Films: EchoReFlex [Event]
by Beauchamp Art
Following the straightforward video documentation of the EchoReFlex performance, I subsequently created a series of more experimental films using the footage taken from the camera used to create the live video feedback to accompany and overlay the projected video.
This four panel video (sharing in the design of the television program 24, and the gluttonous media consumption of the protagonist of the film The Man Who Fell to Earth) featured the slowed down footage cut into four sections playing alongside one another. This may reflect how “In is frenetic split-screen technology, 24 hails this new form of mediate, mobile liveness” [McPherson, 2007: 179]. The viewer is presented with a futile choice between viewing the one of the 4 screens, each of which plays a different part of the same footage. As with the free roaming of the internet, where “although the user is making choices at each new screen, the end result is a linear sequence of screens that she follows” [Manovich, 2001: 232]. This breakdown of the single continuous image poses a conflict with the viewer, who’s attention must by hyperactive and filled by amphetamines to consume all the stimuli before it, in addition to the 4 panels of this video, the sense of the individual narrative is thereby heavily disrupted.
EchoReFlex could be seen to embody a sense of what, Shumon Basar, in The Age of Earthquakes, describes Denarration as “The process whereby one’s life stops feeling like a story.” Reflecting how individuals have gone from being “plugged into universal narratives […] sharing what Jung called ‘collective archetypes’” to a situation in which “our lives become a line-up of tasks where the safety of the middle classes can no longer be assured.” Which has, according to Baser, resulted in a delineation of life’s narrative arc, where “Every day is just another unit of the ‘extreme present’ that may have nothing to do with either yesterday or tomorrow. Discontinuity is the new continuity” [Basar; Pinnington, 2015]. In EchoReFlex, there is no order; besides the rhythm of the distorted and chaotic sound, offering a sense of tribal collectivism offset by the isolation of the locomotive individual. It is continuous, looping, without linear narrative. Not just a perfect looping Ouroboros, but the möbius forms a Strange Loop that folds in on itself multi-phasically.
This may result in a ridiculous repeating spectacle, a post-media franchise of sporadically distributed attention. Distorting and amplifying the feedback between individual and imagery, positing a scenario in which figures “alternatively participate in the world and step back and reflect on how we attend to it” [Lanham, 2006: xiii] by the use of the multi-layered video feedback and the post-production composition, fragmenting the video into multiple parallel narratives that in turn feed off one another, fading in and out of synchronistic flashing, initiating occasional simultaneity that perpetuates a pattern-finding need which derives order from spotting coincidences, delivering confusion when the sequence shift.
This could be seen as similar to Steve Reich’s Piano Phase, though less reliant on shifting tempi, rather using one tempo sequence quartered and playing different sections of the same piece side-by-side. This could be seen to be reflecting a sense of timeless/placelessness that may be associated with the discord between the self and its multiple overlapping roles within society. Similar to the new ‘random aesthetic’ produced by amateur dancing videos on YouTube, that Glen Creeber describes as forming an “aesthetic antithesis of the professionally produced music videos shown on a channel like MTV”. [Creeber, 2013: 120]
EchoReFlex Event 6
The full title of this work is EchoReFlex [Larghissimo / Pretissimo, Optical Flow / Stereo], in it, I attempted to reconfigure the footage in a new way to take the project further, and brought in more complex audio composition. This included the opening and closing lines of the ‘Choose Life’ speech from Trainspoitting set against A List of Assets Owned by News Corp, both read by text-to-speech software, as well as the music playing at different speeds. The video composition involved placing the flashing version of EchoReFlex Video 3 behind the slowed down (with the optical flow blending mode) event footage (and the flashes also synced to the reduced speed) split into two panels at 50% scale beside one another.
This was another potentially interesting idea that was executed poorly. The over processed footage lost some of the charm and effectiveness of the original solitary dancer lost in his own little world.
EchoReFlex Event 5
For this I attempted to reprocess the footage in much the same way as I had done with the earlier videos in this series, using the mirrored, multilayered aesthetic to create a sense of delirium, made even more nightmarish by the use of the slowed down and pitch shifted audio. However, the resulting film was not at all successful, and although it had the potential to be interesting, the actual video was not well resolved.
EchoReFlex Event 4
In this variation, I re-film the solo footage from the screen, cropping it to just the area where the projections fell on the wall, re-establishing the prominence of the remediated interface. This was used to create a series of GIFs, and was originally intended to potentially be used alongside the protest footage in the unrealised Riot/Rave project (that became TFHDR) as that sequence used re-filmed footage, in order to produce a uniform aesthetic this version of the EchoReFlex was produced.
EchoReFlex Event 3
This was intended as a quick and basic homage to Sam Taylor-Wood, Brontosaurs, utilising the slowed down footage that typifies how “digital filmmakers work with ‘elastic reality.’” [Manovich, 2001: 301], whilst infusing the lively imagery with the melancholy of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.
Echo Event  [Solo]
EchoReFlex Event [Fast Forward] [Web Safe]