I’ve been filming water today. It’s part of a different project I’ve got going on which is a bit of a long term thing with another artist.* We’re looking at ways to express the passing of time and a notion of timelessness. It comes from ideas on repetition and rhythm from a completely organic angle, and the idea of a natural ebb and flow to time has made today a very tranquil place to be.
Far too often I see film-based artists examine the concept of time by just leaving a tripod and camera set up for a long period. They expect the viewer to just stand there and immerse themselves in the passing of time; a kind of meditation if you will. It’s a concept that has been done so many times by so many artists in the last decade that I usually get bored very quickly. Expecting the viewer to achieve a meditative state just by walking in off the street and into a gallery is too much to expect of me, and lazy art just isn’t my thing. If an artist isn’t attempting to subvert or evolve the concept then I’m just not interested. There is no way that I would expect any viewer to just sit and watch a film of water passing in a stream.** No, no. It needs to be far more complex to hold my attention and far more demanding on my own artistic skills. Anything film-based that I release would be designed to challenge the concept and intrigue the viewer.
So back to this emerging water baby of ours. It will be a long time coming and a long time filming. I’m gathering a little bit of footage every few days but not because the location or the season is important here, quite the reverse. I want as many locations and situations as possible. The film we create will not be linear but instead will represent time as complex and multifaceted. Meanwhile for anyone who likes that lazy art nonsense here’s a screen-grab of some water. Feel free to stare at it with a glass of Prosecco for a few hours if you like.
*on behalf of some clients etc. Can’t say much about it at the moment. Probably not for another six months.
**Once I experienced 20 minutes of a film of a field at night that someone showed as ‘art’ in a gallery. At one point in the film a spotlight came on and then went off again 5 seconds later. That was it. I tell you that’s 20 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. If you want that then just go find a field and experience the real thing. Get out and find a stream and sit by it. Take a picnic or something and sit on a mountain top. Really. Leave the art gallery now and get a life.