16 October 2009

Location: Filmtheater ‘t Hoogt
Hall 1

“Take some time, take some more, time is passing, the time of your life, the earth rotates, seasons come and go, the machine sorts zeros from ones, as another thousand tiny bursts of phosphorescent light dance to the rhythm of the wind and the tide.”
– Chris Welsby


This programme brings together a number of works focusing on landscapes, as meditative time capsules in which different events unfold, activating the potential pasts of a place. Whereas the landscapes of narrative cinema are often latent expressionistic theatres, echoing the minds of the human figures within them, these films fully focus the attention on the rhythms of the natural world, from the microscopic to the cosmological. The only signs of human life are the traces of destruction left behind by our urge to move faster across time and space. Virilio argues: “it is no longer God the Father who dies, but the Earth, the Mother of living creatures since the dawn of time. With light and the speed of light, it is the whole of matter that is exterminated”.



Cobra Mist – Emily Richardson
United Kingdom, 2008, 16mm, 7:00 min
Cobra Mist explores the relationship between the landscape of Orford Ness in Suffolk and the traces of its unusual military history, particularly the experiments in radar and the extraordinary architecture of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. The place has a sinister atmosphere, which the architecture itself begins to reveal and the sense of foreboding is accentuated via the film’s soundtrack by Benedict Drew. “The film cuts between stillness and activity through time- lapse, a sweeping camera and changing light. The sound also cuts between birdsong and industrial noises suggesting activity when onscreen there is none.” (William Fowler).

Sky light – Chris Welsby
United Kingdom, 1988, 16mm, 26:00 min
Sky Light is a single screen version of the 6-projector installation with the same title. “An idyllic river through a forest, flashes of light and colour threaten to erase the image, bursts of short wave and static invade the tranquility of the natural sound. The camera searches amongst the craggy rocks and ruined buildings of a bleak and windswept snowscape, a Geiger counter chatters ominously in the background. The sky is overcast at first but gradually clears to reveal a sky of unnatural cobalt blue. This film was made in response to some very strong feelings experienced at the time of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.” (CW)

Observando el Cielo – Jeanne Liotta
USA, 2007, 16mm, 19:00 min
“Seven years of celestial field recordings gathered from the chaos of the cosmos
and inscribed onto 16mm film from various locations upon this turning tripod Earth. This work is neither a metaphor nor a symbol, but is feeling towards a fact in the midst of perception, which time flows through. Natural VLF radio recordings of the magnetosphere in action allow the universe to speak for itself. The Sublime is Now. Amor Fati!”. (JL) Sound- track by Peggy Ahwesh, with recordings by Ahwesh, Liotta, Mailie Colbert, Barbara Ess and Radio Guitar.

Time and Tide – Peter Hutton
USA, 2000, 16mm, 35:00, mute
The first section of the film is a reprint of a reel shot by Billy Bitzer in 1903 titled Down the Hudson for Biograph. It chronicles in single frame time lapse a section of the river between Newburgh and Yonkers. The second section of the film was shot by filmmaker Peter Hutton and records fragments of several trips up and down the Hudson River between Bayonne (NJ) and Albany (NY). The filmmaker was travelling on the tugboat “Gotham” as it pushed (up river) and pulled (down river) the Noel Cutler, a barge filled with 35,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline. “Combining the luminescence and formal contemplation of the Hudson Valley painters with documentary and ecological concerns, Time and Tide extends the panoramic field of Hutton’s previous Portrait of a River. And after decades of an exclusive devotion to and mastery of reversal black and white stocks.” (Mark McElhatten)


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