Sunday, May 23, 2010

Long Take Experiment Two (Movement Becoming Time)
Password is deleuze

Here is the full video of what I showed in class regarding my project attempting to depict examples of movement-images becoming time-images and vise versa. This particular experiment is a collection of 9 frames arranged next to each other in a grid. Six of the frames I chose are examples of classical movement-images that are related not only to mobility, but also to modern transportation. I wanted to use the earliest known infatuations with movement such as distinct POV shots that embodied movement of character. In these types of shots the sense of movement is easily achieved through the changing scenery as it relates to the mobile unit; however, it can also be accomplished by showing a mobile object approaching the stationary viewer as is the case in the classical example of a distant train gradually approaching a station. These would be considered forms of perception-image, which is a subset of the movement-image.

Two of the other frames I utilized are images of household chores: a laundry machine and a sink of dirty dishes being washed. While these aren’t conventional action-images they do create a feeling of movement in the sense that the viewer/character is moving towards the completion of something (i.e. the finished load of laundry and the clean sink respectively). The final frame I used is the one most closely resembling a time-image. It begins with a close-up of leaves on a tree blowing in the wind and gradually zooms out to reveal a larger environment. Later on in the shot we see a character walk through the space where we get a sense of body as it relates to environment (a-la Antonioni), which again is a form of perception-image.

With this collection of movement-image frames I tried to morph them into one whole time-image. The key for me was to transpose the affection of the images into a cumulative experience. With the movement-images we are more concerned with perception, specifically optical perception, while with the time-image we are more concerned with sensation; a more tactile and visceral response from the viewer that evokes a feeling of time and duration.

As the piece develops and we introduce more frames I think the collection of familiar images creates a “new” image when viewed together as one. By doing this we do indeed take the movement-images of everyday perception (which we can relate to the narrative of our daily lives) and mold it into a future image (or the potential and the virtual) that allows the audience to construct some sort of meaning from them (which can be a more poetic interpretation of our routine existence).

Despite some success there were several problems with this experiment. To begin, the captured sounds required an investment of more time in the mastering of the sound to artificially smooth out the soundscape. The main problem was that some of the sounds stood out more than others and even though their audio levels were lowered accordingly, they still managed to pierce through the collective orchestra of clicking and clanging by nature of their unique timbre and high familiarity (the subway sounds were difficult to assimilate). The experiment also required more diverse environments/sounds. I think I overly used cars and trains in the different frames. I should’ve thought about using footage of boats, planes, and bicycles to provide more variation in the images.

In addition, this juxtaposition of movement-images would’ve been more successful had they been in context of a greater whole or narrative. If all the frames depicted a group a characters en route to rendezvous somewhere, I think this collection of images would’ve successfully taken the audience from an image of a sensory-motor schema to an image of pure optical and sonic sensation that lends itself to reflection and contemplation, which would’ve take the audience from an action-image to a time-image.

--Jonathan Masino

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