The rider

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

The first 60 seconds of my May video consists of two dolly shots, tracking trough the back and the front side of the Paradise Machine with the camera in macro mode. The idea is simple, set the events in motion by turning the lever. I thought of the barrel organ and in particular the mechanical activation of the various instruments via the barrel organ roll.

I had the privilege of visiting the private collection of magic lanterns, stereoscopic devices and wonderful pre-cinema parefenelia brought together by Henk Boelmans Kranenburg in The Hague. Above you see him demonstrating a little French barrel organ that was used to support magic lantern shows in the mid 19th century (note the beautiful inlaid wood cover). It reminded me of my video editing program. The holes in this case, open a valve to blow a flute for a certain amount of time, or a woodblock is rhythmically hit etc. The composition evolves during the time needed to pull the length of the roll through the mechanism.

In my video program it's the tracker (the white line) moving through the material, unlocking the events one by one. A certain sound, a text, a movement. There is still this idea of space, a line is drawn from start to finish... but what an illusive and clean procedure, compared to sensory handling. How I miss the physical sensation and the resistance of the sometimes unruly material. Think of the great film directors who just take a marker and cut the film and paste it to another end of the reel. The glorious transformation of the physical into the sensation of the film experience.

Maybe that's why I am inclined to involve objects and paint and carton board in what I make. Combining whatever I find and mount it in collages or decors and to make machines with controls and functions. I feel a deep longing for lost worlds especially now almost every aspect of life is represented by the one and zero binary code. Look where this digital society brought us, the fear, the alienation pimped by algorithms and statistics, the Corona Armageddon forced on us by specialists, corporations and lobby groups. Maybe that's why the dolly shot at the start of my May video felt so glorious, slowly riding with a serving trolley alongside the Paradise Machine, a line is drawn from start to finish, calmly handling the trolley.