The Grand Canyon is typically recognized as a spectacular landscape of light and space. Most people visit to catch a sunset or witness the extreme distance beyond its rim. This film is about the canyon being a landscape of time and motion. No part of the canyon is at rest and every element is in constant motion. Even the old walls of the canyon are moving on a geologic timescale. This performance filmed in real time and timelapse at Angel's window, expresses many of these movements found above and below the canyon rim. The duration of the actual performance was over 40 minutes during which time the performer moved approximately 2 inches every 6 seconds to create a total of 30 seconds of timelapse video. This video and other realtime footage edited to varying speeds was used to create this film. The film is monochrome to better help the viewer focus on the motions of the canyon without the distraction of color.
"With the world moving so fast and everything right at your fingertips, the idea of slowing down to reflect natures speed perked my curiosity. To feel the texture of the stone under my feet; the wind push against against my body; the ants discovering the crevasse of my toes; the trembling of my limbs; and to look over the abyss of the Grand Canyon’s extraordinary North Rim gave me the deep sense of spirituality. Mother nature enlightened my soul about patience, acceptance, and discovery which I tried to reflect within my movement."
-Alissa Schirtzinger Baird
Local musician and former state champion fiddle player Russell Wulfenstein played the lead fiddle on this track. We recorded multiple takes, but his first take is the one featured in this mix.
Pahreah (now spelled Paria) is a ghost town where mormon settlers attempted to establish a community in the late 19th century. They got as far as a few hundred settlers and a post office, but their buildings, farms and other infrastructure were continually destroyed by floods many years in a row. The town was gradually left behind by early settlers. The last citizen of Pahreah was a lone prospector who eventually abandoned the site in 1929 leaving the colorful desert valley as empty and desolate as the day the early pioneers arrived.