I found there to be so many interesting ideas and experimental narratives, all showing a personal interpretation or response to something, and some just done for fun. My first thoughts on the idea of experimental narrative were positive, and I love the freedom behind it.
Whilst watching different experimental narratives, I found different aspects I liked, and some just didn’t personally resound with me. But I love the ability to creatively, visually and aurally create a piece without setting boundaries for yourself.
I was intrigued by David Hall’s TV interruptions, and I was surprised how something so simple can create such a reaction.
‘The idea of inserting them as interruptions to regular programmes was crucial and a major influence on their content. That they appeared unannounced, with no titles, was essential.. These transmissions were a surprise, a mystery. No explanations, no excuses. Reactions were various. I viewed one piece in an old gents’ club. The TV was permanently on but the occupants were oblivious to it, reading newspapers or dozing. When the TV began to fill with water newspapers dropped, the dozing stopped. When the piece finished normal activity was resumed. When announcing to shop assistants and engineers in a local TV shop that another was about to appear they welcomed me in. When it finished I was obliged to leave by the back door. I took these as positive reactions…’
DH, 19:4:90 Television Interventions catalogue, 1990.
I watched an ‘interruption’ video named ‘Tap Piece’ from 1971, which I found to be quite simple in essence. It was of a tap set up in the frame, and then switched on, slowly filling up the frame with water, with no extra added audio, just that of what was happening. As it fills up, the tap disappears, and then shortly after, the water is all drained. I liked that it could be something so simple that makes people look up and take notice and listen. Sometimes you don’t need something so extravagant and ‘out there’ to get attention. Sometimes the ordinary or simple just considered in a different way or simply just noticed can encourage a reaction out of people.
I then noticed a video on the side in the suggestions on YouTube which caught my eye. It was called ‘Oil’, and is by Elliot Williams. I found myself intrigued, and clicked to see what it was all about. It was labelled as an experimental video art piece, and I was interested to see this persons experimentation and interpretation. Upon first watching, I found myself wondering if I was going to watch it the whole way through, and maybe I would get bored, as I am more inclined towards obvious stories often and narratives. But I found myself enjoying the video, and finding and seeing the beauty in… well, oil. It was interesting to see how Elliot Williams had taken something so simple, like David Hall, and created something interesting with it. This had inspired me, and instead of recreating the exact thing as either of these artists, I decided I wanted to take a similar approach, and to try to use something simple to perhaps reflect or address a narrative or theme or thought.
For my own video, I wanted to video colour blending and playing within the water and light, slowly dissipating and creating beautiful shapes and patterns, in order to capture the attention of the viewer as with Williams’ video. I decided to use a Red food colouring, and found it to be symbolic of blood or pain. I wanted to reflect the pain and the tragedies we have been hearing about lately, of all of the terrible attacks and killings across the world, within a simple, sadly beautiful video. It took many attempts to get it the way that I wanted it, experimenting with solutions in the water also like oil and washing up liquid to achieve the dissipation I wanted, and amounts and timings off dropping in the food colouring. It was enjoyable to create something different to my usual photography style, and to experiment with video, which I have never really taken the time to do. After doing this I feel that I would definitely like to experiment with things more, and maybe tell more stories via video and experimental narratives/creative ideas.
This video was created as a response to all of the disappointing, terrible news that has recently been circulating the world concerning hate crime and attacks. It is an experimental narrative, a simple, quiet, yet hopefully poignant expression of what has happened in these horrible events. It is not an attempt to encourage or look at it in a positive light, but acting more so as a remembrance to those innocent lives lost, and a quiet commentary hopefully encouraging people to reflect on these tragic events.