Film/Photo/Event: Pause

by Beauchamp Art

Pause

 

Pause [Confusion] from Beauchamp Art on Vimeo.

Pause - 02

 

Pause

The busy streets of London rephotographed from a phone. In these images I wanted to explore between the small screen aesthetic of the mobile phone screen and its densely packed pixel structure and the con centred mass of bodies of the Capital’s kinaesthetic crowds. Through the ever shifting tides of people there are no moments of clear defined pause, or a break in the ongoing flow of people through the streets, buildings and underground.

By capturing a freeze frame through the remediated lens, it could be observed that this action, more so than with the basic filming, offers a means of “Intercepting the flow of perception,” resulting the warped optical phenomena of the moiré effect and false depths of field, thereby “Breaking the flow of time – which cannot be understood without disruption, without glitching” [Bloom, 2014].

For most of the initial filming and photographs, I moved with the crowd, or stood out of the way (clinging to the wall as best one can in the turbulent city), so the video followed the flow of movement, but the second camera, directed at the phone’s display and interface, the slippage between the frames of the digital film are exposed alongside the other inherent imperfection and artefacts of the medium, disturbing the “essentially transparent and unified nature of photography” overriding the intent of the interface’s immediacy, one which would seek to erase itself “so that the user is no longer aware of confronting a medium, but instead stands in an immediate relationship to the contents of that medium” [Bolter, 2000: 39, 23-24].


 

 

1 Pause (Basic)

Pause (Basic) Stills - 07

1 Pause (Basic) Stills

In this initial arrangement of the stablised, refilmed smart-phone footage, I examined the “bewildered herd” of London’s hyper dynamic crowds, remediated through the reprocessed footage filmed directly from the micro display screen, amplifying the structure of the digital video format.

Throughout the Jean Luc-Godard influenced jump cuts of the sequence, dividing the various footage into uniform, three-second clips, there were a number of elements used to maintain a uniform aesthetic whilst still producing a varied looping narrative, of day descending into night (as the clips were arranged in chronological order, selecting the strongest sections from each clip) containing series of minor vignettes and recurring motifs, notably the colour red. This acts as anchorage for the audience to establish themselves within the monotonous tedium of the shifting crowds.

Furthermore, the fluctuating movement of the camera, compensating with its own built in stabilisation software, was then enhanced in Final Cut, with the application of the maximum possible stability without the frame beginning to fly around the screen madly. This resulted in a more fractured, variably zooming sequence, with the levels of distortion caused by this processing, along with motion blur of the camera re-rended in sub-pixel form.

This not only foregrounds the media but reveals the visually flawed process of correction, this attempt at normalisation being another form of mediation, and thereby distortion (from the initial footage, and a greater deviation yet from the original scene), with the machine attempting to find connections between images potentially mimicking the human process of pattern finding, in doing so, this algorithmic interpretation of imagery produces an aesthetic continuum that results in an uncanny cinematic effect, one that would not be observed by the unobscured eye, but only through the layers of mediation (unless one’s Amblyopia renders a similar unstable shimmering around the movement of objects, as I occasionally notice).

This could be seen to offset the optical glitch with that of slippage within the narrative; the gauge sense of order caused by the similar stylisation of the footage. The means of abstracting and processing the footage may reconfigure the individual form into a homogenous mass, where the collective acts as the digital camouflage within which individual may become invisible, indistinguishable from the crowd.

At the same time, the juxtaposition between the static and moving camera and crowds constantly reasserts the presence of the people moving across the screen, the business of the city, and sensory overload of autism levels of mass consumption and interconnected mobile devices, thereby typifying “the simultaneity of electric communication, also characteristic of our nervous system, makes each of us present and accessible to every other person in the world” [McLuhan, 1964: 248].

