An escapade denotes an animated traversal of something, and that thing is necessarily temporal. The project of recording and working through two hours with a camera separates the temporal experience into two distinct episodes. One is hardly episodic, identifiable as such only through the realization of an event bracketed by a beginning and end of an activity. The other is literally episodic but remarkably singular, contained within the actual confines of a video with a clear beginning and end. The former is the actual experience of the event in real-time where by what is happening changes to the volition and will of those involved. It is the actual experience of flux, where each moment comes about in an anticipation that occurs simultaneously to action and pre-active potential. The latter is the durational, which I argue exists as we have conceptualized (in opposition to compressed time) only in the recording, in the experience of watching time post-occurrence.
Duration more broadly understood, is at once the mundane experience of everyday life and the extra-ordinary phenomenon falling outside the normalized perception of time. It is the organic experience of time – unedited and perceptually continuous but not necessarily linear, notwithstanding the biological/physiological interruptions to perception and consciousness that could occur. This naturalistic feeling and way of perceiving time, lends the amalgamation of events in fragmented and dis-continuous time as an apparent whole. In this contradiction, durational time comes to affirm its meaning as something distinct from the movement image and the cuts and splices that typify our contemporary experience with images and temporal representation. Durational time, as a representation of temporality upsets the naturalized comfort we have with the fragmented experience – that is to say, fragmented reality, alienated bodies and reified time – through the (re)presentation of the ostensible boredom developed in our association with the everyday. In such a way, we become increasingly disembodied from the tactile experience and the tangibility of the everyday, searching neurotically and hungrily for the satisfaction of the next flash of spectacular stimulation – a new normality of which its bombardistic rhythm venerates its own condition of perpetual over-stimulation, perpetual dullness, and perpetual social-political immobility. In such spectacular conditions, the everyday, the phenomenal experience is vacuumed of its excitement, possibility and malleability. The spectacular machine, at once sensational and flashy, rapidly delivering the sound bites of shock and awe at the convenience of the insta-everything, simultaneously nullifies the shock of all things -images of war become just another flash, austerity another flare, the devastation of a typhoon another flicker. Until all things becomes one in the same, a mass trivialization of all things mediated- the ultimate entertainment, the ultimate boredom, the ultimate distraction.
This project of video & audio mixing is an attempt to disrupt and play with what is already distorted and manipulated. We took the material of a spectacular order and unveiled the assumed unity of sound and image and the integrity of the moving image through the process of live decomposition and re-spectacularized present in the durational image. This is an unpacking of the process of image production, where by its rearrangement, which is revealed to the viewer as something that is frankly the result of the performers’ agency. In this process of unpacking, I feel as though there is a de-authoritarization of images. At the same time, the capacity for us to manipulate the audio-visual material in real time, introduces us to another kind of immediacy, where the direct interaction with the images and sounds makes way for unplanned interruptions to our intent in the form of laughter, commentary, ‘mistakes’, silences, moments of emptiness, distraction etc… In this experience of unfolding, the rate of fragmentation is actually slowed down as we decide in real time and as the viewer watches us decided in their real time mediated by the video, what decisions we make and what problems we come to encounter. For me, the most interesting dimension is the anticipation of the unplanned, the moments before navigating and directing flux. In the slowing down of fragmentation, we are able to draw more attention to the fragmentary nature of the material we were working with. Fragmentation, instead of being almost epiphenomenal, is in this case at the locus of the experiment.
There is little bodily movement carried out by Fallon and I, who are the subjects. Instead the movement that edges along the passage of time is that within the original movement image. In that sense, there is a removal of the movement image filtered through the time-image of the video’s form. The video, once captured, allotted and contained within its two hours of spatialized time, takes on the demeanour of a documentational object. How does the perception of time and the function of time change between the two in experience during documentation and experience post-documentation? In this situation of multiple mediations, at which points do two singularities/subjects/performers intersect?
Consciousness and correlations provokes another set of interesting concerns. To what degree are we conscious of the correlation between sounds, images and meaning? How does self-conciseness of meaning production change the correlations? Here, I think intentionality is something worth looking at. Through out the time frame, there is an unregulated oscillation between intent and unconscious reaction, filled with transitional gaps of reflection and consideration for the next thing in sequence. There is a sense of an event, orchestrated with intentionality accompanied by the unplanned, continuous anticipatory action and response in a moment in said event.
I am captivated by the allure of ‘everyday epicness’, like the contradictions of late capitalism and the post-modern condition, there is something both emancipatory (wrong choice of word perhaps, given the nuanced and all permeated nature of oppression) and unsettling and repressive about the idea. The durational image, being something that is lived but marginal sits at the border between the everyday and the epic.
Feedback of course is relevant to dialogical and structural concerns of the situation’s perimeters and is operative on multiple levels. I think however, that in this project there lacks a dominant and heterogenous feedback loop. Rather, feedback extends from multiple points and intersecting in a delineation more akin to an atmospheric cloud.
The aforementioned musings are simply the beginnings of tangents for further exploration. The series of questions listed below are likewise ideas that could not be explored here.
With focus exalted as the metonym of efficiency and productivity, can distraction, self-conscious distraction be a way of opposing the enforcement of a regime? Is that a form of focused distraction? Can jouissance, distinct from leisure, be the dionysian mapping of a joyfully critical and dissenting ethos of the strategic feedback between laziness and activity? In which moments is distraction empowering and which disempowering? What are the different types of distraction? How do we situate exhaustion? Is exhaustion experienced at the end of an event the result of temporal commitment or the sustainment of overstimulation? How successful were the possibility spaces we tried to create?