Back Pedal (32 MB)

This performance piece is a reflection on the conflicting ideas of cultural progress and regression that arise in the enduring romantic themes and lyrics of 20th and 21st century popular music. I pedal backwards on a stationary bike, singing along to Nina Simone's classic 1965 rendition of the often-covered Screamin’ Jay Hawkins song, "I Put a Spell on You." The footage is reversed so that a seemingly automated character appears to be pedaling forward, while the reversed audio transforms into an unintelligible, discordant vocal abstraction over a strangely familiar melody. Regardless of the direction or duration of the pedaling, the bike will perpetually remain in the same place.