2-channel video installation, sound, 16:9
The Phoenix Portal (2005) is a 2-channel video installation that reflects on the capacity for the recording to teleport traces of the past into the present. In this melancholy science fiction, a young River Phoenix from the 1985 film The Explorers opens a wormhole in order to contact an older version of himself from the 1991 film My Own Private Idaho. By invoking the tragic death of Phoenix in 1993, The Phoenix Portal splices the fictional with the factual, summoning the paranormal power of recorded media to embalm time and seemingly reanimate the dead.
The Phoenix Portal is part of The Dark Matter Cycle, Soda_Jerk’s series of video installations that mobilize the framework of time travel to stage encounters between older and younger versions of a particular actor. Collectively these speculative fictions trace an alternative history of cinema, charting the way that the future impacts on the recorded past as it moves – and we move with it – through time.