Phase Repair I
Phase Repair I, 2-3 Channel HD, 2015, in progress
The first iteration of this project was an attempt to have an actor rehearse for two channels at once. The actor had to project how the performance on channel one, created metadata that in turn cut up his performance on channel two. The feedback mechanism between the two channels was music. A detection algorithm would identify musical intervals in channel one and use them to dictate the cut of channel two. A third channel then composited the other two.
On channel one, the actor sat at a piano and played a hybrid song: Prospero's final soliloquy in the Tempest set to the melody of Sinatra's 'All of Me'. The chords he played projected a performance onto a second channel in which he was sitting on a stool, listening to and commenting on his memory of channel one. The barstool would rotate in 90° increments depending on the interval of music played. Musical intervals inflect language in the present (a love song in minor is different from one in major), but here they simultaneously rotate a body in the future.
Cinematography, Digital Art, Programming
The Iterative Frame
The Iterative Frame, HD, 13’37”, 2014
The starting point for this production was Arnold van Gennep’s model of rites of passage. The film was shot in three parts, each one corresponding to one chapter of the theory section. Rehearsal involved showing the actors three scenes and plotting a very clear character arc.
Part 1: Separation
The film begins with a remake of the opening scene of Chronicle of A Summer. This version departs from the original in a number of ways: The genders of the directors and the interviewed are inverted, with the two women playing Rouch and Morin and the man playing Marceline. Crucially as well, technology that did not exist in the first film now enters the vérité frame: the UBC detection algorithm scans the frame for salient setups, creating a contradiction in terms, as the directors demand transparency from the subject. The subject also deviates from the script, initially telling them he is a market researcher, then a filmmaker and finally a carpenter (in subsequent scenes he will becomes the editor). The colour gradually drains from the image as the detection algorithm becomes more invasive.
Phase Repair II
Phase Repair - Database Cinema 2015 - Ongoing
The title Phase Repair is ambivalent as to whether the repair is desirable. To fall in the phase with the system the actor has to effectively inscribe a detection algorithm on his performance. Without a cognizant performer the system tends toward caricature. With a cognizant performer, the dissonance in phase produces a whole spectrum of emotions. Using repetitve language, in sync wiht an iterative program, the actor finds a whole spectrum of emmotion.
The hope here was to give form to the uncanny quality of predictive analytics: the ephemeral ‘recommendations’ that such programs offer appear prompted by language but at the same time beholden to something it can not name.
The user can move water, irrigate new fields, but the ultimate meaning is outside of what is sensible, in both senses of the word.
Cinematography, Film, Programming
Entry Stasis, 2014, Four C-prints, 32" x 17"
A thicket planted beside a parking lot as a prompt for a very basic narrative. Photograped over the course of 12 hours.
Ohne Das Haus
Screenings: 'Mythos Berlin', German Embassy in London. October 2012
In the spring of 2008, Berlin’s ever-pending renewal seems
particularly present at the northern end of Breitscheidplatz . This
film was shot in a building that overlooked both the jagged steeple of
the Gedenkniskirche and the vaulted shell of the stock exchange. The
building’s final inhabitant is an architect camping in his former
office. He lives in a strange deferral that seemed to me very
emblematic of Berlin time, when the brutalist structure known as
Schimmelfenghaus was slated to be leveled to make way for what was at
that time supposed to be Berlin's tallest building. Amid these
subjunctives it seemed appropriate to test out a plot: It concerns and
architecture whose designs are not fully inhabitable. As Ralph and
his business partner review the reasons for their bankruptcy they
refer back to Berlin's old asceticism, seemingly despite themselves.
In dem Haus, Ohne das Haus, 2008-2010.
Cast: Hannes Hellman, Rainer Strecker, Maike Moeller and Bernd Grawert.
Leaving Cycle (2014) HD 25/fps, stereo 5'07"
Second Camera: Nicola Brandt
Sound: David Shackleton
Production: Rebecca Roach
Gaffer: Adam Flint
The film consists of two different iterations of a script about departure set to varying gestures. The script was written to accommodate different physical activities that involved a degree of cooperation. The language is meant to adapt to the action, in a relationship that is parasitic or symbiotic by turns. The actual action on screen—knife throwing—never gets named.
A: You know, despite all my best intentions, I am only at my best--
B: You are fullest--
A--In that moment of departure
B: Solid and yet
Everything becomes a proxy. The loop of the action of throwing knives could pre-empt an algorithmic edit. The bodies are static while the words describe movement. Actors were asked to apply flat tones to their speech such that the primary emotion would come from the action.
