Amanda Dawn Christie

Films / Performances

Sackville, Canada, 2010
18:00 min. Live Performance
two 16mm film projectors, loops, shortwave radio, kaoss pad

Transmissions, is an improvisational performance for analogue and digital technologies that explores radio waves and dreaming; satellites and ideas; wireless internet and cell phones; television and radio broadcasts; all of these signals contribute to complex interconnected webs of invisible landscapes and invisible architectures passing through our bodies in every time and in every space.  The analogue aspect of the live performance involves the manipulation of 16mm film loops through the use of prisms, mirrors, and lenses, which distort the images while sending them beyond the rectangular perimeter of the screen.  The digital aspect of the live performance involves the real time processing of short wave radio sounds through the use of a kaoss pad. 

This performance bridges the gap between contemporary digital technologies and anachronistic analogue machines.  People often equate interactivity with digital technologies and yet this improvisational performance finds a way to interactively engage with 16mm film loops in real time through the use of glass and mirrors.  It ironically presents analogue images of digital devices while simultaneously incorporating digital manipulation of analogue source sounds.

Video Documentation of Performance at Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival, April 2010

Transmissions, questions the notion of visible space while playing on the tension between nostalgia and the drive to move forward in an ideological dance of attraction and repulsion.

The soundscape for this work integrates a fractured narrative constructed of radio broadcasts and human voices mixed with location sound recordings of various spaces and haunting melodies played out on bowed instruments and electronic devices.  The short wave radio signals are pre-recorded onto a digital device and loaded onto a simple iPod.  The iPod is then connected to a kaoss pad that the artist manipulates in real time throughout the performance through simply touching and moving her finger along the touch pad to alter the digital processing of the pre-recorded broadcasts.

The imagery of this performance is improvised around a set structure that builds tension between nostalgia and progress.  Hand-printed film loops present images of technological devices such as cellpones, satellites, and laptops juxtaposed with human forms that are always kept just beyond the viewers grasp through abstraction or shadow in order to develop a sense of ephemerality and an emphasis on the liminal senses tied to bodily memories of visual space. 

This performance was originally presented in a shorter version at the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers $100 Film Festival, where Christie was invited as a visiting artist to present this work and to teach a workshop on these techniques.

A longer 40 minute version of this work is currently being developed.




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