After a career as a helicopter pilot/engineer, Daniel Laskarin turned to the visual arts as a field of equal, if dissimilar, danger. His practice is object based, materially and philosophically rooted; much of his work investigates the ways in which art may give sensory experience to consciousness, creating a bridge between substance and ineffability. Understanding that the “expanded field” is blown utterly apart, his work makes things that stay together, that find their own order in a condition of disorder, and that at the same time refuse that which orders everything. His diverse media incorporates photography and video, optics, robotics systems, installation and sound. He has been involved with set design, public image projections and large-scale public commissions in Vancouver and Seattle. He has exhibited in Canada and internationally, and teaches at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria in Western Canada.

Song for my father brings together two looping videos under a single sound track.  The sound, a slow inhale and exhale, is generated by the muted accordion that I play in one of the two video; the sound is that of breathing.  It synchronized with the oscillations of the bridge on the second video – footage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, moments before its collapse in 1940.

 This project began with that film of the the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: footage of a couple seconds before its catastrophic fall was extended into an unending video.  The work took that brief moment and stretched it, so that its time might be pulled apart a bit to allow us to fall into its duration.  The second part of this project emerged from a performance piece in which I played the muted accordion for a five-hour period in honour of my father’s life an death several years previous.  The video of that playing was drawn from a restaged version of the original performance, and it too was extended into an unending loop.

 Put together, the two video loops offer a moment, a singular event, extended endlessly.  The moment is held just before catastrophe – the fall of the bridge, the cessation of my father’s breathing.  It is that moment in which all things – on the edge of an ending, on the edge of a turning toward a different existence – come into question, or into possibility.  The videos, projected at a very small scale, their supporting hardware almost more visible than the images, are intimate; the sound fills the space, bridging the gap between the images, holding them in suspension, holding on to space and the time for as long as possible.

 The work honours my father, who died years ago, who suffered numerous health issues, and whose own breathing often seemed to be facing immanent end.  It finally did, of course, but there was something enormously important between us just before his death.  In that sense the work celebrates his life, his breath, and the events before its end.



Instruccciones Daniel Laskarin peq