SIGHTINGS: Littoral Zones
SIGHTINGS: Littoral Zones
6 minutes, HD, 2014
Electronic score by Roger Tellier Craig
Part 1 of a video series made for Undervolt&Co





Like much of Sabrina Ratté’s video work, this collection for Undervolt & Co. explores the visual and sonic relationship between modular synthesis and simulated space. In all three pieces – Littoral Zones, Landfall, and Habitat – Ratté uses her signature modulator technique to intricately layer a series of moirés and checkerboards that bring depth to the otherwise flat surface of the video screen. Where others create depth through recording or simulating hallways and tunnels, Ratté bends the signal of the video itself to carve out corridors of an undetermined distance.

In each work, the viewer is positioned at the precipice of a burning horizon, a white blinding light cleaved from the video out of signal rupture. Superimposed objects that suggest architecture built from primitive geometry plotted by CRT scan lines interrupt the view. As jagged sine-wave mountains rise into the frame and built spaces distort our perspective, Ratté relishes in the symbolically suggestive properties of her familiar abstract forms.

The pieces taken as a tryptich feel like a meditative journey outdoors; one taken in order to imagine a new kind of domicile. As a result, this collection offers a new and ornate perspective for the artist and for the viewer. We begin in Littoral Zones peaking around the corner of an entryway – looking out over the threshold and seeing a world of crystalline light anticipating our departure. But the room spins with our uncertainty to exit, and with each turn the light in the doorway becomes all the more enticing. The marvelousness of the light compels us to keep turning, but when the video settles on departure we find ourselves confronted with a multitude of paths, each more complex and inviting than the last.

Excerpt from Nicholas O'Brien's text for Undervolt&Co