rec(o)urse is a three-part installation made in collaboration with Evelyn Tsisin. Drawing on poetry, family photographs, and found footage, the exhibit considers the immateriality and dematerialization of memory as it is encountered through ‘double’ or stereoscopic forms of looking.

Poetry by Evelyn Tsisin.

three sequential viewmaster reels 

two-channel video projection, 7m 40s.

augmented reality iOS application made for Holokit cardboard viewer.



A formula that located a set of vertices yet without volume, a network of nodes in need of edges.

Memories resurface and recede with each passing glance over a line, always dancing around an image or series of images. One recognizes a longing for the tenuous materiality of memory, and for which the speaker’s only recourse is to rearrange and reinscribe these fleeting thoughts within the deceivingly complete structure of the sestina - six words, six stanzas, six lines each. Three dimensions to yield the mathematically perfect three-dimensional cube. Not only is the poem a fraught recourse for the anxiety of remembering, but a recursive framework, a strategy of rigid repetition in hopes of conjuring that which can never again exist as it once was, suffocated by the intensified “heat” (6) of its own hyper self-reflection:

meet me underneath the bleachers 
during the endurance              
test     their bodies stiff     the land 

arm’s length away     sway nerves betrayed
they’re at prom with      the sidewalk 
but we 
take her home
skin cement skin        heat 
trapped within aluminum reflection 

meet me on the other side of our reflection 
watch us in our stillness smile     without admission      from the bleachers 
inside the glass      no one can reach us      convince us to come
surrender only coaxed by threat of shatter     frail endurance 
if we are trapped     in scattered      sidewalk 
shards     in dazzling pattern may we land 

meet me in the place where land 
ends in reflection 
where the pavement of the sidewalk 
resorts to powder     sloping to sea     like liquid bleachers 
knowing nothing of endurance 
as prone to weathering as home 

....Yet my argument dissolves itself, too, “like liquid bleachers” (Tsisin 16), as we witness both analog and digital continue in their inevitable process of decay....It is not the failure of the stereoscopic image to manifest or convincingly materialize a past world, but rather, a giving over of the self to a space where that spatio-temporal certainty is no longer the basis for thinking, feeling, seeing, or remembering. This is the speaker’s double gaze that constructs a vision of the future through the space in between two images - a gaze that can look through and beyond foreground and background, and that ultimately invites the viewer to do the same (“meet me”, she repeats each time).

meet me at home  
where promises do not take root in land   
pipe dreams      rust like magazines we keep ironically      and endurance 
is just a game      we play      with our      reflection 
sighing to ourselves three times      trying to find      what we lost      beneath the bleachers 
what we inscribed on one another      bathed away like sidewalk chalk 

meet me when it rains      on the north side      walk 
the long way home 
be stupid      show off for me alone      and clamber up the bleachers 
stand at the peak      ladder at your back      fog beneath your feet     and land 
in a pool of your reflection 
drunk on the deception      of youth’s fugitive endurance 

meet me where endurance 
broke up with the sidewalk 
left the scars as a reflection 
of uprooted home 
let the eager hands of land 
surround her slowly      defeat is holy      only from the bleachers
(Tsisin 30-36) 

What happens when images end? Will the end of history be the end of images, too? What if we were to no longer rely on images and visuality for memory, but to create space for other, differently experienced, recorded, and recalled forms of knowledge?

It is unclear whether this new reality has been forced upon the speaker, or has, in fact, been a deliberate choice, as if to end the very world she has created within the sestina. Perhaps the poem’s nostalgia has turned fatal, and the speaker has lost her ability to comfortably structure her memory around the images now overwrought and overdetermined by the recursive framework of the sestina. And so she asks:

meet me where reflection has no home 
where memory yields its endurance     where the sidewalk 
melts with land      and there is nothing more to see      there no one dreams      of bleachers 

We could take this as a final invitation - the total obliteration of the borders of the image, which condenses all backgrounds into one, which becomes the afterthought, the privatized space onto which the poetry is mapped, always ready to give the viewer the illusion of being at the center of the universe, no longer watching the spectacle only from the bleachers. She has lost herself within time and space not because the images stopped, but because she cannot see beyond or without the image at all - and it is there where “no one dreams of bleachers” (Tsisin 39).