classworks - interactive online video work by media undergrads

An Infinite Promise, Like the Echo of the Second Hand
(2010)


makers: Clare Peterson, Joanna Schwarz, Louise Waldon and Meenal Surtani.

A lot of the work here is shot from trains. That just tells you two things. Students did just shoot where they were and as they found themselves in the world, and then used this to make content (rather than scripting and making up stories). And secondly that there is a deep affinity between the moving image, modernity, and modern forms of image making.

Now, this work. Another project that uses more than the very common three thumbnails for navigation, in this case it is eight. As with some of the other works that do this it provides a lot of what you might think of as 'meta' narrative information very quickly, as a lot of the work is mapped for you through these thumbnails, up front as it were. The work is about movement through, passages of movement through the urban which appears to have no resolution. What it does very well is use day and night to structure the work. For example if you find and load a clip that is dusk then the thumbnails could be day, night, dusk or a mix of these. In other words they are transitional between the two 'phases' of the work.

Finally, the thumbnails are low bit rate, low frame rate video. This is something I encouraged several of the projects to explore so that when you mouse into the thumbnails you get the soundtrack (if there is one) for that clip, but also a sense of what that clip is without actually selecting it. This provides an alternative way to 'read' and 'view' the work, a sort of micro video reading.

This is an interesting work that is not what I'd describe as narrative. Observational, descriptive, passages of urban movement.