Series of digitally projected abstract animations on black fabric.

The Visual Journal Series is an attempt to locate myself within a place and time with as much honesty and immediacy as possible. That experience is then conveyed through the abstraction and light phenomena of short animations. A significant consideration is given to the exploitation of digital media. Pushing the software and projector against each other reveals working pieces of mechanisms which are normally invisible.  Single pixel width lines in motion create moire effects. Pixels and color separation in the LED projector lamp create a static. This vibration productively challenges the otherwise meditative seduction of these works. I’m extremely interested in the materiality of digital media.

[note: this pixel play can sometimes read as poor image quality in documentation videos]

In October 2020, I moved to Portland. Starting in Chicago, I went to Michigan for a month and then home to DC for a week before driving solo across the country in the middle of the pandemic (pre-vaccines). It was pretty stressful. I started a new job in a new field. In December, my mother was hospitalized three times back in Virginia. The list of things wrong with her - both physical and mental - is extensive. I began managing her care from across the country. It was incredibly challenging.
It caused a lot of anxiety, stress, and pushed me to the edge of depression.

I wanted to make art in my new home studio. Often, it was too difficult to be present with myself and focus on anything. Back in Chicago, I had made the series Looking at That Which I Don’t Want to See. Casually, I often referred to it as a “Visual Anxiety Log.” Being someone who often makes very painstaking, perfectionistic work, it was a new challenge for me: make
something in one or two sittings. Do that every day that you can and see how the body of work builds up. Derive meaning through accumulation rather than scrutiny. It was a great way to work. In Portland, I decided to revisit that strategy.

While I made many more than this, I’ve included seven of these animations here. These are the ones that, although a tone of experimentation comes through, feel mostly resolved.

Untitled (07/03/21)

4:12 (loop)
Layers of translucent white squares go from a kaleidoscopic fullness to a grid and back again.

How Am I
Not Myself

2:00 (loop)
A 2D sphere slowly rotates, vibrates, and splits apart before coming back together again at the top of the rotation.

It’s All Too Much (07/27/21)

Single horizontal red lines appear at the very bottom of the picture window and slowly shift upward, with other lines following behind at an increasing rate. Eventually the screen is entirely filled with red. With slight fluctuations in distance between lines, a strong diagonal moire effect appears. This work feels like swirling currents under apparently quiet waters.

Coming Out
of the Fog

7:32 (loop)
The base shape morphs from a figure 8 to a straight line, expanding, contracting and rotating through the cycle. A ton of moire effect happens here as well as optical illusions.

Of all the videos in this series, this is the strongest, standing well on it’s own.

Untitled (08/25/21)

3:00 (loop)
This piece expands in a similar way as the privious entry, however, it uses a triangular form that curves and folds back on inself before contracting back into a single vertical line.


This piece is just about being really sad. It’s small, and slow, and almost not there at times. 

Untitled (10/01/21)

Short horrizontal white lines build upward forming a column whose base fades to nothing. At its peak, the top edge slowly folds over, revealing a depth that was previously not present. As it twists forward, we peer into it’s hollow center and see its rings on and through each other. It sweeps screen right before slowly retracting into itself before returing to a flat stack of lines.


© 2024 Pamela Hadley