The line up for Mono No Aware VI in Brooklyn, New York, has been announced and I’m really pleased to be part of it again. Last year, with financial support from MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University and funding from the event, I was lucky enough to travel to New York to create an installation made from woven super 8mm film. This year the event runs on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December, with my work exhibited on Saturday night.
Tape Measure Film was also recently shown at Paper Gallery in Manchester, as pictured above, read a review of the exhibition by Corridor 8 here. It is relatively new piece of work, a 16mm black and white film loop with optical sound, hand made through a cameraless process in the dark room. The filmstrip functions as a tape measure of 60 inches or 152 cm, but becomes a moving image when projected, with the inch marks creating optical sound. It rejects the durational measurement of the frame line, instead emphasising film as spatial material. The numbers and letters appear and disappear at speed within the frame, alluding to countdown leader, but deny the correct orientation and never appear for long enough to create any discernible order or narrative. The short loop runs through the projector, measuring its mechanical internal space repeatedly, until the sprocket holes on the film begin to slip and judder as they wear out. Through projection, the loop becomes a measure of the finite life of film itself.
The whole experience of going to Mono No Aware last December was fantastic, so many lovely film folks to meet and great work on show celebrating the materiality of film. Within half an hour of arriving from my flight, I was taken to Cabin in a Loft where Terri and Adam were welcoming friendly hosts, along with their very affectionate cat. They also work together as artists, check their work out here http://www.eternitystew.com/
Mono No Aware run workshops and support artists working with film, as well as organising this annual supercharged bonanza of cinematic goodness. Steve Cossman, one of the organisers of the exhibition, was surprised to find out I had never actually shot any film, and promptly brought me a super 8mm camera to play with for my first morning exploring New York. So I shot my first film roaming the concrete jungle and had it processed at Pac Lab for about $14!!! Wish processing was this price in the UK… The technicians at Lightspace Studios were also really helpful with installing the work, and the venue was packed both nights.
I would love to go back this year, but I am on a residency in Barcelona with another Manchester based artist Hannah Leighton-Boyce, promising equally exciting unfound treasures. During the three week residency at La Escocesa, which has also been organised with support from Islington Mill, we plan to explore the overlaps and common ground between our practices. We both have backgrounds in textiles, but have moved into working with photographic apparatus, materials, light and space. Hannah and I will keep a blog, exhibit work at the end of the residency, and give an artist talk. Find out more here. I’m keen to seek out other artists working with analogue film in Barcelona, I’m hoping to discover more when I get there, as the research I’ve done so far hasn’t been fruitful. I’m sure there’s some peeps out there. Maybe they’re just fiddling around in a darkroom, or off out shooting film, and not on the internet…