Roslindale Open Studeios

A Showing of Short Videos

We showed short videos (between 2 minutes and 9 minutes) on two screens in our downstairs rooms. The videos ran continuously on both screens, although we slipped around for some visitors.

The main screen showed some site-specific pieces made during our travels since 2012 plus a duet with Seàn Curran edited by DJ Flack. The other screen had six haiku-like silent video/moment poems, three pieces that were generated live by Isadora, projection software by Mark Coniglio at Troikatronix. and one documentation of a piece done in a projection environemt.

We also had some small video stills available for purchase for $10 with all proceeds going to the Roslindale Food Pantry.
The videos were, in the main, contemplative looks at the environment and our place in it. Occasionally, we did something goofy to amuse ourselves. Our background is in dance, but with one exception these were not dance videos. Dawn was the principal performer, appearing an all but one piece and in Burren Bagatelle appeared as more than one person. Seán Curran graciously appeared in a co-choregraphed duet with Dawn. Occasionally, bystanders made their way in.

We showed three new pieces


Luminous Moon
Luminous Clouds

Luminous was shot on our terrace in Guadeloupe January, 2016. We learned a lot about shooting in the dark. The beautiful music was "Sublime" by Caleb Sampson and John Kusiak.


Path OpeningPath Double Arch
Path with DawnPath Old Woman
Path was made in Marrakech, Morocco in February, 2016. It was the walk back to our Riad. It was made with two walk throughs, one with Dawn and one without. It is all about movement and is our first foray into hand held camera as you can tell by the non-verticalness of some of the stills. There is never a moment of stillness until the end, so I put in four photos to try to give the flavor. The lively music that helps drive the piece forward is by John Holland, a colleague of Dawn's when she was at Mass Art.

Rock (in progress)

RockAnothe Rock
This was the newest of the Isadora generated pieces. The clip was made with an Iphone propped up at the right end of the keyboard while the pianist played "Rockin Chair Blues". The software listens to the various frequencies and responds in various ways. Stephen is still tweaking the parameters.

Below is our selection of videos. There may be changes.

Main Screen

Memoire 06:39 Paris and Montigny sur Loing France 2015
Path 02:47 Marrakech Morocco 2016
Cottage 04:46
Kinvara Ireland 2012
Burren Bagatelle 03:30
the Burren Ireland 2012
Departure 04:17
the Burren Ireland 2012
Corps et Terre 05:13 Castelnau de Montmiral, Tarn
France 2013
Luminous 02:08 Vieux Habitants Guadeloupe 2016
Les Escaliers 03:08 Menton France 2013
Escaleros 06:24 Guanajuato
Mexico 2015
Total Time 42:38

More Details about the Main Screen

Mémoire     2015    6min39sec

Our Algerian poet friend, Malek Alloula, died unexpectedly in February, 2015. We wanted to make a video as an homage to him. His last poem, so prescient, is called Les Pluies du Miracle, (The Rains of the Miracle.) It speaks of a kind of human translucence…that at the end of life as we know it, we become the sky, the sunrise, the luminous colors of the dawn, etc. So Dawn wanted to create evanescent moments in the video. Some of Malek’s favorite places or things were the Canal St. Martin in Paris, chestnut trees, windows covered with gauze curtains, and the Eiffel Tower. These are reflected in our video.

Sadly, our composer friend, Evan Harlan, died the prior February. His music, also called Memoir (for D.S.) was perfect for this video. So this piece is really an homage to Evan also. They are both wonderful artists and human beings.

Path         2016    2min
This walk home, one of a series, takes place in Marrakesh. It is the product of clips of Dawn walking back to our B&B and a video Stephen shot as he did the walk by himself. As Stephen edited the two together the piece became a take on the dharma path where serenity and “monkey mind” compete with each other. A colleague of Dawn’s, John Holland, allowed us to use his music. Path is influenced by the work of a video artist, Johanna Vaude, that Stephen met in Paris when she was one of the caretakers for an Airbnb apartment that we were staying in. She makes high energy videos that inspired me to add action to the camera work and editing.

