text field

Text Field - U.K. - 2002 - mini DV - 1 min

Created by: Chirstinn Whyte and Jake Messenger


“All one minute of Text Field...is a pleasure" (Georgina Harper, reviewing dancefilmday at londondance.com)

“The star of the show for me was Text Field" (Lisa Roberts, reviewing Pocket Cinema at the San Francisco International Film Festival)

"Text Field represents the simple magic found in animated movement" (Kim Collmer writing on Forming Motion)

"...killer little experimental textdancesoundpoem Text Field" (DOTMOV, Japan)

"...a whirling text-body that is part fluid and improvised and part of an algorithm’s discipline, like a dancer that obeys chaos theory." (Stoffel Debuysere in Diagonal Thoughts)

to view text field click here

Text Field is a zero-budget piece, created using footage filmed in November 2001 of a single, continuous sequence of improvised movement, translated into an ascii-based animation (ascii being the American Standard Code for Information Interchange - a standard code used in most computers to represent letters, numbers and other characters), with a soundtrack generated by a computer reading of the sequence’s final frame. The piece was constructed in May 2002 by exporting the original video footage to a sequence of 545 still images. Each image was then converted into text files using a program called Pict2Ascii which analyses the tones of an image, turning them into the appropriate light or heavy symbol. The resulting text files were ammended in Macromedia Flash as individual frames, removing stray, distracting text from shadows etc, and allowed to play through in the manner of a traditional, frame-based animation.

Since 2002, Text Field has been shown at a range of film and screendance festivals, including:

La Vidéotèque Nomade, Festival Partie(s) de Campagne in Ouroux en Morvan, France

Portobello Film Festival, London

Les Petits délices #9, Charleroi, Belgium
Flux, Flow, Flight: Art in Motion, London
La Vidéothèque Nomade : Focus animation, Brussels

Périscope #2, Brussels

Hackney Wicked Festival, London
Kurz & Knapp, Bern

Video Vortex, Cimatics, Brussels
MiShorts, online library
SHNIT Short Film Festival, Bern
Animation and Dance, Hong Kong
Cinemoves, Wakefield
l'hybride, Lille, France

Instants Video, Montreal
Virgin Mobile Festival, Baltimore
ACDA DigitalArt.LA
Renderyard Film Festival, London: One Minute Film Challenge
Lumen Eclipse, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Festival Temps D'Image, Lisbon
PixelPops, Orkney
DOTMOV2007, Japan
Reykjavik Dance Festival
Collective Rhythm, Bigger Picture, Manchester

Número Projecta Lisboa 2006
Jump Shorts as part of the Shoot Short film Strand at the Leeds International Film Festival 2006
The Bigger Picture, Manchester
Flash Film Festival, London
Blink Screening and Exhibition, London
Director's Lounge Special Selection, Poznan
Pocket Cinema, Kinotek strand of the San Francisco International Film Festival
Director’s Lounge, Berlin

dancefilmday, London
Danca em Foco, Brazil
Frame Festival Internacional de Video-Danca, Portugal
Mobile Exposure, Houston, Texas
14th Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video, Toronto
Festival Internacional de Video-danza de Buenos Aires
Videochannel online performance space
Duke City Shootout Digital Film Festival, New Mexico
Independent Exposure Summer Edition, San Francisco
American Dance Festival: Dancing for the Camera
Independent Exposure Animation Edition, San Francisco
Final Cut Take One compilation DVD

Dance and Media Japan, Tokyo
Final Cut screenings at the Brighton Festival

In Motion Dance Film Festival, Aberdeen
Northern Exposure, London
Videodance, Athens
Captured! at Dance Theater Workshop, New York


With thanks to Hazel Francomb for assistance with space for filming.