Logic by Machine

We don’t talk about computers like we used to. Whilst writing up my PhD thesis, I came across this teaser video for my Nybble project. It was designed to elicit the interest of potential dancers and the public who may come to view the work. The dialogue is taken from a 1962 film called Logic By Machine, commissioned by IBM and put out on the equivalent of KQED-TV / National Educational Television (which I believe became PBS?).

There is a poetic, dreamy discussion of the potential that computers have to change the way we see ourselves in the world:

The computer is then given the problem in the form of numbers or instructions pertinent to arithmetic. It is the arithmetic logical task that the computer is organised to do. Once instructed, it can do as much arithmetic in a minute as a man in a lifetime.

A man in a lifetime…the lifetime of all mankind is but a brief moment in the long history of this earth of ours. And only yesterday in the history of mankind has man made any significant advance in his control over his earthly environment.

Dialogue written by Richard Moore. The rest of the film is also worth watching for the speech by the incredible Richard Hamming‘s explanation of exponentiality within computing.

Rock music

Whilst in Korea last year, I came across this incredible rock playing an instrumental version of Celine Dion’s Oscar-winning My Heart Will Go On.

Hold me, Jack.

Scriptych collaboration

The French Audiovisual Archives (INA) made a lovely short film about the collaborative process Simon Valastro and myself used to make Scriptych, a performance at the Opéra National de Paris earlier this year, as part of my residency at the Palais de Tokyo.

Pavillon Neuflize OBC / INA #9 Scriptych / Ollie Palmer – Simon Valastro – VA from Institut national audiovisuel on Vimeo.

Thank you Franck Podguszer and the INA team!

Nybble video

I just realised I never posted about the making of the video for my Nybble project! It took a long time for me to get round to re-editing, since myriad other projects came up in the time after the event. The first cut was not great, and didn’t do justice to the excellent dancers who were involved, so I took a few days to re-cut the whole thing last year. This blog post is a quick breakdown of the elements of the final video.
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Learn Italian

My friend Fiona Williams (who kindly helped me film the Nybble video) made a lovely stop-motion film about the now-probably-obsolete method of learning Italian by cassette. She filmed it in a Christopher Wren tower in London, using a cassette that she found in an attic. The result is charming, hilarious, bewildering and highly enjoyable.

Learn Italian by Fiona Williams

Note: I feature as a technical advisor in the credits, but Fiona really deserves all the credit!

Waves lapping, Italy

I recorded this video of waves lapping on a beach in southern Italy recently. There was something mesmerising about this patch of water, which is far thicker than most. And a nice thud as it hit the shore. Was it adding to the shore each time, or taking away?

The video is on Youtube and Vimeo.

Posted: 2015-06-12

Categories: Video

Thomas Feuerstein Psychoprosa

I gave a talk at the University of Innsbruck the other day, and on my day off I went to see the Thomas Feuerstein exhibition Psychoprosa. Unfortunately the show has now finished, but I made this video for future posterity:

The show was great. Lots of things that bubbled and wobbled, strange machines and pipes. Missing from the video is the room full of phantom fridges and ghosted CCTV footage. I’d love to see his studio.

This exhibition was on at Galerie im Taxipalais, Innstruck, Austria, 7 March – 10 May 2015. For more on Thomas Feuerstein, see his website.