INSCRIBING the DAWN. single colour screen . stereo sound . HDV . DUR. 00:11:55:00
This video was completely re-cut and re-released on 02.08.2012. It was completed shortly before the death of Chris Marker and is my homage to him, his genius and the influence his work had on my desire to work with image and sound.
“I’m writing you all this from another world, a world of appearances. In a way the two worlds communicate with each other. Memory is to one what history is to the other: an impossibility.” Sans Soleil, 1982.
Inscribing the Dawn is an exploration of the interrelation of media and memory, of images and objects as mutable structures through which relations are formed.
Recorded on the day the 6th incarnation of H.M.S Invincible was towed from Portsmouth en route to the Turkish port of Aliaga to be melted down and transmuted into raw materials for the global commodities markets. The fabrication of the video takes it cues from this process and via a homage to Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil (1982) becomes a subjective documentary that explores the race to record and represent that day and it’s multitude of subtexts.
The veterans of the Falkland Islands conflict who had come for this poignant moment had brought as many lenses as the media pack of which we were a part. Photography became an act of digital devotion, a strange conflation of distancing, remembrance and commerce as that day in March 2011 began to fuse with the ocean of memories from 29 years before, layers of the web of time collapsing into one another forming new moments and fresh tangents. H.M.S. Invincible shifted from an icon of naval potency to a shrine to the passing of youth, an icon of an era when Right and Left seemed clearly delineated ideologies slowly transmuting to the digitized click-clack of shutters releasing and the low hum of light and sound transcoding on it’s way to the single, ineffable, digitized ideology of the global commodities markets. The brief collision of separate lives synchronizing with the rhythms of the appearance of things – a couple in a shrine to lost cats in Tokyo, possibly in 1965 collided with Tim ‘Gonzo’ Jenkins question to me – I could not answer, but the genius of Sans Soleil could. An image of a shrine, the photographic image as a shrine – imaging as a devotional act. The act of looking at these images on a screen as an act of distant, digitized devotion and reconstruction combined with a system that records these viewings – an attempt to quantify and categorize vision. Marker’s shrine appropriated for You Tube, barely visited just a choice’s breadth away from images of cats viewed millions of times.
A distance that could not be measured, just barely perceived through the rhythms of the appearance of things.