Fire Drill: Time Had A Job – by Charles Campbell

Time Had A Job

Here’s what I think:

  • it would be better if you could get the lighting to bump off and on faster, otherwise we quickly lose the frames (that the light breaks create) in the fadings-in and -out and are just watching continuity with occasional obscurity
  • this would make a great video in part because video makes the framing technically easier
  • on the other hand, quick cuts are now so obscenely prevalent in videos (esp videos as we now see them in 10 min or shorter bursts) that even Tarkovsky and Bela Tarr now seem as if they were reacting (before the fact) against this with their self-consciously interminable shots, but
  • consequently it would make a great work sample
  • the sound needs a frame of some sort as well because while the content of the sound changes, its presence doesn’t, and becomes continuous despite its radical shifting in tone
  • regularity is your friend when it is not your enemy
  • some of the correlations between sound and visuals were (intentionally or not) correlating enough so that the movement became either commentary on the sound or vice versa, so that we began to watch this piece like we used to watch Saturday morning cartoons, for the pleasure of identification and recognition in short bursts — which then becomes a problem only in that identification becomes a goal and we miss the patterning
  • tempo (rate of speed) becomes something that we notice as we ride along, which is a solid foundation for a work that makes a bigger space than it takes up
  • the houndstooth (in retrospect) modeled the performance: a highly contrasting, alternating series of discreet events that together make a surface along which your eyes constantly shift, so that you don’t see individual elements but begin to have visions that are almost hallucinations, variations in the pattern that aren’t there, motion in the fabric made by the shortcomings of our senses
  • these hallucinations, or patternings, are what is bigger than the combined elements of the piece and become the experience of the show, which is very exciting to me
  • in other words, the more discreet and irreconcilable the elements were in your pattern, the greater the chance of mirage-like experience
  • and the reverse is true: the more continuity and identification are possible, the less our experience is foreign to us (or at least unexpected) and disquieting, and the more conventionally pleasurable (and quieting) it is
  • the artist statement was a separate performance and deserves its own critical look, but
  • “form” and “content” are distractions, or worse: categories of knowledge that shape not only how we experience work, or make it, but how it is possible to think about it
  • thank you for the work



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