Monday, February 28, 2005

Boy Meets Girl (in 23 Stills)

'The screen is a narrative form.'
Bob Lockyer




Shooting Footnotes:
Although not generally drawn towards narrative, I have taken up the challenge of creating a piece which uses the favourite plot-device of Hollywood films, has an explicitly heterosexual agenda, a narrative arc AND a happy ending - all achieved in 30 seconds. (I'm currently planning a sequel, drawing on the work of Laura Mulvey - Girl Meets Boy.) I've also been using stills in a variety of ways as part of different pieces, and I wanted to take that strategy to its extreme and create a piece made entirely of stills. Performers are Franck Baranek and Chirstinn Whyte.

The movement material was filmed in November '04, in the living room of my flat in Cambridge. (This was also the location for filming Gemini in 2002.) Franck has been a friend and colleague since we were both participants on the Limón Company Intensive at SUNY Purchase in 1991. As he is currently based in Brussels, I wanted to take advantage of his brief time in Britain last year to fit in some fiming, and one day I hope to be able to do more work together in a larger space.

A Gift From the Gods

'...a certain combination of unquestionably personal talents, a gift from the fairies, and a moment in history.'
André Bazin



Shooting Footnotes:
While applying an effect to a section of footage, this particular image appeared, randomly selected by the computer. We couldn't get the effect to work, or for any other stills from the sequence to look as good, so I decided to take to heart Bazin's definition of genius, quoted above, and treat this single image as a gift from the gods (or, indeed, the fairies) and trust that it will be used in something, at some point in the process.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Cyclograph2

'photographic images are, in a sense, physiologically false; they fail to represent movement as we really see it, since what is lacking is the 'real token' of movement - its luminous tracing or invisible wake.'
Mary Ann Doane



Shooting Footnotes:
Much of my research is concerned with the project of capturing a sense of what Doane refers to as movement's 'luminous tracing' and 'invisible wake'.

Flicker

'In the 1960s, the avant-garde film movement known as structuralist or materialist film refocused attention on the phenomenon of flicker in its investigation of the ontological implications of the material base of the medium - hence the short-lived genre of the 'flicker film'.
Mary Ann Doane



To view the piece click here.

Shooting Footnotes:
This footage - uncharacteristically framed with the whole body in shot - will be used for a series of experiements working with flicker film, zeotrope and magic lantern, and relating to the writing of Joseph Anderson on the working of visual perception in film.

The Event of a Caught Fall3

'All you can see is what the camera is showing you'.
Bob Lockyer



To view the piece click here

Shooting Footnotes:
More material for a different section of this piece. I'm currently taking a course in Reflexology which is deepening my fascination for the complexity of feet and hands.

Cyclograph1

'Gilbreth's researches most adamantly illustrate that the scientific analysis of time involves an unrelenting search for its representaion in visual terms - visual terms that exceed the capacity of the naked eye'
Mary Ann Doane



Shooting Footnotes:
The ideas of separating the elements of this sequence into a movement arc arose from Mary Ann Doane's writings on the work of Frank B. Gilbreth.

The Grammar of Presence

'Photography...is theorized as the representation of isolated present moments (which must be experienced by the spectator as already past), whereas filmic representation produces the spectatorial experience of presence.'
Mary Ann Doane



to view the piece click here.

Shooting Foototes:
Further filming at the Lakeview Studio Theatre on Feb. 20th. Much harder work for me combining the roles of director and performer, but several new ideas have emerged from the session. This piece will use a mixture of footage dealing with extreme close-ups and the off-centred material featured above. The title of the piece is taken from an interview with Michael Kustow (Jordan and Allen, Parallel Lines, 1993, ACGB, p. 95) in which he describes a process of learning about what works in relation to screenbased work for dance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Proprioceptive1

'There is a sixth sense directly attuned to the movements of the body: proprioception. It involves specialized sensors in the muscles and joints. Proprioception is a self-referential sense, in that what it most directly registers are displacements of the parts of the body relative to each other.'
Brian Massumi



Shooting Footnotes:
I am particularly interested to see whether the camera can capture a sense of propriocption in action. The dancers were given the task of moving with their eyes closed to enhance the connection to their movement, and the camera moved around the dancers as it filmed. Performers are Dominique Bulgin and Isobel Cohen.

