Digital Video, Stereo sound, 2002
DeFused Ads are short abstract films which use television commercials as their sole source material, transforming them from commercial messages into meaningless things of beauty.
DeFused Ad No.1 is a luminous, ambient electronic landscape made from an interstitial cable-TV promo.
The technique involves “averaging” the texture, color and tone of the original material into luminous drifting masses. The original fast-cut promotional message is transformed into a slow-time mode. No edits were made, the processing simply acting as a lens to distort time and space.
In 1996, I met a student in Ontario who grew up in East Berlin. The cold war being such a looming reality in my youth, I’d always wondered about life on the Soviet side of the iron curtain. “Did you get western TV in East Berlin?” I asked her. The answer was yes, of course, but it was the next part that threw me. “Oh! The commercials! – they were so beautiful. I just wanted to live inside the worlds of them.”
At the time, my job was working in a recording studio in Denver which did a lot of commercials. I myself was engaged in the craft of perfecting these short mass-media messages intended to incite an audience to partake in commercial transactions. I started to think about how, in a way, television ads are some of the high-art of our civilization: the most refined, concentrated, compelling experiences that can be created in sound and light.
Eventually the obvious connection was made: to absolve these messages of their meaning, rendering them objects of pure beauty.