Posts Tagged ‘trap’
The bouncy 3D labyrinth with its electrocuted fuzzy fauna continues to be built…in stereo! A prototype arch and its puzzled subject pose for the game engine camera.
note to self: when thinking about video art and projection techniques, think SMALL
embed pressure sensors in walls and floors of the bouncing castle. A DATABASE of SOUND (music, sound effects, words) is released. The player bounces her way through an audio narrative/journey. IMMERSE CASTLE IN DARKNESS. you have to FEEL your way THROUGH and OUT/IN.
The castle is a MAZE populated by crawl spaces and up and down passages.
“A simple example will clarify this: the beginning of Le Chiendent. A man’s silhouette was outlined, simultaneously thousands. A realist novelist would have written: Jules came along. There was a crowd. But in writing this, the realist novelist would only have shown that he was confusing the concreteness of things with literary concreteness, and that he was counting on quashing the latter in favor of the former. he would have claimed to have rendered his sentence wholly transparent to that which it designates.That is literature according to Sartre, and transitive language. In literature, the smallest combination of words secretes perfectly intransitive properties”.
“Language doesn’t manipulate notions, as people still believe; it handles verbal objects and maybe even, in the case of poetry, sonorous objects.”
“Nine or ten centuries ago, when a potential writer proposed the sonnet form, he left, through certain mechanical processes, the possibility of a choice.”
Jean Lescure, Brief History of the Oulipo
haunted by the past - relentlessly pursued
Waltz with Bashir poses the question of the historical value of memory, beyond the “hard” evidence of historical accuracy and facts. Animated documentary opens up the possibility of representing a temporal dimension previously assigned to the strictly poetic: the interior past, the effect of the individual’s reflex to patch up the lacunae in the facts by inserting phantom scenes in her remembrance of what occurred. The move to give epistemological value to this unreliable past is an ethical one. In psychoanalytic terms, this other, virtual time bears the trace/ the index of actually happened – Ari Folman’s investigation into his post-traumatic amnesia is a search for the truth. Not so much the hard fact of the massacres, but the truth of the massacres that emerges from his act of bearing witness (and all the ambiguous moral ground implied in the act of bearing witness to the horrific – the bystander’s inescapable burden of complicity). This project is not unlike Lanzmann’s decision to give us a historical mapping strictly through the individual experiences of those implicated – only the recapitualation of an event that has been felt, lived, interiorized, indexed to someone’s specific historicity (in the Heideggerian sense) is capable of communicating the truth of the past, beyond mere fidelity to literal fact.
derealization - Ari means to "realize", to recognize
In this context, I found the final moments of the film particularly effective. Throughout, the filmmaker has been stripping away the layers of his and his fellow witnesses/accomplices’ memory in order to uncover a moment of truth, the moment in which the massacre and war revealed themselves to him, when the juxtaposition of traumatized temporal fragments crystallize into an incontrovertible evidence, the essential core of reality that cannot be gotten around. Folman in effect comes into contact with Lacan’s “Real” (Renov, The Subject of the Documentary) – a moment, a place, an occurence that escapes signification but that horrifically exists.
A crowd of wailing women pours through the streets, coming towards the camera. At his guard post with his comrades, weapon in hand – his presence in the camp testifying to the obfuscated reason: he is there to allow the Lebanese army to perpetrate the massacre – the young Ari sees these women coming towards him. The camera zooms into him; he is breathing hard, he is sweating, he is paralyzed, as the women’s crying (that hard sensory evidence of the unameable thing that was done) engulf him. There is no escape for Ari. The truth finally owns him more than he owns the truth, tripping up his initial goal to “have” the truth, to take it within him so he could heal. But there is no healing possible, the fissure in the world (the world that can be processed and assigned meaning) that was opened remains.
And, by extension, neither is there any escape for the spectator. The final shots of the actual footage documenting the massacres (the indexed faces of those wailing women) transfer Ari’s personal memory to a space of collective consensus – and ergo collective responsibility, burden. How different than if we had been shown this archival footage in the beginning, if Ari’s sensorially vivid (animated, visualized) journey had not already divested us, denuded us of our habitual siginifying framework, substituted his vision for ours.
New edits for my animation short “NO/PLACE’, still using proxy music (mixes of Aphex Twin tracks) – this time adding sound effects.
The clips look better if you chose the HD option on the Youtube toolbar!
The city we walk through everyday is not necessarily the city we experience. The urban landscape we experience is colored by our goals and projects, subordinated to the destination we are moving towards. We tend to blank out or forget the real space of the city, a often inexplicable space created by the various forms of infrastructure that are the bare bones of our urban lives. This short film recreates our sensation/perception of these “forgotten” spaces when we chose to focus on them, to really feel the contours of their existence. Although these different urban landscapes have different moods or atmospheric connotations, they all share the same capacity to both suck in and repulse our attention. Both omnipresent and indefinable/unnamable, this infrastructure-landscape creates a sensation much like falling down a well or becoming lost in a maze, as the mind loses all points of reference and is engulfed by/trapped in undiluted space.
