Single channel video: Abstract motion graphics animation digitally projection-mapped onto four rocks collected from Crescent Beach, OR, 18x7x6 in, 4:00 (loop)

One of my early trips to the Oregon coast was to Crescent Beach. For those who don’t know, it’s the beach where the end scene in The Goonies was shot. A lot of folks in Portland simply refer to it as “the Goonies beach.” 

While managing my mother’s illness from across the country since December, 2020, I went for hikes to reconnect to the world outside my own mind. To remember who I am, to emote, to clear my head, excite my curiosity. That’s what I was doing at Crescent Beach the day I collected these rocks. I just loved their wave worn surfaces. These rocks could only exist on a beach. A volcanic beach. Part of what I love about living in Oregon is the chance to go play outside almost anytime I want to in some of the most wonderous, jaw-droppingly beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Focusing on these rocks, looking at them so closely as to make this highly specific animation strengthens my relationship with my new home, with that pure part of myself who was seeking so much healing that day at the beach, and to make peace with the difficult stuff. It’s reclaiming space and a sense of agency for myself in my own life.

This piece, Screaming Into the Waves, I started making right before Mom went into a nursing home. I continued to work on it through that transition. The work is about that determination to keep making art even when my mind tells me there’s no point. Another side of me clings to art during difficult times. Art makes me right with the world any myself. It is the best I have to offer. As things with my mom settled, the work shifted and became about exactly that which I couldn’t achieve before: presence. 

So, what is it? It’s an abstract animation projected onto four rocks. I arranged the rocks and then set the projector on them. While projecting, I use Adobe After Effects to create motion graphics animations directly onto the rocks. I mask out all areas outside of the rocks so that all imagery is contained within their surfaces. Physical masks are placed on the projector lens to erase the edges of the rectangular projection area. This work really achieves the goals I discuss in my artist statement. I won’t repeat it all here but it’s about creating an ethical viewership through specificity and phenomena.

As with all my works, while this might photograph well, the actual viewing experience is far more complex and subtle than can be presented in documenation.


© 2024 Pamela Hadley