Birnbaum swiftly traces the geopolitical history of the U.S. and then France, charting their constant reconfigurations across maps rendered malleable through special effects. A densely layered soundtrack guides the viewer through this "anti-terrain," in which boundaries are arbitrary and national identities unstable.
Transgressions was created as part of "TRANS-VOICES"," an international multi-media public art project that was conceived to reflect a broad spectrum of cultural diversity — national, racial, and ethnic — that characterizes both France and America today. Created by seven American and seven French artists, the video spots operate as trans-cultural investigations, questioning the validity of national identity, exploring the origins of cultural ideology, and charging the ethics of government entities. The spots communicate messages about the fundamental social, political, economic and ecological shifts that mark the close of the 20th century.
Produced by the American Center, Paris, in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Public Art Fund.
Producer/Director: Dara Birnbaum. Post Production: Caesar Video Graphics, Inc. Editor: Robert Roesler. Paintbox Artist: Rick Spain. In-House Producer: Robert Buganza. Camera Operator/Assistant Editor: Konrad B. Roman. Music: Tomanandy. Voiceover: Gabriella Spierer. Subtitles: Patricia Cole. Key Production Assistant: Susan Jennings. Production Assistants: Charles Lofton, Rick Pirro. Research: Jenny Barriol, Dara Greenwald. Special thanks to Peter Caesar.