20 + 4 works on quarantine, isolation and (un)wavering thought path in VOICES FROM THE ATMOSPHERE, issue #4 of FP’s online video zine「大氣中融融細語」,《平地數碼》網上錄像誌第4期。20+1 段關於隔離、獨思獨處的,堅定也搖擺的思路。

**Feature image: video still from Mandy Yau’s work, courtesy of artist

 

D-Normal/V-essay online video zine #4 (April 2022): Voices from the Atmosphere

Imagine someone gives you a blank sheet and asks you to freely put something on it…

An instantaneous thought? A long held grudge? A heart-felt concern? A playful pretense of somebody else? A question? The performance of annoyance? A mark, an enigma? Or, well, may I grab this chance to take you through my thought path by the step? Anger, desperation, self-consolation, a genuine experience in a virtual world …

And what if the blank sheet is a canvas? Would you splash paint for the pleasure of automatism like Jackson Pollock did, or would you turn it into a cut-up artbook like Claude Cahun’s Disavowals to assemble fragments for your next moves as your moods may take you?

This issue (#4, 4 April 2022) contains 20 montage-collage photo sequences of 1-2 minutes for free expression, all made during the quarantine or period of limited mobility and limited resources, when classes were all turned online, once again!
&nbsp:

Game rules

This issue has the grand purpose of turning our chains of thoughts visual-narratively into short video sequences; it is also an open game with some basic rules:

(1) Combine collage (spatial) and montage (temporal) — to play up the richness of a single image and the adventurous journey of a series of single images constructing a world as they add up.

(2) Still images mainly. Hand-drawn works fine. Live-action video reduced to minimum: construct moving images from still images and output as video.

(3) For collage work, using found images by others is acceptable but it must be followed by proper citation.

(4) Output as video: play with time and space

Stop motion. Montage, Superimposition. What else? How to make a still image move?

Address the question, “What is in your mind, here and now?”

Thinking narratively…

Visual-narratively, this exercise seeks to stretch the possibilities of “narrative” by first taking it to its minimum form – sequential ordering that has an impact.

As an exercise of free expression, the minimum characterization of “what is narrative” is understood as the unfolding of a thought path… Thus…

… i.e. a cluster of things (fragments of thoughts and images) in sequential order, hanging together by the connective “and then … and then… and then…,”

And we may advance into more possible connectives to form more complex thought paths:

// What if the connectives are more than “and then… and then… and then…”… ? They could be “but,” “on the other hand,” “in the meantime,” “surprisingly…” …?

// In narrative games, the general idea of a work (often unfairly reduced to a theme or message) is not as interesting as the process of lining up and integrating details, or forming an explicit or implicit argument. We call that an image discourse.

Yes, to an artist, the final value of an arithmetical operation may not be as interesting as the process.

7 = 0 + 7

7 = 1 + 6

7 = 2 + 3 + 2

7 = 6 + 5 – 4

7 = (2+1)2 – 2

7 = {(2+1)2 + 4 + 1} 2

…so on and more…

Thought paths…

In some of the pieces in this issue, the artist’s thought paths are more a sustained state of mind about to morph or proliferate but not quite. The points and modes of “closure” in many of these works are like an enigma, or a silent secret. Some ends with a wandering mind about to take up a second life, second journey.

Some works start off looking for their expressions in existing images by others. These collage works with found images remind us of the collage tradition in which the negotiation of cultural artifacts results not in appropriation but re-invention of meanings.

Lastly, the works in this issue were all made this spring 2022 when classes are all online, some in quarantine, and there are limited resources except basic software from the open source and a smartphone. But limitations are the beginning of innovation. Minimum resources, maximum expression.
&nbsp:

Archiving a moment

In the final stop-press moment, I felt compelled to include FOUR more videos on hotel quarantine – this unexpectedly prolonged experience up till this very moment since 2020. … By serendipity, I found several such pieces from young artist-friends who graciously responded. These last few solicited videos are marked with an asterisk [*], all placed in section I. They are the only works that are not restricted to the game rules described above.

Grasp the moment. In five years’ time, if we stumble upon this issue and read the minds in these 24 works, what would…..? I wonder… I am curious.

| Linda Chiu-han Lai, 4 April 2022

… to be continued …

 

想像有人給你一張白紙,著你在上面自由的放下點甚麼…。

一個突如其來的意念?一個懷抱多時的怨念?由衷的關注?頑皮的扮著是別人?一個問句?把煩惱演在人前?打個記號,劃個暗號?或者你說:好吧,讓我一五一十的把我的想法步步攤開!懊惱。慌張無助。自我安慰。在虛擬世界中確鑿的經驗著。…

那麼如何白紙其實是畫布?你會像 Jackson Pollock 那樣快樂的潑發顏料?或如 Claude Cahun 那樣把影像割切成寓意漫溢的碎片,湊合成剪貼簿作備案,方便日後心情到可抽取搞搞新創作?

