Manipulated 8mm, 16mm and 35mm found footage
The Liquid Debris series concentrates on the erasure and erosion of the visual information that is stored in the gelatine layer of photographic film. I manipulate 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm found footage using different organic and chemical processes. I cultivate seeds and moulds on 35mm film, corrode 8mm film with my own gastric juices, and obliterate images on 16mm footage in a way that echoes my series of Works on Paper, first erasing the gelatine and then writing on it. In Liquid Debris, I re-stage two interrelated phenomena regarding human legacy: the human attempt of opposing the transience of life by storing information and the unavoidable erosive process that looms over us.
I have used Liquid Debris for two audio-visual projects. Firstly, the installation Oggetti smarrenti iconici labili, which was inspired by the 1976 earthquake in the Italian Friuli region, commissioned by In/Visible Cities Festival (Gorizia, Italy) and developed in collaboration with Associazione Culturale Hommelette. Oggetti smarrenti iconici labili combined Liquid Debris with documentary film, audio recordings, political and poetic texts produced in a self-managed camp in Gemona, a town that was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake. Streams of archival and manipulated images are projected onto large hand-made paper screens on which I previously transcribed poems and political statements. The fragmented audio and visual layers overlap and thus disrupt any linear narration, similarly to the debris caused by an earthquake.
Materials then evolved into Impromptus, a 15-minute collection of five short audio-visual pieces inspired the romantic musical form based on improvisation with music by my long-term collaborator, Ivan Penov. The films play with the bodily aesthetics of corrupted photographic images and discarded sonic material. Penov sculpts remains of instrumental recordings which he intentionally converted incorrectly, using digital errors as creative materials. Each chapter of the composition explores static qualities of the musical form as a time-freezing momentum rather than time-based narration. The result is a work of powerful anticipation, tense intervals, and visceral presence.