collding boxes.

copper and steel boxes, 30-60cms in height, are cut and welded together from sheet, then collided head-on using large machines built specifically for this purpose.   the experiments are filmed with 16mm slow motion movie film cameras, and sound is recorded with microphones located both outside and within the boxes.



in each collision a negotiation takes place, violent energies meeting in material and form, playing out an intense conversation through force and deformation.
in such a tightly controlled abstract model of interaction, set up away from the complications of everyday life, a super-simplified model of personal relation is stripped bare.



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these experiments make use of a lot of different elements – welded boxes, purpose made machines, specialised cameras, various old film stocks, high intensity lighting, an array of microphones – and processes which are carried out by hand wherever possible – cutting and welding thin sheet, designing and making large colliding machines, hand-developing and scanning kilometres of 16mm film, recording and stretching out audio on magnetic tape, and the careful compiling and digital editing of the final work.   the largest component, the colliding machines built for these experiments, have been through three iterations, with another high powered pneumatic version currently under construction…



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the motion cameras used to film the work are sourced from NASA and crash test laboratories, made in the 50’s and still working, with a little help.   they run complex pathways of film at insane speeds, the newer NAC camera actually moving the film at a quarter the speed of sound…



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the sound of the collisions is a direct record of the vibrations at the moment of collision.   the rippling of the sheet as the boxes meet, pulses the metal surface in rhythm, radiating out into air as sound and pressure waves.   these vibrations are captured with standard microphones on stands, and with piezo film elements taped to the inside surface of the boxes.   the original sound is stretched out to match the speed of the film, slowing it around 40x on an 1/4″ otari tape deck…

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