Irish Trilogy:    2013    12min47sec

Cottage is the only site-specific video in this series that we shot indoors. It was made in Liadain O’Donovan’s beautifully renovated stable in Kinvara, Ireland. The piece was inspired by the space and the furniture. The character seems to be remembering or looking for someone, perhaps like a Synge play where a husband or son has been lost at sea.

Burren Bagatelle was the trickiest piece to make. The watcher sees several different characters pop up out of the landscape, all of whom are played by Dawn. This feat required careful timing with the music, a fifty-foot cable with tiny monitor for Dawn to hear the music out behind the rocks, and countless hours of editing time for Stephen. The mysterious woman in white appears again at the end, watching the watcher.

Departure was made on a cold, windy day in the Burren. Moving slowly and smoothly was challenging under such conditions, as was shooting the video. Given how grumpy we both were, we were pleased that the piece came out as well as it did!

Corps et Terre (Body and Earth)    2013    5min13sec

Dawn wanted to make a piece that honored the workers of the grape harvest. We were invited to Domaine de la Tronque, an organic vineyard near Gaillac, France. At first Dawn worked with the vendangeurs (harvesters) for a few days and then abstracted some of their movements into choreography.  She also became a mysterious vine lady and made another appearance as the woman in white. We chose to keep the French spoken on the job and at the table as  the sonic environment for the piece. It is not necessary for the viewer to understand the language. We made another piece there, Vignette, that you can find on our website. We chose to show this one today as it is the more surreal and surprising of the two.

Luminous    2016    2min8sec

Shot under the full moon on the Caribbean island of  Guadeloupe, Luminous is a short take on the connection between woman and moon.

Boschetto (Grove)    2013    3min59

Made on the same sabbatical trip as Irish Trilogy and Corps et Terre, Dawn also wanted to honor the workers in the olive harvest in Sicily. Here they were all men. Instead of using their movements as sources for choreography, we kept many clips of their actual work, threading them together with the woman in white walking down the row of olive trees. Watch also for a few mysterious appearances of a character in the olive trees. The music is a field recording by Alan Lomax of Sicilian workers, actually tuna fishing!

Les Escaliers (Stairways)    2013    3min9sec

The first in a series of pieces that Stephen wanted to make about walking “home.” This home was in the old city of Menton, France, on the Mediterranean coast, very close to Italy. The music is by Simon Kanzler, a young jazz musician whose CD opening party we later attended in Berlin.

Escaleras (Stairways)        2013    8min26sec

Set in Guanajuato, Mexico, our “home” this time was 300’ higher than the main part of town which sits at 6,500’ above sea level. Stephen likes to shoot at night. We shot one night all the clips from behind the walker going uphill, and second night from in front of the walker looking back. A third and fourth night, we shot all the “other character” moments, again played by Dawn, although Stephen has a four-second cameo role in this piece. The music is by Benjamín Félix Caignet with our next door neighbor, Kenny Kozol, on percussion.

Silent Video/Movement Poems, Generated Videos, 1 Documentation

Silent Video/Movement Poems

Haiku 02:44 Haystack, Deer Isle, ME USA 2008
Shunko-in 03:02 Kyoto Japan 2011
Pool 02:22 Center at Westwood, MA USA 2011
Honen-in 04:33 Kyoto Japan 2011
Poesia 03:03 Bogliasco Italy 2011
Taizo-in 02:46 Kyoto Japan 2011
Credits 00:44 for SVMPs above

Generated Pieces and other Videos

Seán & Dawn 05:43 Cambridge, MA USA 2002
Moon 09:00 Les Baux de Provence France 2009
Entanglement 09:00 Boston, MA USA 2009
Tree 06:00 Haystack, Deer Isle, ME USA 2009
Rock 03:10 Lexington, MA USA 2016
Total 52:07

More Details about the Second Screen
In the kitchen
Six silent video/movement poems
That envision the human figure as an integrated, non-dominant part of Nature.
These pieces are slow and contemplative. Relax!

