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Binary Form - U.K. - 2009 - mini DV - 2'10"

Created by: Chirstinn Whyte and Jake Messenger


Binary Form: Film of the Month, MiShorts, November 09

Reviewer: Jay Richardson

A strikingly original dance film in which discernible human movement gradually emerges from a scrolling, ostensibly systematic input of 0s and /s as Binary Form captures the organic in the mechanical, the sweeping physical expressions of a dancer the ghost in its monochrome-printing machine. Like a Magic Eye puzzle, the hypnotic sequence of improvised gestures, translated into binary digits and then animated frame by frame, takes time to mentally configure and demands repeat viewings. Although indivisible at the point of reception, there are nevertheless three distinct technological eras evoked and in synthesis: the timeless movement of the dancer, the mechanical whirr and keyboard clatter of early computer programming and the contemporary animation software that renders the film possible.

Created by Shiftwork, a collaborative partnership between dancer Chirstinn Whyte and digital artist Jake Messenger, this film recalls the pair’s capering human figure of letters and symbols in their earlier Textfield, available in the MiShorts library alongside Splice and Flicker. In isolation and as a body of work, these brief, elliptical films suggest a refusal to acknowledge conventional boundaries of form and a wide spectrum of potential development for Shiftwork’s future productions.


Binary Form featured in Videodanse/Body Cinema blog, January 2013


to view Binary Form click here

Created in January 2009 using footage filmed in Cambridge in November 2004. The piece makes use of short sequences of improvised movement translated into binary form, with each frame animated by means of sequence replicators using the program Motion.


Xontakt Selection, Croatia

Portobello Film Festival, London
The International Video Dance Festival of Burgundy, touring programme, Lyon

Where's The Choreography?, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds
The International Video Dance Festival of Burgundy, touring project, Hong Kong
Périscope screening at FIDEC, Huy, Belgium
Flux, Flow, Flight: Art in Motion, London
Périscope #3, Brussels
Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema Touring Program, San Antonio, Texas

DANCE:FILM Scotland's Touring Programme, Inverness, Glasgow and Dundee
Independent Exposure, Houston
MIR Festival, Athens
Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, Boulder, Colorado
Dança em Foco - Porto Alegre & Teresina, Brazil
Nomadic Library, Périscope 4, Charleroi
International Video Dance Festival of Burgundy, France
Nominated for Film of the Festival - 700IS, Iceland

FRAME Research, Portugal
FRAME research at Festival Temps D’Image, Lisbon
Abandon Normal Devices Selection at Cream International Festival for Arts and Media, Yokohama
EDIT, Budapest
Xontakt, Split, Croatia
MiShorts, online library
Oblo Film Festival, Lausanne
Abandon Normal Devices, Liverpool
Dança em Foco, Brazil
Il Coreografo Elettronico, Naples
DANCE:FILM 09, Edinburgh
Dérapage, Montreal
Synthetic Zero, New York
Lateral Movement, Adelaide Film Festival