True Love

A visual tone poem inspired by the beautiful, but potentially tragic, mating ritual of the American Bald Eagle. The two soar up to high altitudes, lock talons, and spiral towards the earth. If they release in time and complete the courtship ritual, they become a bonded pair for life. If they don’t release in time, both will crash into the ground and die. This act creates a tension between succeeding with their mate and maintaining their own survival.

The score for the video comes from the infamous song True Love Waits by Radiohead. The song was written 21 years before it was recorded and released. It began as a hopeful love ballad at the beginning of lead singer Them Yorke’s relationship with the woman who would later become his wife and the mother of his two children. The song was finally recorded and released in 2016 as a melancholy ballad after their divorce and her subsequent death six months later from terminal cancer. Two tracks of the melody begin in sync and slowly fall further and further into asynchrony as the video progresses. This piece is inspired by the notion of tragedy, love, and the inevitable pain of loss.

INSTALLATION NOTE: Can be screened as a single channel projection or installed as a suspended 10ft circular screen with two free standings speakers on stands. The artist can provide equipment. The suspended screen version of the installation is the preferred method when space allows.

  • Stefani Byrd
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • "Live/Work" Exhibition, Space4 Art Gallery
    San Diego, California
    United States
    April 7, 2018
    North American Premiere
  • "Alternative Projections" Exhibition, Bread + Salt Gallery
    San Diego, California
    United States
    November 10, 2018
  • "CONCEPT 2020" Exhibition, CICA Museum
    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
    June 24, 2020
    International Premiere
  • "LOSS" Exhibition, Woman Made Gallery
    Chicago, IL
    United States
    August 1, 2020
  • Split Video Art Festival
    October 8, 2020
    Croatian Premiere
  • "Coveted" Exhibition, Kaiser Art Gallery
    Cleveland, Ohio
    United States
    February 13, 2021
  • Kwalhia Experimental Film Festival
    Nuevo Léon
    March 13, 2021
    Mexican Premiere
  • BOMBA Video Club Vol. 6 Screening Event, gallery BOMBA
    Russian Federation
    June 4, 2021
    Russian Premiere
Director Biography - Stefani Byrd

Stefani Byrd’s art practice includes video, new media, and interactive technologies. Her work focuses on creating psychologically charged immersive media environments addressing how technology impacts empathy in digitally mediated spaces. Her practice aims to shed light on the complicated nature of communication and emotional fluency in a networked culture where imbalanced power structures shape our interactions. Often her work confronts or undermines these systems by turning the tables on traditional power relationships.

She has received support from groups such as: Creative Capital, Flux Projects, the InLight Richmond Festival, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Filmatic Festival, IDEA Festival, and Idea Capital. Her work has been featured in such places as the Public Art Review Magazine, Huffington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, New Media Caucus, and Art Papers Magazine. In 2015, she trained in The Abramovic Method of Performance with Marina Abramovic. She holds Level I Certification in Pauline Oliveros’ method of Deep Listening through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Her work has been exhibited at the CICA Museum (South Korea), the Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego (San Diego), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (Atlanta), Woman Made Gallery (Chicago), A.I.R. Gallery (Brooklyn), Last Projects (Los Angeles), Artist Television Access (San Francisco), and PUNCH Gallery (Seattle). Byrd’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the Columbus Museum of American Art.

She received her BFA degree in Photography from Georgia State University. She holds a Masters Degree in Visual Art from the University of California San Diego. Byrd is Assistant Professor of New Media in the Film Studies Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is a former Visiting Assistant Professor of Experimental Media Art at the University of Arkansas, Lecturer in Digital Arts at the University of California Irvine, and a Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts (ICAM) major at the University of California San Diego.

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