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Augury

The series of video shorts titled Augury grew out of an
interest in the ancient Roman ritual of that name. As practiced in
Rome and elsewhere, augury speaks to the human quest for order
in even the most random sequence of events. I was intrigued by the
practitioners’ imposition of meaning on seemingly insignificant
details, such as the direction in which birds fly overhead.
My project began as an attempt to accurately record the flight of
birds through the same space each day. These records originally took
the form of ink drawings on a glass viewing frame, from which I
pulled monoprints. In search of a more objective observer, I replaced
myself with a video camera. In order to distill the patterns hidden
in the filmed activity, I collapsed the time of the footage, allowing
each frame to remain, superimposed on succeeding ones.
Revealed were dashed and dotted lines composed of bird silhouettes,
spiraling across the frame in surprising arabesques, a crazed system
of parallels and meridians in the air.


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