Day Eighteen to Twenty-Five

October 14th

Within this kind of digital image, there’s a complete redefinition of what had previously been considered video. It is not just vertical, horizontal and temporal limitations that are transgressed; the (moving) digital image no longer bears any resemblance to a montage in Eisenstein’s terms. It reveals (and can occasionally obscure) how discrete sections of data might be manipulated through superimposed layers, presenting a kind of spatial montage.

There’s a detail I’ve been looking for in the gallery space, and I’m not sure I’ve found it yet, or if this image and shot will eventually work in context.

October 15th

Quickly spliced together clips from a few hours spent combining text, sound and image today. I may be working the rhythm of this video for the remainder of my time on the residency. Testing and retesting within and away from the space. Some shots will be dropped or added, sound cut, titles reconsidered. I need to be sure that these animated shots ‘work’ or provide texture before rendering them as sequences. So, these wire views give some indication in advance of the final edit. Today the entire looping arrangement runs just over five minutes, but that’s likely to change. There are four texts that the subtitling is drawn and adapted from. Canto XXIII from the Inferno; Cinema and Painting by A. Dalle Vacche; Dante, Cinema and Television by A. Iannucci; The Ignorant Schoolmaster by J. Ranciere.

In the morning, I visited the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and seen Paddy Bloomer’s kinetic sculpture ‘Coriolis,’ located on the grounds, for the Sky Arts Landmark competition. Inside, Graham Gingles survey exhibition ‘The Theatre of Secrets’ is on display – curated by Brian McAvera, Riann Coulter and Feargal O’Malley. It runs until the 19th of February 2022.

October 16th

Planning, measuring, picturing. Good company in this place apart.

October 19th

The next edition of Abridged will feature images that I’ve made during my time at Art Arcadia. This is a return to print for Abridged, and copies will be available on November 5th at Art Arcadia. Details to follow. It’s too late to type any more, other than to express my appreciation to Abridged, Greg and Susanna for the support and opportunity.

October 21st

The painting I’ve been working on during this residency is almost as complete as it can be. There’s probably a few hours left in making final decisions. This painting has determined other choices within the process, not a centre as such, but a tone that has been suggestive and made clear specific directions and readings. It determines how the video I’m working on operates, its rhythm, the choices of text and so on. It will contribute to but not command the install, I’d hope.

Today I’ve been testing frames for the video, how they might finally look, and what noise levels can be tolerated or detail sacrificed. I’d assume that this process, along with the edit of the sequence, will continue until the last possible moment. It is horrendously dull, requires patience and continual testing. I’ve no doubt that through time, the technology will improve to such a level that testing light levels, noise ratio and render time will become unnecessary. As I’ve watched the technology develop since the late 90s, the potential has always been evident. In choosing to work with this class of image, I’m interested in how it operates in parallel or confrontation with the conventions of older forms like painting or the photograph – and then what these synthesised processes have to say or can say about physical space.

October 23rd

I’ve combined a sequence of final shots into a timeline and something resembling an edit of the video I’ve been working on. Here are a few stills. The difficulty of making a video of this kind is the guesswork required before rendering the final shot. An approximation of tone and the intention of each image is usually based on partial information, wire views and stills. The scene in motion, set in context and combined with sound, usually reveals something unexpected, if only marginally. Revision is inevitable.

October 25th

Testing testing. Today was the first opportunity I’ve had to view (in situ) the video I’ve been working on during my residency at Art Arcadia. There’s some minor edits and adjusting of sound needed, but it’s been enjoyable watching the loop in the darkened space. The video will share the space with a painting I’ve been making in parallel. All is still in process. For this residency, I was invited to consider the 700-year commemoration of Dante Alighieri, and the work I’m making draws from cinema and texts that collectively reflect on Dante’s monumental narrative poem – and one canto from the Inferno.