A PROJECT PAGE

 🙃 Three Sides of a Line 🙃

A publication documenting a collaborative performance by
Kiley Brandt & Sonnenzimmer
​ 

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Three Sides of a Line publication in profile. 

[ ID: The spine of a booklet is shown. The design consists of three color bars, pink, green, and orange. The book is being held by a person outdoors. The person's shadow is visible and prominent in the photograph. It interacts with the book creating an interesting visual effect. ]

Kiley Brandt:

I am adopted from Central America. Utilizing my privileged position, I am exploring my personal displacement of cultural identity, as well as become overwhelmingly aware of the ways in which the current political power further demonizes and expulses immigrants into homelessness and poverty. My frustration is specifically aimed at both a larger political structure that favors the wealthy and the white, and a smaller personal issue with being and feeling other. This feeling of being other comes from navigating the nuances of being raised within a white culture but appearing in all respects Hispanic. Bridging the gap between these two pictures is a mistrust of Late Capitalism, which has made parts of the overgrown population less valuable in the maintaining of society. Examples of those people exploited by this system include immigrants, children, refugees, and the impoverished. The root of the misconceptions about American identity stems from effects of this capitalist movement ,and its constant omission and retelling of history, which further tries to simplify a complex society. To have power in this system is to decide who does and does not belong.

Three Sides of a Line by Kiley Brandt and Sonnenzimmer initially took shape as an experimental virtual performance specially formatted for Zoom, the ubiquitous interface adopted by millions during the pandemic for remote work, socializing, and virtual events. 

 

The performance explored the Holographic Principle, a contemporary theory in theoretical physics, hypothesizing that our three-dimensional world has a two-dimensional representation on the horizon of the universe. The publication documents the performance and extrapolates on our collective findings with essays by Kiley and ourselves. 

The project came about from an invitation to Sonnenzimmer from Florida State University’s Art Department to participate in their FAR & Away virtual residency program. FAR, the Facility for Artists Research seeks to pair visiting artists with FSU faculty to engage in a collaboration and public lecture. Working with artist, Kiley Brandt (FSU Adjunct Faculty and FAR Operations Manager), we engaged in a series of discussions with Professor Jeremiah Murphy, a physicist at Florida State University to explore the nature of the Holographic Principle, black holes, dimensions, and other celestial events. These encounters became the base material for the performance, which utilized a collaboratively written script in three acts. The one-time performance explored some of the potential ramifications of the Holographic Principle here on earth by investigating its relationship to human-made two-dimensional images through word and image. The publication extends this collective gesture to a static format. 

Sonnenzimmer:
is the collaborative practice of artists Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi. Our work investigates and challenges the preconceived notions of the graphic arts. Our experimental studio was established in 2006 in Chicago. Together, we explore the physical and psycho-physical nature of visualization through image-making, sculpture, writing, publishing, exhibitions, design, music, and performance. While we move through an array of media, our focus is on triangulating a deeper understanding of graphic expression at large.  

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A spread from Three Sides of a Line.

[ ID: A person's hand is shown holding an open book in an outdoor setting. The book spread shown features a photograph of a park scene. The book is being held in the same park in a similar position from where the photo in the book was taken, creating an interesting visual effect. ]

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Foreground: Three Sides of a Line, cover; Background: Three Sides of a Line performance documentation.

[ ID: Foreground: The cover of a book is shown. The book is being held by a person outdoors. The person's shadow is visible and prominent in the photograph. It interacts with the book creating an interesting visual effect. Background: A screen capture of three people arranged in a 2 x 2 grid. Each person is shown from the chest up and is using their pointer finger to draw an invisible shape. The background of each person is bright yellow. The fourth quadrant is occupied by a collective drawing of a smiley face. ]

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Three Sides of a Line publication.

[ ID: An endless loop of a book being flipped through. The book is laying on grass. ]

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3SL grassy reverse.gif

Three Sides of a Line publication. 

[ ID: An endless loop of a book being flipped through. The book is laying on grass. ]

Three Sides of a Line 

By: Kiley Brandt & Sonnenzimmer 
Essays: Kiley Brandt, Nick Butcher & Nadine Nakanishi
Editor: Mairead Case
Design: Sonnenzimmer 
Illustration and images: Kiley Brandt, Nick Butcher, and Nadine Nakanishi 
Date: 2022
Edition: 100
Page count: 44
Size: 6 x 9 inches
Catalog number: SZ042 

[ ID: Photographic documentation of a book cover. The cover features the words Three Sides of a Line and lists the authors Sonnenzimmer and Kiley Brandt. The cover design shows the authors each blowing up a black balloon, which is obscuring their faces. A grassy meadow is also pictured.  ]

Watch the recorded performance here.

Sonnenzimmer and Kiley Brandt
in conversation
​ 

We met artist, Kiley Brandt, at an intake meeting with Florida State University Art Department faculty where we discussed possible avenues for our commissioned performance. When we posed collaborating with staff members in attendance, Kiley quickly shot up her hand and her enthusiasm only grew from there. We were quickly enamored by her fearless, exploratory, and poetic approach. Because of her trust and commitment to expression, we made something deeply special together (practically as strangers). With the project wrapped up, we’re happy to call Kiley a friend. Post-performance, post-book, we took the opportunity to chat with Kiley about how this project is percolating through her current thoughts.  

SZ: Can you introduce yourself in short, and share what’s on your mind these days?

KB: I’m a video artist originally from North Carolina. I’ve been on a research journey regarding interracial adoption, immigration, and border policy. A lot of my work uses poetry and created landscapes. Language has been particularly on my mind, especially the language that makes up a document, or the colder more formal language that serves as the basis for identity. Information, stored, catalogued, and recorded.

SZ: Getting to know you and your work through this collaboration, it’s been interesting for us to connect your contributions and insights on Three Sides of a Line to your past work. Hometown (After Kasandra Spence) and the idea of “Walmart as a state of mind” feel very in tune with exploring the creative potential of discussing block holes in the Zoom space. Or the exploration of multiplicity in Crops I Never Planted and its relation to identity. I wonder how the experience of making Three Sides of a Line might spill over into new projects and what you are thinking about next.

KB: Three Sides of a Line has been an amazingly fresh perspective on how to approach my creative work. Before this project, I felt stuck navigating a balance of personal and private. My work is really intimate, and it can be draining to pour myself into something so publicly. This project really helped me visualize and practice asking questions and experimenting with making. Small things build up, patterns emerge in the way that I make. I’m working currently on a project that explores the connections people try to make while interpreting satellite images. Zooming in and out of images of our homes on Google Earth and placing ourselves in time and place- what is it like to start to visualize home in this manner? This is the kind of digital vocabulary we must be ready for. Not only are we reflections on a screen, but also dots on a GPS.

SZ: Your use of video is specific, it feels like a place where text, sound, and image merge into a single entity, in which no part can be removed. It is a single succinct medium for you, it seems. How did you find yourself working in video and what was your creative output like before you found your way to this place?

KB: I used to draw, but as soon as I started delving into this personal reality, drawing wasn’t enough. It was too removed from what I wanted to show: the documents hidden under staircases, the forms I filled out, and the secondhand stories that made up my identity. Someone recently asked me if the poetry I wrote was a more abstract version of the videos I make because I usually start by writing. The reality is I’m not sure — I don’t want them to compete, the words and video but I'm still working on a balance. Funnily enough, I did start drawing again. There’s something sweeter in the act I think- looking at printmakers working on similar subjects I feel they capture an ambiguity that I’m still after.

I still want people to be uncertain. It should be a place people don’t retreat from — it should inspire curiosity, and empathy. Uncertainty is part of the space I’ve occupied most of my life and I’m ready to explore it not as a transitory space but as a permanent one. I think it’s important for people to think this way, especially in our current world. In-between-ness, migration — these are all issues that may soon become part of the way we all think and operate.

Give Kiley a follow @kiley.brandt and also check out her website at www.kileybrandt.com.

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Three Sides of a Line performance documentation.

[ ID: A screenshot of three people arranged in a 2 x 2 grid. Each person is shown from the chest up and is partially obscuring their face with a black square with face-like features. The background of each person is bright yellow. The fourth quadrant is occupied by a digital image of a yellow square with face-like features against a black background. ]