alex ingersoll

media | technology | cinema | sound


still life
our blinding 
in case things go poorly

light of its history
vestal fire
dark objects
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alex ingersoll is associate professor of media studies in the school of design and communication in the college of fine arts and communication at the university of wisconsin-stevens point.

he received his ph.d. from the university of north carolina at chapel hill on media and technology studies with a focus on technologies of spatial representation, orientation, and memory.


still life

ami / 2020

you left in october. we've been walking ever since.
caught between brief awakenings, one step after another.
the wind picked up here / here / here / / / /


our blinding

ami / 2019

these are the dreams of the spar spectra.
varying self, study of figure in a landscape.
constructed with the birefringence of iceland spar
and ways of being in a traumatic climatic form.

inspired by a sign on rib mountain describing 'ancient ripple marks' made from the sands of the precambrian sea. on the sign, sections including time spans of 'over two billion years,' 'several hundred million years,' and 'about 600 million years' have all been scratched away by someone.

"around the edges of his form, a strange magenta and green aura had begun to flicker, as if from a source somewhere behind him, growing more intense as he himself faded from view, until seconds later nothing was left but a kind of stain in the air where he had been, a warping of the light as through ancient window-glass."

- thomas pynchon, against the day


in case things go poorly

ami / 2018

reel/reeled/reeling/reels (rēl)

-to cause to stagger or recoil.
-to waver; to recoil or draw away from.
-of material things: to shake, rock, or swing violently; to totter, tremble.
-of an object or image: to have, or seem to have, a rapid quivering motion; to shimmer.
-of a person, group, etc.: to be emotionally or psychologically shaken by an event, experience, etc.; to feel disorientated, bewildered, overwhelmed, or intoxicated as a result of an occurrence, a powerful emotion, carrying a heavy weight, etc.

"yet still i gasp'd and reel'd with dread.
and ever, when the dream of night
renews the phantom to my sight,
cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs."

- s.t. coleridge, ode on the departing year, vi. / 1796


light of its history

ami / 2017

an archive of stone memory. mapping time with geological media. fumbling to reach through time to the things themselves.

constructed using boulder stereograms, martian landscapes, mutable pixels, and glacial erratics. subtitles from the story of an african farm (1883) by olive schreiner:

“and at night when the twilight settled down, there looked out at him from the holes and crevices in the rocks stange faces...

‘if I should stop but for one moment, you would creep down upon me,’ he replied. and they put out their long necks farther.

‘look down in the crevice at your feet,’ they said. "see what lie there, - white bones! as brave and strong a man as you climbed to these rocks. and he looked up. he saw there was no use in striving; he would never hold Truth, never see her, never find her."

- olive schreiner, the story of an african farm / 1883


vestal fire

ami / 2016

as carbon simmers, the digital blooms. an expectant mother receives a call after dark that opens up a world of absence.

with this work, i'm interested in exploring cinematic media as a means by which nature is expressed and modified through experience and memory. this includes playing with affective techniques of anticipation and indirection as a mundane condition of the sublime. this project is rooted in the age of the anthropocene and outlines a phenomenology of horror where we gesture towards a world beyond the human.

much of this work is inspired by lines from delmore schwartz's poem, "calmly we walk through this april’s day":

"what is the self amid this blaze?
what am i now that i was then
which i shall suffer and act again...
each minute bursts in the burning room,
the great globe reels in the solar fire,
spinning the trivial anh unique away.
(how all things flash! how all things flare!)
what am i now that i was then?
may memory restore again and again
the smallest color of the smallest day:
time is the school in which we learn,
time is the fire in which we burn."