Art Language Location are based in Cambridge. Currently working with Anglia Ruskin University they are curating a 21-artist silent film showreel at The Window Project in Silver Street.
Having been part of Art Language Location in the past, I decided that this would be my outlet for experimenting with a poetry film that is silent. My films have used a voiceover to deliver the words (for example here), and I combine this with sound effects to layer further texture and meaning. How would my film feel without any sound?
How would the text interact with the fast moving images when it has become visual and part of the images?
I had been so welded to the voiceover and sound effects that it is difficult to imagine that this could be anything but dissatisfactory. However, I am keeping an open mind. I have worked hard on the typography to try to make it work with the images, and also my imagined pace and reading emphasis. There is much more I could do, but I felt I had to make a start somewhere.
I have not yet made the film widely public, other than its localised showing in Cambridge. I need to digest it further and come back to it after a period of time, and, if possible, get some feedback from those who do see it. Then, if I’m happy, collect some feedback from peers online.
For the kind of work I think I want to make for the future, I can see that there will be site-specific presentations where a silent film might be infinitely more appropriate or practical for the context. Or perhaps where a film needs to work with multiple layers – with sound, but also have value without sound. Is this possible? Could it suit my ‘flicker-film’ technique.
For now – Relationship: scaffolded is on show at The Window Project, Silver Street, Cambridge until mid-January.
Creation of art is not meant to be the worst thing in the day. Frequently it it the best thing. But getting started is SO often the worst thing.
Talking with my mentor Rosalind Davis – I realised how much I had been thinking but not DOING. One of my targets before we meet again is to make one film. Any film (on my theme). Good or bad. Just make something and it will lead me down a path and (hopefully) tell me what to do next.
So, I have returned to the ideas in a book I was given by a friend: ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracy.
Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Tracy says that your frog is your worst task, and you should do it first thing in the morning. My worst task should not be my art practice – but it is the difficult, gritty, confusing … AAAGHHHH-feeling task. Without anyone to be accountable to (a client, or a tutor) I have allowed myself to forget how much my art practice is my frog.
I have many ideas but which do I focus on? I have binned a few. I have many ideas but which would be the most productive? Many ideas but which will have the best outcome? Many ideas but which will be the most helpful to push myself forward? None of those questions can be answered until I have done something. Either the idea will be a good one or a bad one. But thinking about them after a certain point, without making something, becomes a waste of time.
So today – I tackled the frog. Whatever was at the top of my to do list is my frog. Today I drafted the outline of a film, using text I had written a few weeks ago at a writing workshop, and photographs I took while on the workshop.