The Event of a Caught Fall2

'The close-up has not only widened our vision of life, it has also deepened it.'
Bela Balázs



To view the piece click here

Shooting Footnotes:
A further section of The Event of a Caught Fall. This filming produced a particularly interesting harvest of stills. Dancers are Dominique Bulgin and Isobel Cohen.

Knotwork

'The close-up thus functions as a means of what the Russian Formalist critics called 'ostranenie' or 'defamiliarisation', in which art strips the scales of familiarity from the eyes to make us look at the world afresh.'
Nicholas Tredell



To see the piece click here.

Shooting Footnotes:
I set the dancers the task of moving towards the camera on a long diagonal, with the result that the nearer to the camera they got, the less familiar the body appeared. Dancers are Dominique Bulgin and Isobel Cohen.

Chiaroscuro

'The close-up can show us a quality in a gesture of the hand we never noticed before...a quality which is often more expressive than any play of the features.'
Bela Balázs



To view the piece click here

Shooting Footnotes:
The idea of filming a hand from above was influenced by the work of Bill Viola as well as writing by Lev Manovich on the subject of Databases. The shoot has produced a particlurly good crop of stills, and some very interesting footage. At this stage, I'm still not sure how I'm going to develop the piece, but while filming, we were struck by how effective the play of light and shadow appeared on film. This provided the working title of the piece, which neither of us is sure how to pronounce. Dancers are Dominique Bulgin and Isobel Cohen

Experimental Studies on the Seeing of Motion1

'What it means to read - the attenuation of a gaze where language blossoms and disappears, dancing with a concept that inspires the visibility of a yet unnamed thing - is an activity undergoing constant historical mutation and renewal.'
D.N. Rodowick



To view the piece click here

Shooting Footnotes:
Starting the process of editing a large amount of footage shot at the Lakeview Theatre at Middlesex University's Trent Park Campus. A single session on Feb. 6th produced an enormous amount of material which I am beginning to use by separating into sections and identifying stills. I am particularly interested in tracking the pathway of eye movements in response to different sets of stimuli, such as reading and active watching of movement. Performers are Dominique Bulgin and Isobel Cohen. The title of the piece is taken from Max Wertheimer's work of 1912.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Event of a Caught Fall1

'It is a contemporary proverb that walking is controlled falling. Continuity embraces discontinuity as walking includes falling. The momentum of walking is the excess of its activity over each successive step. The ongoing quality of walking is that trans-step momentum. Each next step is momentous, in its own little way: it is the event of a caught fall.'
Brian Massumi

A selection of stills from The Event of a Caught Fall


To view the piece click here

Shooting Footnotes:
The very short walking sequence was filmed at Dance East's base at The Wolsey Studio in Ipswich in February '03, and used as the end to Motion Studies. It struck me as the perfect beginning for a new piece initiated by Massumi's writing on the process of walking. The intertwined text and footage will form the introduction to the piece.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Magical Thinking

'The mind develops memory ideas and imaginative ideas; in the moving pictures they become reality.'
Hugo Münsterberg

Series of stills from Magical Thinking



To view the piece click here

Rehearsal footnotes:
Filmed in June '04 at a run-through for performance in a college space in Cambridge. The movement material is the same as in Fleeting, but filmed entirely in response to the surroundings, with the dancers moving through shafts of sunlight. The sound was recorded in Formby, Merseyside, as part of an entirely different project, but worked particularly well in providing an aural environment for the piece.

Fleeting

'montage...is simply the ordering of images in time'
André Bazin

Series of stills from Fleeting



To view the piece click here

Rehearsal footnotes:
Piece was filmed in Cambridge during May '04 with movement content taken from a site-specific work performed the following month. A very small rehearsal space neccesitated a reliance on close-ups, with the dancers moving in and out of shadow. The live piece was made up of several different sections, which were edited together as different strands within the screenbased work. The movement was taken from a variety of pieces made over the course of the last twenty years.