This Friday and Saturday, every hour from 11 till 5, Re-Dock presents:
A Small Cinema in WIDNES!
For the first time since 1983, Widnes will have it’s own movie theatre.
A family-friendly short film event in the guise of a traditional cinema experience.
A temporary picture-house installation in a small shop in Widnes town centre.
Each show lasts just over half an hour.
Kid’s Matinée – 11 and 12 o’clock
Classic cartoons and new shorts for kids. All adults must be accompanied by a child!
Eye Widnes – 2 and 3 o’clock
Archive films, new animations, familiar faces – Widnes as you’ve never seen it before.
Featuring new work by Owain Bentley and Tim Brunsden
Scrambled Eggs – 4 and 5 o’clock
An eclectic selection of bizarre short films for an Easter Saturday at the movies.
advertisements for local shops!
local memories of cinema!
classic trailers for films you love!
Local heroes – films by local film-makers!
Ushers to show you to your seat!
popcorn and ice-cream!
64 Albert Road, Widnes
(just next to Barclays bank, opposite the Imperial pub)
As I entered my teens, my mum would often say to me “you don’t always need to go to Huddersfield via Barnsley”. She was doing this as a way of warning me about over-thinking things – often to do with girls, but also in relation to work. Whilst I haven’t literally been via Barnsley since taking my girlfriend to see Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ at the cinema there in 1999, I have repeatedly managed to over-complicate things, whether that be in search of romance, or on the quest for the ultimate (and self conscious) creative endeavour (indulgence).
Even as I’m writing this I’m jumping between paragraphs, adding a bit here, moving something else there. I’ve already written the end, and made notes for the next bit. Whilst that’s not necessarily the same as overcomplicating things, it says something of how the mind likes to jump around when being creative.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like to go the long way round because it helps you make the kinds of connections, associations and leaps of imagination that you couldn’t have gotten any other way. There, I’ve said it. We can all go home now. But in fact it’s taken me writing every other paragraph preceding and following this one, before I could boil it down to that.
In his book ‘The Element’, Ken Robinson discusses how humans, unlike animals, seem unable to just ‘get on with it’. We have to have ideas about things, and wonder what the meaning of it all is. Everything becomes re-made, re-imagined, re-interpreted. “C’est ne pa une pipe” – Magritte’s work highlights how our fluid our perception and projection of the world is, and ultimately how we love to question it all. The mind can get lost in these ideas and all too easily bend back upon itself. My mother on the other hand is a Yorkshire woman of mining heritage, and though an extremely sensitive, open minded and creative woman herself, knows when to call a spade a spade. “C’est une cosse”.
Maybe it’s my footballing heritage that is to blame. Despite being born and raised in Huddersfield, I and my brothers were raised as Gooners (my dad’s family came from North London). Arsenal Football Club have been transformed under the tenure of Arsene Wenger from “boring, boring Arsenal” to the Barcelona of North London. Their creative style of play – one touch passing around the team – is a joy to watch, except when you’re an Arsenal fan and you would rather see a result than a sexy build up leading to nothing in the final quarter. My friend used to wear a t-shirt with a Nietzsche quote that said “My idea of paradise is a straight line to goal”. Arsene Wenger clearly has his own philosophy, and Arsenal seem to have a quest for the perfect goal at times rather than the easy goal, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to change them.
I like making connections and having weird ideas on the way to a solution – that is my mind doing its ‘total football’ thing. Finding those dead ends and secret passageways. It is both a skill and an expression of myself, however, applied to all areas of life all the time, then it does cause problems. The imagination is a wild dog and it will drag you where it wants. Sometimes you have to let the dog off the leash.
I know my mum is right about not taking the scenic route all the time, but at the same time it’s just the way I like to do it. Oddly enough, the last time I saw Arsenal play was when they came to Huddersfield for a pre-season friendly last year, and they didn’t travel via Barnsley. Nor did they play as such – they fielded and team of youngsters and won 2-0. They’ll learn.
I was asked to create a piece of “artwork”, and whilst ultimately this is a just simple sting for a festival, the openness of that brief allowed me to explore my practice of using live layered feedback to create much more organic forms and movements. It may not look so slick, but its an achievement for me personally as I’m not a motion graphics designer. Instead of using After Effects or Motion (which scare me I’m ashamed to admit) I used the tools I do know: live camera feedback and Isadora.