Haiku 2008    2min55sec

This was the first, made during an annual visit to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts with a group of MassArt students and faculty. There we were able to project the piece on a huge rock face whose texture helped mask the figure. In most situations, we do not have a boulder to project on, so Dawn took a photo of that rock face, and Stephen overlaid it on the video to create a similar textural effect.

Shunko-In  3min12sec,    Taizo-In   2min55sec,   and Honen-In   4min42sec    2010

They were made during a three-week visit to Kyoto, Japan. A grant in honor of the Boston-Kyoto sister city anniversary helped us travel there. After six months of email exchanges, several people both here and in Kyoto enabled us to visit these three temple gardens to make video/performance pieces there. It was a particular challenge because a Zen garden is already highly designed so deciding how to move in those environments was different from inserting the human figure in a purely natural setting.

Pool         2010 2min34sec

It was a warm-up piece that we made in a Zen garden at the Center at Westwoods before going to Japan. Although the human figure is much larger in Pool than in the Kyoto pieces, it is still highly integrated with the environment. After making the video, we thought that the three scenes in the video reflected youth, maturity, and death.

Poesia Liguria     2011    2min8sec

It was made during an artist residency at the Bogliasco Foundation on the Ligurian coast of Italy. Of the six silent video/movement poems, perhaps this one conceals the human figure the most. Most of the piece was made on a day when the sea was rough. If the viewer watches carefully, he/she will notice that the last scene was made on a calm day, otherwise the figure in that last scene would have been completely inundated!

Another Video

Seán & Dawn     2003    1min44sec

This is a humorous riff on friendship and walking rhythns, edited in DJFlack’s (Antony Flackett) inimitable style. New York choreographer and friend, Seán Curran co-choreographed and performed the piece with Dawn. It is a short piece made from the video material that we used in a live performance called Walk In Progress.

Three Pieces made with Isadora,
video manipulation software from Troikatronix
by Stephen Buck

Moon    2012     9min

It started as playing with the software to make circular paths with mathematics that I remembered from high school. The path became an orbit, the circle became the moon with the addition of the moon and stars photographs. Dawn became the woman in the Moon using a short clip of her in the rocks. Different frequencies of the music change the elements of blur, rotation, zoom and the Dawn/Moon balance. The Music by Yuval Ron adds an element of mysteriousness and romance.

Tree    2012    5min30sec

This time I was playing with the kaleidoscope effect. Adding the clip of Dawn in the tree created a dark and mysterious forest. The addition of the dark music gives the piece an elegiac feeling. the software uses a random generator to change the starting point of the clip so the piece is never exactly the same when it is played.

Rock    2016    2min30sec

Markus sent me some recordings of his solo jazz improvs to listen to. He included this clip of Rockin the Blues that he recorded by setting his cellphone on the right side of the piano. I made it into Rock.
It is still a work in progress so I probably will make changes in it as the weekend goes along.

Documentation of Stage Work

Entanglement    2009    7min10sec

This is excerpted documentation of a live performance in a video-projection environment. Watch closely as the piece has a couple of surprises! The music was written for the piece by Katarina Miljkovic. The projections were made with Isadora.


Music and Other Links

Mémoire              Memoir (for D.S.)       
                            Malek Alloula             

Path                     Sea of Cold                
                            Johanna Vaude           

Cottage                    Dear Irish Boy       
Burren Bagatelle     The Miller of Drohan
Departure                Port na Bpucai        

Corps et Terre         Domaine de la Tronque

Luminous          Sublime, Caleb Sampson                         
Seán & Dawn        DJ Flack                         

Boschetto              Cialomi                                               
Les Escaliers        Shadows II, Simon Kanzler

Escaleras        Frutas Del Caney                
Moon            Vartani                                 

Tree            Sickness and Death                

Entanglement        Katarina Miljkovic       


Blick - Photo Printing    Address: 401 Park Drive    Landmark Center - Fenway   Boston, MA
Phone: (617) 247-3322        Fax: (617) 249-0737        Store Hours:    Mo-Sa: 9-9   Su: 11-6