Peter Callas: Selected Works I

1986, 29:58 min, color, sound

This collection of works examines cultural meaning in the production and reception of images and language as signs. In Visions, Callas depicts an imaginary, architectonic, revolving electronic "space" as viewed from the interior of an eyelid. The vibrant, densely textured Kommunication is a video translation of the traditional technique of framing Japanese ink drawings on heavily patterned backgrounds, as schematic pictograms are framed against wildly patterned fields. Bon Voyage was commissioned for a live theater and video event in Tokyo by the Island Theater group. Generated entirely from live Japanese television, this work isolates traditional and contemporary cultural gestures as signs, utilizing a two-frame animation technique developed on the Fairlight CVI.

Combining computer-generated effects, overlays, Japanese voiceover and English text, Pisco Sour is a fragmented narrative that opposes the conventional use of language to explain "foreign" imagery from a specific cultural locus. In this essay on the duplicity of language, the subtext moves relentlessly away from the imagery so that, except for occasional leaps of the imagination, the final images are merely haunted by the memory of the words. Pisco is a Peruvian drink that comes in a bottle shaped as the head of a drunken Indian, and contains a formula for "the famous pisco sour" — or, in Callas' words, a "recipe for disillusionment."

Visions: Conceived/Directed/Designed by Peter Callas. Music: RA.

Kommunication: Conceived/Directed/Designed by Peter Callas. Music: RA.

Bon Voyage: Directed/Designed by Peter Callas. Words/Composition: Koharu Kisaragi. Arrangement: Tatsuo Kondon and Shinsake Hoh.

How to Make the Famous Pisco Sour, Version II: Conceived/Directed/Designed by Peter Callas.

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