Commissions + Articles

A Slightly Shifting Stillness: Vi Khi Nao's Sheep Machine: Aster(ix) Journal

It’s difficult to measure the active frequency of images that shift only slightly. An exercise in slow, long looking, Sheep Machine: an ekphrasis logs the minutiae of a work from Leslie Thornton’s Binocular series of the same nameThe original video work consists of two circular images:

On the right, a digitally manipulated, throbbing kaleidoscope,
on the left, documentary footage of sheep grazing in the Swiss Alps.
Behind the sheep, cable cars ascend and descend a mountain. 

It is this enduring tranquility, kinetic and fecund, that Vi Khi Nao transcribes to paper. Fixating the entirety of her attention on three minutes of moving image, she assesses its visual impact and allows her poet’s gaze interpret its effect, tracking the artwork’s incremental development as well as how it comes to occupy her consciousness.

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Sue Rainsford