While living upstate and working at the Experimental Television Center, I had built a personalized video system which paralleled the ETC system. Black Dog Dreams was the first work which was created exclusively with this system, and not at the ETC.
Black Dog Dreams was recorded through many sessions in Brooklyn starting on May 18, 1987 and ending in April 1988. There might not have been more than 3 hours recorded in that period. At that point my system also included midi to cv and cv to midi control. The BDD recordings explored these midi tools, an Amiga 1000 for additional real time image processing and midi sequencing, and I eventually used a mac SE with Vision for midi control. I have recently found other recordings that came after these, going into ‘91 and 92, they are effortless patches and often jams with musician friends.
As this is when I began to live with my own system, the work evolved quickly. In that period, there was no limit to how long I was free to leave up the patches. Each individual section of BDD might have run for days, weeks or months. I was truly able to live with the work as it was created, and this reinforced my attraction of working with sequences of real-time video. As it turned out this was the last new work that I finished and distributed.
While editing Black Dog Dreams my dog, a black lab, was sick and he eventually died before the work was complete. He was on my mind at the time. And though the black dog was always in my dreams, at once he was there more frequently. I am always happy to see him, surprised, and always a little guilty that I have not been walking him.
Black Dog Dreams is structured as a six part movement. Each section is comprised of 2 or more shorter real-time recordings. The piece is a journey.