Now he’s out in public and everyone can see

18-channel video installation (16 min loop)

2012

Now he’s out in public and everyone can see

A absolutely staggering work of art…by Los Angeles-based Natalie Bookchin […] It featured 18 monitors staggered around a darkened room, with cuts of video taken off video logs — vlogs — which Bookchin harvested from YouTube. The clips consisted of average Americans of all races giving their thoughts about incidents in the news involving African American men, all of whom go unnamed. Bookchin’s piece is a stunning reflection of a society that is grappling with the notion of African American men as threats; that there might be places they should and shouldn’t be.
Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times

An affecting meditation on perceptions of race, specifically concerning African American men. [….]There’s something incantatory about it, as if the spoken observations conceal much more than they reveal. These are men and women with something to say about African American men, and though they say it with conviction, Bookchin’s editing and composition together transform firm beliefs into a larger picture of doubt, uncertainty and – most powerfully – human yearning.
Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

https://vimeo.com/38513950

2 minute sample clip

https://vimeo.com/39942865

2:16 minute sample clip

Bookchin’s style of editing is closer to conducting than concatenation. There’s a powerful musical quality to the work, particularly when voices ring out in unison. Bookchin transforms these individual speakers into a Greek chorus for our own age of celebrity and political scandal, a precarious collective, whose members often use the same words to express very different sentiments. Her installation creates an echo chamber full of reverb and crossed signals.
Erica Levin, Toward A Social Cinema Revisited