Evidence (an apocalypse)
2000; unpublished
performed March 23rd, 2000
at the Blinding Light in Vancouver


   In this performance Mike Schertzer reads excerpts from his text Evidence while video images assembled by Vancouver video artist Joel Snowden are projected behind him. These images are composed of a set of slide-collages that Mike has assembled from film trailers, found slides, and reproductions of his visual art. As well, Joel has created some video interjections and has incorporated the voice of Zoya Harris and the very appropriate (and appropriated!) music from Unwound, Low, and Burning Airlines. 


    This event is basically a performance of a text but was designed to be much more than a simple reading. As a writer, I have always found readings to be deficient renderings of the world and the energy delimited by the text. I have finally come to the conclusion that the fact that I always find readings boring and banal is because they are. Reading is not boring or banal, but the public performance of such an act is. Therefore, I have created a presentation which hopefully presents the complexity and the peculiar energy of the text in a clear and definitive manner. Concerning the aesthetics of the visual side of the presentation, I have always resisted attempts at hyper-technologizing my art practice. This means that I am interested in leaving traces of the creative act, stressing the artificial/constructed nature of any image. Although it is true that the video was digitally edited, the source images were primarily slide collages which were glued together. These slides would make any photographer cringe- they are scratched, covered in fingerprints (and whatever else was on the floor of my studio!), and have been stuck together in a very rough way. The slides were then videotaped and this live footage is what each 'still-image' is. There is movement in each 'still' but it is very subtle.

    I must say, I always find a subversive thrill in taking the highly accomplished photography found on Hollywood film trailers (photographs which took tens of thousands of dollars if not more to create) and then scratching them, or bleaching them, or generally messing them up. It should be noted that my use of the products of popular (American) films does not represent any attempt at re-defining or re-working the lexicon of popular culture. I have no idea what these films are or are about. I never go to see Hollywood movies. I don't know who the stars are (other than perhaps their names). I feel I am something of an anthropologist (or a child!) holding up artifacts before some knowing public.