It may be worth considering, in light of the refilmed footage compiled together in a regular rhythm, that places each clip on par withe those before and ager it, whether Pause could be seen as a response to the worrisome contemporary rhetoric; what is the value of the single face amongst the crowd, one’s own of that of someone unfamiliar, when every face is equally identifiable? With face recognition software rendering an egalitarian distribution of identity, every one is the same for the eyes of the software tied in with social media websites acting as a civilian CCTV: “no privacy, everybody spies on everybody else, [an] always present line for common areas. […] As a new, Mass Panopticon […] complete transparency, everybody can track everybody else” [Manovich, 2009].

The camera phone amongst the crowd elicits minimal attention, given the saturation of such dives into the Western market, so the camera could be seen to have become banal, part of the background of the city scape. Although as individuals “We document and share to find out how it feels to do it” [Silverman, 2015], it is not simple the capturing of image the defines how the representations of reality become interwoven with its material fabric, but also how these pictures are distributed amongst the masses.

In such an environment, Silverman observes that potentially, “sharing itself becomes personhood, with activities taking on meaning not for their basic content but for the way they are turned into content, disseminated through the digital network, and responded to” [Silverman, 2015]. Thus, not only does the crow existing in common unity withe other crowds embody din different geographical locations, but also it is informed by the feedback loop between how it is seen, chooses to present itself, and acts.

Perhaps this distribution of attention, when “everywhere we look, we find information overload” [Lanham, 2006: 6], designates a new form of Post-Panopticon, with no need for a central anonymous tower, as everyone watches everyone else (along with organisation a like GCHQ and the NSA who use a battalion to surveil a plant, where the Stasi used an army to surveil a nation [Doctorow, 2015]), a hollow cylindrical tower would be a more appropriate architectural analogy, like the Ponte City Apartments in Johannesburg, deigned by Manfred Hermer, complete in 1975. Not an all inclusive spheroid or dome, but one that reinforces exciting notions of hierarchy, where those with the power not to be seen but still to see in maintain authority (those outside the space, or gazing down from a privileged perspective).

All of the audio from the original clips were removed (given the refilling process resulting in an over-saturation of ambient fuzz), however, it could have been interesting to explore the changing sound scales alongside the video material, finding continuities between the variable sounds, or using them to suggest a narrative, as the growing voices in Twenty-Four Hour Delirium Rhythm reflect the climax of the video composition, culminating in a violent cavalry charge against a group of protestors; the green, hi-vis jacketed officers steering great white horses through the herd of social discord.

 


 

 

2 Pause (London)

Pause (London) Stills - 14

2 Pause (London) Stills

Following the basic arrangement of the footage, I then created a multilayered version of the video, with footage playing on top of itself at various speeds. This mode of composition serves as a form of successor to both the Opticon and Colchester pieces from second year, the three films representing three cities, London, Norwich, and Colchester; portraits of places through the rapid assault of images. This followed investigations into the information overload as part of my Dissertation, and may be interpreted as a response to Sontag’s critique on this new media culture,

“We consume images at an ever faster rate and, as Balzac suspected cameras used up layers of the body, images consume reality. Cameras are the antidote and the disease, a means of appropriating reality and a means of making it obsolete.” [Sontag, 1977: 179]

Amongst the various layers was one made from the frames generated between the different clips when the footage was slowed down with the Optical Flow blending mode, which was also used to produce the Pause-Tween-GIF. These images could have could have displayed prints on walls alongside video and the large sheet of paper that was used as part of the performance event.

Pause (London) Stills - 02

The music produced for this video used a combination of a distorted version of Land of Confusion, by Genesis (dubbed London Confusion), and a moving chord piece written whilst editing the video footage; playing keyboard with one hand, making adjustments with the other. In doing so, there may be some sense of correlation between the two, though more in how long each modification took relating to the chord length. When these elements were combined, they produced a melancholic, doom-laden drone.

