Saturday, January 20, 2007

Grahame Weinbren

Last Friday I went into the city to attend a lecture by experimental filmmaker Grahame Weinbren at the School of Visual Arts. I found it very interesting to hear the views of an artist who no longer feels need to prove anything.

Weinbren showed his latest work: Letters. He created a number of one minute films, working towards at least one per letter. He had the audience select a few letters, and the corresponding clips were then shown. I'm not sure if it worked as an interactive piece for me (on his website he refers to it as being "interactive in the dumbest sense"). Since the clip were so different I found it hard to think of it as one piece, though there are definitely sets of clips in the work. I happened to find the one I picked myself the most beautiful: the one for Q. It is a time lapse recording of fruit that rots away while plants start to grow from it. A flower suddenly explodes right towards the camera. Impossible to get if you wanted, great that he caught it.

Now that I think about it: the work is a bit like a scrap book. Not all the pieces are connected but something greater than the parts emerges. Maybe it is a portrait of the artist. But this thought might be slightly influenced by the fact that he was there as explicator, adding anecdotal information to the clips.

The work was shown in uncompressed Hight Definition, which in this case means 1400 by 1050 pixels (the resolution of the projector). The time lapse sequences were recorded with a digital still camera have impressive image detail. Unfortunately there is no affordable Hi Def camera yet that records video at 24 or 30 frames a second and stores the images with minimum compression. But still, most clips looked really good. I love it when a video artist pays such attention to image quality. But then again: he is an experimental filmmaker who as an editor working with film has been used to uncompressed Hi Def images: 35mm film.

Before going to this lecture I visited some galleries in Chelsea. I already put some pictures on my flickr page. Maybe I'll write a little about that tomorrow. I had a very inspirational day.

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