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A section of exposed 16mm film stock covered in small abrasions

Film Programme 3: Earth

Film Programme 3: Earth

A vibrant and abstract description of our home planet.

Includes: solar flares, insect fireworks, a new film from Ian Helliwell, pulsating glaciers, an apple being eaten alive, sea ravaged stock, crushed blackberries and film that has literally risen from the grave. Some online clips of selected films in the programme are featured below.

Brilliant Noise, Dir. Semiconductor, UK, 2006, 6 mins, Beta SP

Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun’s finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots containing additional information, by satellites orbiting the Earth. They are then reorganised into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies. (Semiconductor)

Le Petit Mort, Dir. Damir Čučić, Croatia, 2006, 7 mins 20 secs, Beta SP

The starting point of the film is documentary footage of an electrical device burning insects and bugs. Registered mass death transforms from an organic image to a digital recording from which the imaginary deadly seed weaves its macabre dance, finally plunging the spinning death into the never-ending lunar colour where the beings shortly resurrect.

Rust to Dust, Dir. Ian Helliwell, UK, 2006, 2 mins, Beta SP

A hand processed super-8 film shot at a Brighton cemetery and further enhanced with ink drawn directly onto the footage. The film’s texture arises from a combination of the rough hand processing, black ink and accumulation of dust particles. (Lux)

Pulse, Dir. Pink Twins, Finland, 2006, 4 mins, Beta SP

Pulse is a journey into the depths of a landscape. It delves deeply into the secrets of basic particles of digital moving image. A single satellite photo of a glacier is transformed into whirls of motion, resembling natural phenomena, blizzards, storms, and rain. All this is fixed into a steady pulsing rhythm, allowing change and transformation to be woven into a static continuity. (AV-arkki)

U, Dir. Vesa Puhakka, Finland, 2003, 3 mins 40 secs, Beta SP

The starting point for the video is a Super 8 film and a c-cassette tape which were buried underground for a year. The film and the analogue audio tape were exposed to freezing, ground frost, melting and flood together with micro organisms. When joined they form an organic, audiovisual entity. (AV-arkki)

Akustyczne jabłko (Acoustic Apple), Dir. Józef Robakowski, Poland, 1994, 4 mins, Beta SP

A “performance to the camera”: one of Józef Robakowski’s favourite forms of intimate artistic expression. This simple video performance exposes the power of the specially prepared soundtrack, which accompanies a simple, striking image: the auteur peeling an apple. (Index DVD – The Energy Manifesto)

What the Water Said No. 4-6, Dir. David Gatten, USA, 2006, 17 mins, 16mm

In this latest installment of a nine-year project attempting to document the underwater world off the coast of South Carolina both the sounds and images are the result of the oceanic inscriptions written directly into the emulsion of the film as it was buffeted by the salt water, sand and rocks; as it was chewed and eaten by the crabs, fish and underwater creatures.

What the Water Said, Nos. 1-3 was completed in 1998. After an absence of many years I returned to the island in late December of 2005. To mark this return – and the beginning of a new phase of my life – the project was resumed. The material in No. 4 was submerged in January of 2006 and the film strips in No. 5 were flung into the ocean in August. On December 29th, 30th and 31st, a series of final offerings were made. (David Gatten)

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Dir. Michael Robinson, USA, 2006, 8 mins, 16mm

Viewed at its seams, a collection of National Geographic landscapes from the 1960’s and 70’s conjures an obsolete romanticism currently peddled to propagate entitlement and individualism from sea to shining sea; the slideshow deforms into a bright white distress signal. (Michael Robinson)

Skull and Blackberries, Dir. Eric Ostrowki, USA, 2006, 4 mins, 16mm

The images in this film were created during the late summer of 2005. Freshly picked blackberries were laid out on raw film stock and then exposed via sunlight for 2-3 days. The long exposure time allowed the blackberries to print-through. No formal chemicals processing of the film was used. The acidity of the blackberries combined with the long exposure time processed the film. The soundtrack is derived from organic sources and features the sound of bats, sticks, rocks rolling in the water and girls screaming. (Eric Ostrowski)

Below are online links which you can use for reference. To see the films in their original glory, check with the distributor of the film for their terms and conditions.


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