For Soda_Jerk, the practice of reconfiguring the collective archive provides a concrete means of troubling the record of history. In their video installations and performance lectures, the artists work with found footage to create speculative narratives that reformulate and reflect upon historical events and cultural trajectories.
Much of their practice takes the form of open-ended cycles, with series of works emerging from ongoing research into particular fields of investigation. Informed by the theory of Afrofuturism, the multi-channel video installation Astro Black (2007, ongoing) engages with the intersection of social politics and science fiction in Black Atlantic culture. Taking the cosmic musician Sun Ra as a point of departure, Astro Black constructs an episodic sonic history that reconfigures official accounts of the past to open new and hopeful futures.
Countercultural strategies of resistance are also at the core of the video work Hollywood Burn (2011), an anti-copyright epic that involved a 4-year collaboration with artist Sam Smith. Plundered from hundreds of sources, Hollywood Burn is a contestation of the corporate control of cultural history. This single screen work adopts the tactics of the parasite, feeding off the body of Hollywood and inhabiting its formal structures and codes. While most of Soda_Jerk’s video work takes the form of multi-channel gallery installations, this project is primarily exhibited in microcinemas and free culture contexts, and is distributed for free through DVD burns and file sharing networks.
A particularly melancholy strand of the artist’s work is The Dark Matter Cycle, which deals with relationship between death, recorded media and the passage of time. Initiated in 2005 with The Phoenix Portal, this is an ongoing cycle of video installations that draw on the framework of time travel to stage an encounter between older and younger versions of a particular actor. Based on a re-imagining of the initial scene of The Wizard of Oz (1939), in After the Rainbow (2009) a twister transports a young and hopeful Judy Garland into the future where she encounters her disillusioned adult self.
Initially working only with video installation, Soda_Jerk’s practice has recently expanded to include video lectures where the artists present a thesis while guiding the audience through a matrix of film samples.
Soda_Jerk are Dan Angeloro (b. 1977), and Dominique Angeloro (b. 1979).