Digi-Conductor  |  Abstract-Narrative  | Altered states and hallucinatory experiences.

Visual Music  |  Custom AudioVisual Instruments | Image Work in Progress



Abstract and concrete forms are most often in a state of flux and appear as a continuum rather than distinct, discrete opposites. They are often not poles apart but wrapped around each other!

Film has a potential for the synthesis and intersection of abstract and concrete forms. This is especially prominent in the medium of Animation combined with the technological capabilities of digital audio-visual media.

The richness of film can come from its tussle between the concrete and abstract forms. Films can have a greater or lesser degree of musicality, poetry, and abstraction in their structure and content.

It has become apparent to me that what is most intriguing, is the gaps in between definitions, the fleeting, liminal and transient states where things become neither exclusively one nor the other, concrete or abstract, material or immaterial.

The digitally influenced convergence and blurring of boundaries between processes and even entire disciplines has a significant impact conceptually as well as technically. Just one mentioned example of this is the ability to instantly and endlessly re-arrange and seamlessly recombine digital information, which now includes sound, image and motion information.  This capability changes our perception and writing abilities.

 Once the province of isolated experimenting eccentrics, random assemblage, is for instance, increasingly accessible for any home computer user. From the sub-atomic to the universal, Digital Media can effectively sustain a broad continuum of abstraction and concrete forms with its ability to listen in on, recombine or replay macro to micro analysis and simulation of time, space, invisible or theoretical dimensions and interactions.

My film work explores a range of abstract and concrete representation intersecting with narrative elements. I have experimented with disrupting an otherwise abstract flow of pattern, color and sound with reduced or minimal narrative cues or hooks, for example the sound of automotive traffic, a human voice or representational imagery chosen for its iconic, or even archetypal associations.  Performative, mutable narratives are key to my concept of abstract narrative film. This approach involves an appreciation of kinetic, light, and sound stimuli contributing to a multi-sensory literacy.

In, 1995 Adrian Martin described my then film work as containing “a certain “chaos factor” – an overload of information, images, sound, stories that always branch off into further stories, representations that incessantly slip from animation to live action and back again...they are a form of “fast fiction” that works very close to our unconscious processes of thought and feeling. They are like dreams, or like “brainstorms”, rapid, cascading montages of material, but always very carefully structured.” (Martin 1995) These comments point to a long held interest in fragmenting concrete narratives into a new synthesis of abstraction and concrete forms.

Narrative and non-narrative, figurative and abstract films all have their own interesting individual qualities and values I find their intersection and possible co-existence an even more interesting worthwhile challenge. Shon Kim’s film Latent Sorrow, (Kim) has a more painterly sensibility than my own work but expresses a similar pursuit of an equal co-existence of figurative and abstraction. The goal of equal co-existence of abstract and concrete forms in film parallels a concept of living amidst a swirling chaos. This is an observation of a dynamic flow between concrete and abstract forms propelled by our own language and perceptual systems.