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05 Jun

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Screening Film site

June 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

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www.screeningfilm.com is finally live.

Screening Film is a free tool for audiences and exhibitors to find and promote film events. For more info follow us at @screeningfilm

Screening Film is a project by Sam Meech (Re-Dock) in collaboration with Interconnect IT. Screening Film ver 1.1 has been made possible thanks to the support of the LJMU Enterprise team ‘DO IT award’.

 

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ABOUT THE SITE

The site aims to provide audiences with an overview of the diverse film-making and screening culture that exists in their area, and give profile and promotion to all forms of independent film-exhibition, from grass roots events to established cinemas. Screening Film is democratic platform for promoters, organisations and venues – networking independent film screening culture in the UK and making the ecology visible for all.

If you are an independent exhibitor, you can post your film events (simply register an account) and put your screening on the map. Exhibitors include established independent cinemas, film clubs and co-ops, alternative screening events, festivals, libraries, universities, artist spaces and more.

www.screeningfilm.com

The Screening Film project has evolved from my interest in cinema ecology and models of film exhibition. Whereas in the past I have tried to create screening spaces through the Small Cinema project, with the Screening Film website I am attempting to provide a tool for mapping the film culture that already exists in communities across the UK.

 

09 Apr

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Noah’s Ark lands online

April 9, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

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My film Noah’s Ark is finally online. It’s taken 3 years, but you can now see the film, kindly hosted by North West Film Archive, and shared both on this site, and on the project website. The film was made as part of a residency at NWFA in 2010 set up by Abandon Normal Devices, and features the contributions of Nathan Jones (text) and Carl Brown (music)

Why has it taken so long?

The film is made up of over 70 separate sources which each had to be cleared for use. All were cleared completely fine, apart from one clip (90 seconds) of the Manchester Museum, the rights of which were held by Granada, who had conditions on its use. This section appears before the main film. but it is one of my favourite parts. It features a poem about the Dodo by TS Elliot, as well as shots of the animal exhibits in the museum, and a Museum staff member who provides a cautionary tale about preservation.

I managed to negotiate an exhibition license for screening the clip, at a cost of £350. Sadly the cost of extending that license to dvd and web was prohibitive (£1400). Because of this I have not been able since to share the film as a whole online. Prompted by the release of Aronofsky’s blockbuster version,  I’ve finally bit the bullet and edited Noah’s Ark – cutting that fantastic prologue out of the film in order to share the work. It’s a sad thing, but necessary. When a knot can’t be untied you must cut it off. Hopefully it doesnt impact too much on the enjoyment of the film – the images, text and sound are all extremely rich, and of course, you already know the story.

If there is one overriding message from my film, it is that often in order to preserve something we are forced to make choices about what must be lost. It is difficult, but hopefully those choices force us to reassess what is important, and those things we save will form the foundations of our future stories.

Hopefully the full version, reinstated with dodos, will be screened again properly at a later date (please contact me if you would be interested to do so!).

08 Apr

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Through His Teeth – rehearsal images

April 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

The second of the show I’m currently working as video designer for is Through His Teeth at the Royal Opera House in London. Again the story is loosely based on Faust – read about  ‘The Crackle’ here, and both shows use designer Becs Andrews’s amazing forced perspective set.

Through His Teeth is directed by Bijan Shebani and tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a conman, and is drawn into his fantasy world of secret service operatives and high living. As a cost she loses her money, her family and her mind, becoming increasingly paranoid that their every move is being watched by secret agents. Remarkably it is based on a true story.

For the show I have decided to use live cctv cameras rigged around the set, to create a constant feeling of being watched. I switch between the 8 separate feeds, whilst also mixing in some pre-prepared location footage (shot as if on cctv) and replaying moments captured onstage from previous scenes. This is done using a number of tools, including cctv camera sna cabling, a video multiplexer and a switcher, two digitisers and Isadora, The result is a very raw video collage of real live action, replayed memory and locative ‘other’ spaces that provide a really interesting background texture to the performers and the story.

read a review here

below are some images from the rehearsal process.

see the full set on Flickr

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08 Apr

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The Crackle – rehearsal images

April 8, 2014 | By | No Comments


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web_crackle_02-08

I’m currently video designer on two shows at the Royal Opera House in London, both loosely based on Faust. One of those shows is ‘The Crackle‘, by Matthew Herbert, an artist renowned for his work with live and recorded sound, and exploratory technology in a performance setting. It’s a very brave piece, expanding the context of opera to include live foley artists, reactive video projection, spatial sound mixing, unrestrained audience participation via a sonic barcoding app (Chrip), and a huge mechanical instrument called ‘The Dervish’ by MIT genius Andy Cavatorta.  Oh, and 47 children. It’s no small feat. It’s all contained within an amazing forced perspective set by designer Becs Andrews.

