For the Light of Other Shores is a series of eleven short art films—obliquely interconnected and running 30 minutes in total—in which I combined vocal recordings I made of my writing with footage I shot of various virtual places in the online world of Second Life, exploring themes of isolation, belonging, invisibility, loss, and creation while also paying homage to the many “digital dreamers” who have made Second Life their canvas. The series served as the final thesis project for my multidisciplinary Master of Fine Arts degree at the California Institute of the Arts (from which I graduated in June 2019). Some of the texts I used are prose, or prose poem, and others are more clearly poetry in structure; for the recordings themselves, I modified and filtered my voice in myriad ways in order to reinforce one underlying aspect or another of each film’s words, visuals, or both.
All of the films are available individually on my YouTube channel, in a dedicated playlist that preserves the sequence in which they should ideally be seen when watching the series there in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlpN9vbAWneZQ52w_7TuGe-5Jg_YcO3xy The description below each video contains more info about the location(s) where I filmed and who built it; these locations and their creators are likewise named in the project’s on-screen credits at the end of the “artist statement” video—itself a special sort of art film in its own right that simultaneously revisits and re-contextualizes the previous ten. (Note: the credits and additional location info are also contained in one of the PDFs I’ve attached here, with the other PDF containing my texts and the artist statement.)
Made on Linux with Audacity, OBS Studio, the Firestorm Viewer, Kdenlive, GIMP, and Avidemux. Filmed using a SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse; audio recorded using a Shure BETA 58A dynamic vocal mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface.
The project’s title, which can also be heard as part of a line in the “artist statement,” is a reference to a poem called “The Light of Other Days” by Irish poet & singer Thomas Moore:
Erik Alessandro Mondrian is a writer, artist, and scholar who makes work about place, belonging, love, longing, and madness. He holds a BA in French, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; an MA in Communication, with a specialization in Mass Communication and Media Studies, from San Diego State University; and an Interschool MFA in VoiceArts & Creative Writing, with a concentration in Integrated Media, from the California Institute of the Arts.
Erik’s MFA thesis project—For the Light of Other Shores—was a series of short films combining vocal recordings of his writing with footage he shot in the virtual world of Second Life. Running exactly 30 minutes in total (w/title screens and closing credits), the films were featured at the 2019 CalArts Expo, can be seen online on Erik’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/erikMondrian), and will be shown as part of the “Director’s Choice” program at the 2020 Supernova Digital Animation Festival.