《平地數碼》錄像誌第4期(2022年4月4日出版)命名為「大氣中融融細語」,收集了20多串1-2分鐘長度的「拼湊-蒙太奇」的影像陳述。若有題旨的話就是自由題吧。自由發表不是模菱兩可,是積極發聲,而且這些影像小品都間接與「隔離」有關,若不是疫情期間酒店隔離的日誌,便是限聚令之下只能網上學習的日子的傾力創作,用最少的資源,發揮最大的能量!

 

遊戲規則

這一期我們的「大志」是把微碎的思緒、擺動的思路化為可見可陳述的影像串。那麼,這個開放式的自由題遊戲有那些基本規則呢?

(一)結合(平面空間度的)「拼貼」和(時間度的)「蒙太奇」,把一個簡單的畫面變成豐實的世界,一個觀者可隨著走的衍生中的旅程。

(二)基本材料和輸入的必須是靜態畫面 — 手繪、攝影、印刷品剪出來的皆可 — 輸出的是錄像視頻。

(三)若是「拼貼」材料是網上蒐錄的,必須註明出處。

(四)輸出為錄像視頻,這樣,就有玩弄時空、探索時空的餘地。

定格剪輯。蒙太奇剪接。疊加。還有還有。如何令靜態的材料「動」起來呢?

最重要的是:此時此刻,你在想甚麼呢?關心的又是甚麼?

 

「視覺-敘述」: 一種特殊的思辯法

「視覺-敘述」的操作上來說,這個練習尋求對「敘述」的可能性張開,起步卻是尋回「敘述」觀念上的極微至小和最低 (不同敘述理念的最小公因數)– 有次序的排列以至其撞擊出來的果效

依循這個練習的自由發表的大方向,何謂敘述?其最基本的特性可理解為思路的逐步攤開(反折疊)。因此 … …

… … 「視覺-敘述」本身就是一種特殊的思辯法。一簇東西(思想和影像的碎片),在某種排序下以「然後 …,然後 …,接著 …,於是 …」等等的接連方式湊合起來。

**然而言,還有更多的連接詞可訂定更多的聚合法和思辯的邏輯。「可是…」、「另一方面…」、「反過來看…」、「與此同時…」、「詫異地…」… …。

**敘述遊戲中,作品的大意(往往被壓榨為梗概、主題或信息)往往不比細節的排序和綜合,又或論據的鋪陳有趣。這裡我們稱之為視像的論述。

大概對一個創作人來說,數目運算的值並沒有運算的組合過程有趣。例如,7的值可有不同的運算構成。

0 + 7 | 7 = 1 + 6 | 7 = 2 + 3 + 2 | 7 = 6 + 5 – 4 | 7 = (2+1)2 – 2 | 7 = {(2+1)2 + 4 + 1} 2

如此類推…

 

思路…

《平地數碼》第4期「大氣中融融細語」所收集的小品當中,好些作者的思路說得更準確點是一種持續、揮不掉的狀態,蠢蠢欲動向前推進衍化更生卻糾纏著未能痛快如願。好些篇章裡,「完敘」(或收筆)的點更像留下一個密碼、一個暗號,一個靜默的、等待著被揭發的秘密。有些完敘時迴旋跌宕是個不安的心搶著再來一次再度練習飛行。

因著遊戲規則的容許,有些習作一起步就是有策略的在別人的作品裡尋找那些也散發著像她們自己的感思趣味的影像碎片,二次創作。這樣的拼貼直指很多人熟識的二十世紀的拼貼「傳統」以至其批判的意向;而跟既有的文藝創作品進行的交涉所產生的,不止是挪移,而是意義的再創造。

最後該指出,「大氣中融融細語」的一眾聲影論述的基本上都是2022年春季的創作,這段期間只容許網上教學,有些人更只能在隔離酒店的房間裡進行一整個世界的活動。資源有限就不用說了,只是這樣的(資源上的)至少極微而(創造力、創新上)最大的體驗,可算寶貴,提醒我們如何生存下去將會是創作人的基本。

 

一個瞬間的庫存

上載前的一刻,安排了特殊的加插。隔離而獨力令生活不致失去意義的這狀態驅使我好奇的向外尋援,就問問身邊的人有誰在隔離期間拍過錄像日記。欣然收到了一些即時回應,那便是第一部份打了[*] 的四個作品。也就是唯一的不依從上述遊戲規則的四個作品。

「撈」著這24段眾數的「此刻」,好好安放。不知到若干年後若有人不經意碰到這些輕便的篇章,碰觸到這些思維碎片,會怎樣?會想起甚麼?很是好奇。

 

| 黎肖嫻,2022年4月23日
/…待續。