The Snark Dance

collaborative choreographies of collective memory

The Editing Ritual May 11, 2008

Filed under: processing — danceswithsnarks @ 12:19 pm

Here I will discuss my experimentation with the editing of the kinetic seance. This was done by setting myself constraints that were then overlapped as more rules were set. I set certain rules for image only, sound only, and the sound and image together. I worked in Avid which allowed for me to see clips as geometric shapes so that the time line actually looked like a cubist painting by the end of it.

My first rule was to set down certain scenes and split them between 20 second intervals at various points along the time line. I then looked for motifs in image which were spinning, roses, and tombstones. Spinning was set after every first second of each minute, Rose images started at every 41st second of each minute ad tombstones within 20 second intervals. For sound I had footsteps playing throughout at 20 second intervals intermitten with the recording of a dog running past. Also I used the music someone began to play about one minute into the film. the sound of paper crunching was played every minute. The 14=8 discussion was split into sentences and played at .08, 1:14, 2:08, 4:14, and 4:08.

I was very surprised at the footage people left me. Some were very art therapy and serious while others were very cheeky and funny. My friends oli and Adam were actually spying on us and pretending to be lost in the cemetery and the project. These 2 also started playing with the idea that 14=8 and how they might walk if that were the case. I decided to use all of the counting and numbers as a way to frame the entire film which is why I used this conversation as the last layer so it actually becomes one of the most clear. I had to manipulte sound levels where noise came from too much sound traffic. Otherwise I left things to the fate of the constraints I set. All in all the process was very educational and though it isnt the best film in the world I am sure once the project develops and we start feeling more confident in the game we will be able to create objects and sounds that will be used as markers from which we can collaboratively set constraints for the editing game.

By providing each participant with a camera I am interested to see how each person chooses to represent themselves through the technology of gazing, especially in such a setting. Editing as the finder not the one that was lost is a fairly interesting position to be in as I come in out of the shots as i abandon and reunite with the participant. I feel like I am essentially playing a game of hide and seek and maybe this would be a more effective way to play the game. Especially as the hunt implies that something is hidden away already. However, I would not want the emphasis on the discovery of the space to be lost to the game. So I suppose I still want to stick with the idea that as each person returns they must return with a constraint or define a symbol and so on. We should program the narrative but this does run some dangers of contriving the experience in uninteresting ways.

Anyways, below are the results of my first graveyard experiment. It was actually shot in professional DV but web streaming has screwed all of that up. Next time I will look into the best way to web stream without loosing so much resolution.


I really enjoyed editing this film but it was a pretty raw process and I hope to make the constraints make a little more sense in the future as the project starts taking shape. This is essentially a collaborative form of storytelling and I would like to maybe start creating a new language amongst ourselves so that we can actually code the process. I would also like to bring the text from the graveyard more into the picture. I would really like the formulation of the editing process to echo the production process and its content in order to seamlessly intertwine the documentation into the project. Any ideas?


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