The theme of Framing Motion was an interesting one for me to play with, as it is about the context in which movement occurs. With this video i tried to merge the movement and its context through the use of a feedback loop, in which the ‘frame’ of the image is a central visual element rather than a peripheral one.
This is not a straight forward feedback loop either – I was able to isolate changes in the image (‘difference’) and re-inject these back into the animation, but with changing tints. So what we see are essentially the movements between frames, rather than the direct content of the frames. The things we see are the things we can’t see. Apologies I’m babbling.
The sound, a track called ‘Palindromes’, was by my good friend and sonic structuralist Amos. As the name implies, the track is structured so it sounds the same forwards as backwards. This encouraged me to make both an intro and an outro video sting, but I’ve only put the intro one up here.
Anyway, cheers to Gala at Moves for giving me a stab at this. Thankyou to Tom for the excellent music. Will hopefully be creating some live VJ mixes during the festival alongside Tristan “TV Lux” Brady-Jacobs. Be sure to come and enjoy!
I’m currently providing some reactive AV for a project working with kids across two schools in Chester. Every week I set my stuff up and the kids develop a performance with dancers and musicians whilst I provide reactive projections.
This week though I was given an assistant, a little girl called Kirsty. I gave her the job of activating switches an changing colours. I simply gave her the korg nano pad with red green blue and yellow stickers on the pads, and let her change in time with the performers.
It worked well because whilst I had some fancy patches going on in Isadora and lots of great tech all cabled together, the key changes could be controlled via this very simple interface. So, with a little introduction, Kirsty was able to guide us through the show with flying colours.
Artist Thomas Shephard gives a performance exploring public / private space in the city centre. ‘Walking Tour of Liverpool One’ navigates the public circumference of the privately owned Liverpool One shopping development. I was interested to document Thomas’ take on this issue, having already done some work in relation to Liverpool One, both in theThe Model CityandMake Your Own Liverpool projects. I will also be working one a project later this year researching the history of the site prior to it’s re-development.
“Walking Tour of Liverpool One’ was performed as part of the Bluecoats ‘View From the Grassy Knoll’ event on 27th Feb 2010. An unedited video of the full 20 minute walk can be seen here.
A further experiment in colourful reactive percussion, this time using these beautiful handbells. The isadora patch uses the eyes actor to track movement in a specific area of the camera in order to trigger each bell. Eventually it will be triggered by kids jumping up an down.
A visual mix of selected video works over the last five years. I decided to take stock of my work as part of an application for a residency at the North West Film Archive as part of AND. Fingers crossed.
0. Intro 1. Insane Mind 2. Human Grace 3. Electronica / Experiments in the revival of organisms 4. Angry boy 5. Noise Clouds 6. A Long Journey 7. LOVE 8. Symphony of Bells 9. The Model City 10. The Huge Entity
All material used is either produced by myself or taken from archive.org and used under the Creative Commons license.
‘Kinetic Fallacy – Audiovision’ – music by Kinetic Fallacy (Hannah Peel and Emma Welsby)
‘Insane Mind’ – footage from ‘Nosferatu’ ‘Human Grace’ – Footage from ‘Olympia’. ‘Electronica / Experiments in the revival of organisms’ footage from ‘Experiments in the revival of organisms’ ‘AngryBoy’ – footage from ‘Emotions of Everyday Living’ and ‘Angry Boy’ ‘Noise Clouds’ – video by Steve Clarkson.
A Long Journey – Sounds by Amos. Videos by Sam Meech / Pete Bamford. Mix by Sam Meech
‘Love’ – recordings and colours by Sam Meech, sounds by Amos.
‘Symphony of Bells’ – filmed by Tim Brunsden, Steve Clarkson, Markus Soukup, Sam Meech. Edited by steve Clarkson.
A small playful AV experiment: A video glockenspiel adapted for interaction using Isadora. Notes can be triggered by key numbers 1-8, by midi triggers, or even just moving in-front of a webcam. Notes can be played singlularly or all at once.