Thursday, February 16, 2012

Deep Interior Shots (Redux and Remix)

From a June, 1981, note on "the nature of images," Bill Viola writes:
I am interested not so much in the image whose source lies in the phenomenal world, but rather the image as artifact, or result, or imprint, or even wholly determined by some inner realization. It is the image of that inner state and as such must be considered completely accurate and realistic. This is an approach to images from an entirely opposite direction -- from within rather without.
This inner realization that Viola speaks of is explored in the Immobilité project as a series of "deep interior shots" (a playful remix of what in standard Hollywood script-dogma is often referred to as an "interior shot"). In my Director's notebook, The Postproduction of Presence, I refer to these deep interior shots in relation to movement or more specifically an inner choreography that postproduces (in real)time:
There is a deep interior movement or what I now refer to as an inner choreography that becomes para-ritualistic for practicing remixologists who are optimally situating their bodies to convert experiential matter into muscle memory that triggers emergent forms of fictional (literary) presence.
But why a fictional or literary presence?

This must have something to do with persona construction and the way we train ourselves to tap into our creative potential by unconsciously projecting these image-artifacts that Viola refers to and that today, in the digital culture, are easily manipulated and put into play via the networked field of distribution.

A bit further along in the Director's Notebook, I wrote:
Is it true that perception per se consists of a cinematographic process wherein we take snapshots from the passage of time and string them on a becoming that is at once abstract, uniform, and invisible, situated at the back of the apparatus of knowledge?

Does the "streaming togetherness" of instantaneous sections that can freeze into elongated pseudo-photographic moments in postproduction position the work of time-based media in a state of aesthetic paralysis?

Or is that time-based image that now embodies a duration of its own really taking place in a body-brain-apparatus achievement that we hallucinate into the fluid (moving) picture frame?

Creating the impression of a continuity of movement is one thing.

Remixologically synthesizing a sequence of image events in perpetual postproduction is another.

In the first instance, one is merely living with their eyes wide shut.

In the other, one is engaged in the revolution (practice) of everyday life (as a projection of interior shots, meta-tagged with experiential potential).

The durational drift of the remixologist’s bodily rhythms postproduces an intuitively generated lifeform that can be translated into a time-based media fiction [narrative event].

This time-based media fiction unfolds in time while duplicating itself in the virtual.

What You See Is What You Forget.

The postproduced image and its body double.
During the making of Immobilité, we asked ourselves: "Do we need to script reality from the outside-in in order to make an 'indie film' or can we hyperimprovisationally play multiple roles in unscripted realities as a way to mobilize our thoughts outside the movie industry system?"

An email from an artist-writer friend partly reads:
One question I have is about your experience of camera as prosthesis. I have found especially with the Flip that seeing through that lens is a form of virtual touch (since the camera is hand held and so small-- rather than sight, it is like a strange form of blindness in fact -- I wonder if, in a more virtual universe, the production of images becomes a substitute for touch.
To which I respond (in part):
Following up on "camera as prosthesis" I guess the question is what role does proprioception play in all of this? What I found when making Immobilité is that you need to synchronize your rhythms with what Gregory Ulmer refers to as choragraphy.

It's hard to map out via email but imagine

cinematography as the writing of movement

choreography as the writing of dance

choragraphy as the writing of invention

Once you bring a portable if not semi-wearable "camera as prosthesis" into the mix, where you go in blind and hold your eyes in the palm of your hand, then you can begin to enact what dancers refer to as structured improvisation, capturing data as you slide between proprioception and movement-vision. I steal this last insight from Brian Massumi. [...] He refers to movement-vision as "an included disjunction," an "opening onto a space of transformation in which a de-objectified movement fuses with a de-subjectified observer. This larger processuality, this real movement, includes the perspective from which it is seen."


Your sense of "virtual touch" is right on. This is what I felt not only while using the camera, but while "painting" the scenes. It's weird, I never considered myself in any way connected to the history of painting until I began using video cameras and the mobile phone video camera solidified my deep connection, albeit from a totally different angle. If you look at the last scene of Immobilité with the double rainbow you will see the frame "flick" with minute touches as if using the rainbow image as a palette to bring more color into the scene (it's the camera trying to focus its movement-vision but only materializes because of the virtual touch intuited by the body).

Massumi says "Affects are virtual synthetic perspectives" and maybe what we are finding is that with these miniaturized apparatuses at hand, we are able to locate new potentials in the body as it moves.
These new potentials in the body as it moves are aesthetic in nature (aesthetics in/of nature). The virtual eyes of the remixological synner touch rather than see and in touching feel their way into visionary experience.

The tensions between interiority/exteriority, being in the system or outside of it, or even playfully dancing on the tightrope of our micro-existence so as to challenge ourselves to maintain a balance without giving into the forces of gravity, permeate these kinds of beyond-indie productions.

Our response throughout the entire [post]production process was to just keep moving.

Of course, before mobile phones could pass from our eyes to our hands and into the body of the other, there was Cassavetes, documenting the inner choreography ("choragraphy") of the social species:

Upon further reflection, it could be said that to have literally completed Immobilité as a transmedia narrative project is one thing. To witness it going live in variable forms via scalable exhibition and screening contexts is yet another. But to maintain a balance above it all without giving into the forces of gravity is the greatest challenge of all.

Keywords: Immobilité, postproduction, image, remix aesthetics, Bill Viola, Mark Amerika, inner realization, choragraphy, virtual synthetic pleasures, scalable exhibition, networked field of distribution, "camera as prosthesis"