Let Me Count the Ways - Leslie Thornton (Screening and Commentary)14/02/2008
The exchangeability (and collusion) of channel and source is an attribute of Leslie Thornton's works throughout, and, in most cases, there is an 'interpenetration' of the 'flurry of particles' of noise, multiple voices which register, carried on the 'winds' of the wilderness that have been called, on occasion, 'hell.' [see Peggy and Fred in Hell, 1986-2008]. Two voices (at least) wherein the admixture of channel and source embeds the technical and the human (or the narrative and the actual) into each other to an inextricable and undefineable degree. One simply cannot know if the voice you are hearing originates in the source or the channel-the perfect representation, or a narrative deus ex machina, or from the technical register itself (the cinema/ video/digital 'apparatus.' [Or if it is reflected in 'you'-the audience- as a subvocalization, instigated via the technical 'medium' as a form of doubled glossolalia?]. And of course it does not matter, even if we as spectators have a momentary desire to catch or 'capture' the distinction between source and signal, channel and medium, it is actually we who find ourselves unable to penetrate the 'flurry' of signal/noise diffusion, or perhaps our penetration is rare and intermittent. Peggy and Fred in Hell, throughout its 15 or so 'episodes' is a cartography of the medial transformation of the last quarter of the 20th century (and the initial terms of the 21st century, as witnessed by Thornton's most current works (Let Me Count the Ways: Minus 10; Minus 9; Minus 8; Minus 7; Minus 6...).