Combining animation and found film clips, pop soundtracks and voice-over, the video revolves around a Huckelberry Finn or MAD magazine coverboy-style character. The installation is presented on a video wall made up of 16 monitors and adopts formulaic elements found on the internet such as avatars, memes, and mash-ups. These components synthesize a dark psychodrama, in which the line between the perverse and the gleeful is blurred.
One of the highlights appearing in Riverboat Song is a clip of a man continuously punching another. The controversial clip was the stimulus behind Wolfson’s highly discussed virtual reality work Real Violence and it reflects on the manic brutality of a witness capturing real-life violence with their iPhone. The voyeuristic passivity of recording the video translates the act into a heightened, disorienting and contextless experience.
Wolfson’s practice has traversed video, film, installation, performance, print and photography, employing animation, digital imaging and animatronic sculpture to represent central ideas of literal and virtual reality. In particular, the projection of inner impulses, such as desire, optimism, violence or guilt, are core to his work as they appear in the form of constructed selves and scenarios.