Patrick Craig Manning, "Danse Macabre", 2001-2003, video stills from looped digital video, site-specific installation

Patrick Craig Manning, “Danse Macabre”, 2001-2003, video stills from looped digital video, site-specific installation

Patrick Craig Manning

Video is distinguished from film by much more than its technology. Video has no negative to reference, just the invisible electromagnetic imprint on tape or the binary markings of the burn on a DVD. It frees the image from any location of origin. Video is the deus ex machina. Although laden with cumbersome devices for viewing, (monitors, projectors, DVD players, power strips) video is a dream-like entity that floats outside of any particular location, a thought flickering across the circuit board, light on a wall.

For a brief second in Blade Runner, when Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) glances at an old snapshot, the shadows of leaves and branches begin to move, flickering across a mother and child sitting on the front porch of their home. With the briefest of movements, the viewer is embedded in the time of the photograph.

As a video artist, I use the computer’s ability to restructure movement and time to create artificially extended moments, to create new contrasts that illuminate cultural forces at work in the world we inhabit.

Danse Macabre (2001-2003) consists of twenty-one endlessly looping videos. Each video is created from secondary characters extracted from major motion pictures. The figures re-enact the motions they made in the two seconds before their so-called death. These deaths, which melt from our memories as soon as the next scene starts, are stuck in their ceaseless motion in purgatory.

Patrick Craig Manning (Albuquerque, NM) is an Assistant Professor of Photography at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis where he has been teaching since 2001. Born in Seattle, WA, he received BFA in photography and BA in Archaeology from the University of Washington in 1995 and his MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 2001. Ranging from Daguerreotypes, to large format digital prints, to interactive web-based works, his photographic, digital, and video work invokes loss and absurdity to explore the political, cultural, and personal ramifications of the intersection of representation, language, and history