Cinematography, Directing, Writing
Ralf and Götz
Ralf and Götz (2008), DV for projection, 25fps, stereo, 10'25"
Ralf: Hannes Hellmann
Götz: Bernd Grawert
Camera: Maurice Wilkerling
Sound: Ludwig Reuter
Two men layer their respective trips on each other. Each act is an expression of power that is met, sometimes with resistance but more often with an inversion. In a series of scenes about the act of directing, Ralf pushes Goetz further to the point where play once again becomes real.
Screenings: Hamburg International Short Film Festival, 2008
Cinematography, Directing, Writing
Sounding (2013-14), HD, 25fps, stereo, 4'32" / 10' 55"
In 2013 the whale skeletons in the Oxford Museum of Natural History were lowered from the roof where they had hung for 150 years. A team of conservators began a process of re-articulating the bones, creating more accurate versions or restorations of the whale's initial form.
The edit plays with the idea of restoration while taking on different registers.
Gargantua's Games (2012) Two C-prints 40 x 40cm, Framed and
Dual Channel HD for projection, 25/fps, Mono-mix, 5'47".
Exhibited at the Ashmolean Museum, May 2012
Screening. New Resident, 3 Connaught Close, London, April 2012
A balloon of data filled with gases ever-less-noble.
Here comes something like salience, but how to give it form?
The cloud is increasingly indifferent to names, it wants fingerprints. Wasn’t this always the projection, the deal?
The city, it seemed, could echo every sound contained within it, but with a delay, an uncoupling and then a release. Every sound was echoed an hour after the fact or its becoming. And then on the hour a digest was released—all that the city had heard before. Sometimes these sounds got children a free day from school, created babies or liquidated debts. The aural stasis was interrupted for only a moment, but every time, it seemed the most beautiful moment of the day.
Composite Tests (Retrieval)
Ensemble Forecasts II (Retrieval) (2014) In Progress
Doremifasolasido, Oct 2015, site of Kurt Schwitters' Merzbau.Lake District, UK See: www.merzbarn.net
This film uses a detection algorithm (An Upper Body Configuration Detector) trained to identify the arrangement of bodies on narrative TV. The program sets to work analysing non-narrative footage of a collection of antelope skulls at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. The animate and inanimate compete for the algorithm’s eyes. As skulls invite us to imagine what the animal once looked like, so the UBC attempts to retrieve something lost. The residual here is doubled: These are bones, but the program watching the action understands their function differently. Is there a non-anthropocentric mode of editing that can emerge between these two scientific ways of looking?
Cinematography, Directing, Film
A Social Script
Loop for projection
25/fps PAL. 23 min,
People begin to populated a room. At it center there is a single chair and a half deflated balloon. A game develops. As the room temperature rises, so rises the balloon. .
Part of a larger series of experiments in which very basic props are combine to invite a narrative. The space they create is then populated and a social logic begins to accumulate around the objects.
Screened at International Short Film Festival Dresden, 2009
OVADA Gallery Oxford, 2013
Music by Liz Mowforth
Cinematography, Directing, Lighting Design
Triangle for a Box
Triangle for a Box, Single Channel HD, 5’47”, 2014
This project looked at the latent normativity in detection algorithms and how they could, in turn, change an actor’s relationship to their performance. It built on what I learned from Leaving Cycle by conceptualizing gesture and language as separate tracks that can fall in and out of phase. This project was the first in which I used the Upper-body Configuration Detector. After learning how the program analysed images, I wrote a script to throw this process into relief.
The ‘triangle’ in the title refers to the rotating cast of characters around the table. The shoot became a study in projection, foregrounding a disconnect between these bodies and those in the dataset.
Cinematography, Directing, Writing
Ziggurat (2011) HD, 25fps, stereo, 10'31"
German, French and Slovak
In different languages people describe a man, or two men in a metro station. For some witnesses he was descending, for others ascending. The languages form a web that attempts to capture any B-roll the cut throws at it. In interviewing people I asked them to riff on the responses of the person who went before them, creating a collective projection.
Cinematography, Directing, Writing
Victory Over the Sun
Victory Over the Sun (2013), HD for projection, silent, 5'24"
Is there an app for the dialectic? An Iphone product release done in front of Malevich's 'Black Square'. Taking its title from the Russian Futurist opera, this is a propaganda film for a confused revolution. Figures resembling Lenin and Steve Jobs compete for control of meaning.
Art Direction, Photography, Photojournalism
After Graava (2015) 2'47", HD 240/fps. Silent, In Progress
A couple mirror each other in slow-motion. The future balances on bit rate.
Cinematography, Directing, Programming