Joshua Bonnetta

Lago
2017

For further information please download the respective Forum Expanded sheet (PDF).

The multi-channel sound installation Lago was produced in dialogue with the photobook of the same title by the American photographer Ron Jude. It is comprised of two musique concrète compositions constructed from site-specific field recordings from the sites of Jude’s initial photographs in and around the Salton Sea in the Southern California Sonoran Desert. Contact microphones and hydrophones were used to gather sounds from flora, desert refuse, architectural ruins, and the Salton Sea itself to create an expanded study of the acoustic ecology of the Sonoran Desert. The materials were later processed and reworked with analogue tape to reveal hidden sounds and patterns within initial materials.
The compositions weave together site-specific recordings with interviews to construct an acoustic portrait of the desert that is steeped in intimations of narrative. Lago is an attempt to document the perceptual encounter of the desert while engaging a past that shapes the encounter.

Joshua Bonnetta, born in 1979 in Canada, is an artist based in New York City who works with 16mm analogue film and sound in various modes of theatrical exhibition, performance and installation. He is Associate Professor at Ithaca College where he teaches Film & Video Art and Sound Art.

Production: Joshua Bonnetta, New York

Format: Sound installation
Running time: 44 min
Language: English

Photo: © Ron Jude

Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki

El mar la mar
2017

For further information please download the film sheet (PDF).

The sun beats down mercilessly on all those who cross the Sonoran Desert between Mexico and the United States. Aside from the few people who live here, it’s the poorest of undocumented immigrants that make the crossing, who have no choice but to take this extremely dangerous route, followed by border guards both official and self-appointed. The horizon seems endlessly far away and deadly dangers lurk everywhere. It’s best to move under the cover of darkness; during the day, being exposed to the heat and sun is enough to make animals and humans perish. Their traces and remains accumulate, fade, decompose and become inscribed into the topography of the landscape, making the absent ever-present as life and death, beauty and dread, hostile light and nights aglitter with stars and promise all continue to exist alongside one another.
El mar la mar masterfully weaves together sublime 16-mm shots of nature and weather phenomena, animals, people and the tracks they leave behind with a polyphonic soundtrack, creating a cinematographic exploration of the desert habitat, a multi-faceted panorama of a highly politicised stretch of land, a film poem that conjures up the ocean. (Hanna Keller)

Joshua Bonnetta is also showing his multi-channel sound installation LAGO as part of Forum Expanded, which also contains film recordings from the Sonoran desert.

Production: Joshua Bonnetta, New York; J.P. Sniadecki, Chicago
Camera: Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki
Running time: 94 min
Languages: English, Spanish

Photo: © Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki