Tag Archives: agents

This Is A True Story

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Lessons of Darkness is a documentary on the Gulf War by Werner Herzog, beautifully shot with great aerial footage of the oil catastrophe

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Following the overall topic of interest in ‘Exploding Moments’ and discussing the construction of an idea/event within the expanded ‘site’ of prolific footage, I am using the screen as a space to reverse-engineer the narrative of an event (the Gulf War). When I say ‘reverse-engineer’ it is understood from a non-linear narrative perspective.

The screen will provide the space for formatting the footage. The structure I have laid out for now is within divisions of a factor of 3. Vertically the groups are distinguish by ‘scale’ of footage; horizontally they are grouped by ‘perception’ or ‘view point’. screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-20-26-35

I am compiling footage (an ongoing process) from primary sources reporting the event, to films based on it or footage with unrelated subject matter but useful shots.

For now the key elements I am bringing together include:

1. Out-sourced footage

2. Physical Model of object and landscape (oil valve, desert and infinite landscape effect)

3. Digital model (a landscape piece of the desert with elements from the event/footage e.g. oil wells, ruins of large satellite dishes, oil lakes)

4. The Script and Storyboard (I am compiling pieces of text and audio files to go hand in hand with the narrative)screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-20-26-28

More importantly I am revisiting my Mulholland Drive Diamond to use the relationship between a dreamscape and factual realm of information as a non-linear narrative structure for my own footage. The aim is to refine the analysis and adapt the structure to my own storyboard.

Below is the beginning of story boarding of the opening: a sequence to introduce the ‘dreamscape’ as one of multiple footage screens observed by the an ‘agent’ and subsequently zooming into one to begin the narrative of the Gulf War. screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-20-26-41

Opening Scene: “The events depicted in this film took place in Kuwait during the First Gulf War in 1991.At the request of the survivors the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”

Opening Text

The next steps are to continue the storyboard set up with select shots from the footage I’m gathering. Also plan the physical model to be constructed and start putting together a digital model of the landscape.

A reference useful to anyone interested in infinite mirror effects in general and two-way mirrors: Guillaume Lachapelle: Infinite Mirrors

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The Agents of Perception Management

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Time and Scale are formatted within the 16:9 world of our screens making them an apparatus for exploding moments and managing their perception.

I began arranging screenshots and images to develop a story board and open a discussion focused on the techniques deployed: from the physical model as a simulation, a rendered model, drawings/mappings and the methods of recording different scales. The technique is something I plan to illustrate in the next video test I conduct. Also through the technique I start identifying agents and scales (whether from a soldier, ground texture, satellite views or drones etc) who all contribute to the explosion of the moment and the management of its subsequent perception.

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Sharpening the argument:

What is also important to clarify is my position in terms of the overall direction. Although still at an infant stage, the project I find rests more on how proliferated information explodes a moment in time and scale. The way the information is later “managed” or “perceived” according to how “agents” weave into a narrative becomes an added area of interest.

What the overarching question should avoid is a discussion on the fake versus the real or simulations etc.  Deception is to me different to something fake or indeed a simulation.

Hence the focus is on this idea of “managing perception” as an apparatus for building up anticipation that will then begin to be subverted shattering the linear relationships that the different pieces of footage might establish between each other and the viewer. It is also important to note that I decided to eliminate the frame between the footage to allow for “spillage” and moments of confusion to develop as the narrative breaks down. 

The content, for now, remains within the Gulf War.

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Working with the 16:9 frame and shaping a flexible footage space

Identifying the Agents:

An Agent – the “actor” within the narrative and the one responsible for exploding the moment (be it from recording footage, managing its construction, or viewing it)

1. Informants/Footage Collectors

2. Footage Processors – Perception Managers

3. Receptors – Display

The next step is to continue refining the story board and start bringing in physical and digital versions of the event and incorporate them as footage within the narrative.

References:

Above, Fargo Season 2, used the split-screen as a technique to relate events and build up to moments. Sometimes it becomes interesting where there is an overlap or bleed between the screens.

The emmy winning music video by Slayer titled “Eyes of the Insane” relates to the second Gulf War as a topic. What I find interesting is the shooting choice of using a soldiers pupil to reflect imagery he perceives but more importantly how some of those events escalate and we experience a gradual effect on the surroundings of the eye (some more expected than others like when an explosion occurs).

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