THE CAPITOL OF THE MULTIVERSE 2009 8:22. 16:9 Standard or High Definition, DVD projection. Dimensions variable.

A neoclassical form breathes and mutates, overlooking a shifting horizon.

NAVIGATORS Melting Chronons   2009 7:36. 4:3 DVD projection. Dimensions variable.
The grain of time is imagined at close range, revealing not a straight line, but turbulence, one moment melting into another.
VARIFOLD   2010 9:35. DVD projection with sound; dimensions variable.
A motionless camera stares at a city branching in time. The screen moves with half-real forms: a cross-section of probability space.
LIQUID CRYSTAL      2009       15:10. DVD projection,16:9, SD. Dimensions variable.
Imagine a fly's eye, but with each facet roaming independently through nighttime Tokyo. These multiple perspectives are woven together at brain wave frequencies, creating new patterns and new spaces.
ALTERNITY - A Figure in Manifold Space    2008    6:48. DVD projection. Dimensions variable
The vanishing point of linear perspective is expanded to a plane. This allows all of the potential events within that vanishing point to mingle freely on the surface of the screen. Local sounds blend and shift. The expanded horizon causes reverberating fractures in time; multiple realities branch and flow through one another, creating a sponge-space of possibilities.
APERSPECTIVAL HOUSE            2007       5:30. DVD projection. Dimensions variable
This house is under construction. Its design incorporates numerous points of view into one flowing form. The sound is a field of musical patterns without a tonal center.

“Where today we seem to discern only shrieks and dissonance, tomorrow we will find a new tone,
a new form, a new perception.”  
Jean Gebser

HYPERPLASM         2007       3:42. DVD projection. Dimensions variable
Real-world objects are turned inside-out, imploding into unnatural spaces, becoming a single substance of endless forms.

DIAGONAL DRIFT         2006       10:00. DVD projection. Dimensions variable
Imagine a filmstrip of a nocturnal American landscape. The vertical frames, as usual, represent time, but here there are horizontal frames that represent parallel universes. This piece illustrates a diagonal movement across that field of frames, so that worlds continuously melt into similar worlds, always in-between realities. If these imaginary filmstrips are cut, twisted and turned back on themselves, the image changes abruptly. In keeping with the philosophy and the mood of the piece, a cellular automata program (Wolframtones) was used to create artificial mathematical melodies that constantly shift from one strange tonal system to another.                 
PARIS IN THE 21st CENTURY         2006       7:48. DVD projection. Dimensions variable
This work is a reference to Jules Verne’s Paris in the 20thCentury and a science-fiction world in which time and space operate in new ways. Here, the Paris Metro is a teleporter; here, branching timelines penetrate strange spaces that contain only fragments of the original Metro’s shattered labyrinth.
VAT         2005         22 min 51 sec
Manufactured items are ideas materialized. Vat, created from hundreds of actual objects performs a reversal: the artifacts emerge from all primal chaos into their ideal forms. The objects rotate continuously (the equivalent of an arcing camera), opening to reveal new spaces; as level upon level of impossible forms unfold. For the soundtrack, a recording of the ocean was literally played through all the strings of a baby grand piano. The results were used to excite the piano’s strings again and again, producing a variety of exotic tones and colorations.
NATURELAND        2003         14 min 3 sec
2003 Elevator music branches and flows in new directions. Unadorned concrete structures exude layer upon layer of natural scenery. These virtual vistas unfold in surges, accompanied by mutating Muzak. Natureland reflects the crucial process by which we navigate the nested realities of our programmed environment, embracing illusion and its mechanism, weaving dissonant strands of experience into a pattern that we can call “our world."

“The expansion of consciousness, the creation of timelessness and the generation of new worlds embody beauty without boundaries in Van McElwee’s video art. His work is challenging; it compels us to experience, perceive, and ultimately to live more fully.” T.L. Reid, Afterimage
STUPAFORM         2002         7 min 25 sec
2002 The result of extensive location shooting, Stupaform gathers into one moment the myriad manifestations of the Buddhist stupa, or pagoda. Stupaform oscillates between the inner and outer aspects of this symbol of transcendence, distilling an essence. The actual structures become electronic phenomena, apparitions of the stupa’s inner form. The sound of a Nepalese bell follows this vector; a physical reflection of an unstruck vibration.

