This page is an archive of Carlos'
past visual, sound, and writing work.

the Ontology of Celebrity (2009)

7minutes (looping), multi-channel (3)

Each channel of this video is intended to be looped on a separate CRT in a small installation space (mounted flat screens on three adjacent walls are also possible). To assemble his edits, Carlos used cutting-room-floor footage from a previous short film (My Friends Told Me About You). Ontology grew out of a need to salvage work from that previous, and ultimately failed, cinematic effort. Since the original work’s strength was largely cinematographic, it made sense to eschew the flawed narrative elements and utilize the visual ones of the footage, in effect, an abstraction of the original movie. Free of the overt narrative and cinematic trappings of My Friends, it then made sense to house the new work in an installation environment as opposed to a theater.

Carlos omitted all of the diegetic audio of the original movie, but reworked the original score (scroll down for a listen to the audio) into a stream-of-consciousness tapestry synced to the new video at key moments. Overlaying found audio materials (primarily a BBC interview of actress Lindsay Wagner) and an array of sound design elements, Carlos treated the original cues from My Friends by reversing them and lining them up with each other, creating symmetrical mirror images which together form an organic, ambient whole.

The Beautiful Insecurity of Henry Rollins (2015)

online read from discontinued blog, 2,255 words

This was a mock op-ed piece written while Carlos was beginning to explore his writing style. While its prose still stands up, the analytical drive is highly specialized and not memoiristic, which most of Carlos’ writing now is. Still, there are some colorful accounts of Rollins in action and is definitely worth the read. Also included is a YouTube link to an excerpt of the Dutch TV episode upon which the piece is based. To view the episode in its entirety visit this link here:

To read Carlos’ piece, click here.

Adirondacks 9-09 (2009)

30 minutes, single channel

A simple edit with mostly uncorroborated audio, this was filmed on a consumer grade camcorder while Carlos stayed at Cochran’s Cabins on Kiwassa Lake in the Adirondack mountains of New York.  It features early footage of Gaius, Carlos’ Italian Greyhound (December 9, 2005 – December 11, 2018) and some accidental audio coverage of a curious tenant of the cabins.

Except for the episode with the tenant, the sequence is eventless, and functions more as visual tapestry than other work with more narrative components.

This was Carlos’ very first excursion into the mountains, and represents his discovery of nature and its potential for recreation. It also represents a discovery of audio syncing that wasn’t intended in the filming, itself mostly just a video travelogue, but which quickly became advantageous in the editing room as a means to subvert traditional video chronicling, such as old home movies, by channeling the travelogue through an expressionistic prism.

My Friends Told Me About You Soundtrack (2008)

11’39”; seven tracks; midi-orchestra with bass clarinet

The MFTMAY short that Carlos produced with Todd Eckert (Control) over ten years ago was a strong, good faith effort to consolidate the emotionally-resonant surrealism of David Lynch and the Pinteresque character study of late Stanley Kubrick. Unfortunately, due to poor familiarity with screenwriting principles, overwrought expectations, and some interpersonal difficulties, the final product falls short of the heights achieved by these masters. Though the influences are apparent, the content is muddled by inarticulate narrative goals. The movie had a runaway budget, so it has great production value, but ultimately was unsuccessful after completion. Later, it became prudent to “cut losses” and cannibalize the footage into a video art piece (The Ontology of Celebrity).

The strengths of the movie lie in the cinematography (Daniel Ryan), set design (Laurel Hechanova), wardrobe (Veritee Hill, Colleen Wasilewski), score (Dengler) and sound design (Joseph Fraioli, D’atachi).

Joseph also contributed incredible sound design to the final cue of the MFTMAY Soundtrack, “Violence”. Renowned bass clarinetist Ian Mitchell performs throughout the score, enlivening Carlos’ mock orchestra with nimble, human melodies and improvisations. You can click on the various links here to listen to each cue of the soundtrack.

C.ZAR (2012)

22 minutes; single channel

Representing an extreme possibility in precise, digital editing technique, this work represents the culmination of Carlos’ attraction to intercutting, a style which Nicholas Roeg innovated in movies like The Man Who Fell to Earth and which Steven Soderbergh, in somewhat of an homage to Roeg, exemplified in The Limey. The work of Ryan Trecartin, as well, was influential in this work, primarily his use of digital zooms, split second cuts, artificial environments, and pitch-shifted voices, which helped consolidate a sprawling, improvised “self-tape” which Carlos photographed in 2010 inside his Upper East Side apartment. Carlos took this kinetic editing sensibility but channeled it through an industrial music prism. Most of the sound is treated to appear found and archaic, as though having been overplayed through tapeheads, and documentary images from newsreels were spliced, sped up, and “dirtied” through repeated filtering to appear compromised by faulty transmission. The overall effect is of a post-apocalyptic world, destroyed by insurmountable geopolitical stressors, and seeks to nod at post-industrial world views found in the music of Front Line Assembly, Nitzer Ebb, and Throbbing Gristle.

A hint of science fiction and an overall mood of totalitarianism comprise the “universe” from which Carlos “broadcasts” a fulminating, unhinged narrative of fallen humanity. The monologue is interspersed, comprised by different performances, with dark visions of the animal world and of anthropomorphized capitalism (embodied in the dark green “overlord” character who appropriates “the doll”). The entire complex is contextualized inside a faux-24-hour-cable-news channel from a mock Eastern European network called “Bagtel”.

The final cut of C.ZAR was recorded to a VHS tape and re-imported to digital format along with the “accidental” grain and wear from the tape and the prevalent “rainbow striping” of VHS overdubbing.

Carlos performed in the video in 2010 and spent all of 2011 editing it, but was accepted to NYU’s Graduate Acting program in 2012, thus effectively putting any installation plans for the video on indefinite hiatus. Ultimately, C.ZAR could benefit from a simple looped installation on a CRT strategically placed in a small space with stereophonic sound.