18 Films About Ted Serios
The entire oeuvre for my video work operates under the meta-narrative title 18 Films About Ted Serios. A complicated man with many failings and pathologies Ted Serios gained notoriety in the late ‘60s, claiming that he could project his thoughts onto polaroid film. While Serios’ claims have been debunked by amateur magicians, professional photographers, and psychic skeptics, the images that Serios was able to muster (with great theatricality and after the consumption of vast quantities of cheap beer) are beguiling. These are fuzzy, amorphous images with stark contrasts, often of architectural objects raked with strange halos and enigmatic markings.
In its fullest iteration, 18 Films About Ted Serios involves an interplay between sound and moving image through an interconnected network of audio-visual production techniques in a live setting. The projected image is generated via a surveillance camera trained on small monitor, playing back a pre-ordained video of atmospheric ephemera, emptied architecture, systems of transportation, and sites of transition between the natural and the manmade, treated though an ethereal vision of an impending apocalypse, the parapsychological documentation of psychic phenomena, and / or a synaesthetic re-interpretation of abstracted sound into abstracted image. I incorporate various lenses, metal screens, and plates of tempered glass passing through the projection plane to abstract the signal between the small monitor and the camera. The sound design accumulates acoustic and the electro-magnetic detritus into billowing tonal constructions and fractured minimalism, coupling with photo cell sensors that react to the light intensity of the monitors moving image. Shortwave radio, found objects, ultrasound reception / manipulation, feedback systems, and amplifications of my own body’s somatic responses. 18 Films About Ted Serios gives the impression of a sleight of hand, with recognizable sounds and images expressing slippages of states.
Psychic to physical.
Fragile to volcanic.
Plasma to vapor.