for the Garry Clarkson workshop I want to focus on movement: movement of the camera, movement in front of the camera but also then how the editing moves the material.
I am using a simple performance structure around a small electricity transformer station I am working on the edge between village and woods.
I have been rolling out heavy tracing paper on its surface, keeping it for a couple of weeks and recording rain, wind, falling needles and some insects too. This is the second iteration of this process (a simple soft graphite rubbing, the moisture, drying and wind have pulled the middle of the two sheets apart).
The interest in the transformer is manifold. I started pulling myself up onto it and sitting down, feet dangling a while ago. The lift and the jump is an action that interests me — it’s a very modest parcour but fits around my interest in the body as drawing tool.
I often work with single shot video sequences, often found, often a static camera. The main clip is a simple attempt to narrate my POV movement up to the transformer, inspecting the tracing paper and then climbing on top and down again.
I have a supplementary last action: removing the soil my shoes left on top.
I play with two details of Bosch’s Garden to add a rupture, dislocation.
Development potential I currently see:
- I am also interested in keeping the portrait ratio (and not having it altered to landscape), I work with iMovie 10.4.16 (the latest on Mojave).
- Tightest of shots and viewpoints; use of slow/fast; focus and blur.
- I am excited by the uplift and the move down
- I have short sequences of insects on top of the tracing paper, unfortunately none with tripod which I feel it needs
- Collage/Montage as way of accentuating the performance of it (the Bosch stills are an attempt to do this but not systematically so).
(this clip is the outcome of 18 months trying to get the video clips in a PPT to transfer as videos in export to .mov in Powerpoint for Mac). I have some notes on the process, which I will use too.
But first: the most recent pecha kucha (no narration) from my materials. This one for a brief introduction to my research/body of work for a first hangout with other L3 people across different disciplines.
Over the past month I have experimented with taking foldings/moldings off some objects in the staircase: leaves and protrusions of the radiator along with some single folds of handrail, ironworks and some rubbings too of floor marks.
It follows the idea of indexicality and contact. But also a curiosity around memory and medium shift. What remains, what lingers, what gets lost. Effectively too: what is the thing about indexicality.
It is the most literal end of my interest in contact.
- folding the bannister into a sketchbook. i move along one stretch, leave a blank page between each.
- option a: fold back into the 2d space of the sketchbook as explored with a few single molds earlier
- option b: to preserve by dipping in hot wax, encasing the indexical link.
1. folding bannister into sketchbook
2. option a: fold back into the 2d space of the sketchbook:
3. option b: to preserve by dipping in hot wax
— I decide, after a few tests of dipping the sketchbook pages to dip each of the folded pages into melted beeswax for the entirety of the book:
The resulting object is explored and a little discussed in this video:
There are a series of significant things in here:
The dip/not dip process is messy and leaves the interspersed blank pages as messy. I think they will need to be removed/ altered for the object to work as object.
The process (both stages: initial fold, then dipping) is useful and works: it is performative and works across a whole range of senses: sounds, touch, smell and movement, as well as performative presence.
As part of my test, before proceeding with the whole sketchbook, I dip an empty page of my current sketchbook, then proceed to write in it. It almost seems that this process/ transformation is more significant still:
I also accidentally, and to my horror, create another encased object: my phone fell into the tub with the hot wax. I retrieve and recover. It curiously records part of the rescue. I post this video in a separate post.
i make this (and die a little much)
(i have to mention it has #audio)
Both this and the satellite of love keep circling back to me. I’d better listen and give it a cliche of an uplift.
— it’s a working title, and it is the continuation of my earlier post (and research) on absence, walking into the verge, small performances.
These happened on the day of my departure. They are planned differently (like me walking on my own across some of the fallen walnuts. My dad comes and offers assistance. I don’t refuse and a series of explorations on drawing/contact ensue:
I presented a short cut through the site/moving-with question to the art&environment group on Wednesday evening. For it, I had edited in iMovie+Powerpoint the set up to show the three pieces from the pavement walk in Kozani on one page.
— It was rough but functional. I knew that iMovie doesn’t allow a three-way split screen, and Powerpoint for Mac doesn’t allow to export as video slides with embedded video. So I finally opened the Premiere Pro and figured out how to split a screen and a few hours later, this is a more than functional sketch.
The audio is surprisingly generous of both clips and works well, also in interaction between them. I edited the ending a few times and this works for me at the moment.
I will review a bit further as to balance between the freedom of moving and the structural constraint.
this is the centre slide from the presentation of the line. I want to record the whole presentation again but haven’t got it finalised yet.
— I am trying different forms of editing voice and video at the moment; this is a direct recording and then export within powerpoint (current version for Mac), it does some things quite well, it doesn’t record any audio across transitions, and it also seems to show that there is audio on the slide (the symbol on the bottom right). Yet: the synchronisation is straightforward (before I would record audio separately and combine files in iMovie).
