Eric Souther

New Media Artist, Toolmaker

Shambala, Single Channel Video, 2019

8min 37sec, 3840 x 2160 4k

 

This work focuses on the prayer flags located at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes Colorado. What I find interesting about prayer flags is they are not prayers to a God, but prayers and good will sent out into the world. The song is also prayers of good will to others. Custom software was created that utilized frame difference to isolate flag movement for video feedback, allowing the flags movement and color to emanate outward, a process that conceptually reinforces the flags intentions.

Ritual and Repetition, 2018

Single Channel Video, 8min 30sec, 1920x1080

 

Ritual and Repetition was shot in Xiamen at the Nanputuo Temple. The experimental short film examines the ritualistic space of the temple as a site that engages a range of histories and religions (Buddhism and Confucianism), which day after day interacts with crowds of people coming to pray, practice, sightsee, and explore the space.

Liminal Labyrinth, 2016–2017

VR Experience & Installation

 

Liminal Labyrinth is a collaboration between Eric Souther and Dr. Kevin Ladd. It is both a virtual and physical installation and a psychological look at the interaction of bodies and religious behaviors in digitally augmented spaces.

 

The Labyrinth works as a spiritual tool; nearly all religions have had some association with these winding patterns: Buddhist Mandalas, Native American Medicine Wheels, and Judaism “Tree of Life.” While the specific understandings and roles of these patterns differ across traditions, the labyrinth seems to be used as an aid in thinking about and understanding religion through embodied aesthetics.

 

Closely related to mazes, modern labyrinths typically are unicursal patterns. Instead of featuring multiple pathways and dead-ends common to mazes, the labyrinth has a single winding path leading toward a central open space and back out. Some argue that “sacred geometry” associated with labyrinths provides the ability to change the “energy” of the one who walks the pathway.

 

These two project is partially supported by the Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program, Indiana University South Bend Faculty Research Grant, Squeaky Wheel's Workspace Residency, and the Buffalo Game Space.

Ritual of the Rhizome, single channel, 2016

12min 12sec, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

The tree serves as a plethora of metaphors that underpin philosophical thought and knowledge, a symbol of logical progression that branches out but always retains a logical start and end. The ritual traces this idea throughout many philosophical texts while presenting the foundational trunk of a tree, weighted in the center of each shot. The sermon of structure is lost in a repetitious ritual, which deconstructs linear logic and the representational image for the rhizomatic.

 

The script was created by searching the keywords:

tree, root, trunk, and branch from the following texts

Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy

Reiner Schürmann

 

A Thousand Plateaus

Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze

 

Beyond the limits of thought

Graham Priest

 

Kant's Theory of Knowledge: An Analytical Introduction

Georges Dicker

 

The Laws of Thought

George Boole

 

The Archaeology of Knowledge

Michel Foucault

 

The structure of appearance

Nelson Goodman

Man against Mass Society

Gabriel Marcel

 

Introduction to Metaphysics

Martin Heidegger

 

Logic as a Human Instrument

Francis H. Parker, Henry B. Veatch

 

Question of Being

Martin Heidegger

 

Poetry Language Thought

Martin Heidegger

 

Heidegger's Technologies: Postphenomenological Perspectives

Don Ihde

Ceremony for Genetically Modified Organisms, 2015

Single Channel Video, 7min., 24sec., 720x480

 

Ceremony for Genetically Modified Organisms questions the role of religion and prayer of

organisms that are genetically modified by technological innovations such as CRISPR Geneediting.

 

This piece was created at a Signal Culture Residency in 2015.  Tools include the Jones Colorizer, the Color Wobbulator, and a Doepfer Analog Modular System. Prayer pose imagery created by the Social Psychology of Religion Laboratory at Indiana University South Bend. Courtesy Kevin Ladd and Kyle Messick, Ladd Laboratory, IU South Bend.

Denial of the Selfie, Multimedia Sculpture, 2015

Resin sculpture, soil, selfie stick, iPod touch, charging cable

 

“It is the continuous embrace of our own technology in daily use that puts us in the Narcissus role of Subliminal awareness and numbness in relation to these images of ourselves.” - Marshall McLuhan

 

Buddha meditates as he holds a selfie stick. At the end of the stick is an iPod touch that displays a live image of himself. What are the technological impacts on the self? Where does our perceptions the self originate within a digital existence?

Myth of the Masses, Single Channel Video, 2012

4min 31sec, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

There are myths created by mass media. Gods, if you will, that change the way we perceive the world around us. These myths seep into our consciousness and possess us.

 

HD footage collected in Times Square is transcoded to windows media file (WMV) HD and played in VLC Media player to create performance based real-time datamoshing. ScreenFlick is used to record performances for editable output.

Life in the Maelstrom, Single Channel Video, 2012

7min 33sec, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

We exist in a constant state of flux. We are perpetually pushed to move forward and update. We live in a vortex where "BIG DATA" feeds off us. Marshall McLuhan speaks of escaping this void by studying the pattern of media's effects, thus creating a strategy of evasion and survival. Life in the Maelstrom seeks to explore the lives of those who live in the vortex..

Impermanence, Single Channel Video, 2011

7 min 31 sec, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

Impermanence, shot in Times Square, reveals the unseen layers of movement through time. I see this space of moving digital architecture and fast-paced crowds as a physical representation of our electronic culture, an icon of media saturation. I want to place my viewer in an alternative dimension of time. When encountering the video, one is met with stark black and white flashing images of people and many levels of grey tones as the past layers of time start to fade out of sight. If something or someone moves within the composition, they are imaged as white, and as they move from one place to the other, they leave trails of time behind them.

As the crowds of people move through the screen leaving trails of time, they layer on top of each other, intertwining past and present times. I focused on the different kinds of time that I could perceive in Times Square. I found many onlookers and people taking a moment to sit still and take in the environment. I sought out these stationary people within the crowds and placed them as focusing points of my compositions, as people continued to shuffle by behind them. The resulting image created a silhouette of contrasted time. Not only are others’ movements surrounding them, but the other is also defining them. The images are revealed to us like memories, flickering insubstantial forms that periodically give rise to vague details that are always in a state of flux.

Digital Mandala, Aesthetic Interface, 2009

real-time application, adaptive resolution

 

Digital Mandala is a work in which I explore my voice and body through a series of 800 prerecorded audio samples. The mandalic-triggering interface forms a sound portrait that probabilistically accesses the database, and initiates and controls the speed of the audio allowing for it to breathe and continually renew itself within the utterances set in cyclic motion.

© 2009–2019 Eric Souther. All rights reserved.