People I Used To Know - a book project published by Publication Studio, November 2012

Stephen Slappe's book, People I Used To Know began as a file of archived pictures on Slappe's computer desktop. Slappe archived these photos since 2005, pulling them from social networking websites. He has manipulated these photos with algorithmically generated patterns to erase the faces and skin and leave only kitchens, yards, living rooms, clothes and a bit of mystery. Stephen Slappe has paired these photos with short phrases that describe his memories of these people. 

"The images and text in this book are an attempt at reclaiming mystery and subjectivity, recognizing that people I used  to know have changed into other people but, just as importantly, my version of them is worth saving."
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Shelter In Place
Installation Views
Video Stills
Images
Video
Shelter In Place - Three-Channel Video and Sound Installation - 14 min. - 2009

 

Shelter In Place combines video, sound, and sculpture to tell the odd story of two teenagers in Appalachia in the mid-1980s. The characters are victims of a culture of fear: The Cold War, chemical leaks, and lower middle class malaise. Despite their geographical isolation, the two teens discover a miraculous method of sharing subcultural information in a pre-internet era that eventually leads to unexpected transcendence.

Shelter In Place was created for a solo exhibition at the New American Art Union in Portland, Oregon in May 2009. The work was generously supported by a Couture Award from Ruth Ann Brown and a Project Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Portland.

A single channel version of Shelter In Place was completed in 2010.

Review by Chas Bowie for The Oregonian

Review by Carol Anne McChrystal for Art Practical

Credits
Financial Support: Ruth Ann Brown and The New American Art Union (NAAU)
Financial Support: The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC)
Archival Footage: The West Virginia State Archives
Actors: Emily Galash and Peter Burr
Compositing: Christopher Huizar
Sound Editing: Noah Davis
Cinematography: Ric Lanciotti
Production Photography: Sarah Meadows
Lighting: Dan Ackerman
Satellite Model Design: Jubal Nance
Bomb Drop Flyer Drawing: Dave Neeson
Installation Photography: Dan Kvitka
Assistance, Advice, and General Support: Samantha Wall, Dan Gilsdorf, Bean Gilsdorf, Derek Franklin, Dick Fauss, Peter Kreider, Charlie Votruba, Tesar Freeman, Claire LaMont, Missy Canez, Kevin Tinnell

 

 

We Are Legion
Video Stills
We Are Legion - Participatory Website - 2009

 

Visit the website: WelcometotheLegion.org

We Are Legion was created for Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art Festival. The project is ongoing so feel free to submit your photographs through the website.

From the TBA:09 catalog:

"Stephen Slappe creates a never-ending army of costumed youth in a web project that mines your photo albums for evidence of what the artist calls 'contemporary cultural indoctrination.' For TBA, Slappe will set up stations, online and in person, in order to collect images of you and yours in Halloween garb. He will string these images together into a scrolling defense line of masked society. We Are Legion addresses personal history and pop culture nostalgia, and plays with the technological innovations that allow for rapid sharing of personal images. Slappe's work blends humor, absurdity, and anxiety in order to reflect upon notions of home, transience, and physical and psychological escape."

PICA's Visual Art Program Director, Kristan Kennedy, interviewed me about the project. The interview was included in a printed catalog and is also available online.

Credits
Financial Support: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
Programming: Jacob Peter Fennell
Volunteers for TBA:09: Leah Kiczula, Nicole Milchak, Tesar Freeman, Claire LaMont, Nicole Smith, Mattie Ecklund, Rainbow Ross, Jason Powell, Tamar Monhait, Thomas Wheeler-Castillo, Sylvie Spencer
Thanks to everyone who contributed images before, during, and after TBA:09.

 

Crossroads
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Crossroads - Four-Channel Video and Sound Installation - 7 min. loop - 2009/2010

 

The meeting of man and machine on the lonely back roads of the American West.

Crossroads has been exhibited in two versions. The first was at the Art Gym at Marylhurst University and the second was at Portland2010: A Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Credits
Actor: Jason Powell
Car Owner: David Lewin
Sound Editing: Noah Davis
Equipment Support: Rose Bond
General Support: 2009 version- Terri Hopkins and Peter Qualliotine at The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, 2010 version- Cris Moss and Disjecta

Cul-de-sac
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Cul-de-sac - Four-Channel Video and Sound Installation - 4 min. loop - 2008

 

Cul-de-sac traps the audience in a never-ending cycle of predator and prey using familiar tropes from vampire and horror films. The first screen contains a montage of vampires lunging, chasing, and biting directly at the camera. The middle screen is two-sided, one side contains images of people running away from the camera and the flip side contains images of people running toward the camera. Lastly, the fourth screen contains images of sunsets and sunrises, absent of any logical temporal relationship. The sound has two distinct elements: audio from vampire films and footsteps combined with occasional screams.

Cul-de-sac was installed at Worksound Gallery in 2008 as part of a group show entitled Volume.

Credits
Endless Supply of Vampire Films: Movie Madness
Equipment Support: Dan Gilsdorf
Construction Crew: Charlie Votruba and Dave Neeson
Installation Photography: Dan Kvitka

Homing
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Homing - Animation Loop - 1 min. - Silent - 2009

 

All of my home addresses + Google Street View

Google's Street View technology allowed me to travel to all of my current and former home addresses in a short amount of time. Due to some of the obscure places I've called home, it surprised and alarmed me to find every address readily visible. The format of the video reflects a roving eye-in-the-sky, dipping down to focus briefly on a single residence before traveling back up and landing two thousand miles away in a matter of seconds.

Chain Reaction
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Chain Reaction - Video and Sound Installation - 7 min. loop - 2006

 

"The sleep of reason produces monsters."  -Francisco de Goya

Chain Reaction relies on the tension created by two oppositional forces. In this case, those forces are fear and pity. Born out of a Sci-Fi film archetype, a giant scientist looms menacingly overhead. His inquisitive gaze is cast both on the audience and his two test subjects. The subjects are smaller than life-size and trapped in a pair of tubes, looking upward and continually calling out "Hello?" The strange scientific experiment moves continually forward, reaching a crescendo yet no resolution, before beginning again.

Credits
Actors: Barry Pelzner, Ruth Waddy, and Mack McFarland
Make-up: Erin Walters
Compositing: Christopher Huizar
Assistance and General Support: Jenene Nagy and Josh Smith at Tilt Gallery and Project Space

Increasing In Significance
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Increasing In Significance - Four-Channel Video Installation - 5 min. loop - 2006

 

Increasing In Significance conveys four simultaneous acts of humorous desperation. These dizzying, repetitive sequences are drawn from disparate sources of inspiration: Johannes Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion and Buster Keaton's slapstick films. Exploiting the illusionism of relative motion, the videos capture the necessity of taking action while revealing its ultimate futility.

Increasing In Significance exists as both a four-channel installation and a single-channel video.

Credits
Rotating Camera: Dan Gilsdorf

3 out of 4
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3 out of 4 - Digital Video - 1 min. - 2005

A video made in honor of a dying breed-- giant, rotating signs. Also, a lament for the four food groups, now replaced by a food pyramid or some such system.

3 out of 4 appears on the Journal of Short Film, Vol. 11 DVD. Copies can be purchased here.