Vin Grabill Vin Grabill
video artist
Cicada Songs
Cicada Songs I Cicada Songs II Cicada Songs III Cicada Songs

I’ve been making video art works for more than 25 years, and during this period of time, I‘ve returned again and again to the notion that the video medium can provide me with the means to create a kind of “painting in time”. Over this period of time, I’ve become fascinated by the way various video editing techniques have allowed me to create musical compositions (in a rhythmic sense). In the 80’s, I utilized many types of analog editing facilities to create a body of work that I thought of as visual music. I’ve continued to work in this vein, now utilizing a range of digital editing techniques to achieve the results that interest me. 

“Cicada Songs” demonstrates my ongoing interest in rhythmic collage. As in earlier such works, I adamantly maintain a few ground rules related to the gathering of audio and visual material utilized in the final work: 1) there is no overdubbing of audio material; that is, all sounds heard are those originally recorded during video shooting; 2) no manipulations to either audio or visual material occurs during editing; that is, although sequences of video material are often re-scaled and layered together, I haven’t altered the image or sound quality of any individual shot. In short, I am drawn to the idea of creating a kind of rhythmic collage by using all the raw, ambient audio that originally accompanied the visual footage I shot in the field. For this piece, I shot all source material the summer of 2004 during the cicada visitation to the Baltimore area. Their sound is present in all audio I recorded, and so I titled the piece accordingly.


©2012 Vin Grabill