Film: Descent into Maelström [Cultivator]

by Beauchamp Art

Descent into Maelström [Cultivator] from Beauchamp Art on Vimeo.

Living becoming still becoming moving becoming still becoming moving; photographic necromancy, a cannibalistic means of generating ideas.

Using the Cultivator Desynchronised photographs as frames (hence the [Cultivator] subtitle) though rather than reprocessing the existing footage made from the 320 pictures as frames, I took the 16 or so photos from the screen, then turned them into a short looping animation (at first as a GIF in Photoshop, but as a video file in After Effects – meaning the images were at 16:9/film rather than 3:2/photo aspect ratio, which did mean a small amount of the image was cropped, however, as the film was being used more as a form of visual abstraction rather than representational imagery, this was not particularly problematic).
There are 3 main layers to the video: the slowly morphing sequence, the rapidly looping sequence facing the camera directly, and a range of shots from a number of different angles showing the pixelated screen with a low depth of field.

The pulsating sound emulates the flicking visuals, and derives from the same source as the Cultivating films, though reprocessed and passed through a range of reverb filters and tremolo modulators.

The title stems from the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, A Descent into the Maelström, which recalls a nautical tale of a shipwreck and a colossal black oceanic whirlpool, off the northern coast of Norway. The metaphor for being absorbed into a dark chaotic abyss seemed fitting for the digital calamity of overloading waves of information, and the contrasting visual tides of the piece; with multiple layers of video playing at different speeds simultaneously, fighting for dominance without resolve, feeding back into itself (both in terms of how the video loops, and the re-processing of images in order to produce the film).

All in all, a reasonable output from the feedback loop of a creative process, like a Catherine Wheel; cyclical with various embryonic embers spooling off in various directions, with ranging degrees of success.

[After 27 translations, the opening sentence became “But the Organizer, générer eater.”]

Descent into Maelström [Cultivator] - 04

Descent into Maelström [Cultivator] – Stills

Descent into Maelström [Cultivator] [Youtube]