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Inquisitive Vignettes (excerpts)
2014 | cut-paper animation projected on a piano-roll of the score composed by the artist | 7:33 min.

In an interview, there is an active selection process at place in both what questions are asked and what information is divulged. This combination of historical fragments results in a patchwork of information supposedly grounded in fact. It is my hope that these animated vignettes function similarly to a collection of primary sources, encouraging viewers to take part in this act of interpretation and extrapolation, constructing their own narratives from the materials at hand.

The imagery in Inquisitive Vignettes is, in part, based on an interview I conducted with the late pianist and historian Robert R. Darch about the origins of ragtime music. The popular song Frankie and Johnny is referenced extensively in the last third of this animation. While the exact origins of this murder ballad remain nebulous, the song we know today can be traced to events in St. Louis, Missouri, where Frankie Baker shot her lover Allen Britt in 1899 - the exact time and place where ragtime was developing.

An edition of six piano-rolls were perforated by David Saul from a MIDI file.
Robert Stout restored the 1923 Aeolian Pianola, and Terry Hawkins and Steven Prochyra were technological consultants.