— move, lock, pause. move, lock pause. it rotates around the axis of the split screen (but not quite); the camera is fairly static but still hand-held, I suspect. Twice, or three times the screen goes black except for the split and some colour cast, the monochrome and colour side switch. for at least one of the sequences, the camera is further away. the screen is suspended, like all others, from the ceiling, has some leaves wound around the suspension leads. to the right you see part of the large projection across the far narrow end of the room.
this is the zine (now as a revised analogue/digital edition with hand-colouring) about the imposter. it acquired an imperceptible design flaw in the file and only revealed itself half-way through my introductory performance on Saturday.
today i played with pullprint to make it purposeful. i had layered and moved about the initial document as part of the construction in any case, so the extra layer is a useful commentary on my imposter’s perfectionism and how she reveals herself in public:
10 hrs ·
i watched two films which were quite different about love. Europe, she loves and Take this Waltz.
Both work in the transitions. Both are harsh on romantic love. Take this Waltz is a little bit too much early morning light meets ditzy Michelle, and yet, I love the cuts, the lingering. It has one of the nicest scenes of desire in a cafe I have watched in a long time. And then this: Music kills the radio star on my favourite fairground attraction. Then the lights go on. It closes with her going there again, by herself, in the end. Europe, she loves ends with the woman from Seville driving towards France, the one from Thessaloniki going to Italy.
Europe, she loves in full length here:
<< both are flawed in different ways; Europe is too leery I find: both on the women’s bodies but also on the centre (a German filmmaker) watching the poor periphery; and, I really dislike Seth Rogen, the tweeness of their couple desires. Yet: keeping hold of the transitions. Take this Waltz has good lines to this effect: Margot talking about her niece as a newborn sometimes, possibly just stepping into the same inexplicable melancholy that she also falls into once in a while; her sister, drunkenly, much later calling her out on: lives just have gaps, that is just what is, but it doesn’t mean you should go about filling them.
Mubi has the habit of hitting play when I open the computer again, so I tend to head the closing credits from the night before early in the morning. I read on a little more and this is a nice write-up of what is good about Take this Waltz: it is ordinary about what we keep with ourselves when we move on, who we remain, what we seeks. https://mubi.com/…/take-this-waltz-then-move-on…
— this describes the opening scene, and we only discover right throughout at the end who the man is that walks by (but, we could have known: it is Seth who cooks in in her first home, not her).
Sarah Polley’s most pronounced statement in regard to this uncouthness is the scene at the beginning and ending of the film. Margot is cooking at a stove (echoes of her husband) in her new apartment and she sits down in front of it and stares about, while she wonders, thinks, regrets?—we don’t know—just as Daniel (the one she leaves her husband for)wanders in, unfocused, and stares out the kitchen window, though at the end she eventually goes and hugs him, from behind. How can we understand love, loss, need, and other feelings? The images of an actress silently displaying a mix of feelings is the statement, which might only be a catch-22 leading to the cliché, life is hard.
… Wiki writes about her regretting leaving Lou/Seth — she might, but what happens in the last 10 minutes is a time forward piece that moves her and Daniel into a place similar to where she and Lou were, and thus demarcates a lack/ a loss/ a need unfulfilled (that then gets called out by her sister in the scene I mention above).
this is the early scene that tells us that it is about ‘missing connections’, it is a sweet unpicking of one’s own curious anxiety of ‘inbetweens’; Daniel later tells her he may have the same, his conclusion is to move away a few days later:
Gesa Helms added a post to the album close/open.
[this is from two edited FB posts]
19 mins ·
— Mysterious Skin (2004, dir. Gregg Araki) was entirely different to what i thought it was going to be: i thought it was going to be queer teenage angst and a bit of road kill (i obviously went with the upbeat film poster).
there is some incredible stuff contained in it, and in the narration of things. it is on the surface strictly chronological: the events are dated; there are two narrative voices, each clearly distinct from the other.
i don’t quite know how: maybe my own events in front of the screen account for my utter disorientation (i started watching over dinner, then paused to talk with A, then resumed) but i had no clue that Neil and Brian were at the same event. i also did not realise how Brian came to sit in his house’s basement with a nosebleed.
it was only when Brian went to meet the girl in a neighbouring town from TV who had more than 20 alien abductions, that i realised that maybe all alien abductions were trauma phantasmagorias of people being sexually abused. — in her case it was surely the father looming in the background.
the way the story splits apart from the event, or even how the event is disjointed already is incredible. it sets up two of the known and distinct responses to severe sexual trauma: one, where the abuse is enframed in a groomed relationships that marks the child as special, the story is told of an 8-year old boy who tells himself that he pursued the coach, was in love (sexually), and lost, after that summer, the biggest love of his life. we see in memory only his memories of joy, laughter and curiosity. it is only when Brian seeks out the boy from his dreams of alien abduction and the missing five hours that summer night that we see a photo of the minor league team of that year and a deeply deeply unhappy and withdrawn Neil, whom we hadn’t seen in his own memory narrations at all.
