Alisha Gould
Slack Tide
digital photographs from video stills, Video
“Slack Tide” is identified as a period of stillness when the water is neither coming in or going out and occurs during the transition between ebb and flood tide.This experiment examined the phenomena as both metaphor and example for the potential of change and transition possible in liminal spaces. Each day for 6 weeks, I stood knee deep in the ocean's water observing and video taping the current during slack tide for the 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the predicted apex ornadir of the tide. Though the experiment is set up to locate the culmination of calm in a state of constant flux, the visualization instead highlighted the reverse and shows a place of calm in a state of chaos.
The footage collected during this period is transformed into a large grid of video stills preceding an accompanying video installation in the next room. “Slack Tide” is set up in a way that first isolates the continuity of the tidal process creating an artificial stillness and pattern that was never actually perceived while standing in the shores waters. The imposed grid isolates the intangible moment while marking time. The photographs - enlarged, arrested, and without a frame of reference or scale – become largely abstracted. The abstraction is not only formal, but one created by the displacement that occurs through the dividing of the temporal into the spatial and the subsequent representation that space. The simultaneity of duration develops as the viewer moves into the adjacent room where these images gain meaning through the context of motion and sound in an enveloping installation of video projections. This creates a poetic space in which to experience the liminal moment when the tides changes by controlling the direction, speed and frequency of the water current. The footage cycles from a quick and chaotic pattern of movement, to a middle point of about 12 cycles per minute - a calming pace equal to the frequency of a sleeping human - to a choreographed silent standstill as all the video projections sync up and stop. This then reverses and begins the cycle again, mimicking the relentlessness and reliability of the tide.
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