My first piece, Rockface, is a sequence of classic scenic shots from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The work explores concepts of pictorialism and scale. Time is treated as plastic and malleable – subject speed is either slowed down or sped up in most of the shots. In one shot, it is simultaneously sped up and slowed down in different parts of the frame. I also examined liminality of image and narrative. In post-production I layered human facial imagery within the crags and walls of the mountains. These subtle and hidden images require repeated viewing to be recognized, and even more iterations for the faces to become integrated within a simple narrative flow. This delayed viewer recognition supports my conception of one of the keys to the ambient video aesthetic, the provision of fresh visual pleasures that only become apparent after repeated viewings over time.
I also began my exploration of another creative direction – the use of layered visuals to serve as transitions. In some of the shots, the change from one shot to the next happens in segments – one shot is gradually supplanted by the next in a linked series of partial transitions – based on the visual dynamics of the two shots – until the change to the next shot is complete. A good example is the first transition, where the scene of a tranquil mountain range suddenly sprouts an enormous waterfall that proceeds to plunge between two of the peaks into the lake below. The shot then changes in stages as the other visual components of the new waterfall shot gradually replace the original mountain range shot. This technique, discovered at a late stage in the postproduction of Rockface, was the inspiration for the second video series Streaming Video. I have since re-imagined the transitions in Rockface to produce a new version Rockface II.
Director of Photography
Luke van Dyk
Jordan Crawford, Chandra Crawford, Lionel Shadd
A co-production of Dada Processing and the Banff New Media Institute.
© 2007 Jim Bizzocchi