Video (color, sound)
Duration: 31:12 min
Incomplt is a documentary of a precisely constructed situation that combined a natural spectacle with an intervention by the artist. Filmed in a mountain forest in the Mexican state Michoacán, the film depicts scenes from the annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies. Yet, in this pastoral-looking landscape with its hypnotic surfaces covered with the intricately patterned insects or their mesmerizing swarms, a giant ice sculpture exists incongruously. A mound of individually carved objects, circles and bars, that could be seen as I’s and O’s, ones and zeros. Its white shimmering surface constitutes a formal counterpart to the darker surroundings, its scale difficult to discern in relation to the landscape. Individual butterflies land on the ice yet their response is equally difficult to read without projecting our own expectations.
While the two forms that make up the ice the simplest two physical shapes that would construct a stack by interpenetrating each other in various combinations, much like mortise and tenon joints, as ones and zeros they also constitute the basis of digital code and representation.
The soundtrack also combines references to such a pairing of “natural” and digital representation. Working with Canadian Composer Kit Vaughan Soden, the artist used a specialized software to “transcribe” the natural sounds that were recorded during the film shooting in a score to be played by a combination of acoustic instruments. The resulting soundtrack is a mix of those “natural recordings” and computed transcriptions sometimes generated by the software itself, sometimes interpreted by musicians, a mix of signs and noises, meaning and information.