8 minutes, Super 16mm on HD digital video, 2015. Sounds by Kwisp and others.
The title Reciprocity Failure came from researching what happens to analog film when shooting subjects at the extreme spectrum of light and dark. It’s the failure of dim light to create a chemical reaction on the film’s emulsion. There’s a likelihood of exposure failure at some point since you can’t really use a light meter. I found the term “reciprocity failure” amusing, it imbues film with human neuroses. As in film, our interactions, with each other or with nature, are often not one to one. Sometimes we give more, sometimes we take more. I also wanted to embrace a word we are superstitious about — failure.
The main themes are natural cycles and processes. When you live in the city, you get disconnected from these cycles. In spring 2014, I had the privilege to be a resident artist at Djerassi. I would be staying at a ranch for a month with 9 other artists, each working in their disciplines — writers, a composer, a choreographer, a sculptor, a painter and 2 media artists. I was one of the media artists. I worked on animation and editing, but I also took the opportunity to shoot time-lapse. I could set up my camera and leave it running most of the night (with some adjustments and variations). I felt a bit lunatic when I first got there. The moon, the clouds, the fire, I was just documenting what was in front of me, without preconception. The set from my other project 13th Street Division seeps in, with the wasp’s nest, mosses and feathers. These are elements that I take further elsewhere. I knew I wanted to include the Algerian women’s marriage chant. To me it sounds so joyous and pure. I romanticize them as perhaps being more connected to nature’s cycles. My process works best when I don’t think too hard. I obviously edit, re-edit, try new things, and let sounds and layers fall into place. But I try not to deviate from my original impulses. Reciprocity Failure is an experiment about process, about me trying to be more open about my process.
Reciprocity Failure events and press:
• Deluge Contemporary Art, in Temporal Anxiety, Victoria, BC, Canada. Works by Aleksander Johan Andreassen, Ulf Lundin, Mirka Morales and Dalia Ziper. Media works examining the passage, perception and fluidity of time through natural and man-made cycles; from literal stop-motion condensing reality to extended shots questioning the nature of linear temporality. Curated by Deborah de Boer. (March 26 to April 23, 2016)
• Anthology Film Archives, in The Mind, The Body short films program curated by Lili White. Presented by Another Experiment by Women/New Filmmakers NY. (Feb 2016)
• Antimatter Media Art Festival, in “Reciprocity Failure” program, Victoria, BC, Canada (Oct 2015)
• GAZE's Past Perfect • Future Tense program at Artists' Television Access, San Francisco (June 2015)
• Article by Adrianne Finelli in Otherzine: Past Perfect • Future Tense: Voices and Visions of Women in Film Across Time and Space