or monitors
  • Overhead projector with Time Hieroglyphs, mixed media
  • 2 Suitcases (contains props, Fetish items and Costumes)
  • 2 Briefcases (with various props and items)
  • PA, electronic noise makers, tape loops and samples
  • Chalk board
  • Magic Circle on the floor
  • Pulsar Map arranged
  • Dream Of Her installation
  • Transmission performance text
  • Antennas
  • Lines and North
  • Magic Square, Room Grid, sweet spots for fetishes and antennas

Actions:

  • 50 minute action performed center stage (30' minimum)
  • Turn off the house lights
  • Begin noise electronics and audio loops
  • Open the kit containing items
  • Video started
  • Make a magic circle
  • Set up Overhead Projector and change as needed.
  • Prepare the charm, Dream Of Her installation
  • Actions to charge the circle
  • “I apply the cold slap, followed by a brisk shove through the opened window”
  • Break a mirror on the floor
  • Nerve Scales (movement)
  • Transmission text
  • Draw and write on Chalkboard and or Wall: incantations, equations, symbols, hands, messages, totems, #s
  • Set audio, videos et. al. to Transmission pulse loop
  • Alarm goes off
  • Space and actions ends with space resonating with Transmission Signals and Messages looping

 

The Body Of Light:
Reflections of the Mind as a Dream in a Shell of Light trying to Remember

Multi-channel Video & Installation

 

He:
"Where have you gone?"
She:
"I am not the one who did the leaving."
Return to the Earth and life and the embrace of your love.

 

  • The entire space is white and filled with fog
  • The edges of the room are neon green bands
  • A single white light is centered above a centrally located white platform
  • The Body Of Light, a video of a pale woman naked or wearing a diaphanous white tunic is dancing in circles
  • This video is projected on all the walls and is to be mostly white light with her body light and ephemeral 
  • Voice of a woman recounting memories of an Earth, which has been lost
  • An actress performing the text

 

 

 

       

The Body Of Light (instatllation proposal)
The Mysterious Deep Black (installation proposal) Odysseus In Space (installation proposal) The Lost Shore (installation proposal)

Cesura (dream play)

Scratch (dream play / opera)
2013       2007
Hazards Of The Moon (installation proposal) Nightshade (performance scenario)
Stary Night (installation proposal)
Nowhere (dream play)
2006       2000
The Body Of Light (installation proposal)
1999       1997

 

© T. R. Pickerill- All rights reserved