The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

The Ghost, Blizzard

(full NSCAD video at lowered data rate)

I'm tired now, last night I woke up and looked over towards the
window; the curtains were drawn. In front of them, I saw a
ghost, a large white and somewhat unformed semi-transparent mass
that moved, almost floated, but conveyed a sense of mass. I was
frightened, I never had this happen to me before, and I screamed
- now I think that my video is a premonition of the presence of
ghosts; certainly it's not coincidental, and I've worked on
similar images before without apparitions. But I was in an
unusual state, I was panicky, and that may have contributed a
certain sensibility or 'antenna apparatus' to my troubled night.
When I screamed, and it was a loud scream, Azure immediately
woke up, and then both of us went back to bed. I was worried (I
always worry about something) that my scream might bring the
police, and then what? I was at a loss. The ghost, by the way,
had the texture of thick blizzard snow, white-grey and mottled,
but it didn't slough off or fall from the form; it was there
before me. When I woke this morning, I was determined to put the
full video up, as compensation or redemption for the uncanny
vision, which continues to haunt me.

The video is 5 minutes 3 seconds in length. Resolution is
slightly lower and the video is set for streaming; it should run
ok. The size of the file is 112 Mb. The .mov version is 883 Mb
but I haven't put that up of course. You can download this
version by right-click the file and saving; if you go to and scroll down to NSCAD.mp4 - capitals
come before small letters in the directory - this might be the
easiest way; you don't have to open the file at all until it's
downloaded. If you come to the Wednesday talk at NSCAD (it's in
the early afternoon I think), you can see the full version which
has better resolution and if you want I can give you a copy of
it; you'd have to bring your own external hard drive or card; I
wouldn't have time to burn a DVD. On the full version, most of
the small print is readable, should you care to do that, but
it's not necessary; the moving vertical line in the last few
sections represents frame rates and through-put, and looks quite
beautiful, almost understandable, in the full version; in the
compressed version, you certainly 'get the idea.' Since some of
the video is fairly dark, or at least the background landscape
is, it's probably best to watch in a dark room, and earphones
will help, although the sounds - the blizzard winds - really
don't need that sort of fidelity; still, the stereo effect is
quite nice.

Somewhere in the video, I'm certain, the ghost lurks, but where?
Between the frames? In the virtual worlds I conjured up, in
order to make the piece, and which remain inactive until I enter
them again? In the soul of the machine itself? I prefer to
think, in the soul of the blizzard, the cold blank slate of the
end of life on earth, many eons hence. The evidence is in the
ghost and its premonition in the video, something is lurking in
our midst.

Generated by Mnemosyne 0.12.