Peter Rose: Witness

The Geosophist’s Tears

The Geosophist’s Tears (2002, video) was shot during a seven week cross country road trip in the aftermath of Sept. 11th. The work is symphonic in ambition and offers a complex meditation on the iconography of the American landscape. Drawing on the strategems of the early geosophists, who believed that through the operation of a mysterious instrument landscapes might be placed in an emotionally meaningful correspondance with one another, the work uses a variety of visual algorithms to propose and discover surprising structural features of the uninhabited American landscape. Sounds for the work were produced by a remarkable antique slide rule, dating from 1895, that was untouched for over forty years and whose peculiar threnody is both mournful and rhapsodic. In its fractured and phantasmagoric reworkings of the horizon, the work offers us unstable metaphors for the state of the union and a respectful homage to the traditions of painting. The video was shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou.

Reviews:

"THE GEOSOPHIST'S TEARS http://www.filmthreat.com/reviews/10798/"
David Finkelstein, FilmThreat

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