Photographic stills of urban spaces representing freeway underpasses, unidentifiable buildings, passages, unplanned-for vegetation, pipes with no immediately visible purpose, walls, fences, or placing in the same space elements that are physically contiguous but semantically unrelated, such as a row of windows in a building and the tree growing in a parking lot next to it, or the sidewalk corner that randomly unites two structures are woven into each other in an editing style strongly reminiscent of Amy Kravitz’ piece “Trap” in which patterns of light and shadow alternate and flow into each other in order to create (for me, at least) an abstract, mysterious, elusive space that hypnotizes the viewer and thwarts/encourages her attempt to find a form of fragmented meaning in the seamless changeability of the images. The infrastructure space I aim to create is not as abstract as that, since the shape of the elements that are represented will be visible, although, in the spirit of “Trap”, cut up and disjointed, thrown out of physical/topological context. However, the nature of the spaces represented i.e. the fact that no clear “object” of representation but only shape, line and texture will be truly identifiable in the frame should contribute to the viewer’s same sensation of being lost, even dizzy, that she gets from watching Amy Kravitz’s piece. In addition to using Kravitz’s technique of blending/ fading in and out frames to create this effect, I anticipate using lighting effects in After Effects, for example, having stripes of light or spotlights flow over the images, much like in Pistachios’ “Curare Bulgari” piece.
To add dramatic buildup to the piece (which Amy Kravitz’s piece perhaps lacks) I will interrupt the flow of photographed infrastructure with short segments of live action (5-10 seconds), in which a mime, using a combination of gestures (mostly upper body) and facial expressions will introduce to more jarring and explicit effect the sensation of mental distress/discomfort that one feels when confronted with the emptiness and “semantic insufficiency” of these spaces. As the piece progresses, these interludes will become more frequent, more brief and the gestures and lighting will become more intense. In terms of the gestures, more intense does not necessarily mean more contorted or frightening, but less controlled, perhaps even more passive, as if one had finally surrendered to the space represented. In terms of lighting, this will mean a gradual stepping up from flat to very contrasty (the mime mostly in shadow, along with the background, except for part of her face brightly illuminated). The progression of the “mime” sequences should culminate in a cathartic release from tension, as if the mind, after putting up resistance against the flow of incomprehensible space, after having tried to imbue it with meaning / decipher it, had decided to flow with it, to follow it where it lead, even into an unknown territory where the city, where lived space, ceases to make any conventional sense. Ideally, the viewer will be brought to the point where this release will be a desired thing, something that needs to happen in order to reconcile the insupportable tension between the space and the viewer’s mind. The final mime sequence would be, in sharp contrast to the visual/editing buildup of the previous sequences, longer (10-15 seconds) and would involve completely flat, very bright lighting and a passive posture on the part of the mime.
The mime will be shot against green screen. Ideally, I would like to create a background that resembles the “luminous cube”. The walls of the cube will be a different color in each sequence to match the color palette of the previous photographic sequence. As we progress in the piece, we will be able to see less and less of the cube, however (until the final sequence), as the lighting recedes from the background to focus more on the mime, and becomes more contrasty – as if the person were “losing space” and losing their footing in a black emptiness. The mime will be dressed in textureless, close-fitting black, their body gradually losing visibility with the change in lighting, until only their face can be used as the expressive element.
The soundtrack will be atonal and electronic, incorporating sound effects and feedback, in the style of noise artists or industrial electronic music artists such as John Cage, Throbbing Gristle and Venetian Snares. The music for the sequences involving the photography of infrastructure will progress to become more and more monotonous, to include less and less variation. The music for the sequences involving the mime will progress to become more varied, faster, and will start to incorporate harder and harder beats (perhaps even morphing into a drum n’ bass sort of sound). The final pairing of a photography / mime sequence will have both soundtracks merge again in a common soundtrack, a more melodious, more “beautiful” sound (something like the way the soundtrack I used in my exercise piece earlier this semester climaxes/dissolves into a more ecstatic, slow movement) to express the release or relief, the sense of liberation at the end of the short.
I’ve decided to use only one screen – although I am playing with the idea to have the final climactic sequences “explode” across multiple screens.
(these are broken notes!)
TO BE MOCKED UP IN ‘SECOND LIFE’ – SUMMER 2009
Stuff that you have to put your eyes to, ‘put your head in’ the image to perceive? Mixture of this and a large screen? A large screen enveloping a small screen. PORTABLE OR INSTALLATION ? SCREENS MOVING ON A GRID LIKE PUZZLE PIECES? DIFFERENT SOUNDS COMING FROM DIFFERENT CORNERS OF THE ROOM?
IMMERSION BOX (SMALL PLACE WHERE YOU HAVE TO SIT DOWN CROSS-LEGGED) WHERE YOU ARE BOMBARED BY STIMULI?
Mapping of database space onto real space? System of tunnels and burrows??? In the space of abandoned factory or industrial complex? Turn it into a medium for uploading different work rather than just a one-time thing?? Kafka’s The Mole, real-space rhizome??
You hear sound in one area of the burrow, or perhaps a dim light and you
go to investigate??
A GIANT BLACK BOX RIDDLED WITH TUNNELS,
A MAZE, ONE ENTRANCE AND ONE EXIT –
operated like a funhouse ride
(a person in costume pushes on a lever to start the experience).
“The Burrow”, “The Box”.
Relationship between physical movement and body sensations and light/sound??
See movie: CUBE. Create an ecstatic and terrifying/sublime experience
Movement of the body (what you step on, lean against, press on in space) is the interactive device. But the logic must be clear/ must we have a cathartic movement/moment, an end-point?
Work with sensory deprivation too: the whole cube goes dark and you just hear sublime music coming from different directions, or different discourses –
Signals, flashing icons help you on your way