I am often awake when others are sleeping: awake in the middle of the night, awake in the early hours of the morning, awake and wanting to sleep... but not being able to. This film is a poetic evocation of those times when sleep remains elusive, when I remain suspended between night and morning, between memory and forgetting, between past and present. My thoughts circle, around and around. I mentally trace and retrace my steps, while sleep remains just beyond my reach -- luminous, inscrutable, and still -- like a poem I read and reread with wonder and yet still cannot understand.
In making this, I was interested in seeing how the visual strategies and ideas I work with in my photography translate into moving images and function in time. After all, the process of making many of my photographs is performative: I act out intuitive and symbolic ritualistic actions over and over for the camera. One moment extracted from those actions becomes the photograph, and the rest of the narrative remains implied. But what if the entire action is recorded? How will that change the what my images communicate and how they are experienced? I decided to find out.
Because the film is a personal recreation of my own internal experience, it felt right to work independently on it, playing the roles of director, actor, and editor simultaneously. I acted and re-enacted and recorded scenes until they looked and sounded the way insomnia feels to me. This is my first film: I thus learned how to do all of these things in the process of making it.
Produced through equipment and facilities at the NW Film Center in Portland, Oregon. Fragments of ambient sound included in the film are from www.freesound.org.
I am still awake.