“ McElwee goes to the essence of this type of building, showing us a glittering, shimmering, dissolving building seemingly woven of golden threads into a fluid temporal matrix. Sound and image are one.” Ann-Sargent Wooster, artist, writer; program notes for NAP Biennial  
HELIOGOS         2001          10 min 15 sec
Three garden paths twist and turn through a labyrinth of time. The earth orbits the sun as a camera orbits the gardens. Six years are cut and folded as a playful edit-form spins its web. 11:00 minutes “Ultimately, Mcelwee is tracking the effect of time on nature as he moves from summer to winter and back again. Editing is the key here to this complex origami project (think of each edit as a crease).” -Ann-Sargent Wooster, artist, writer
WAVEFORM MODULATION         2001         7 min 22 sec
2001 In this piece, a radical work of Dutch architecture becomes the raw material for a series of experiments with time. Born in a computer, the building jumps again into video where it can mutate freely. Here, particles becomes pixels and matter becomes light, as the structure is melted, frozen, shattered, and melted again into a new, transmissible signal. Shot at the H2O expo, Zierikzee, The Netherlands. Architect: Lars Spueybroek/NOX.

“Van McElwee transports his viewers hypnotically, viscerally, imaginatively through ingenious fascinating images and sounds. Traveling through his video art, you know you’re in the hands of a dreamer and an artist.” - Diane Carson, St. Louis Riverfront Times
PROCESSION         2000         18 min 1 sec
2000 In communal celebrations, such as parades, the event creates a new space. A city becomes a fantastic version of itself; a new creature that erupts in the streets and then disappears. In Procession, awareness is given a richly dimensional vantage point on this phenomenon. The parade’s flow is intensely modulated by editing, folded into itself again and again. Waves of transformation surge through a fabric of recurring moments, until the river of time swells and floods its banks. Also available as a muli-channel installation.  
CONFLUENCE        1999         13 min 33 sec
A complex editing score is applied to images and sounds gathered by a video camera moving through crowded places: a market in Cairo, a carnival in St. Louis, commuters in Tokyo and a funeral in Benares. The unique edit-form of Confluence weaves these streams of movement together like notes in a musical score. Events are broken loose from their normal flow and organized into autonomous clusters. The result is a transformation of the recorded world, and its projection into a new temporal matrix. The tunnel of time becomes porous; crisscrossed by passageways and escape routes. 14:00 minutes.

". . . an exotic mélange of visual and audio rhythms." - John Columbus, Director, Black Maria Film & Video Festival

“In Confluence, McElwee jumps from one location to the next as if merging into an altered state” - TL Reid, Afterimage
LUXOR         1998        17 min 19 sec
1998 Luxor,Egypt, meets Luxor, Las Vegas, calling into question the nature of reality through a meltdown of the real and the replica. Each world is suspended and then reborn in the realm of video as past, present and future merge into one pulsing electronic moment. Luxor is also designed as a single channel installation. 18:00 minutes

“With its resplendent images, Luxor lures us into glittering hieroglyphic displays and sparkling sands as we ponder the mystery of where one location ends and another begins.” - TL Reid, Afterimage

“The ‘real’ archaeological site meets its modern day ‘replica’ in Vegas, as McElwee collapses culture and history in the high desert.” - Steve Seid, Curator, University Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California
RADIO ISLAND         1997       17 min 19 sec

In Buddhist architecture, the pagoda symbolizes Nirvana, the state of enlightenment. In Radio Island, this metaphor is expanded to include the entire built environment and the whole of ordinary consciousness. Mutating images of ancient and modern Japanese structures develop within a complex electronic score of radio signals and data transmission. Unusual editing techniques weave these images and sounds into a dense field of improvisation. The resulting texture becomes the raw material for totally new forms. Through a sea of noise, Radio Island charts a course from architecture to music; from the referential to the absolute.12:00 minutes.

