Presenting work in progress is always a baptism by fire. Having been forced to articulate what it is I’m trying to do to the very diverse audience of the recent MeCCSA 2011 Annual conference (Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association), I have both made myself very ill with man flu (by staying up late exporting audio clips from Final Cut Pro into my Powerpoint presentation only to find there were no adequate speakers in the venue) and had a bit of an epiphany.

Not quite sure if I know what it means yet, or if I can express it, but something to do with the problematics of wanting to explore a communal medium through a potentially solitary one.

One of the attendees pointed me towards the work of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, whose installation The Paradise Institute focuses on the language and experience of cinema:

This is an installation in the form of the miniature interior of a cinema auditorium, made with the use of “hyper-perspective” – the viewer watches a film and listens to the soundtrack on headphones, creating a dual cinematic experience, that of the “visual” film and that of the soundtrack, which is designed to puncture the isolated experience of watching the film with what they term “the ‘aural action’ of the supposed audience” – a cellphone ringtone, a woman’s voice in your ear, recorded with a “binaural” technique:

Cardiff also works with audio and video “walks” such as Ghost Machine – a video walk of the Hebbel Theatre, Berlin which explores the hidden passageways to which audience members would not normally have access.  Cardiff uses the same binaural audio recording technique for her walks “with multi-layers of sound effects, music, and voices (sometimes as many as 18 tracks) added to the main walking track to create a 3D sphere of sound”.

I’m also intrigued by Tacita Dean’s work which traces the material ontology of film, as well as the labour of production, in pieces such as Foley Artist (1996):

and  Kodak (2006):

This will be particularly relevent to the interior phase of my project in which I’m looking at projectors and the apparatus of cinema through these new technologies.

Hopefully I will be able to figure out the precise nature of my epiphany and elaborate on it here, shortly.  In the meantime, thirty Sequence Analyses are beckoning…

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