Hen House [video and snow installation] 2010

Made during residency at Cow House Studios, Ireland. Initially the piece existed as a performative drawing, in which snowballs were propelled (by hand and shovel) against the wall until covered. The same evening, videos recorded in the local vicinity were projected onto the 'snow-screen' for a small audience with hot toddies.

A rough transcript of the conversations:

Laurie: Uh oh, can we just guard the projection from the dogs.
Davey: We can put them inside?
Laurie: No no, I quite like them in the projection.
Michael: I never thought I’d see a film on the hen house… because that’s what it was my mother used to sell a lot of eggs.
Gail to the dog (Rupert): Get em Rupert! Get the Cow
Marisol (pretending to be Rupert): I already tried that!
Laurie: You can go up to it if you want
Rosie to Davey: Dude I’m sure you know what a hot toddy is
Davey: If you’d have said a hot whiskey I would have said yes
Rosie: It’s nice that it fits on it perfectly
Davey: I think u should paint that wall white. It would be an experience for the students in the summer?
Michael: The roof is a continuation of the wall
Davey: You don’t need to worry about the projector overheating now!
[Some shadow play - Gail’s gigantic leg stomping on miniature Marisol]
Davey: Jaysus they must be strong hot whiskeys aye?
Mary: You should be video taping this on the wall…
Laurie: I am
Mary: Laurie, its very beautiful I really like it. I just love the idea of the snow being projected on the snow like that.
Rosie (about snow): Lauries been very productive with it.
Michael & Davey (inspecting the screen up close): You wouldn’t make a very good plasterer!
Laurie: Michael are you watching?
Michael: Oh the tractor!
Davey: Oh jeez!
Michael: Oh it must be quickened up a bit!
Rosie: And Laurie actually just was shooting and you accidentally went through the shot
Edel: You ruined it Dad.
Michael: Oh you was shooting the other day when I went down to get a feeder…yeah it’s the feeder bail. I went down to the badger burroughs to get it… down by the river… oh… that’s the hump of the field
Edel: Look at the stars…
Marie (about the cows): its like shadows walking.
Rosie: The nice thing too, it becomes like your looking through a gate, a door or something, like the black space becomes an interior… but its kind of realistic size, well maybe its smaller.
Laurie (about one particular cow): That one just stays there…
Marie (pretending to herd cows): Come cow, come….
Michael: Rupert, he came down an’ he saw ‘em, and he started barking at ‘em, and they walked out and he went over to the corner looking for em ‘where did they go?’
Marisol: and he stayed there waiting for a little while
Laurie: So the idea is that it will just keep going on a loop.
Marisol: Did you record the whole crossing?
Laurie: No actually Davey drove past, I’ve edited so you can’t tell.
Marie: It’s like a type rope.
Michael: If you could move it down a little bit it would be like they are walking on the wire.
Laurie: What one do you want to see now?
Rosie: Did you do the swing tree?
Gail: Is this playing?
Laurie: yeah it’s definitely playing.
Marie: The little piece of branch that’s coming up in the middle, looks like something peeping out look! I thought it was someone playing.
Michael: Where was that Laurie?
Laurie: Do you know what, I don’t even remember now, or which way up it is.
Michael: No it’s not upside down anyway... you can see the pixels
Edel: It looks like seaweed under water.
Marie: There’s a telegraph pole on the right, where’s that?
Michael: That’s the tree that I cut the top off of!
Marie: For a Christmas tree was it?
Michael: I did, I cut about twenty feet of off it… you see they’re inclined to grow up really quick, so I climbed up with a chainsaw and I cut about twenty feet of the top of it about four years ago!
Laurie: So that’s quite funny how it got cut off by the screen now
Matt: Yeah!
Michael: I just cut it to stop it going too high, or the whole tree would topple over… there was a whole row, my mother sewed ‘em about 50 years ago… they all blew down because they have very bad root structure.
Maisol: So as soon as they don’t grow that tall they are fine?
Michael: But like if u left it the wind would eventually topple the whole thing… so it was the lesser or two evils.
Marie: You’re herding the cows Laurie!
Gail: Give him a little smack!
[Laughter]
Rosie: Which one do u like the best dad? Your debut?
Michael: I think I’ll have to claim royalties on that. Hey Laurie…
Matt: Oh it’s snowing.
Laurie: Oh no it can’t be there’re stars.
Michael: It looks kinda cartoon doesn’t it?
Rosie: Well the t’ing is its kind of hard to tell what your looking at until the tractor comes along.
Everyone: HAHA Giant Rupert, you look so handsome on TV…
Gail: OMG my feet are going to fall off… nice work Laurie… I mean it sounded cool an all, but seeing it…yeah… its really beautiful
Rosie: Dad stood there watching you flingin’ snow at the wall!
Michael: Well you would have been a long time throwing snowballs at it!
Rosie: You were patting it as you were going weren’t ya?
Laurie: No
Matthew: Did you just throw the snowballs on it?
Laurie: No I used a spade, then for the fine bits I threw snowballs
Michael: T’was s big shovel
Marisol: That one fits perfectly as well.
Laurie: See that ones on loop, u just go back and forth all day.
Michael: I’d say it was minus 6 or 7 now, minus 17 in Wales
Laurie: Actually it is snowing isn’t it?
Rosie: Yes.
Michael: You know it will freeze on it, so it might stay… actually in some countries people have got killed with icicles. I used to suck ‘em like a lolly pops when I was a kid.
Laurie: I sucked one this morning!
Rosie: With all the rust from the roof?!
Michael: Did you see the birds flying, into the trees?
Laurie: yeah I did yeah… actually when I videoed me actually doing it, a bird came along in front of it. They always appear.

Poor quality video here (password = Cow House Studios)

41_pv1cow.jpg
       
41_26-henhouse-copysmallfile.jpg