Film: Infinite Scrolling

by Beauchamp Art

Infinite Scrolling

This video is about Infinite Scrolling; going through the ‘Infinity’, ‘Information’, ‘Images’, and ‘Pictures’ tags on Tumblr, accompanied by a droning organic soundtrack; the slowed down mastication and breathing sounds adding the banal chewing-gum-for-the-eyes aesthetics of the visual subject matter.

Footage of an eye looking at Tumblr and other scrolling images with varied effects becoming more visible towards the end, though are only meant to be implicitly apparent. The majority of the image is rather explicit in its implications; rather than attempting to subvert meaning for the sake of ambiguity, in this instance, I decided to be more direct. And, contrastingly to other works, this film is comparatively brighter.

However, when this was played to an audience of my peers, the film was declared too obvious, lacking in subtly, overstating the obvious, the figurative element was deemed unnecessary, and the use of the ‘Infinity’ theme images far too explicit. The piece managed to communicate the ideas of mass information, a ‘barrage of images’, and confusion quite immediately, as well as the offsetting of the digital images against the physical library space an effective compositional choice, though the vacancy of the figure seemed only to put an unnecessary block between the background (books), foreground (screen) and audience, and the communication between the layers without the figure was enough; and the aestheticism distracted from the validity of the piece. However, the scale of the video could be worth experimenting with. Having tested this, and other videos, in the Lecture Theatre, I can contest that moving from the intimacy of a single screen and the openness of a projector may be necessary to effectively display this in a way that does not undermine it.

Essentially, this video gives the audience too much visual information for the audience to be able to reach their own conclusions, and may need to be remade, or re-processed in some way to create a more effective piece (such as re-filming the no figurative sections; the background and the books overlaid with the scrolling images, removing the figure altogether). Furthermore, as I suspected, the soundscape was completely overlooked, and as with other A/V works, unless the sound can be played a considerable volume, it will go unacknowledged. Which is considerably frustrating when one has put a as much time into the soundtrack as the film itself. (Then again, this was made over the course of around two days, so it does not represent a considerable loss, but rather necessary less-successful piece within the on-going investigations into contemporary technology, and its effects on the individual.)

Finding the balance between showing and telling the audience just enough to keep them interested and watching the footage, and not to dismiss it so quickly because they instantly understand it or because it bores them is difficult. As with this piece, it was so straightforward that the audience would have not motivation to continue to stay engage longer than a second or two. However, this is part of the learning curve of going from still photography (series) and moving image. I am having to leaner through making (despite having made short films for number of years, there has been a tendency to abandon the premise after the basic principals have been understood, then return to it later, rather than letting one’s understanding of the process come through a more mature cultivating of skills.

A secondary version of this film was also created that could be played on a loop, without the sound or video fading in/out, but cut cleanly, fading from the concluding image back to the first frames; and the trail of audio at the end of the clip was put to the start, so the sound would flow continuous. However, as the soundscape was synchronised to the footage, and it had to be minority stretch in order to loop more effectively, there was a slight discord between the visual and audio components. Nevertheless, the sounds were relatively vague anyway, primarily consisting of drones and slow, atmospheric tones, rather than staccato effects directly correlating with the footage, so the slighter alteration of speed was of minimal consequence.

Infinite Scrolling [Soundtrack]

The soundtrack consists of an amalgamation of droning organic sounds; the slowed down mastication and breathing sounds adding the banal chewing-gum-for-the-eyes aesthetics of the visual subject matter.