ARVO _ Cinema Poetic Machine




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cinema poetic machine, animation film custom device.
Film installation for music-video.

First I remixed Arvo Part "tabula rasa" and "frates" together to fit in 3 minutes.
One week before I started this film my grabdfather died and I inherited of his collection of lenses and prisms, he was building microscope as a hobby. In the same previous week I was dropped by my girlfriend. I wanted to put all this emotiond and anger in this film.
The lens in th center, the eye, me/you the watcher would be the main character yet still.
The story comes in two parts : You arealone in the center, suddenly the crazyness of this world, crowds, people shouting, emotional impulses. Second part is a ballet, the world is turning, you remain still in the center watching it all. A character, a little lens dances solo and approaches you, ... desire ... desire ... dance ... and slowly going away without realisation. The crowd moves away, living you by yourself, again.

This movie is a cycle and is supposed to be projected from above on the floor, audience should be standing around, looking down with this sensation of vertigo love provides.

The machine is a home-made " banc-titre ". My camera angle was narrow, the image looked flat, so I added a mirror down at my feets : the angle got double, there was suddenly crazy depths but the camera lens would be always in the image : the eye. The eye = you, the central character. 3 layers of glass x 2 = 6 visible levels (the youtube quality can't show it to you but ....) to animate objects (lenses, prisms) and liquids (milk, black ink, oil). So I animated frame by frame ( I took 25 photos to make a second of animation) took pictures with the digital camera at the top of the installation, stroed directly into a computer, with a screen for preview. On my right is a long roll print, with the music graphical representation and indications of object mouvements i had created before entering the black box.

This is the optical description of the installation : a camera at the top, a mirror at the bottom. 3 layers of glass suspended on an aluminium scaffolding tubular adjustable structure. 4 diagonal spots. The entire installation has to fit in a completely black box fixed on the camera objective itself at the top.
I animated the liquids with a razor or a debit card, the lens by hand. For a week I was locked inside the black box wearing only my pants because with the spots make the atmosphere inside super hot, no air.

The structure s very simple but can be expensive ... cheaper and simpler alternative can be invented. If you already have a ladder or even better, a mobile scaffolding, it's easy ! But note : don't put too long pieces of glass without strusture underneath, and i recommend to put something between the ladder and the glass like a sponge, a textile, to soften the contact in case of shock.

Preparatory drawings : I did many drawings to analyse the music emotional mouvements and dynamic. Finally, it has a lot to do with "music psychology" which is supposed to be a serious science (emtional science is what i want to learn).

The entire timeline, with the frame-time-code at the top. I just printed this on a 7 meters paper roll and annoted it. While animating I would listen and listen again to short parts of it to put the right emotion in the gesture. Every sound corresponds to a direction, a length, a color, a density, a certain quickness, an emotion.

poetic machine ...



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    6 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    it's a touching film. i loved it. sorry about your grandpa and girlfriend. i envy you for the ability to turn feelings into art. keep the good work.

    1 reply

    12 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful... Your timeline, with its invented notations, is a work of art in of itself. My comments on your other Instructable may have been a bit harsh. This is a unique piece for this site, and I'm no longer sure that it needs to fit the mold that other Instructables have established. My criticism -- that an Instructable should be very detailed to allow for replication -- may apply less to works of art, where every production is intended to be unique. I think you've provided enough detail, here, to inspire similar works. I actually wish more artists would use the site to expose the public to their methods. It definitely deepened my connection with this particular piece.

    1 reply
    cesar haradanagutron

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    No no, I think you are totally right on your previous comment, i should be more clear, more instructable. It is art, but art can be replicable (even if it is not a ready-made) and I am here to share and learn from others (I'll definitely be a bit bothered if i was looking at something I liked on this site that I wasn't able to re-build from present explanations), so i'm going to try to make it more understable, step by step. Thanks for comment.