“Push II” is a ‘video poem.’
The original version of “Push” was created in the mid-1970s using my transparencies, and was presented on two projectors as a slide show. It was performed once at the original Pittsburgh Filmmakers Association when it was lodged in the basement in East Liberty, with the accompaniment of John Fahey’s “Requiem for Molly” (all four parts) – recorded, of course, and with the assistance of my friend Lilo DeGasparis. It was also performed for friends & acquaintances on a few occasions, at least once with Fahey’s (recorded) accompaniment.
The current version represents a selective merging of the two sets of images. In addition, with the advantage of digital editing software, some of the images have been edited and many have been “cleaned” (unwanted (dirt) spots and lines removed). I think this version preserves the essential character of the original. Anyone wishing to see the two original sets of images is welcome to compare and make their own judgement. I have preserved the digital scans of the two sets of images as separate sub-folders.
The fundamental concept of “Push” is of pushing – the envelope, through to the other side (as some group sang about), with humor, but a definite sense of openness and appreciation of life around us in the everyday, just viewed slightly differently. The “other side” is inside and all around, if we but look. In the course of the walk, I suggest pushing “without apparent motive.” Later there is a reference to a song that was popular at the time, but I found the image, as well as the song to have broader importance to American life – American Pie: please notice the several images that follow.
In the end, however, Push is intended as a playful, but sincere piece. I was playing, if you will, with some of American cultural icons, but doing so in a manner that pushes and stretches. I think of it, and some of my other pieces as “ditties.” Ditties are an un-acknowledged sub-genre of what some call “Poetry.” And these are “visual ditties.” The images sometimes clash; sometimes slide one to the other. Like any piece of written or visual art, however, it has multiple interpretations, and I should contend, each of the images itself may have multiple quite legitimate interpretations: that’s art. Especially visual art. My intent, however, is: Stop and look about you and find the beauty as well as the humor. It’s there, but for the seeing. Please be sure to read all the signs.
Yes, those are my parents, captured in the course of their visit to Pittsburgh in the mid-1970s, where I attended gradual school and then helped to develop a social research center. And yes, that’s a young me playing with the mirror and the capturing machine. The young lady standing in my parent’s backyard was a friend of my mother from college – yes mother returned to college after I graduated. When I returned from my tour with the Peace Corps in West Africa, she was living in my former bedroom. I had to sleep on a fold-out in the basement. I met her a couple of years later in Louisville, KY. She had turned yuppie hippie. Unfortunately, she also had a boyfriend. And yes, that is a really delightful pipe for smoking marijuana the other young lady is holding in her hand.
There are four relatively recent additions to the original sets of “Push” images: the intro logo and the “thank you” at the end. The two “light images” toward the end are also recent additions.
I hope you enjoy.