The Punchcard Economy project and banner is part of the Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. The show was launched as the guest exhibition as part of Transmediale 2015, where I also was able to do a machine knitting workshop exploring some the methods and concepts behind the banner. The show also features work by Tuur Van Balen & Revital Cohen, Ellie Harrison, Tehching Hsieh and Oliver Walker.
Thursday 11th December 7pm – 9pm
in the Living World Gallery at Manchester Museum
Artists and Archive Film Screening featuring THE GREAT FLOOD and NOAH’S ARK
with live poetic narration from Nathan Jones (Mercy)
Manchester Museum in association with Bigger Picture Film Festival present a programme of artist films using archive footage and live performance.
THE GREAT FLOOD (Bill Morrison, 2013, 78 minutes)
The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its banks in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles to a depth of up to 30 feet. Part of it enduring legacy was the mass exodus of displaced sharecroppers. Musically, the “Great Migration” of rural southern blacks to Northern cities saw the Delta Blues electrified and reinterpreted as the Chicago Blues, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock and Roll. Filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer / guitarist Bill Frisell have created a powerful portrait of a seminal moment in American history through a collection of silent images matched to a searing original soundtrack.
NOAH’S ARK(Sam Meech, 2010, 23 mins)
Commissioned as part of a residency at the North West Film Archive for AND Festival, Noah’s Ark uses only films from the archive collection to retell this classic tale of preservation. The film relocates the story to the North West – with Noah and his congregation based in a church in Hulme, the animals in Belle Vue Zoo, and Mount Ararat now a seaside town near Blackpool. The film will be presented in the Living Worlds gallery (which also features in the piece) with a live performance from poet Nathan Jones of Mercy.
This is the first proper manifestation of an idea that’s been rattling around me head for 4/5 years, and that I began to prototype recently at Digital Media Labs in Barrow.
Video Culture 1.1 presents recordings of several experiments using live systems to ‘grow’ video feedback. Using a combination of lasers and colour tracking systems, the artist has cultivated 3 independent but competing strands of analogue video feedback, allowing them to evolve before our eyes. These feedback experiments have been modelled on the geometry of the facade of the Art Academy of Latvia, with the final recordings projected back on to the building itself.
The show opens on 21st June and runs till 2oth July.
As with the ODI show, the venue is again too small to showacse the full banner, however, an ‘8 Hours Labour‘ sample banner containing the same dataset has been knitted especially for the Brighton venue.
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’.
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.
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.
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!).
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.