MD902

A single screen or three screen DVD projection. Running time: 17 minutes.

“ The subject of this three piece projection was Birmingham’s newly acquired Macdonald Douglas helicopter. Filmed from my home over a period of six months, the piece presents four chapters in which the identity of the helicopter gently transforms from a bee-like visitor, to an oppressive hovering presence, to an indistinct damsel fly at dusk.

The soundtrack of incidental noise - brushing against plants and knocking over objects in the effort of locating the helicopter through the lens - places the viewpoint of the entire piece in the home. In engaging with issues of surveillance, the video tracks the invasive and unspecified nature of the helicopter sorties through the nervous gesture of returning the gaze with a video camera.

As it is, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham UK 2000

Breaking the Surface, Plymouth Art Gallery 2002


Shown at:

Sea, Wolverhampton Art Gallery UK 2002

S173

Looped DVD with sound that can be shown as an installation together with the following text.

“ Upon the 22nd June, in lat. 46º 57’ N, long. 58º 39’ W., Captain Neill, of the ship “Robertson” of Greenock, then homeward bound from Montreal to Greenock, saw the head and snout of a great sea monster, of which a sketch was drawn at the time.

It was first observed at about a quarter past nine A.M., on the weather-bow, about four points, and it then appeared like a large vessel lying on her beam-ends. The “Robertson” was hauled up so as to near it, and running at the rate of eight knots an hour, she, at noon, got abreast of it, distant about a mile to leeward. On observation at this time, it was discovered to be the head and snout of a great fish swimming to windward; and though an attempt was made to get closer, it could not be accomplished, because the fish, without much apparent exertion, kept swimming as fast as the vessel sailed.

Immediately above the water its eye was seen like a large deephole. That part of the head which was above the water, measured about twelve feet, and its breadth or width twenty-five feet. The snout or trunk was about fifty feet long, and the sea occasionally rippled over one part, leaving other parts quite dry and uncovered. The colour of the part seen was green, with a light and dark shade, and the skin was ribbed.”


A connection to a remote place

An online observatory connecting the real-time coordinates of orbiting satellites with webcams located at terrestrial observatories

A Website commissioned by Impakt Online as part of a group theme, "Translations'.


The current coordinates of three satellites are translated into text and images, which have been chosen to open up a 'thinking space' around the invisible presence of orbiting satellites. It questions whether it is possible to feel a palpable connection to the remote location of satellites via the Internet.


Data displayed on the site is selected by the changing, real-time coordinates of three satellite: one is an inhabited satellite, one an earth observation satellite and the third is a telescope turned on distant galaxies. They form a triptych of viewpoints and also of timescales. The webcams update every minute, the satellite images are usually current to the day, while the Hubble images take a year before they are released to the public domain.


The site makes suggestions through the images and texts of how we might find access to this environment via the Internet, launches, tracking and the imagination and it points to veiled restrictions, from keystroke tracking to the physics of decay that determine the satellite's orbital lifespan.


Imperial War Museum, London, Film Archive reference numbers: IWM1155, IWM569, ADM917, ADM3814, ADM1526, GWY1526, ADM916.

 

Feathered Water (Moby Dick)

16 mm film, black and white with sound: Running time 5 mins

Made from footage held in the Imperial War Museum documenting secret trials of submarines, this short film raises the complexity of responses to this strangest product of modern military technology. Beginning by conjuring what seem to be sea beasts, calling each other from the deep, the pace and associations change with the raising of a white Polaris. A potent symbol of the epic scale and covert nature of Cold War surveillance operations, and recalling the weighty metaphors of Herman Melville’s whale Moby Dick, its gravity is responded to by a comedy of fleeing midget submarines.

Screenings:

Side by Side, LUX and Cinestar at Backlane West, Redruth, Cornwall, UK April 4th 2016

Pavillon de Normandie, Caen, France November 10-13 2004

Video-in, Vancouver 26th August 2004

Cinematique, Brighton 18th March 2004

Ocatillo, London 12th March 2004

International Film Festival Rotterdam 21 January-1 February 2004

15th Onion City Film Festival, Chicago 12th - 14th September 2003

The Imperial war Museum "Alternative Histories of Modern Conflict 21 June 2003

Lux Open, Royal College of Art, London 27th April 2003