Empathy and Abstraction

1998, 10 min, color, sound

Shalom Gorewitz frames Empathy and Abstraction with a quotation from Wilhelm Worringer's book of the same name, which observes that the urge to abstraction stems from a sense of unease with the world as it is. Gorewitz turns his camera on the city: construction, the homeless, and milling crowds. A rally to end police brutality brings text to the screen; the image begins to rupture with unnatural colors and effects, and the soundtrack comes in fits and starts. Gorewitz's signature use of intense video processing casts footage of paratroopers and helicopters against the electronic signs of Times Square. Ultimately the image-processing reaches a high pitch, which is sustained through the second half of the tape, in which a montage of scenes from nature is set to a soothing electronic score.

Video and Audio Recorded, Processed, and Edited by Shalom Gorewitz. WATER Composer/Arranger: Marco Antonio Guimaraes for Grupo Brazilian Dance Theater. Performers: UAKTI: Paulo Sergio dos Santos, Decio de Souza Ramos Filho, Artur Andres Ribeiro, Marco Antonio Guimaraes, from the 21st Century Culture label CD "I Ching." Subway Singer: FF Nixon performing his rendition of Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog." Digital Post-Production: Mud Video, Chichester, New York.

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