I Should Be Dreaming of Butterflies, 2009
In her latest body of work, video artist Sharon Switzer continues on the trajectory of pairing unlikely, poetic, and darkly humorous texts with evocative visuals. Known for text-based videos, Switzer, in this new work adds abstracted digital drawings, often referencing certain real-world objects or ideas. Some works denote quick thoughts, others are ultra-short stories.
She brings intangible ideas to life by animating still images. She uses video to add motion to the original drawings, which over time expand to overwhelm the screen. Animating the text also enriches the relationship between words and images.
Using the tools associated with mass media, Switzer creates idiosyncratic work that is driven by personal voice and a sense of whimsy. In doing this, she undermines the viewer’s expectations. Within a greater context, these videos reference the real world and real time as a point of tension for the animations, even though much of the work is created without the use of a video camera, tablet or digital pen.
The title, I Should Be Dreaming of Butterflies, refers to what she should be doing - dreaming of butterflies - instead of what she is doing - thinking about life in a more realistic, banal and sometimes negative way. Switzer, all the while, is maintaining a sense of humour. By referencing dreams, she draws attention to an otherworldly space where the work exists.