Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer: Kablooey! OK, so it appears you made some kind of masterpiece. Beyond offering lush, beautiful, and impeccably shot images to pore over, The Halftime Show is just so damn strong and polished. It’s a tight statement—a complete, bowl-you-over kind of video sentence, which is not to say closed, uncomplicated, or unambiguous in any way. It feels powerful and effective and, by the end, the structure of the piece as a whole clicks into place like an epiphany. On a certain level, it is so effective on its own and explains itself that it doesn’t need verbiage to surround it. You have captured and depicted a certain, precise ‘meditation’ consciousness and shown how its flow state-of-mind, its whirring stillness is experienced in a range of real social and natural environments. It works. On another level, I have lots of questions!
The whole video feels mind-altering, maybe like an alien percept or, more likely, like a levitated state of mindfulness and hyper attunement that attends to the interior and the social with an engagement that is paradoxically detached and deeply present. Leaving audio activations to the side for the moment, there are two main visual qualities you cultivate throughout the video that are primary to the defamiliarization and altered state you achieve: soft focus and slow-motion time. We can talk about time first because the super sharp focus of The Halftime Show's gorgeous opening shot makes the slow-motion all the more gripping right off the bat. The second set of shots translates the idea of slow-motion into a strange, destabilizing transition of distortion and blur between still photographs, still moments in time. (Perhaps these shots imply that the key effects of slow-motion and blur (soft-focus) cannot be separated.) Can you talk about how you are thinking about an experience of time in The Halftime Show? And, in addition to temporally conveying a sense of homing in on the present, does your emphasis on slowing things down also respond to our historical moment, the short-attention-span times we live in?