Category: 24fps Psycho

PhD

I am pleased to announce that after four and a half years, I have been awarded a PhD by Design from the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. My examiners were Dr Kevin Walker at the Royal College of Art, and Dr. Penelope Haralambidou from the Bartlett, and the thesis was supervised by Professors Stephen Gage and Peg Rawes.

Many thanks to all who helped my work get to this stage, and to the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Palais de Tokyo for providing the funding and framework for the research to take place.

Scripted performances: designing performative architectures through digital and absurd machines

Abstract

‘Scripting’ in architecture is usually associated with computer-based design programming. However, this narrow usage belies a rich vein of concepts intrinsic to architecture and authorship. This thesis frames scripting as a critical mode of computation, performance, and design process. It does this through seven projects that explore relationships between technology, society, and the philosophical absurd. Works include films, performances, programmes and installations produced independently and collaboratively with experts from scientific and artistic fields.

This thesis asks: how might an expanded definition of ‘scripting’ act as a critical methodology for performative architectural design?; how can this methodology mediate between, and comment on, technology and society?; and what is the relationship between scripting, authorship and agency? Computational scripting has been explored in depth by a number of practitioners and theorists; performative scripting has been examined within the context of theatre and artistic practice; this study adopts an expansive definition of scripting that embraces each of these approaches whilst simultaneously proposing scripting as a critical design methodology. Furthermore, the thesis introduces the philosophical ‘absurd’ as a framework for critiquing emergent technologies and their impact on society.

In chapter 1 two projects (Ant Ballet, Godot Machine) are discussed as modes of diagramming absurd theatrical scripts. The ‘framing’ of these projects provides direction for further work within the thesis. Chapter 2 introduces two dance pieces (Nybble, Scriptych) which represent scripted performances and a novel computer-scripted feedback mechanism. Both are diagrammatic modes of presenting contemporary computing mechanisms. Chapter 3 then discusses two experimental computationally-scripted absurd films exploring the practices and impact of contemporary technology companies (86400, 24fps Psycho). Chapter 4 introduces a film (Network/Intersect) created through a novel design process imposing strict rules on the creation of work. It concludes by naming this practice ‘reflexive scripted design’, proposing it as the thesis’ original contribution to knowledge.

View at UCL

Note: I want to publish as much of the work as possible. Watch this space for updates.


Do Disturb

I will be showing my film 86400 and performing 24fps Psycho at the Do Disturb Festival at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in a couple of weeks. This is very exciting, as both works have never been shown before.

86400

86400 is a real-time film made from Google Image searches for the time right now. It will be running throughout the festival.

24fps Psycho

24fps Psycho is an experimental performance remixing the film Psycho (1960) with footage from the French National Audiovisual Institute. It will be chaotic and confusing, but also highly enjoyable. I will be performing twice, once on the Saturday and once on the Sunday (9 + 10 April).

There are over 50 artists and performers participating this year, so it looks like a great way to spend a weekend – if I wasn’t performing, I would be in the crowd!

Tickets are avaialble through the Digitick website or at the Palais de Tokyo ticket office.

24fps Psycho

24fps Psycho

About

A performance visually remixing and reinterpreting Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho (1960).

Working with footage from the Institute National Audiovisuel (France), the Prelinger Archives (USA) and my own material, I have built software to analyse the visual and audio content of each frame in Psycho. The frames are then compared to a database of archival footage, and replaced with ‘matching’ stills and video clips.

The rate of frame-replacement varies according to the volume of the film’s iconic soundtrack – so that the audial freneticism is reflected on the screen. The result is a mesmerising, chaotic experience, and a reworking of a highly memorable film.

This is part of an ongoing body of work examining the technology of cinema.

Process

L’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel made a short film about the making of 24fps Psycho:

Pavillon Neuflize OBC / INA #2 Taking “Psycho” to Pieces from Institut national audiovisuel on Vimeo.

Public performance

Do Disturb Festival
Palais de Tokyo
9 + 10 April 2016 (full performance)

Lundi du Pavillon
Palais de Tokyo
18 April 2016 (short performance and talk)

Credits

Footage provided for experimental purposes by L’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel
Made during my residency at Pavillon Neuflize OBC, the Research Lab of the Palais de Tokyo 2015-16