LONG SLOW SWEEP
three-channel video installation, 7 minutes
Long slow sweep is an installation concerned with the way that issues of time and space can be embedded in the audio and visual. The starting point for the piece is a panoramic photograph from 1946 of the students and teachers at the Royal Liberty School in Romford, Essex. These kind of panoramic shots, though they appear, like normal photographs, to be the work of a moment, actually took several seconds to make since a specially built camera had to be slowly rotated on a pivot in order to capture the entire scene. The three films scanning horizontally through the rows of pupils, attempt to introduce this element of invisible time back into our experience of the image. Every now and again this jerky movement across the surface of the photograph is paused in order to give us the opportunity to consider individuals in the sea of faces, and to wonder what became of them (in fact the artist’s own father appears briefly at 6’30”, then aged fifteen). The sound that accompanies the films is the song “Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye” by the popular British singer and performer Gracie Fields. Here too we scan through, occasionally pausing on and extending a brief moment of harmony, a sung vowel, or the grit of noise found in a consonant or onset of a note.
The piece was first shown in the foyer of L’Auditori, Barcelona as part of the Sampler Sèries.