This could reflect an apocalyptic tone within the work. From an architectural standpoint, London, Johannasberg, and the cities of the superrich built on the backs of migrant pseudo-slave labor, like Dubai and Abu Dhabi; desert cities built around the modern pyramids, to fall into decay once the primary source of income dries up. Where no monuments remain, the glass shards of sky scrapers will fracture and descend, returning to the surrounding sands. The place once rife with faces dissipate into the dust.


 

Pause (Triptych) Stills - 01

 

3 Pause (Triptych)

3 Pause (Triptych) Stills

For the Pause Event, I produced a version of the film that plays through 3 times, a triptych over time (this was not uploaded to a video hosting site due to file size/video length). This was due to using the Media Player with the projector, which stutters every time the video loops, so by including the pause symbol [‘II’] at the start of the video, it not only titles the work (and was subsequently influential on the growing use of titling and typography in the video works, particularly TFHDR) but also incorporates the flaws of the media into the mode of production, restating McLuhan’s claim, “the medium is the message” [McLuhan, 1964: 129], whilst resolving a technical issue associated with the means of display.

What is made especially clear in this looping version, is that the one thing the video does not do is pause, it does not stop, it just rolls on, as the various layer interject and interact, the gauge narrative of the day in London becomes symptomatic of the appetitive routine of modern life that is intrinsically tied to the compartmentalising of activities, which have begun to flow into one another in a wave of Post Fordism, and as an existential cycle of banality. However, as the video looped threefold meant the total sequence came to 15 mins, this meant the audience would be less aware of the imperfect loop, the stutter, the glitch; not in the digital, moiré, multilayered overwhelming aesthetic, but the glitch in the basic problems of formatting the film for display.

Pause (Triptych) Stills - 04

Although the visual elements were largely unchanged (besides adding and modifying a few semi-transparent layers, such as another slowed down version of the film was stretch across the entire sequence) I added a longer audio audio track, making more use of the the chord sequence played whilst making the film. However, as with previous version, rather than layers cutting or fading in and out, they are all displayed constantly, simultaneously, within on image frame, rather than as multiple separate components. However, this montage aesthetic is not overtly present as a multi-screen product (as with the Fourspeed variation), but the videos are played on top of each other, informing on another, cluttering the visual field and there by disrupting and obscuring one another.

 


 

 

4 Pause (Confusion)

Pause [Confusion] [Stills] - 05

4 Pause (Confusion) Stills

After the event/exhibition of the video piece and drawing performance, I revised the film, returning it to the basic form, having a low-opacity version of the more complex variation included, but far less visible. This was designed to reintroduce the clear forms of the figure axe they merge not one another through the mediated reprocessing, whereas the previous variations could be seen to merge the multifaceted forms into on abstract conglomerate, undermining the interplay between the individual and the mass ‘other’.

This meant that there was a greater subtly in the interplay between the layers, which simulated a more natural sensation of shifting between perspectival layers. Although the slowed down footage gave a greater sense of unreality to the piece, much as Sam-Taylor Wood’s Brontosaurs effectively restaged the central figure in that pice from being a rapidly moving dancing body, to a contemplatively elongated pace, thereby bringing more attention to each action of the body, and sublet, unnoticed humanity that would be lost playing at the full frame rate.

Although the reduced speed is not as extreme as Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho, there is still a structuralist quality to this basic adjustment, however Gordon’s work drew particular attention to the extreme attention to detail of Hitchcock’s directing style and cinematography, making every frame seem like an art work in their own right. Much as in my piece, every still frame should communicate the dynamism of the video, and through sequential presentation, the visual harmony and dissonance between the images should amplify the inherently curious structures of the medium and undermine the continuum of the film.

Pause [Confusion] [Stills] - 12

Again, referring back to 24 Hour Psycho, my piece encapsulates a single day; as all the footage was taken in one instance, through was then subsequently processed and re-processed over a most considerably period of time, allowing for a more extended contemplation of the constituents of every motion of the mass of moving bodies rendered in the fragmenting sup-pixel RGB display.

