Back in 2006, David Corbet and I were working closely on a bunch of different projects. Often this including working with video in various ways. We got interested in pruning moving images down to the cellular (frame) level; that is, editing frames of movement to attempt to generate flickers of screendance. micro50s were born – the 50 referring to how many frames in 2 seconds of PAL video – and we called the project microflicks.
I finally got round to putting an archive of the micro50s up at skellis.info. The cover page (with details about the project) is at www.skellis.info/choreography#/microflicks, and the micro50s themselves are at www.skellis.info/micro50.
I posted this back in 2011 but just found a bit more footage so thought I’d repost it:
Here’s the video if you can’t be bothered looking at the post:
I used to be a member of The Place’s associate artist scheme called Work Place, and I see that my 2011 biography still exists on their site: https://www.theplace.org.uk/simon-ellis. The meetings were at times quite stimulating and there was a sense of the group trying to make sense of our differences as artists (and people) and what the purpose or role of the Work Place might be.
At the end of 2012 we had a meeting that I wasn’t able to attend. Instead I made a little video about ambition and difference and I thought that some of the ideas might be interesting to anyone thinking about making art (or just making anything), economies of scale, and ambition.
Over the summer Melbourne choreographer and dancer Shaun McLeod and I had some time to prepare a scratch performance for the Dance and Somatic Practices Conference at Coventry University.
Here’s a video of the performance (recorded by Carol Breen).
Last year screendance artist Katrina McPherson asked Owa Barua, Natalia Barua and me to be involved in a project that explored ideas to do with archives, memory, dance and film. We ended up making We Record Ourselves.
These last few weeks we’ve been working on an edit to be screened on the MediaWall at Bath Spa University starting on Thursday 8 June 2017.
This is a new version of We Record Ourselves specially edited for the Bath Spa MediaWall. The edit sustains the key themes of the original versions (remembering, forgetting, archives and dance) while exploring the possibilities of the scale of the MediaWall and the transient nature of its audiences.
The MediaWall edit is below but watching it here won’t be quite the same as the full scale version (more than 7m high)!
In 2009 I made a short film called Anamnesis with Cormac Lally, Bagryana Popov, David Corbet, and Liz Jones. Around that time I asked Marika Rizzi to do an Italian translation of the text in the film. I remember the translation process to be quite challenging as the differences between English and Italian tested my understanding of the film as I knew it. In the time since Marika did the translation I’ve been learning Italian and it is fascinating to recognise the choices she has made in making the poetics of the film make sense in Italian. A simple but important example is her choice to use the ‘you singular’ form in Italian (tu) as opposed to the ‘you plural’ form (voi) – a distinction that does not exist in English.
I’m not long back from Ferness in Scotland where I had the pleasure to work with Owa Barua, Katrina McPherson, and Natalia Barua on a screen project responding to the Margaret Morris archive. We’d done some initial testing in March this year when we developed a type of performance-screen-camera practice. This second development time was an opportunity to gather more materials but also figure out how we might edit the work together (and apart).
We made two things: an 8 minute single screen (dance) film, and a 22 screen installation.
Here’s the single screen film:
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We Record Ourselves was commissioned by Horsecross Arts for Threshold artspace, and acquired for the Horsecross Arts collection of contemporary art. Premièred as part of Movement exhibition, 15 Oct 2016 – 15 Jan 2017 at Threshold artspace, Perth Concert Hall, Scotland. Movement: an homage to Margaret Morris in drama, dance, music and film; curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Wendy Timmons.
Still from 22 screen installation.