Film: Perpetual Decay

by Beauchamp Art

Perpetual Decay

Macro examination of a deliberately decayed oxidised surface, with a droning soundtrack.

The video is a collection of short close-up clips of the surface of one of my rusted metal sheet piece (that alludes to the form of a skull), as a more dynamic show-reel of the decaying surface. Using decaying metal; with cuts from a previous plasma-cut drawing on the reverse of the rusted side, it relates more to a sense of urban, industrial and modern deprecation than one may perceive in rotting wood, for example.

Primarily, this is curious examination of material properties, which when examined closely loose its benign qualities and becomes an intricate landscape of ridges, colour, contrast and texture. One could find the surface aesthetically pleasing, rather than vulgar, as one may from a distance, or with that of some other form of disintegration, admiring the visual splendor of the surface, which may otherwise be overlooked.

The soundtrack consists of various drones welded together. Two of them come from the same source; a programed saw-tooth synthesizer playing a slow, minimal chord sequence; one version slightly speeded up, another stretch out. The wave gradually shifts and oscillates. Another layer is a choral section from a previous piece of music I had written that was in the same key, which I sample, then distorted to the point of inaudibility. The third layer comes from the ambient sounds of the filming; were I took one clip’s audio, stretched it to the full length of the film, filtered it slightly then added a hint of reverb. There is a forth tone that only comes through at the start and end of the video, a rising tone taken again from the ambient sounds of the original recordings (from passing traffic, or something similar). They fade in and out independently, blurring together but maintaining some of their own qualities.

Much like the video, the soundscape becomes formless; simulating over-amplification through distortion, paralleling the magnification of the metal’s surface.

The ant just happened to wander across whilst filming; its liveliness gave an effective contrast to the still, dead surface, as well as giving a sense of scale to the video.


As a continuum of the ‘Perpetually Menacing Disintegration’ rust photos

Perpetual Decay [Film Still] - I

Perpetual Decay [Film Still] - II

Perpetual Decay [Film Still] - III

Perpetual Decay [Film Still] - IV