After running the Pause event in uni, and having my peers and I participate in the group drawing base on the video and projector feed-back loop that was intended to reflect a similar sense of visual echo as the London-based film, I concluded that the more straightforward, less chaotically composed video would work better as a stand alone piece, but that I could take some sense of the experience of displaying and interacting with the same visual material an incorporate that into the recomposition. And to amplify certain aspects more explicitly, such as the recurrence of red (herrings), that suggest a sense of continuity and narrative, though give no indication as to what this may be, besides a documentation of observation of banal repetitions in the hectic public sphere.

I also took the short opening panel from the Triptych version of the film (‘II’ on black – i.e. the ‘pause’ symbol, usually associated with video players; originally video, since remediated by digital formats, such as DVDs and online video content). Though this occurred every this time the video played for display purposes, in this post-exhibition version it comes at the start of every play through.

This is also followed by a more direct conclusion, as one figure cuts across the camera, the screen turns black and the video stops. Rather than the piece perpetually looping, it concludes abruptly, with a minor crescendo from the soundscape (using a distorted version of the final chords from ‘Land of Confusion’, and some of the other sounds, played backwards; which is also used in the opening frames of the film to build up discretely from silence). Should the film be seen online, embedded in a website through a video player, the viewer may be encouraged to then take control of the flow of the film, thereby participating in the editing of the piece.

Pause [Confusion] [Stills] - 15

As Manovich illuminates: “when a user selects a media file on his/her laptop, tablet or a phone, the file automatically opens in a media payer/viewer programme […] [offering] some basic editing functions. […] You cannot simply ‘access’ media with automatically being offered some way to ‘modify’ it” [Manovich, 2013: 153].

The rest of the sound design was also reconstructed. The original audio was used, combined with another remix of Genesis’ song Land of Confusion, which was fused with a cover performed by the band Disturbed, mad by retiming the two to fit together, then panning the Disturbed version left, and the Genesis original right. this was then distorted to form a rumble that was intended to infer the chord progressions and melody, without explicitly presenting itself like a music video. I also used a reversed, distorted version of the Genesis version to add to the higher frequencies of the audio composition, by pitch shifting the song up an octave, and applying more reverb and echo, to make the notes linger over the soundscape, like the trails of plains suspended above a sea of fog (as one may observe in the city of London by looking up on a particularly smoggy day). This soundscape relied on turning music into noise, rather than noise into music and back again.


 

 

5 Pause (Fourspeed)

Pause [Fourspeed] [Stills] - 04

5 Pause (Fourspeed) Stills

Four panel version of the Pause video, revisiting the footage after working on a few other projects, notable the EchoReFlex and TFHDR films.

The primary footage, taken from the third version of the film, playing at four different speeds (50%, 100%, 200%, 400%); multiples of the original screen to suggest a sort of visual harmonic (if the speeds were considered equivalent to audio oscillations, it would be the equivalent of having a bass note and three ascending octaves). As all footage is shown in the fastest version within an eighth of the overall length of the video, then it could be said to be designed not to be watched in full, but left to loop in the background, like a CCTV monitoring station, positioning multiple overlapping location elides one anther, collapsing the prospect for a single linear timeframe into a narrative informed by its interconnecting parts.

Following from the TFHDR film, I decided to incorporate some text to speech elements to the composition, notably a multilayered automated voice reading through an article on the Digital Time Deficit, to create a background muttering to the piece that was loaded with relevant meaning, but obscured by the format, thereby relating more closely to the sense of passing conversations within the transgression of the streets of London. This audio was sped up to be equivalent to four times the length of the video, then was quartered, and positioning the sound from left to right chronologically (panning the first quarter 100% to the left, the second 25% left, the third 25% right, and the final quarter 100% to right) evenly spacing the four audio clips across the audio periphery. The stereo panoramics of the audio were arranged as if the sound could be heard as one would read Western text, from left to right, but placed together so the four columns of sound overlap.

