A new film I produced to accompany the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the Hayward and re-opens the gallery after two years of refurbishment.
Welcome back Hayward!
“Driven by an interest and insight into ‘the way that the world is constituted’, as well as what he describes as ‘the pure joy of seeing’, Gursky makes photographs that are not just depictions of places or situations, but reflections on the nature of image-making and the limits of human perception. Often taken from a high vantage point, these images make use of a ‘democratic’ perspective that gives equal importance to all elements of his highly detailed scenes.”
This retroyspective exhibition spans Gursky’s entire career and features over 60 of his prints. These works are also absolutely huge and have to be seen in the flesh to truly appreciate them.
Here’s the first film in a new series I’m making for the Southbank Centre called BOOK CLUB – inviting writers, artists and performers to share the books which matter to them.
First to take us on a tour of his extensive book shelves is the novelist and screenwriter William Boyd.
In William Boyd’s Book Club the author talks us through some of the ‘over 10,000’ books that occupy the shelves of his London home, from the miniscule Victorian Thumb Dictionary, to the more contemporary novels of David Szalay and Evie Wyld.
What is in the contents of your head at the moment of the beep?
This film was commissioned as part of a residency within the Wellcome Collection’s Hubbub Group and exhibited at the “Rest & its discontents” exhibition at Mile End Art Pavilion, London October 2016.
Using playful imagery the film presents a collection of short vignettes that explore the strange and often abstract nature of our everyday inner experiences.
The experiences were documented through a process called descriptive experience sampling (DES), a technique developed by American psychologist Russel Hurlburt that aims to document inner experiences – the thoughts, feelings, sensations and bodily experiences that constitute our everyday consciousness.
Participants of DES wear a small beeper which sounds randomly throughout the day, at the moment of the beep, individuals are instructed to note down the exact contents of their experience (this could include internal monologues, physical sensations or visual imagery).
Follow up interviews tease out the information of the experiences and distill them into short summaries. These so called “beep summaries” provide wonderfully vivid depictions, almost like a dream diary, for seemingly mundane everyday experiences.
Using material gathered by several members of the Hubbub team, this film translates and re-interprets the contents of the beep summaries, referencing the distortions and adaptations that occur when we try to conceptualise our inner experiences with others.
The film was shot over the summer of 2016 on a Sony A7s. I used old M42 lenses to help give the piece a faded, dream like quality – which was further aided by adding film grain and muting the colours slightly in post. Most of the portraits were shot on an old Takumar 50mm 1.4 lens which has a beautiful vintage bokeh, which is full of character and lacks the somewhat clinical precision of a modern lens.
Find out more about the Hubbub Research group here: hubbubresearch.org
Providing direction to time’s arrow
A short film I made for the Royal Institution that explores the relationship between entropy and time. The piece formed part of the larger Ri Advent Calendar project which explored the four laws of thermodynamics.
Mapping the ocean floors
An animation I produced last year with animator / illustrator Rosanna Wan for the Royal Institution.
Rosanna’s distinct visuals incorporate a hand drawn style that tell the story of cartographer Marie Tharp, whose work helped to detail the complex geography of ocean floors around the world.
Her maps helped to demonstrate that the ocean floor was in fact a complex assortment of peaks and troughs – which went against conventional wisdom at the time. Despite fierce opposition, she stuck fast to her findings and as more data was collated, the tide of opposition turned, paving the way for our modern understanding of plate tectonics.
Directed and animated by Rosanna Wan.
Produced and scripted by Ed Prosser.
Narrated by Helen Czerski.
We shot this in Victoria Park in October to take full advantage of the vibrant autumnal colours. These yellows and orange tones were used as a starting point to form psychedelic kaleidoscopes that pulsate and evolve from the movement within the shot. I’ve been really interested in experimenting with different types of framing, particularly presenting multiple frames side by side and playing with symmetry – this also presents opportunity for mischief when the symmetry between frames is pulled out of sync, reversed and distorted.
The track is taken from their latest album “Bamboo Diner in the Rain” – which is out on Moshi, Moshi – I’m really enjoying it – so check it out!
I’ve got another Wave Pictures video coming in the new year – so stay tuned!
Rest matters to everyone. Its presence, absence and quality affects mind, body, culture and society. Rest & its discontents explores the dynamics of rest, stress, relaxation, sound, noise, work and mindwandering in an evolving laboratory of moving image, performance, drawing, poetry, data, sound, music and debate.
Rest & its discontents is currently on at the Mile End Art Pavilion until the 30th October (http://hubbubresearch.org/event/rest-discontents/).
Experience Composite (excerpt)
Commissioned for Rest & its discontents.
The short film is the final piece I’ve produced as part of my 2-year residency within the Wellcome Collection’s Hubbub Group.
The film uses material gathered from individuals participating in Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) to generate short vignettes which explore and re-interpret their inner experiences. DES is a method pioneered by US psychologist Russell Hurlburt which aims to document the nature and quality of an individual’s inner experiences.
Participants are given a beeper that sounds randomly throughout the day and when it does, individuals are asked to make a note of the contents of their experience. Follow up interviews tease out the detail of each experience to produce a short “beep summary”, a short vignette or snapshot of an isolated experience in time.
Experience Composite, uses the the contents of the beep summaries and experiments with framing, looping and over-dubbing to explore the nature of our inner experiences. The film also re-interprets the summaries in playful ways to highlight the unavoidable distortion and artifice introduced when attempting to document or conceptualise our inner experiences.
Over the last year I’ve been producing a radio documentary for the BBC World Service, it’s called “Leaving the Fold” and it airs today!
It explores the stories of three people who have decided to walk away from their faith and the difficulties they faced in doing so.
You can stream it and download it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p046hfzb
What does it take for someone to turn their back on their religious upbringing? What effect does that decision ultimately have on them and those around them? We explore the personal journeys of three people who walked away from their faiths and redefined their morality in a world without God.
An ex-Muslim, ex-Hindu, and an ex-born-again-Christian, each recount what their lives were like growing up in devout religious families and what spurred them on to renounce their faith. The programme traces the moments that defined their journeys.
What did removing the hijab in public for the first time represent for the ex-Muslim? How did a religiously motivated bomb attack in India affect the ex-Hindu’s understanding of his faith? How did the ex-born-again-Christian learn to live in a world without morals and rules defined by God?
Two new videos produced recently for the Royal Institution that take you inside the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility in Oxfordshire.
This is a scientific research facility that uses a high-energy proton accelerator to generate neutrons which are then used by visiting scientists to research the structure and properties of materials.
Find out about how they power the facility and an example of the cutting edge research taking place in the videos below!
Proteins and Particles
How to Power a Particle Accelerator
Here’s a short animation I wrote and produced with animator / illustrator Andrew Khosravani.
The piece is narrated by Hannah Fry and tells the story of how zero became a number. We were very happy about it getting a “Staff Pick” on Vimeo!
The scripting for the piece was tricky, it took several weeks to wrap our heads around the subject and then boil a significant amount of history down into around 3 minutes… inevitably details had to be cut and even after recording the voice-over with Hannah we had to make some difficult decisions to make further cuts. All in the name of reducing animation time – which was significant for a piece like this – Andrew did an incredible job!
Oh and the chapter numbers are obviously all in binary.