Torch Song – TRT 6:00 mins
“Torch Song” (2008) is a video, sound (and sometimes performance) piece about unresolved desire.
The piece’s construction began with footage of a female fire dancer that I shot on Super-8 film and hand-processed. I then digitally solarized, looped and disintegrated the image through layers of time-stretching and re-photography. Palpable tension between attraction/discomfort and power/immobility emerged for me as I worked obsessively with this image.
To accompany the footage, I produced an a capella version of Oscar de Leon’s “Lloraras”, a Venezuelan pop song that tells a story of love and revenge. In live performance contexts, I stand beside the video projection, and channel the complex feelings that the piece evokes in me by vocalizing a focused, strained, repetition of the syllable “AH” for the duration of the piece.
A unifying thread of my creative work, which includes film, video, sound, installation and performance, is the transformation and re-generation of recorded materials.
From 2003-2007, I worked primarily with film and video sequences that I would disintegrate through labour-intensive analog and digital processes. More recently, I digitally transform found sound recordings and vocally mimic the results as exactly as I can, in an attempt to embody a variety of others — from iconic 20th century singers and songs (in “For Romantic Fantasy” and “For Lack of Voice”), to the voices of non-human species (in “Therianthropy” and “Cricket, Tree, Crow”).
Stephanie Loveless is a Montréal-born artist who works with sound, video, film and voice. She makes soft-speakers out of paper cups, performance prescriptions for audience-identified ailments, and sound works that attempt to channel the voices of plants, animals and musical divas.
Loveless’ sound, video and performance work has been presented widely in festivals, galleries, museums and artist-run centers in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council and el Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; awards from Kodak, the International Festival of Cinema and Technology, and the Malcolm S. Morse Foundation; and has completed residencies at el Centro Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras (Morelia, Mexico), the Coleman Center for the Arts (York, Alabama), and Studio XX (Montréal, Québec).
She holds MFAs from Bard College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and recently completed a certification in Deep Listening with composer Pauline Oliveros. She currently lives and works in upstate New York.