American Cycle, 2020 (running time: 35 minutes, 12 seconds)
For the desired effect, while viewing the video please sit back and set your volume to a comfortable high level.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown Edward Mapplethorpe was restricted by limited access to his studio and materials to pursue his artistic practice. As Plato is attributed to have first observed, necessity is the mother of invention, and challenges often inspire new and innovative avenues of creativity. The idea for American Cycle was conceived from the depths of his isolation in response to the barrage of dispiriting news coverage concerning the deplorable state of our United States. Particularly concerning was the
prolonged severity and politicization of the pandemic and the alarming socio-economic, environmental, and racial inequities it not only reveals but also propagates. With mere days until the American people cast their
votes to determine the fate of democracy and the free world, American Cycle serves as a call to action for our country to cleanse itself of it’s social and political stains. The turbulent soundtrack, evocative of helicopters, military drums, and thunder, echoes the vicious cycle of disorienting division and violence our country has been swept into but also present is the sustained, sometimes imperceptible, but steady pulse that represents the indomitable heartbeat of our American union.