The last Paul Clipson-directed video this site premiered, Young Moon’s “Crystal Text,” was a study in dissection. The man took pieces of plants and bodies and put them side by side to underscore their associations. Now, in this womb-like meditation for Alex Cobb’s lush, intimate track “Landscape Dissolves,” Clipson dissects for the more classic purpose of dissociation. Look at all these objects that Clipson films with such invention, so intensely, that you can no longer see them plainly.
Alex Cobb’s music is one of wide-eyed wonder. These are the kinds of sounds that assist your vision in going panoramic, that soundtrack moments of astronomical scope. It’s interesting, then, that Clipson’s video chooses instead to get close up, to find feelings of the sublime in the micro. It is in turn a form of distortion; the landscape dissolves as the camera crumbles it into its infinitesimal individual parts. When light glitters against the water, the mirage becomes a robust cosmos. When Clipson films a globe of light through the abstract flicker of tree trunks, then repeats the footage, it looks like a time-lapse of twin setting suns.
The very first image, a dust-shrouded sky scraper, suggests that this video will be dark, harrowing, catastrophic. But, staying close to Cobb’s warm sounds and optimism, the video instead demonstrates a cycle, where dissolution doesn’t lead to oblivion, but ever new landscapes, again and again.
Alex Cobb’s Passage to Morning will be available from Students of Decay on August 30.