primary video recorded in Key West, Florida; secondary projection and video recorded in Kansas City, Missouri
Laurencia Strauss with sister, Bernarda Strauss
The right frame is a video recording of Strauss repeatedly and meditatively riding a bike around a cemetery with a camera towards the sky. The left frame is the projection of this video on her sister’s chest which shows visible adaptation to heart failure. The videos are synchronized. Her sister had been physically unable to go for a bike ride for many years and watches the video of the sky, as if she were in movement. The synchronized video loop includes conversation about the difference of their physical capacities and their inability to resolve this, as one of us spends time in and out of hospitals facing terminal illness while the other is easily able to take bike rides in a landscape of their childhood, a place also facing a terminal diagnosis due to sea level rise.
They remind each other of pieces of their childhood in Florida, suggesting interdependence of memory and identity as well as their genetic link. The conversation and realization that her sister has been and probably will be physically unable to ride a bike again highlights power dynamics in personal and public space. This influences future projects with the altered tandem bikes.
The intimate and personal aspects of this project focus inward, rather than outward to the city and strangers. It begins the exploration of dynamics of interdependence in the personal realm as a place to embody a deep sense of interdependence that can then translate into the public and global realm. This also has profound impact in future projects that explore similarities of living with a terminal diagnosis and maintaining a city in the face of sea level rise.