The Fold

2013, 2:12 min, b&w, sound, HD video

The explosive—or perhaps, more appropriately, the implosive—final episode to Thornton's epic Peggy and Fred in Hell, whose production has spanned more than thirty years, The Fold finds Peggy and Fred's world disintegrating into a sentient pile of electrical noise. Thornton describes the spinning funnel-shaped being that is the subject of the episode as the embodiment of the "artificial intelligence" represented by both the TV that raised Peggy and Fred, as well as by Thornton as invisible camerawoman and director. Here, an electronically-produced voice announces the dissolution of all meaningful elements of humanity, making claims that are at once horrific and comical. In the words of the omniscient TV-turned-intelligent-orb: "Human emotion - don't worry about it...Hate, anger, fear, sorrow, and longing, and other. Complexities of joy. We must never discard, we love their vocalizations widely adapted their words we make our TV about them with changes and danger. In it there are people eating, smiling, looking, and whales. Our people are like TV."

Peggy and Fred in Hell maps a surreal, quasi-apocalyptic realm littered with the detritus of a pop culture bursting at the seams. Castaways in this wilderness of signs, Peggy and Fred are, as Thornton states, "raised by television," their experience shaped by a palimpsest of science and science-fiction, new technologies and obsolete ones, half-remembered movies and the leavings of history. An exploration of the aesthetics of narrative form as well as the politics of the image, Thornton's rigorously experimental oeuvre has forged a unique and powerful syntax.


This work is HD video and must be shown with a 16:9, HD display.
High-Definition Video Guide