Bruce Conner (1933-2008)
Three-screen Super-8 film installation, black-and-white, silent, 3:42 min., 4:11 min., and 3:45 min. looped, transferred to video
5/6, 2 AP
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee and the Painting and Sculpture Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
EVE-RAY-FOREVER consists of images drawn from early twentieth-century sources, including striptease, educational films, animated cartoons, and silent movies, many of which depicted war, atomic bomb blasts, and other violent scenes. The original 1965 8-millimeter film cycled through the images with strobe-like speed; it was based on Bruce Conner’s 16-millimeter film COSMIC RAY (1961), an homage to Rhythm and Blues singer Ray Charles, set to a soundtrack of his 1959 hit, “What’d I Say.” The center screen of EVE-RAY-FOREVER shows the footage of COSMIC RAY while the two flanking screens show portions of COSMIC RAY combined with additional footage. In 2006, the film was adapted to video, projecting the images onto three screens. Each projection is roughly four minutes in length, and runs on a loop. But slight differences in the running times of the independent projections means that they grow increasingly divergent with every passing loop. A viewer watching the piece could wait an immensely long time before ever seeing precisely the same series of projected images twice. As a totality, this flood of imagery suggests the way that the mass media turns subjects like the violence of war and the debasement of women into spectacles for our entertainment.