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14 Nov

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Artists and Archive Film Screening – THE GREAT FLOOD – plus NOAH’S ARK

November 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

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)

tickets £5

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.

great flood

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.

7_noahsarchivescreenshot08boatweb

09 Apr

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Noah’s Ark lands online

April 9, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

7_noahsarchivescreenshot02birdweb

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!).

24 Apr

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Deep Repository

April 24, 2013 | By | No Comments

The Deep Repository Module is an attempt to design a solution for a final resting place for digital media. An archive for the post-apocalyptic landscape. The concrete module may contain master formats (eg dv tapes, hard drives) securely insulated and encased, whilst associated documents other formats are stored on a read only SD card, accessible via the waterproof usb adaptor. The work was developed as part of a residency at Florence Mine, Egremont. The title is a reference to a proposed method of storing nuclear waste at nearby Sellafield in Cumbria.

19 Jan

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new materials: concrete

January 19, 2013 | By | No Comments


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