This could be considered similar to placing four pages of text on transparent pages on top of each and attempt to read them; but more specifically it may be considered to visually resemble placing four sets of text side by side and attempting to read them simultaneously. Both overwriting, but stimulating simultaneity. The subsequent confusion thereby illuminates the impossibility for deciphering this seeming simple task of listening to four streams of the same conversation at once, and this limited capacity for finding meaning from multiple sources of information at the same time.

Pause [Fourspeed] [Stills] - 16

All time crashes together, individual sounds becoming meaningless, only the sublime haze remains.

Such as it might be that growing sound of chaos could produce an informational intoxication of the senses, dizzied by the flowing tides of roaring crowds and choruses of conversations, not only heard on the street in person, but through mobile phones, text messages, bill boards, adverts, soundbites, ear worms, racing traffic, pop up notifications, twittering gossip and reading faces, instantly gratifying images, news stories, terrorist horror, whirring underground trains pulling people from the platform, absorbing them into the dark tunnels. Buses exploding citizens on their way to the graveyard office; cubicles lined up like headstones, pedestrians stampeding in unison, cathedrals of shoppers dehumanised by conspicuous consumption in the public forum in the spectacle of the gladiatorial market grab. Screaming children begging for a parent to care who cannot tear their face from a screen telling them not to worry because all the noise and all the madness is someone else’s problem.

As scapegoats are ritually sacrificed in the Parthenon pillared by hollow promises, echoing with the laughter of emperors shield from the gory display below, safe from the ensuing tide, as their atlantis is washed away and the great gods of old are swept away and replaced by fear, terror, hatred, self-loathing apathy, misery and euphoria, a callous optimism, and indignant ignorance; of violent, unending, and deafening silence, as the voiced of the unheard dissolve away, as the worthless lives of the many decay into the sands on the forgotten shore of civilisation. The sound of the atom bomb is silence, simultaneous creative destruction, reverberating throughout history, letting the fallen people know they are truly ants before the new tyrants, whose voices sound through airwaves, filtering through frequencies of media intervention, the peaceful sound of death, doom, and individuals devoid of individuality, homogenous hominids haunting their heads, as ghosts of humanity watch the spectacle unfold before them. All sensory experiences arrive at one, they are left death, dumb, blind, devoid of all life, unfeeling, uncaring, unending.

Pause [Fourspeed] [Stills] - 15

The listener may be able to hear everything that is being said, but it cannot necessarily understand each part individual, and would struggle greatly to take in even 4 of the same material at once. The individual must rapidly shift between material to give them a sense of omnipresence. Whether that be shifting between multiple audio channels, visual fields, or numerous contradictory sensory experiences, this would produce confusion (hence the use of ‘Land of Confusion’) and a cacophony of chaos (hence the chaotic soundscape). The overriding noise destroys the potential for any meaning to be found in the sound, however, I believe it is still worth while including relevant text/speech, as without it as a factor to add into the overall mix of the piece, the potential for debate that may come out of discussing the contents of the work is broader, even if it relies on a description to accompany the video. In other words, as all the voices within the piece speak at once, it may require an external contribute to give details of the component parts to any potential audience.

This may be seen as problematic because if an artwork requires a description to give it context, then it could be argued to have failed to effectively communicate the thematic contents of a work through its outcome, however, whether described or not the context informs the piece, and if the work were to be shown online it is a straightforward means to attach a body of text alongside the work itself, or even in a gallery format, some accompanying text may be necessary. Moreover, the purpose of this particular video may not necessarily be to communicate the entry of a message through its presentation, it is not a straightforward illustration of and idea; it is not a series of words translated into a video, it is a format through which to engage an audience through audio and video, whether as a self contented experience that reflects inferred pragmatisms, or as a starting point for further discussion (whether with an audience, or for the artist).


