this reminds me of something…

… warping a loomūüėÄ

static and silence #2 | work in progress

this lightbox project is really testing my textile skills. how to combine large quantities of moving picture¬†film (often with a mind of its own) into a¬†coherent¬†fabric, a single piece.¬†the same issue applies to my combination of imagery and sources. i’m trying to completely flatten those seamlines between one and the next. quilting also comes to mind…

the first piece in the series Рstatic & silence Рis too fragmented to my mind. i was mostly doing this to avoid leaning too heavily on a single source for my 35mm materials. but there are ways Рthrough placement and colour choices Рthat i can tie disparate sources together, intermesh them effectively.

static & silence #1 | 2016
static & silence #1 | 2016

#2 is currently relaxing under a pile of hefty books. i’ve cleaned the 16mm film¬†but much of it’s buckled where it’s sat on a spool wound slightly askew. i’ve no way of telling how much or easily i can unkink it, but i forsee a world of pain getting this thing assembled…

having selected source material relevant to my overarching project (getting to mars, more of which another time…) i’m trying to focus in on the visual qualities of the print as the main thing; the geometry and lines, the colour and shade, how they play against each other as i assemble on the wing.

the editing process is reassuringly time-consuming ;)¬†for 35mm i have a set of wonky eastern european rewinds and a large led light panel, but my 16mm editing is all done by literally winding reels by hand over a small light panel. all the film passes me by pretty slowly, i have a chance to notice¬†something beautiful in a random shot. my filing system for cuttings is already creaking at the seamsūüėÄ

16mm reel and small lightbox
16mm reel and small lightbox

the name of the project comes from a song by the sundays that captures for me the real romance and wonder of space travel :)

project 8 outline

this project is a development of my use of redundant¬†film stock (microfiche, 35mm).¬†in these previous pieces i’ve used the film¬†in static light boxes, exploring layering and colour, and playing on varying scales.¬†more here.

lightbox #1 | 2016

my most recent commercial work takes a mixture of 35mm and 16mm film, again for static display on light boxes. through¬†editing, manipulation and assembly¬†i abstract elements of the source material, creating original works very much inspired by my textiles background. during this process i’m¬†exploring and exploiting qualities of the¬†film as a strip of high resolution¬†still images – as texture and shade; ribbon or thread – rather than as moving image film.

i have a lifelong interest in analogue photography Р35mm, medium format, instant films, darkroom developing and printing. i have a strong affinity for film as a medium in itself, rather than simply a means of reproduction, an intermediary step on the way to a final print or projection. much of my work incorporates lighting in some way and the two pair up beautifully.

cyanotype cube | 2015
cyanotype cube, with responsive led lighting | 2015

as a book artist i work most often with found text, and i find the intertitles and subtitles of silent films a fascinating resource.

shared of atlantis | 8mm
shared of atlantis | 8mm

having acquired a hand-cranked editor for viewing super- and standard-8mm films i was immediately intrigued by the simple yet elegant mechanism, with echoes of my previous work with sunshine, lenses and gears. more here and here.

slow¬†turning of the handle approximates¬†turning the pages of a book, and i’m intrigued that the viewer is¬†in charge of their experience of the film – winding fast or slow, forward or reverse, at will. my work often explores defunct technologies and the fact that even high-quality editors sell for only a few pounds second hand reflects the decline in analogue film-making.

my intention is to produce a film-book, not designed for projection but for viewing on an editor. using excerpted and manipulated film stock, printed text and direct animation, it will amount to more than a simple collage. the emphasis is very much on the film-book as a unique, hand-constructed piece, not for reproduction. the active part taken by the viewer provides a perspective more akin to that of the film-maker than the passive audience; an intimacy with the fabric of the film-book itself

the project is still in the experimental phase, including text:

and direct animation: