Chris Basmajian / Work /

Tread Water
Interactive video (video camera, projector, mirrors, custom software, computer
, text from the story Thirty Thousand Dollars by Scott Hutchins)

This piece features the text from the short story "Thirty Thousand Dollars" by Scott Hutchins. The narrator of the story is a fisherman who, lured by a large bounty, travels to the Texas coast to pursue a shark reported to have eaten a local nun. The fisherman hunts the shark by night, staring into the dark water, attempting to commune with both the shark and the nun.

In the installation, mirrors lay on the floor in front of a projection. A video camera rests on the floor in front of the mirrors, pointing upwards. The camera captures the motion of the viewer. When the viewer stops moving, the projection displays live video of the viewer, combined with the captured motion loop masked by scrolling text. As the viewer moves, the viewer's image fades out rendering the story text legible. The text is projected onto the wall upside down, so that the viewer has to look down into the mirror to read it. This point of view reflects that of the fisherman, while the camera's point of view suggests that of the shark.

This piece was created for the event "Words+Music 2: Tales of Betrayal and Revenge" at ArtHouse Gallery, which featured live readings by writers Scott Hutchins and Adam Johnson.

This piece was programmed with Processing.