The show twists the Faustian story to present a cautionary tale about the possibilities and traps of working with digital media. I’ve been basing my designs around an 8-bit inspired aesthetic – running bespoke animation modules and prepared video through simple effects to give the images a very glitchy playful bitmap feel to them. It’s actually not a million miles away from my knitting work. As always I’m using Isadora, allowing me to utilise live cameras to generate imagery from movement onstage, and also to create some interesting  and dynamic compositing and displacement effects. I’ve also managed to sneak a few punchcard designs in there.

below are some images from the rehearsal process.

see the full set on Flickr

04 Mar

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Digital Knitted Football Scarf – pics

March 4, 2014 | By | No Comments


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web_nfmKnit-18

A couple of weeks ago I was at the National Football Museum working with families there to design and knit a very long customised football scarf. The scarf featured 24 stitch pixel designs alongside webcam snaps of the designers themselves.

I’ve put a few posts up on the Knitting Digital site that give an overview of the workshop, the designs created, and the final piece:

Digital Football Scarf – Designs

Workshop images – knitting the scarf

Final Scarf – photos

02 Feb

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Knitted Digital Football Scarf @ National Football Museum – 17th Feb

February 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

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Bringing the knitting to the National Football Museum on 17th February – come along and add your designs to the über scarf. blurb below.

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This February Half Term, the National Football Museum are running a series of fantastic, hands-on art activities for young visitors, as part of our ‘Out Of Play’ programme or art, technology and learning.

This Monday, join artist Sam Meech and knitting blackbelt Iris Cooper with their remarkable digital knitting project.

Experiment with pixel art, get hands on with machine knitting, and help us to create a super-long knitted football scarf for the museum.

From a process of drawing to pixel design, before getting hands on with a hacked electronic knitting machine . You’ll be able to take home your pixel artwork design as well as seeing it translated into knitting as part of the final scarf!

02 Feb

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KNITRONICA at the Whitworth Pubcrawl – 23rd Feb

February 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

An interesting event coming up – a live experiment in a Manchester music venue working with knitting and sound. In truth I’ve not ironed out the finer details of how exactly this will work, but I have faith we should be able to generate some interesting forms, both sonic and textile. I’m delighted as well to be joined by designer Marie Young who is looking at parallels between knitting and the Tenori-on. The event is part of the Whitworth Art Gallery Pub Crawl – a series of arts events in unusual spaces across manchester. The programme launches tonight.

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Sunday 23rd Feb at Big Hands Manchester , 1pm – 7pm

KNITRONICA

A textiles experiment working with live music, sampled sound and knitting machines. A unique ‘band’ comprised of Tenori-on, a macbook, a hacked Brother 950i knitting machine, and possibly a couple of other music making devices, producing cross-over sounds and stitches. Exploring the parallels between punchcards and musical structures, electronic sequencing and the knitted digital image.

 

A collaboration by:

Sam Meech
Marie Young
Iris Cooper

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02 Feb

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Screening – Film Material Soup #09 – 15th Feb

February 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

Film-maker and friend Chris Daniels is currently doing a residency at the Newbridge Project in Newcastle. As part of this, he will be showing a selection of films by the Film Material Soup collective. My film Noah’s Ark (TBC) will be part of the programme. Once again, I’m in some fine company.

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Film Material Soup #9
‏The Newbridge Project,  12 New Bridge St West,  Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW.
‏17:00 – 19:30 on Saturday 15th February

‏Join us for a free screening of recent works by members of Film Material Soup – an informal collective of Artists working with experimental film, photography, light and video based in Manchester.

Screening as part of Chris Paul Daniels’ residency at the NewBridge Project as part of the Connect/Exchange programme supported by Northern Film + Media this screening has been programmed by Daniels in relation to works that link thematically to his research into ideas of presence, location and identity.

‏Screenings of work on film and video by:
‏Jenny Baines
‏Kelvin Brown
‏Joanna Byrne
‏Annie Carpenter
‏Chris Paul Daniels
‏Joe Duffy
‏Dave Griffiths
‏Ben Gwilliam
‏Jenny Holt
‏Nick Jordan
‏Dave Lynch
‏Sam Meech
‏Mary Stark
‏OKO

08 Jan

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Knitted Horse Firework

January 8, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Knitted Horse Firework

A knitted animation loop, created for the Crystallize show in  November 2013.  Eadward Muubridge’s Horse in Motion is codec-wrecked with firework.

28 stitches x 4878 rows

(272 frames, 11 seconds duration, 13 metres length).

Developed as part of the Knitting Digital research project.