The Red Line (2004)
a film by Christine Gorbach and Gary Lee Nelson

View the Film (3:00)
View the Images

A poem by Gorbach inspired the work.

Red lines the reason for
lovely marks
and structure.

The image encounters itself.

  In time, the painting unfolds
Intercepted emerging lines are:


"The Red Line" is the title given to a collection of art works including color field paintings, images "selected' from the color fields, images manipulated digitally and a film in which the images are animated. One set of images shows the color field paintings connected in a continuous line. Key words from the poem inspire the titles of eight other paintings where the red line is shaped in curves. Finally, the curved images are joined in a single line. The film combines the images, overlaps them, intertwines them, and moves them.

As you view the animated images you hear music created by translating the digital color data of the eight poetic images into sound masses whose movement complements the movement of the red lines. When the film is screened in public, subtle stage lights illuminate the artist who walks on stage carrying a large calligraphic brush. As she recites the poem in counterpoint with the soundtrack, she transforms the image on the screen in real time with digital processing software and a wireless controller. The music is manipulated in a similar manner.