Sunday, 26 October 2008

Plagiarism Live!

Dirk de Bruyn is in town from Australia next week and Small But Perfectly Formed Olivier has kindly, efficiently, and at short notice, managed to rustle up a gig for his performance Plagiarism, a multi-screen film and sound poetry presentation addressing issues of traumatic effect/affect.

Also performing on the night,
improvising together for the first time will be
Phil Durrant (synthesizers and computer), Mathias Forge (trombone) and Samantha Rebello (flute), while kicking it all off Lynn Loo & Guy Sherwin will present two
16mm multi-projection performances Cycles #3 & Sound Cuts #2. Dirk will also be accompanied by guest appearances from local performers.

Here's some more info about the artists and work:
Dirk de Bruyn was a founding member and past president of MIMA (Experimenta), he’s been involved with Fringe Network and been a member of the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group. His materialist film practice is a representation of traumatised space, depicting a person consumed by a body of pain in which slowly something is remembered. In this performance he enlists the strategies of experimental film and punk, invoking notions of Artaud's "cruel" performance.

Mathias Forge and Samantha Rebello use a wide variety of extended techniques to explore the textural capacities of their instruments. Focusing on the fragile physicality of the sounds and on their environment they keep a strong sense of musicality in their improvisations.
Phil Durrant approaches the computer like an acoustic instrument, with all the flexibility and precision that this implies He has been awarded various Arts Council grants to research and develop his use of electronics. He has played with Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Grooverider, John Zorn, MIMEO...

Guy Sherwin and Lynn Loo: Cycles #3, is a hand-made film for two 16mm projectors. The image of a circle pulsates at varying rates accompanied by rhythmic sounds. This is a recent colour version that uses two basic colours that have the effect of inducing additional colours in the eye of the beholder. Guy explains Sound Cuts: “Black film stock is repeatedly cut and rejoined. The cuts are made with the angled blade of a splicer normally used for joining sound film. At each cut we see an angled flash of light followed by a thud of sound. The film combines rhythmic intervals from one cut per second to twenty-four cuts per second, spread across 6 projectors”.

7:00pm, Sunday 2nd November, £6 admission
Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4OE
Tube: Farrington, Angel / Bus: 19, 38, 341
More information on

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Night Garden or Meltdown?

let's leave the grown ups to their crisis as we enter the garden in the night...

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Grown Ups

They're all out there today you know. With their grey clothes, grey faces frozen into frowns, with their cigarettes, their cardboard coffee cups with the plastic lids, and their complicated mobile 'phones. Cash or credit? They look worried.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Green on the Horizon

Green on the Horizon, 18 min, 1988, Philip Sanderson & Steven Ball

It was well over twenty years ago that Philip and I spent weeks scouring the folk archives and local libraries, from the marshlands of the Medway delta to the lanes of the outskirts of Maidstone and that mysterious suburban liminal hinterland between, collecting loosely connected local folklore, phenomena occurring around pagan sites, universal urban myths, hatching plans to realise this as some kind of major cinematic opus. But how to achieve this vision?

There was some interest from influential figures in the experimental film world, which led exactly nowhere. Without the means to produce the project in its entirety, we were however able to make some forays into the project, first with the extremely DIY Apostrophe S in 1986 and then in 1988 for Green on the Horizon we received funding from South East Arts. It was shot on several days over a couple of months on Cliffe Marshes, using the London Filmmakers’ Co-op’s just about functioning Nizo super 8 camera, balancing precariously on bicycles while shooting, pacing around fields and along the Thames Estuary foreshore as Angie Staples made attempts to interpret the directors’ intentions through self-choreographed parading up and down, round and round. The finished video was influenced as much by Tarkovsky and The Avengers as it was by avant-garde formalism.

Green on the Horizon
was well-received in some quarters. Stephen Bode wrote “Short cuts make long delays. Green on the Horizon makes a wonderful diversion.” (City Limits, 28 April, 1988) and made it number four in the City Limits ‘Indie Vid Top Ten’ for 1988 (placing it above works by the likes of Mona Hatoum, Cerith Wyn Evans and George Barber). It was included in Electric Eyes, an early Film and Video Umbrella touring programme which resulted in screenings at the Tate, ICA, Video Brazil, and Wien Medienwerkstadtt, among many others.

But elsewhere the video received a more muted response. Mike Jones was frustrated: “A film that contains elements of dance/choreographed movements, but is not really a dance film; a film set in a landscape, but its insistence for much of the time on framing the figure closely in relation to background means that it’s not really a ‘landscape film’” and he goes on to suggest that it “…stumbles and then trips itself up…” (Independent Media, July 1988).

So, after twenty years how does
Green on the Horizon fare?

It looks to me now to be something of an ante-narrative, a catalogue of gestures and phrases on a linear path that suggests a parallel narrative that it is placed beyond; the narrative elements presented only partially in the work itself, which still curiously appears quite self-contained, well-formed but paradoxically incomplete. It is an enigmatic piece and perhaps best viewed alongside its complementary works: the aforementioned
Apostrophe S and Hangway Turning. The latter was made by Philip in 1990, after I had left the UK, and effectively collects most of the remaining elements that we had developed for the project into a work with a more satisfying narrative structure. This is achieved chiefly through the introduction of a second character, a kind of reluctant psychic archeologist who provides a narrative continuity, played with deadpan aplomb by Nigel Jacklin. An extract from Hangway Turning can be viewed here, courtesy of the archive at