Cairo, January 2011

These five works have their source in YouTube videos posted by RT, a mass media corporation in Russia. The original footage was published within hours of being filmed in Cairo and was viewed by millions of people seeking a lens into the revolution that unfolded in Egypt in January 2011. With the permission of the publisher, we have manipulated fragments of the source videos with the intention of redrawing a media’s presentation of history.

The form of the altered videos is sketched out in their timelines. We have stretched, mirrored, cut and sewn together pieces of the visual and audio timelines to make complex loops from the original footage. Each video has been altered uniquely, though they all share a circularity in form. The videos have no beginning or end. They are revolutions in time.

The poignancy of the source videos laid in their rawness. They were produced for immediate consumption and offered an objective eye into the making of Egypt’s history. We also intend our work to be impartial and unresolved, but from a viewpoint that is distanced in time and lacking the breaking moment of news. We have placed a frame and a focus on the imagery so that it can be re-consumed slowly and at leisure, like an album of family portraits.

The subject of our work belongs to a specific time and place. But the idea of revolution will resonate differently with each viewer. How will it differ between a Russian, an American, or a Chinese? Our work aims to emphasize this confusion of personal history with objective fact. The videos present history not as a progression in time, but rather as a knot to be untangled within each witness of time.

Joe Sneed and Jordan Mitchell