“An ill wind is transmitting through the lonely night, spreading deception and myth along its murky path, singing the dangers of the mediated spirit.” – POISON BERRIES : MICHAEL ROBINSON
Michael Robinson’s 2006 work And We All Shine On is a remarkable piece of short-form landscape filmmaking that employs juxtaposition in the service of exploring visual representation of space. It is also strangely affecting and oddly hypnotizing.
Robinson presents two conflicting visions of place, one ‘real’ and one artificial, that contrast to evoke depictions of space in visual media. A fade-in/fade-out montage of trees surrounded by an oppressive darkness express a foundation in reality through their focus on nature and objects that can be found in the real physical world, whereas shots of a video game landscape call attention to the unnatural environment’s artifice as a man-made digitized space. The transition from one ostensibly ‘real’ place to a wholly fabricated one questions the typical language of representation found in visual arts such as cinema, photography, and painting (which is further complicated by the karaoke music track that lends a bizarre emotional undercurrent to the video game sequence). This subversion effectively compliments Robinson’s interest in obscuring the notion of visual space through cinematic means, bringing about ideas concerning the power of the moving image and, perhaps, its potential for moving viewers towards accepting increasingly abstracted modes of representation.