— the violence that enters Brian and Neil’s lives is entirely differently articulated: Neil becomes a prostitute from age 15 onwards in small town Kansas in the mid-1980s, the physical abuse he obtains by some of this punters doesn’t register until his friends point to the bruises on his body, genitals. For Brian it is nosebleeds and blackouts, a father ashamed of his weak son and a barely functioning self that makes it into early adulthood.
it is Neil’s friend Eric, left devastated by Neil’s departure to NYC, who then meets and befriends Brian. Eric found one night, when returning the pot Neil had offered (along with some VHS porn if he wanted to jerk off), the audio tapes the coach had made of Neil and him and understands. He also points to the baseball shoes that the aliens in Brian’s drawings wear. Brian has no clue but persists and insists, becomes slowly of this world, and then meets on Christmas Eve Neil. Neil takes him to the house, shows him places and begins to tell the story. it is no longer a story of infatuation of the event when the game was called off due to rain, Brian’s mother and father didn’t pick him up ,but instead the coach took him to his house with Neil.
This is one of the most astoundingly told stories of childhood sexual abuse. It is in the splitting of event and narratives, of agency and of unknowing that is so incredibly well done.
As the two boys never meet until the last scene, the impact of that abuse on both unfolds along two distinct trajectories.
How these are brought together and held in the final scene is incredible. For once the youtube comments are astounding. I am not sure I can watch the closing scene again but I want to watch the beginning again: how Gregg Araki allows the event to rupture narration, integrity of self for the two young boys and us watching.
The film is incredible as to how dissociation works, how ruptures emerge in narrative and memory, how support structures move into place to facilitate living on, how the noise in the background is never quite right, how easy it is to miss the noise though as what else could there be. It is that which moves me in the film and which is wonderfully captured and retold, held, shown.
I will never look at stories of alien abduction in quite the same light.
There is something incredibly inspiring in this movie: in being able to work with such material and to do so so tenderly and unflinching at the same time.
Gesa Helms (Christmas Eve 1991) is the clip with the final scene. — one of the boys believes he was abducted by aliens, and then he makes a friend and it becomes of this world. The final camera and narration is stunning, i almost didn’t make it though.Edit or delete this
Gesa Helms that scene is amazing in terms of the relationship between these two young men who had not met in ten years; the knowing and the courage and the tenderness that plays out in that living room (while both of them had told themselves entirely different stories of that summer when they were 8) is so well done. and then there are carol singers at the front door of this strange house, they start to sing and the camera moves further and further up above that sofa lit with a single light source, where the one with a black hole instead of a heart comforts the alien abductee.Edit or delete this
i found a working colour scheme for the corridor, took some photos (vivid warm in Photos) and printed them on cheap glossy, cut and rearranged: part of it wants to be fixed, orderly positioned; other parts need something else. here some views:
— earlier, I had posted this note on FB about vivid warm (other space):
Gesa Helms i think there may be more in this corner and with vivid warm. i would have never considered ‘vivid warm’ as the filter that would do it. i have been trying for over 18 months and this is it. the weirdly side-stepped mind of contract end minus two and C noting down a +30 offers this and makes me quite ecstatic, not that i need any more of the latter in any case. looking forward to meandering with these for a little.Edit or delete this
- the synchro in narrative
- the outer frame
- the moments when you wonder if this really is the song they danced to
- what song did they dance to
- they stop before the song fades out
- i tap my feet, did the person who put this together did so too
i use gifs a lot as commentary in private messages and on FB; i have made a couple myself too but never spent much time with their production.
this is from one of the blog’s i follow (and which links back to a lot of the new narrative writing that i have been reading for some time).
dennis cooper’s blog post today features ‘young love takes shape, a gif story (for zac)’ — while i use gifs clearly in a dialogical, commentary form: as response, tangent, emphasis to an earlier conversation, i have never considered telling whole stories through it. this makes this form really interesting to me: they are also paired, then a blank space, occassionally there are three in a row. so while there is a temporal unfolding, the animation also is to be viewed concurrently (like a two-channel projection almost).
Cooper has published a number of these, through the small French publishing house kiddiepunk, and they are available online or are downloadable. Of the first one, Zac’s Control Panel, the description reads
“Zac’s Control Panel” is a collection of famed experimental author Dennis Cooper’s short, transmutational works employing and ‘misplacing’ animated gifs. As in his highly acclaimed and popular novel “Zac’s Haunted House”, Cooper uses the gif as a language-like material to reposition, in the case of these new works, forms considered literary (the short story, flash fiction, the poem) and nondenominational (the documentary, the reenactment) into complex, poetic, claptrap visual literary mediums.http://www.kiddiepunk.com/zacs_control_panel.htm