In between the end of the museum project and the Copenhagen trip and FMP we were given a week to choose a technique and make something interesting. I had a tutorial with Myfanwy and Alison at some point and they mentioned the element of the barrage of images that appears in my work. For instance this is my studio:
Anyway one of Myfanwy’s ideas was to use four projectors in tandem to make a video installation. I quite liked this idea as it reminded me of the ‘polyvision’ widescreen technique that was invented by the French silent film director Abel Gance for his 1927 six hour epic Napoleon.
Three screens man.
Anyway I got pretty obsessed with this idea because it linked to everything I had been doing, neo-cubism, montage etc. and indeed a film I had seen in New York by the hippie/beat experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner called Three Screen Ray, which had left a big impression.
I decided however that multiple projectors was near-unfeasible in terms of resources. Furthermore it would be very difficult to synchronise the multiple images. In any case I was doing something for week and wanted to see some tangible results.
The solution I came up with was to move the multiple images on to one screen using editing software, in this case final cut pro. The source footage was film I had taken in Berlin of the view from the windows of above ground subway cars. This I thought was really exciting because if I displayed multiple views simultaneously, it would be like the camera roving across different parts of the city simultaneously, showing you a larger view of the urban landscape.
I found in final cut that one can stack multiple timelines of video on top of each other, and then transform them, making a split screen effect. It was initially pretty difficult to line up each video in to four equal parts of the screen, but I eventually found a way to painstakingly arrange them by setting the exact co-ordinates each clip sits at on screen.
Anyway the final video is entitled U-Bahn. I am very pleased with the results, I think it is one of the best pieces I have made on this course. I think there are a lot of possibilities as well, like creating a soundscape of all the different subway noises that could play in the same room, and even going further and having the spectator sit on chairs from trains, having piss all over the floor and buzzing striplights, and a tramp staring at you from across the room. This may be what I go on to explore at the FMP stage. For this reason I think this video is more of a study for a larger, recut video piece using some of the same footage that could be used for FMP.