 

Pause-Tween-GIF

This GIF was made from the Optical Flow Frames from the Pause film. Had the time been available, these could have been displayed on a spinning zoetrope, reaffirming the immaterial moving image with a physical incarnation. The GIF also functions as a synopsis of the video content (based on structurally selected frames, rather than the aesthetically arranged still images from each film).

 


 

Pause Installation Photos

Pause [Installation] - 06

Documentation of the installation of the equipment, paper and drawing utensils for the Pause exhibition/event.


 

Pause [Event] - 15

Pause Event Photos

Documentation of the private view and performance at the Pause event. Most of the photographs were taken by me, but those featuring me participating in the drawing were taken by members of the audience, including Shane Ng, and Vladimira Molcanova. I also documented the final drawing, as well as my charcoal covered hands. The colours of the images were slightly modified for consistency, and to reinforce the blue aesthetic of the feedback loop. One of these images was later used in the degree show publication as an illustration of my practice.

Pause [Event] - 10

Pause [Event] - 21

Pause [Event] - 22


 

Pause Event Drawing Details

Pause Drawing Details 03

Details from the interactive group drawing for the Pause event.

 


 

Pause (Event)

In preparation for the event, I produced a posted using one of the stills from the video that had a strong aesthetic quality, with the warning colour combination of red, black and white appealing to an established public semiotics. The poster featured the title of the exhibition, and a quote from Jason Farman, to give the project an informed pretext, it reads “Pauses need to be reconsidered as a particular type of movement, not the exclusion of movement. […] Dwelling is an active engagement with your surroundings and the people and objects within those surroundings” [Farman, 2011: 139-140]. This was taken from Mobile Interface Theory, which I was reading at the time, and the title of Pause was retrospectively applied to earlier versions of the film which had simply been titled London, but after examining this quote alongside the video, it seemed like an informed decision.

Moreover, the two vertical line ‘II’ were placed at the centre of the poster, in reference to the pause symbol seen on video player, which was used a a basic grounding for the promotional materials. Leading up to the performance, I also released two stills from the sequence, and the Pause-Tween-GIF, as a precursor to the main content. This was shared around social media, with the accompanying message containing the details of the event:

“Pause: Video/Drawing/Performance – Thursday 29th January – 12.30pm – St George’s PS5.
Come along and enjoy visual delights, interactive drawing, and nibbles.

Interactive video-drawing activity on Thursday 29th in PS5, the project space just off the painting corridor in the top of the St. Georges building.

The video was projected onto one all of PS5, with a second project filming the surface of the paper on the wall adjacent. This arrangement was conceded after a number of plans and sketches; though perhaps it would have been more interesting to overlay the video, feedback and drawing onto one single surface but by splitting across the two walls, it became more than a flat display, and the use of the corner was followed up in both EchoReFlex and TFHDR. Rather than just displaying the video, I wanted to provide a space for “dwelling that gives both the environment and the people within that space deeper significance” [Farman, 2011: 141], to encourage others to contemplate the transposition of one city into a small room within another, and how they then respond to this imagery, in this case through the tunnel of the feedback loop and the drawing.

The drawing was done during the event at lunchtime, though the video was displayed for the rest of the day, the secondary projector and camera had to be returned by the end of the day, so the installation functioned as a pop-up event. The paper filled the full length of the wall, beyond the throw of the projector, so that its surface blended in with the white wooden walls onto which it was mounted (with some difficulty). Charcoal was chosen as it has a stronger aesthetic than graphite pencils, so would show up more clearly in the dark, and would not need to be sharpen, so would allow people to drop in and out of participating more easily (much as chalk was used with the blackboard in the Colchester, although here, despite this being performed in an academic institution, it does no carry the same context of education, but may still reflect a similar approach to responding to the means of consuming media); being able to apply a few marks that may be erased or overridden by the next person in the unfix impermanence of the drawing as social interaction.

