Saturday, 2 November 2013

Unconscious Archives, The Perfect Medium is the Wrong Message

Sally Golding, Face of an Other

Aura Satz,  Love Songs for Broken Machines

Malcolm Le Grice, Horror Film 1

Amy Dickson, Light Time

Guy Edmonds, Séance du Cinema
Stills from found domestic home movie performance
(Edmonds has been collecting
over years)

Tai Shani, re-working of 'Visions of Frozen Hell'

The Perfect Medium is the Wrong Message

I did not quite understand the reference to Marshall McLuhan’s ‘Medium is the Massage’ (notably ‘massage’ and not ‘message’ as is commonly thought, since apparently when the book first went to print it came back with the typo which Mcluhan thought was so perfect he decided to keep) and I do not think after the two evenings I have solved the issue. I will continue thinking about that.

The event was over two nights and as usual was a mix of excellent, exciting and then long, frustrating.
Sir Gideon Vein, claiming to be 169 years old made 4 appearances in the first night and towards the end refused to get off stage by dancing with his fellow white veiled, wedding dressed bride. The audience, polite as ever just sat awkwardly and waited whilst around the room a number of people laughed excessively at the spectacle.

In-between Sir Gideon Vein, Sally Golding and Malcolm Le Grice both performed live film projections. Golding showing an earlier piece in which a number of faces and body parts are projected upon her as she stands still in front of the audience. Each time the projection face changed, Golding would move her face to align with her own simultaneously to a vintage sound effect mixed with screaming, phones calling and people laughing.

Malcolm Le Grice performed his seminal Horror Film 1 piece from 1971 in which three coloured 16mm projections and his own body move slowly away over 14 minutes while his silhouette casts shadows across the white centre.

The evening felt in fitting with the passing of Halloween, Amy Dickson showing a candle piece which slowly burned away light sensitive emulsion and Aura Satz revealing the inside workings of an ear (Sound Seam) and contacting a voice within her own body through a ventriloquist act (Love Songs for Broken Machines).

The first performance on the second night featured Guy Edmonds showing two from a collection found domestic home movies from 1937 and the 1950’s. Demian Allan a Psychic, Astrologer, Clairvoyant and Tarot reader and an Medium attempted to read the energies of characters appearing in the films.

What stood out to me most was a few elderly couples appeared on the screen and a number of people knowingly shouted out ‘Victorians’ since they were standing staring still into the camera lens, possibly unknown to them that instead of a still daguerreotype image being taken,they were being filmed in real time on colour film.

Simultaneously, the Psychic and Medium threw out suggestions as to what the people in the film may be like, where they were going (in 1937 and 1950’s). Mostly doom and gloom, the couple’s relationship was going to break down and the families’ mother was going to become ill and her daughters would be forced to care for her. I heard from around me slight scepticism, comments, snuffles, words thrown out, a few gasps, followed by questions which interrogated whether the Medium may be getting energy from people in the room instead of the people in the film?

He assured everyone that he was strong enough to filter out the energy, although later the both told me it had been a difficult task.

Ryan Jordon blinded everyone with bright light. (Watch the youtube film to see the effects)

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