Trustman Art Gallery

Drifting Clouds: Audio Guide – The Popcorn Game

February 15, 2023

Script by Gallery & Curatorial Fellow Bella Santos

The Popcorn Game, 2021
Digital Video
Melanie Bernier
In Collaboration with Peach S. Goodrich
Music by Emeen Zarookian


Melanie is a musician, fine artist, and actor. She aims to be as expansive as possible when it comes to creating art and she doesn’t like what she makes with these different mediums to exist in different thematic spheres. She wants all of her work to relate to and be in conversation with one another as she works to create a common artistic language, much like what Paola does with her repeated visual motifs in her collages. 

In this video titled “The Popcorn Game,” Melanie is cast as her future self, who is attempting to impart her experiences to the generations yet to come. However, her story can no longer be communicated the way it once was because of the destruction of her previous reality over time. As someone who struggles with complex PTSD, Melanie often finds herself managing her anxieties about the future through what she creates. This video reflects upon Melanie’s intense and frightful feelings about the future, concerning her place in the world, her relatability to the world around her, and the state of the world due to climate change. She often worries about how future generations will view her and her generation, possibly as a monster for not doing enough about the health of the planet. She places her older self in this deep, dark void to express ambiguity and fear. The popcorn game was an activity that Melanie would do with her siblings when she was little. They would place popcorn in their palms and compete to see who could eat the most popcorn using only their tongues. Humorously, they would pretend that the popcorn was little fluffy dogs. In the video, Melanie attempts to replicate this game as her older self in this disorienting void. 



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