I am a Painter

I Am A Painter (2010), its title taken from Paul Klee’s quote about the joy of colour, is an aleatoric film of endless duration in which the images and sound are composed according to a simple set of rules. It is a piece about colour and sound, that grew from a series of experiments with cine film taken by my grandfather in the 1950s. The starting point was a number of clips that contained just the run-offs and lead-ins of the film stock, all jittery images and bleeding light, hole punches and decay.

I chose seven clips which were split into three versions of themselves, one exclusively the red channel, one green and one blue. These are played back in three different sequences, by three separate video players in the program, and the resulting three films are superimposed to produce the final image. The result is a constantly shifting mix of colours developing according to a sequence that I can’t predict and I honestly don’t know when or if it will loop.

Sonically the work mirrors the simplicity of the red green and blue, using simple synthesized waveforms, a sine wave to accompany blue, a sawtooth wave for red and a pulse wave for green. Each of the seven films has its own frequency range for each waveform, the final frequency being modulated by the intensity of its colour in the final image. Volume and a low pass filter are also modulated in this way. The result is a constantly changing hum of frequencies that seem to somehow bleed into the colours. Colour is such a seductive thing to me, colour in light particularly, and what I enjoy in I Am A Painter is how the colours bloom, erupt and are masked as a result of such a prosaic process. Combining with the sound, deep blues, sharp reds and stuttering greens mesh with each other giving rise to vivid new textures.

I am a Painter was first shown at Exeter Phoenix as part of the Building Materials show in 2010, and later at the 2011 Seeing Sound symposium.

Below is a 5 minute extract.