“Radio Island takes the architecture of pagodas and broadcast towers, drawing staccato analogies between these transmitters of enlightenment.”
- Steve Seid, Curator, University Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley California 

“In Radio Island, McElwee enlightens while he tightens.”
- Marieke Van Hal, The Worldwide Video Festival, Amsterdam

“Power lines become like organic branches and pagodas pulsate with an inner life.”
- TL Reid, Afterimage

TRANSFINITE LOOPS         1996        10 min 3 sec
Transfinite Loops is a reflection on the mind's tendency to create metaphysical order in the face of chaos. The piece is both a model and a metaphor for that process. Nighttime images of carnival rides appear, mesh and then dissolve into blackness, accompanied only by the sound of wind. The work unfolds like a series of thoughts, as time and space are unraveled and woven back together into intricate knots.

“As gorgeous as any fireworks display, Van McElwee’s Transfinite Loops invents dazzling astral patterns.” -Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“Vivid video origami erupts into a blizzard…leading out of time & space”
-TL Reid, Afterimage
“Transfinite Loops is infectious, life-affirming and beautiful. It makes you feel good.” -David Bonetti, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
FOLDED FOLLIES         1993        8 min 18 sec
FOLDED FOLLIES is an improvisation on Bernard Tschumi’s deconstructionist follies at Parc La Villette in Paris. The structures, which the architect has described as “post-humanist, are translated into motion and then subjected to a radical transformation. Unusual demands are made of the recording capability of the medium, as video and audio signals are pushed to extremes. Space collapses and the follies are literally folded in time.
FRAGMENTS OF INDIA         1993        10 min 20 sec
The mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote “a temple is a landscape of the soul.” Fragments Of India explores this potential in the realm of video. Hindu, Muslim, and Jain architecture merge into a unified pattern of images. The sounds of India’s temples, mosques, tombs, and marketplaces form a marriage of video and architecture.
BINDU         1993        17 min 19 sec
This piece embodies nested levels of form, content and abstraction. Visual fragments of the world come and go as packets of visual energy infused with the sound of the ocean. Watching Bindu should be like watching the space between thoughts; paying attention to the process of thinking rather than its content. The title is from Sanskrit, meaning roughly “Universal seed-point.”
SPACE SPLICE         1994        12 min 6 sec

Space Splice is a form of conceptual architecture that could only be realized in video. Forward motion and edits connect interior volumes shot in The United States, Europe, and India. The viewer experiences unimpeded movement through a network of hypothetical spaces.

DISTANCE         1990        6 min 45 sec
The sound of a woman humming to herself is mixed with an expansive drone. This intimate acoustic space is visually extended by patterned images, moving in and out of a white field.
REFRACTION        1990        17 min 19 sec

Natural form is carried by editing into a new direction. Moving shots of bare tree limbs and the songs of a mother and her five-year-old son are made into a special food for the eyes and the ears. Intense looping, layering and tape speeding allow the viewer to experience over twenty million edits in five minutes.

SPACE TIME LOOPS : CITYSCAPE         1988        17 min 19 sec

Loops are used to create a new screen space and to play with the boundaries between space and time. With each loop, time is repeated and space is extended into a continuous surface.

INSIDE         1986        5 min 7 sec
Dream and architecture merge in this work. A large mall is extended into an endless tunnel, which is then revealed to be a unit in a honeycomb of similar spaces.
WATER, LIGHTBULBS, DYING BUGS AND DOORBELLS         1981        2 min 47 sec
A doorbell rings, insects are electrocuted, light bulbs turn on and off; water spirals continuously
SPLIT/FLOW         1979        11 min 20 sec
The screen is slit into colors. Through this moves a pattern that is constantly warped by waves. Another space opens up; level upon level of form is revealed. Clusters of voices repeat themselves. Alternating percussion and sharp edits counerpoint the auiovisual flow.
DOUBLE FLAME         1979       3:25 minutes or single channel installation
A symmetrical object of contemplation