Spellbound, three-channel video and sound installation, 2013
Stephen Slappe (b. Charleston, WV) is an artist based in Portland, Oregon. Slappe’s work has exhibited and screened internationally in venues such as Centre Pompidou-Metz (France),Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival, The Horse Hospital (London), The Sarai Media Lab (New Delhi), Consolidated Works (Seattle), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), and Artists’ Television Access (San Francisco). His projects have been funded by multiple grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission.
Slappe is an Associate Professor and Chair of Video & Sound at Pacific Northwest College of Art. He is an active curator and organizer of video and film exhibitions including New Mutants a Worksound Gallery (Portland) and Out of the Great Northwest at The Horse Hospital (London). Slappe is an amateur film archivist and has presented three programs of archival 16mm films entitled Rolling Deep: Skateboarding Films 1965-1980, Static Age: The Culture of Early Television, and Drugs, Disease, Disaster.
Images are supernatural. Spellbound is simultaneously fiction and documentary, placing elements recorded at different places at different times in a single space where they can blend and accumulate meaning. These impossible temporal cycles highlight the strangeness of everyday experience.
The video and sound elements in Spellbound were gathered over a two year period. During that time, I was shooting hundreds of hours of video with no real aim, using the camera and microphone to see and hear. Since then, I have been treating my own material as found footage, remixing it into modular units of video and sound loops. These units can be combined so that their elliptical edges join together in psychologically charged spatial configurations.