Looking Backward, 2013. Single-channel video, color, sound.
Looking Backward is an experimental, animated video that explores the landscape of 19th century Los Angeles and the construction of the Bradbury Building. Combining historical texts, musical sequences, appropriated film and staged reenactment, Looking Backward asks questions about the ways that we experience time and history. The Bradbury Building, well known for its appearances in film and television (including Blade Runner, Double Indemnity and many other films) is the oldest office building in downtown Los Angeles. This film tells the story of the building’s construction and the novel that inspired its design, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward. Bellamy’s book imagined life in an American city in the year 2000 as a socialist utopia, and the Bradbury Building aimed to materialize that vision. What happens when the future never arrives? As historical, or progressive time begins to unravel, a cyclical logic emerges.