Charcoal was also chosen for a subtle material connection to London, with the black powder of the charcoal sticks breaking off and filling the nostrils like the sit of the densely polluted air of the city. This could also be seen as offsetting the aesthetic of smog against “data smog” [Shenk, 1997, 16], the informational pollution that clutters the airwaves. It also ties in with previous investigations into the animations of William Kentridge, who uses charcoal and other drawing materials to create complex video sequences, such as in his, 1996, History of the Main Complaint, embodying elements of the digital image into the drawing through the human labour of the action. Also alluding to the principal role of drawing in the contemporary age, as discussed by Nemann:

“The meaning of the apparent ahistoricity of drawing is determined by the other technologies of representation that co-exist with it at any given moment. This effect itself is a historical construct. Drawing becomes ‘archaic’ in the age of mechanical reproduction, yet this archaism makes contact with the tactility of the most up to date mediums” [Newmann, 2003: 105].

The use of the projector feedback came after discussions with my tutor on how to re-establish a link between the film and the image being produced. And whilst some of the participating members of the audience drew by observing the video, the feedback loop being projected onto them was also a driving forces behind the drawing (though the video footage reveals that people were most responding to the feedback, this still served as an effective counterpoint to the video.

They were presented with two primary sources to examine, so the drawing was a means of tying the two aspects of the piece; the video and the automatic drawing together visually and viscerally. Thus, as people moved through the space and interacted with the drawing they would alter the lighting of the room and affect how the video was seen, as well as directly responding to it through mark making. The charcoal scribble harmonised with the video scribbling of the scrambled footage of city crowds, whilst a group of people scramble to draw quickly in response, acting as the third, human scribble. With the video itself looping three times, pausing after the third before starting again to structurally reinforce the series of three-second clips that became confused in the chaos of the layered imagery. By two contrasting time-based media; the video and the performed drawing, the interplay and confusion between the cause and effect feedback may cause a form of visual tinnitus.

Overall I believe the event went well, their was a reasonable audience, and various people participated in the drawing. The combination of drawing and film explored here (as a sequel to the Colchester installation at the Firstsite gallery; displayed on a tabled on a tripod by a chalk board) is also an area I wish to continue investigating in the future.

 


 

 

Pause Event Film

Pause Event [Stills] - 09

2 Pause Event Film Stills

Video documentation of the drawing event. Like the Pause video itself, the video was cut into a series of 3 second sections, with the most dominant action of each clip compiled together, edited together to created the greatest sense of the varying interaction between the different people within involved in the drawing, made to be the same length as the original video that was displayed (though not the Triptych version).

Pause Event [Stills] - 05

The footage fairly strait forwardly documents the performance. But as this camera was also being used to generate the feedback, when I experimented with repositioning it to project the primary film onto the drawing surface (at around 4 minutes into the video; the affect on the drawing surface was not beneficial, should I wish to combine these images, either a third projector would be required, or the two would have to be stacked or placed side by side), this meant that when the camera was repaired to its original orientation, it slipped down slightly, making the video document somewhat inconsistent. But as this was intended as video documentation, not necessarily a film piece in its own right, than this form of editorial matter was not a major concern. Furthermore, the drawing itself functions as a document of the event, along with the other photographs which may offer a greater synopsis of the event.


 

 

Pause (Event Dual Panel)

Pause Event [Dual Panel] [Stills] - 06

3 Pause (Event Dual Panel) Stills

Documentation of the Pause performance alongside the video displayed alongside the drawing surface, from which people could make reference. As both sequences were used the same length cuts, the transitions in clips happens simultaneously (despite the lack of co-incidence between what was being drawn from and which part of the video was being played at the time). This was a fairly basic edit, but remained a logical means of demonstrating the event, though a multiple camera set up, both filming different parts of the room at ones, could have worked well. Tis would have also tied into the CCT theme addressed through the original footage, although this is still being alluded to with the single camera causing feedback, reflecting the self inwards, potentially suggesting, “YOU are news, you are the social, the event is you, you are involved, you can use your voice” [Baudrillard, 1983: 53].

