A research project looking at the meeting point and integrated dialogue between digital moving image, live presence and place. A series of experiments focusing on digital tools and representation. Presentation media: multi-screen performance, site specific moving image projection and choreographic split-screen shorts.
Degree Zero investigates the nature of place, humans and time and explores representations of identity.
“Seeing ruins makes us fugitively feel the existence of a time which is not that in history books or that brought back to us through a process of restauration. It is a ‘pure time’, a time we cannot date. Absent from our universe of images, of simulations and reconstructions, from our violent world where architecture has no longer the time to become a ruin.” Marc Augé, anthropologist, Time in Ruins, 2003 (quote is my translation)
Augé’s perception of this ‘suspended’ or ‘pure’ time is interesting because it seems to be independent from past and present, yet somehow be made of both. There is something post-linguistic about an abbey without a roof, with windows devoid of glass and with grass growing in its interior. It’s not a feeling of the unfinished, but rather the once accomplished and now disintegrating. A tension which also relates to human beings across time. Humans too erode, disappear with age, yet their presence often grows.
Degree Zero explores the relationship between site and human, how we inhabit spaces and how they may live in us. The piece is interested in the changing identity of the nomad or the refugee. A theme which cross-references other areas of my work. It focuses on that space between leaving one’s country of origin and arriving at one’s destination, that non-time, non-space, in betweenness… In how a geographical and cultural transition may affect our deep states of being.
‘The limit of a place is where its life begins’ - Heidegger
How fast does matter need to be to escape video? These are some sketch experiments in capturing the oscillation and disappearance of identity: studying the movement of the body and that of vapour.
The following experiments again explore potential dialogues between moving image projection and the live body in a locational context. We spent a day working site-specifically at Dorchester Abbey, where we came across a fresco which we assumed had disappeared over time. We were later informed that it was in fact in a process of re-appearance. A restoration team is gradually removing the white plaster to reveal the paintings underneath. Our interest was in creating an integrated dialogue between site and human which reflected themes of changing identity, disappearance and re-surfacing, by projecting a close up of the performer, treating the footage in detail so it matched the gaps presented by the fresco. In this case we reconstructed the imagery in post production after having played with projection in the actual space.
‘Human and Place’ is another investigation which consists of a split screen short film, combining and juxtaposing human and location. The piece references the choreography of 'Portrait'. The main principles of this edit are to look at potential multi-screen relationships: such as how movement or psychology depicted on one screen may affect the other, therefore creating rhythm and connotation. This presentation allows for a simultaneous as well as sequential construction of meaning. Thematically this exercise also offers the oportunity to look at the dialogue between ‘referential point of view’ shots and choreographic gesture. Diverging from our usual filmic experience where a character looks one way and the camera cuts to what they are seeing, but allowing for connections between place and gaze to be made more freely, so as to give a feeling that this human relates to the place as much as it relates to her. An un-storyboarded, freeform experiment, ‘Human and Place’ reveals potentials for future development.
Artist filmmaker: Isabel Rocamora
Performer: Tilly Leyser
Italy collaborator: Fabrizio Crisafulli
Producer: Infinito Productions
Technical assistant: Al Livingstone