Contextualisation: 5 Key Points
Documentation: 5 Key Points
“As meaning is lost, the materiality of words becomes obsessive, as is the case when children repeat a word over and over again until its sense is lost and it becomes an incomprehensible incantation”
Postmodernity can be characterised as the rejection of metanarratives – a term used by french philosopher Jean-François Lyotard to describe any theory seeking to provide a totalising account of the human experience. Described as ‘cannabilistic’ and ‘parasitic’, postmodernity’s rejection of a ‘narrative of narratives’ sees the author die and the archive rise. Fuelled further by the ephemeral and ellusive nature of time within a digital age, our sense of history becomes lost and fragmented – forcing us into a perpetual and disorientating present tense.
In my work, chance encounters with text are performed repetitively by selected pieces of footage from internet archives. The words, performed by deconstructed and decontextualised footage, sit in isolation, and are reduced to abstract forms that are unable to satisfy their position as signifiers. Alongside my video work, I have presented a series of mixed media pieces that further explore the relationship between chance and meaning.
Alongside the video I decided to exhibit a selection of the mixed media and drawing pieces that I have been recently developing to playfully explore the absurd narratives that are developed through chance. I would have liked to have displayed these pieces perhaps closer to the video itself, as I am not sure they are strong enough in the space to act as a stand alone series. I feel like I could have explored the drawing and collage element of my practice a bit more ambitiously – perhaps finding a way of linking them more with video pieces. The drawings are quite timid, and I don’t feel that they have the same conceptual strength as the video. They are quite playful, and I do like this light hearted response to some of the heavier theories I am responding to in my work.
The video work that I have produced towards my summative assessment has largely been focused on the use of language and its relationship with meaning, rather than explicitly looking at narrative. Narrative and its disruption was something that I was interested in at the start of the project but didn’t spend much time exploring fully. I have recently however been thinking about how I can use the archive footage that I have been using in my recent video works but instead of explicitly exploring language, look to the development of ‘non-narrative’ narrative pieces. By this I mean works that make use of the readymade archive footage, weaved together – exploring any form of link I can find between the pieces of footage to develop a nonsensical narrative piece that jumps uncomfortably between different clips. I hope to explore tenuous links that I can create between otherwise unrelated readymade footage in perhaps a more playful way than the language focused pieces that I have developed so far.
I have been considering the performative video works of Ryan Trecartin, and his approach to constructing narratives. I have been especially thinking about his video ‘I be area’, with its disorientating use of time and narrative transitioned with low quality digital effects. I’m interested in the almost nauseating construction of reality that the video presents, with the ‘low-fi’ transition effects highlighting a sense of digital construction.
Following the summative assessment I hope to develop the video work further, becoming a bit more ambitious with the work that I am creating. I am pleased with how the work has developed so far, but recognise that there are many more avenues that I can pursue with my work. I feel this year I have perhaps been a bit timid in the work that I am creating. I hope that over the summer and into third year, I can find ways to express my ideas a bit more ambitiously.
This video was one from the selection of the ‘reordered’ pieces, where I explored the affect repetition and reordering of the clipped videos would have on the relationship between the viewer and the words. I will be projecting this video aloud and in a dark space, it will be on a continuous loop, I hope that this will create the intended sense of disorientation and highlight the rift that is created between us, language and meaning when the relationship between ‘signifiers and signifieds’ begins to break down.
I have become increasingly interested in the use of archived footage, and specifically the effect that video and its archiving has had on how we are able to experience time. Time becomes much more of an ephemeral concept when confronted in video. In these video pieces I have explored many more combinations of video clips, exploring how the repetition and reordering of the video clips further interupts the sentences. By reordering the footage (but retaining the order of the words themselves) I am looking to create a further uneasiness, disorder and disorientation in the video pieces. The continuous reordering of the video frustrates the ability of the viewer to locate any ‘original’ intended order.