The music, composed by Elizabeth Brown incorporates themes and voices that relate to the photographs. Betty Hauck plays the viola and Brown plays flute, shakuhachi, piano, and toy accordions. References to known melodies resonate much like the familiar themes in the projected images, and musical passages repeat and overlap, echoing the experience of the dissolving projections. Spoken words are drawn from interviews and discussions that Novak and Brown conducted between 1996-2000.
Meyer's editing tool offered Novak unprecedented levels of control, since all channels of image and sound are edited in a single integrated environment, on a single time line. Real-time effects are generated live, as the participant watches, rather than being pre-computed and stored on disk beforehand. This translated into a much more flexible system.
Collected Visions debuted at The International Center of Photography, NY, November - December, 2000 during the inaugural exhibition of the renovated midtown space. It traveled to the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, February - April, 2001 (along with Lorie Novak Photographs 1983-2000), and the Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, September - October 2001. A video adaption was shown at the MARCO Museum in Monterrey, Mexico in July 2001 in conjunction with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Encuentro.
Collected Visions uses family snapshots from an archive of photos collected from over 350 people to question how photographs shape our memories.The installation is computer-driven and utilizes high-resolution digital projectors and high-quality streaming media system created specifically for the project by Jon Meyer. Two floor-to-ceiling 17-minute sequences with dissolving images are simultaneously projected. The installation draws from the over 2,500 images that Novak has collected for collectedvisions.net which launched in 1996.
While the online project functions as a neutral space that collects images and stories, the installation uses photographs selected by Novak to create an extended essay that explores the emotional, psychological, and cultural roles of snapshots. The images, which depict home life, familial relationships, celebrations, rituals, vacations, children at play, awkward adolescence and more, are juxtaposed with one another and combined with overlapping spoken word and music in a dreamlike environment of dissolving projected images. The experience conveys the psychological, emotional, and often disturbing nature of photographs and explores their contemporary role in our everyday lives.