Amanda Trager & Erik Moskowitz
Collaborators Erik Moskowitz and Amanda Trager return to Headlands to continue developing their project, ISLAND. This narrative-based video installation fictionalizes present-day inhabitants of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada by setting them in a dystopic future of environmental degradation and technological developments. Using this storied location of Indigenous peoples, Viking and European settlers, back-to-the-landers, Vietnam War-dodging Americans, and a particular circle of New York artists, ISLAND explores Cape Breton’s culture as one on the tipping-point. Where DIY, traditional forms of living on the land have long endured, the island is now moving onto the grid, and earlier forms of life face erasure. The conditions of this compressed temporal frame between the past and future are formally mirrored in the multi-channel narrative of ISLAND.
Our audio-visual work in video and installation brings to life tensions between conventional and conceptualized storytelling. As collaborators, we become a collective “I” that controls but also conflates with the subjects in the narrative, acting, and singing in a chorus of voices. In our self-reflexive search for the right form, we enfold questions of how to create into those of how to live under present conditions, where individual desires are given voice but are also instrumentalized to obscure underlying configurations of power.