Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation @ Cristin Tierney Gallery, NYC
Edited by computer, the resulting narrative is in near-infinite or near-indeterminite permutations, like a Stan Douglas piece. It’s not as watchable nor cohesive as a Douglas, nor is it as formally seductive like other Sussman tableaux. It feels and looks much more casual and less cinematic, and there is a degree of remove and intended illegibility, especially with the mixed languages (Russian and English). I find Douglas’s algorithmic editing with cinematic narrative an effective device to point to our abilities as viewers to make sense of even randomized film clips. However, with Sussman’s more casual hand-held video footage, we are used to these kinds of clips being strung together willy-nilly and the messiness becomes part of the aesthetic. I’m not sure that emphasizing the “algorithmic” part of the editing is important (in the gallery, the computer’s executed code commands is shown real-time on a screen facing the seats)—I perhaps could have just as effectively watched it unfold as a one-channel, pre-edited piece and felt a similar effect.