Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn
2005, 6:25 min, color, sound
Under a cloudless Los Angeles sky, Kahn—dressed in incongruous heels and a summery dress—runs an electric weed whacker through a hill of overgrown grass. During breaks, the whacker's annoying buzz gives way to the trill of birds and distant sirens, with Elvis Presley's In the Ghetto leaking from a passing car or a radio somewhere. Whacker conjures a tangible L.A. landscape, representing its distinctive mix of desultory glamour and urban hustle, cohabitating in the desert air. Kahn portrays a uniquely L.A. character: sporting Travis Bickle-style aviator sunglasses and chomping a wad of gum, she is disarmingly dedicated to her nonsensical task. According to Dodge, "It's about the feral - the persistence of the weeds, the wild grass that insists on growing," to which Kahn adds..."and a woman who is as tenacious as the weeds."
Writing in The New York Times, Jori Finkel observes, "Whacker falls somewhere between punk performance and theater of the absurd..." -- EAI
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.