Individual Work

David Jhave Johnston’s video-based "Interstitial" is a meditation on terminal anxiety. The title of the piece, which refers generally to that which occupies an “empty interval,” takes on a specific connotation when one considers its popular use in web development contexts for the commercial “pre-loaders” that hawk their wares while one waits for the site to open. The video, which is minimally edited, features three views arranged in triptych form: a cat decomposing in a river, tidal pools, and a bug undergoing metamorphosis. These events, as witnessed by Johnston, are unaltered and unmodified, simply captured where they occurred using handheld equipment. According to an artist’s statement published on Tributaries and Text-fed Streams (, the web presentation of the files was formatted through the process of naming the discrete video, audio, and poetic text files and allowing software to assemble these pieces into an endless loop. Variations in the piece are a product of technical differentials—processing speed, bandwidth, and computer to computer interaction—rather than human interaction. The grand result is a provocative juxtaposition of contrasting phases of life and death, ebbing and flowing, in the interstice created by the poetic process.