Award of Merit – “FLUX | MELTDOWN …not a moment to spare” (UK)

Title: FLUX | MELTDOWN …not a moment to spare
Runtime: 5 min
Country: UK
Director: Angela Eames
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: December, 2021

Synopsis: FLUX | MELTDOWN …not a moment to spare, is a silent infinivid work, wherein drawn line gives way to flickering form – flowing lava – forwards and backwards, growth and shrinkage, shifting shapes, strangely familiar, but not. It is a bi-partite piece which reflects on anthropogenic factors, our culpability for environmental imbalance and our ever-readiness to believe that we are in control. It allows the viewer to reflect on what is being seen in the moment – moving image, without an explicit narrative. When screened as an independent loop the viewer can come and go, look and leave, encounter sameness and difference. In essence the piece is about looking, giving the time to look and perhaps more importantly, allowing time for reflection. The slow motion underlines our sense of urgency ‘to move on to the next’ without really acknowledging what we have just witnessed whilst the silence contributes to a contemplative space. Flux | Meltdown exists in a time-frame but can play forever! It is a drawing in time, a drawing which exists in the present continuous, a drawing which may be viewed in entirety or not…

FLUX | MELTDOWN …not a moment to spare smoulders on screen. In conjuring physical and material properties wherein surface texture evokes pliability versus rigidity, atmosphere versus substance or ductility versus fixity, the screen delivers moments of disquiet or of tranquillity. The absorbing imagery stems from captured footage of volcanic eruption and whilst being beautiful and fanciful can simultaneously be sinister and disturbing. The infinivids play with a viewer’s emotional response. On the one hand there is something intriguing about this alien world of time and place but the underlying origin makes it unnerving, as if attraction in this context might be off-limits. Though a fictional manifestation, it retains a darkness which resonates beyond a single viewing. In the interplay between fascination and aversion, it both attracts and repels but keeps the viewer guessing. This work functions as an ongoing visual experience within which the viewer can create their own narrative using any moment of visual encounter. Through appropriation, and re-choreographing this work takes on a new meaning and significance.

I propose a radical aesthetics of looking at moving images. In circumstances where the propensity of Social Media is to subliminally re-structure contemporary social reality this moving image provides a kind of antidote to everyday video viewing. This not quite ready-made, is part of a series of works collectively entitled TANDEMS. They are intentionally removed from what we have come to expect from video, I.e. moving image that tells a story. They make no demand on the viewer with regard to watching in linear time, from start to finish, suggesting that there are other ways of viewing the world. As drawing-on-screen, they explore the ambivalent nature of our experience of reality. They comment on time past in relation to time present anticipating time future. The focus is on membrane, particularly membrane as mediator between two viewing aspects; in front of and behind, revealed and hidden, seen and unseen, known and unknown. In working with concepts of duality, as intrinsic to the visual world and opposition, as vital to innovation the interest in visual collision and unanticipated visual consequence proposes that we come to realise and perhaps retrieve something unknown as opposed to relying on conditioning or habit.