Media Installation By Tal Shpantzer, Stephen Dirkes and Peter Bill
The collaboration of still photographer Tal Shpantzer and musician / film maker Stephen Dirkes has evolved over the past three years through their collaborative work in the ‘Labtest’ media arts collective as well as commercial film projects. The ‘Obscure Object part 4’ film, is part of an ongoing collection of vignettes exploring relationship of film making, photography and the language of cinema.
A narrative is implied with the use of iconic cinematic imagery. The characters which populate the 1960’s ‘Spy / Action Thriller’ lurk, run and shoot within the context of a scene with no story, no dialogue. Characters and narrative implications are drawn and evolve obscure meaning with a photographic approach to character, ambience, texture and color.
The cinematic techniques of stop motion animation and time lapse are utilized as tools to manipulate time and motion. Inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 ‘La Jetee’ and Shinya Tsukamoto’s ‘Tetsuo: the Iron Man’, ‘Obscure Object part 2’ allows the musical influences of rhythm and tempo dictate the edit and further expose the characters.
With OBSCURE OBJECT PART 4, we expand and re-direct our focus on mediums and how they interpret, manipulate, explore, obscure and inform each other within the context of an single creative work. Although all of the films in the “OBSCURE OBJECT” series have been technically based on a stop-motion animation technique ( a style of animation which creates/implies motion with still images), this is the first in the series to attempt to bring the viewer gaze back to the original still image by exhibiting selected stills from both the original photography used to create the film and stills derived from “Screen shots” of the edited film.
To further explore the relationships between plastic and static mediums, Peter Bills’ series of paintings of Tal’s still photos for the film, offers an unique vision from Peter’s view as a Film maker and Painter. Peter was thinking of the famous editor, Walter Murch, when he spoke of one way to start an edit is to take stills out of each take- ”...the take with the best stills would be the best shot to use.”
Peter took emblematic stills from each scene in “OBSCURE OBJECT Part 4”, composed them in a line like a comic strip, and painted them. Pete’s series is also a viciral and tactile exploration of the unique combination of materials by working with “the old media” painting, and substrate- computer semiconductors.