Joan Jonas (b. 1936)
Volcano Saga (1989)
1989, 28 min, color, sound

Based on the thirteenth-century Icelandic Laxdeala Saga, this narrative reverie is a televisual retelling of a medieval myth about a young woman (played by Tilda Swinton) whose dreams foretell the future. Shot in the dramatic natural landscapes of Iceland and in New York, this performance-based work uses ancient dream analysis as a starting point for a densely textured tale, in which the young woman's interpreter (played by Ron Vawter) hears her dreams and sees their meaning. Jonas employs multilayered digital effects to create a ritualistic dreamscape of the young woman's imagination and desires. The ghostly overlays, otherworldly images and mythical text imbue Volcano Saga with a haunting beauty. Directors of Photography: Toon Illegems, Jules Backus. Music: Alvin Lucier, Jon Cooper. Editors: Robert Burden, Kathryn High, Joan Jonas, Branda Miller, Jill Kroesen. With: Tilda Swinton, Ron Vawter, Joan Jonas. Narration: Ruth Maleczech. Produced by Joan Jonas and Alan Kleinberg. Coproduced by Continental Video, Antwerp. Produced in association with New Television, WNET/WGBH. -- 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.

Joan Jonas in UbuWeb Sound