Films: Cultivating Experiments

by Beauchamp Art

Cultivating Composition

Compositional experiments with the Cultivating films, 4 panel display.

This was designed to enable the audience to see the stages of the incrementally distorted film side by side, with the least extremely altered version of the film in the top left. This version shows the transitioning images, without any other major modifications, with the warping pictures being the dominant aesthetic, speeding up and slowing down at sections of the film in which the portrait of the figure was most prominent. The top right is another transitional version, although here different versions of the film have been used together with so that the frames generated by the optical flow blending mode become more prominent in the frame, as well as causing an inversion of the colour scheme, however unlike the previous version, the speed of the film is consistent throughout.

The bottom two versions are the refilmed variations, in which the video has been abstracted further due to the magnification of the sub-pixel rendering of the digital footage. The bottom left image still has traces of the less distorted previous versions, so that the figure can at times be seen undistorted, whereas bottom right has been layered up and refilmed on a screen so much that no distinct forms, besides a few silhouettes can be deciphered from the flurry of flashing pixels.

The sound design for this was relatively simple, I used all four audio tracks together, panning the frames of the left to the left, and vice versa, although I did experiment with using some modified versions of the final soundtrack centrally.

Rather straightforwardly, this was intended as an experiment in showing the forced degradation of the image.


Cultivating Decay

Compositional experiments with the Cultivating films, combined together in sequence.

In this, four variations of the Cultivating films are combined into a single narrative, gradually fading from one video to the next in equal length intervals, before fading back to the aesthetic of the first so that that video would loop. This was meant to gradually increase the presence of the media and the level of distortion due to the remediation and reprocessing of the footage made from the morphing photo series, using resources from existing works. All versions had to be stretched to the same length, though rather than using the optical flow blending, thereby adding more of the uncanny transitions, I settled for the more basic frame blending more which fades rapidly between the individual frames.

The sound used each film’s audio in sequence, with the first and last variation’s sound reinforced throughout, to give the sequence greater continuity, furthering the video drone aesthetic. However, some of the visual transitions, most notably between the second to third, and fourth back to first versions, were somewhat awkward, as the pixilated aesthetics clashed with the representational imagery, with the gradually fading in pixels looking out of place, rather than bleeding in more naturalistically. It could be worth refilming this yet again, so the whole decaying sequence becomes even more of a digital breakdown, and a horrendously abstracted narrative, to give the film a greater sense of continuity through the pixilated aesthetic; as the subtle colour correction, tinting the shadows blue and increasing the contrast, had little effect.

This is really another experiment in seeing how I can resolve the issue of having multiple versions of a piece that do not have a definitive outcome, although here they are awkwardly amalgamated together, this could still function as a form of video show-reel, showing multiple exerts fused together. Needless to say, this is one step of reprocessing too far, or not far enough – it falls in the cracks between two ideas; one that sees the final variation of the video as definitive, or that leaves there to be multiple equally valued (rhizomorphic) versions; and another outcome that takes the material even further, making its lack of resolve an integral part of its being (a necromancy of the author).