Pause Event [Dual Panel] [Stills] - 07

Another potential project that would be interesting, as a follow on from this would be offset a live London webcam feed against the Pause video, or some other combination of live and pre-prepared footage with a feedback loop.

 


 

Pause Event Photos – James Snelling

Additional photographic documentation by one of my first-year peers James Snelling. Given this was an interactive event, crowd-sourced imagery would seem an appropriate way to document the drawing, which now resides rolled up, unlike to be unfolded in the near future. Snelling’s involvement was especially appreciated, as he was eager to take part in the drawing, and stay for the length of the performance, and afterwards was keen to engage in discussion about the project. Moreover, given the drawing was a collective work, it has no singular owner and its authorship is diffused among the audience.

Therefore, it could be argued that the photographs function in part as a token of ownership, evidencing that individual’s presence at a happening and their direct participation. As with a landscape (such as that of London, as featured in the film), it cannot be taken away, trinkets and mementos, perhaps, but the place resides outside of the realm of ownership, so it may be borrowed through memory, or a fragment contained within a frame, the picturesque Arcadia that aspires to be seen as well as to be shown, to share the social experience of the place with others. Therefore, Snelling’s photos could be seen as an effective extension of the expiration of the phenomenology of the hectic/haptic/optic environment of London’s busy crowds; through both the Pause film and the feedback drawing; effectively allegorising the interconnectivity of all cities through the commonality of the crowd, the people en masse and the sensation of this mass (mediated) movement.

James Ellis also provided a short video documenting a section of the event.

 


 

References

  • Baudrillard, Jean. (1987) The Ecstasy of Communication. Foreign Agents. Semiotext(e). USA.
  • Bloom, Jaygo (2014) Chaos Neatly Defined. [Fine Art Guest Lecture]. Norwich University of the Arts, UK. 14 November. Norwich, UK.
  • Bolter, Jay David and Grusin, Richard. (2000) Remediation: Understanding New Media. MIT Press. Paperback edition. London, UK..
  • Doctorow, Cory (2015) Technology should be used to create social mobility – not to spy on citizens. The Guardian [Online] <http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/10/nsa-gchq-technology-create-social-mobility-spy-on-citizens&gt; Accessed 10.3.2015
  • Farman, Jason (2011) Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media. (1st Edition) Routledge. London, UK.
  • Lanham, Richard A. (2006) The Economics of Attention. [Hardback]. University of Chicago Press Ltd. London. UK
  • Manovich, L. (2009) On Totalitarian Interactivity. <www.manovich.net/TEXT/totalitarian.html> Accessed 13.6.2009. Cited in Galloway, A. R. (2012) The Interface Effect. (Paperback). Polity Press. Cambridge, UK.: 7
  • Manovich, Lev. (2013) Software Takes Command. [INT Edition]. Bloomsbury Academic. London, UK.
  • McLuhan, Marshall (1964) Understanding Media. 1994 Edition. Routledge. Great Britain.
  • Newman, Michael (2003) The Marks, Traces, and Gestures of Drawing. Cited in Ed. Zegher, Catherine de. The Stage of Drawing: Gesture and Act. London and New York. Cited in Krčma, Ed. (2010) Cinematic Drawing in a Digital Age. Tate Papers. Iss. 14. [Online] <http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/cinematic-drawing-digital-age&gt; Accessed 4.6.2015
  • Shenk, David (1997) Data Smog. Harper Collins, Abacus. London: UK.
  • Silverman, Jacob (2015) ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ – the mantra of the Instagram era. The Guardian [Online] <http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/26/pics-or-it-didnt-happen-mantra-instagram-era-facebook-twitter&gt; Accessed 1.3.2015
  • Sontag, Susan (1977) On Photography. [1978 Edition]. Penguin Books Ltd. Harmondsworth, UK.
Advertisements