The original odys series consists of six short digital video poems / monologues for small screen viewing in an intimate gallery space. Each vignette is in a performative writing style, and the series collectively explores narrative and storytelling, time and memory, multiplicity and identity, anger and trauma, and the labors of communication. I use technologies unique to digital video in order to accent its many historical references and literary allusions. The installation sits in a room where viewers can float between headsets for one-on-one experiences. Viewers are encouraged to re-visit and jump over juxtaposed media, and create a shifting collage of, and in response to, his words and actions. By stuttering between odys’ multiple frames, listeners construct his person. As he attempts to re-member, bringing the past back to his body and calling it his own, we attempt to piece together a story for ourselves.
odys for your iPod encourages viewers to download all six of the video art pieces from odys.org, and into iTunes and their iPods – and later all forms of mp3 players and phones. It allows for an even more intimate and physical relationship with his character, as well as a continually growing connection with each vignette.
“This is work of huge ambition both aesthetically & technically & it’s brave and it’s edgy, sometimes to the point of being uncomfortable to watch. Neither does Stern fear engaging with complex & difficult ideas. Definitely worth more than one viewing” – Michael Szpakowski, DVblog
Download these videos via odys.org
odys is part of the non-aggressive narrative, a body of work that explores memory and storytelling. His name comes from The Odyssey; he is the traveler, the seeker of home (Ithaca). But contrary to Odysseus, odys is an unconvincing liar and horrible storyteller. While his failed attempts to speak his traumatic past could be mistaken for nonsense, they are uttered as an exploration of the “spaces between.” The space between words, between articulation and inarticulation, between Troy and Ithaca, between judgment and responsibility, and between speaker and listener.