In a polarized society where everyone has multiple agendas and different perspectives on these agendas, the real question is how do we negotiate an alliance? This is the theme of Dry Heat.
Dry Heat is a two channel video installation that focuses on a brother and sister with opposing political views. Amber and Elan were both born in the U.S. They are both married with children and living in Israel. Elan lives in Efrat, a settlement in Israeli occupied territory east of the Green Line. He describes his community as a good place to raise children. Amber is at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a program whose motto is “nature knows no borders”. She works with Palestinians, Jordanians, Israelis, and North Americans. While Amber and Elan’s lifestyles and beliefs are radically different, they find it important to maintain a relationship.
The installation includes No Flak, a text animation that links the attitudes of Dada and the Theatre of the Absurd to the present moment. Fueled by Alfred Jarry’s King Ubu, a play whose first word “merdre” (shit) caused an uproar when it premiered in Paris in 1896, the text animation, which is primarily a rhythmic list of words, travels from Ubu’s despotic kingdom via George Orwell’s 1984 to Jonathan Crary’s analysis of our 21st century technology induced capitalist dystopia with a little Plato, Aristotle, and for good measure, a recipe for Authoritarian Soup.
In the aftermath of an election where the internet offers the opportunity for rants on social media and absurd tweets from the U.S. president, the installation scours past and present for bits of humor and philosophy to define a science of the imaginary, an approach to these troubled times.