Chaz Underriner


Backroads is a 35′ film for video and 8 channel audio, an 8’40” short for video and 2 channel audio and a 3-hour installation for 3 video projectors and surround sound audio that explores the sensations of highway hypnosis: delirium, displacement, movement intermingled with repetition and the self-reflections created by being inside your own head for extended periods of time.

This is accomplished by combining long duration, abstracted video shots of driving the back roads of rural Texas with audio field recordings and very slowly evolving organ drones. Back- roads explores the dream-like sensation of so-called “highway hypnosis” through surrealistic juxtapositions of multiple sonic and visual environments.

The 3-hour video consists of three simultaneous driving shots that span the variety of geography and seasons in Texas backroads: stark desert highways, lush hill country water crossings, and farm roads across the plains. Each kind of driving footage is accompanied by sound that alters the viewer’s perception of that time/space so as to intentionally disconnect the conscious mind from the reality of the driving sensation. Sonic spaces meld together within the flickering of headlights and lull the viewer into an altered state.

Backroads (short):

A demo of the installation version:

You can read my posts about creating the piece on the xREZLab website