Sunrise at The Quadrant, Sheffield, UK
I am both a commercial media producer and a fine artist. As an artist, my ambition is to make beautiful, meaningful and lasting work for a general audience. I make my work for the world-at-large and I see no conflict of interests in being a commercial artist and also a fine artist. In fact, this is a very traditional approach, and I see myself as a traditionalist, although I use very modern technology and techniques.
This week has seen success for me in both worlds with my work being acknowledged as a commercial success and also being selected for an international film festival.
Still from The Quadrant video promo
Recently, I completed a job for The Quadrant, a managed workspace in Sheffield, UK, and this is a good example of how the two worlds of art and commerce can benefit from each other. I was commissioned to make a commercial promotional video and was given 24-hour access to their building. I saw an opportunity to make something of my own at the same time. Not instead of, but as well as.
I have been experimenting with techniques to capture high dynamic range (HDR) time-lapse video since 2008 and I saw an opportunity to test my workflow. I shot a number of views of the building as the sun moved during the day, and used the open-source Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) to enable Canon PowerShot compact cameras to shoot multiple-exposure time-lapse. For the promo I mixed these shots with other timelapse shots of activity within the building. The Quadrant are very happy with the promo I made for them, particularly as it is markedly different from the usual commercial promo, and this is what an artist can bring to a project, a high degree of innovation and a different way of looking at the world. Here is the finished video, music by Laurence Alexander:
I used the clips of HDR time-lapse to make a completely separate piece of work that is an artwork rather than a promo. This is part of an ongoing body of work called “The Secret Life of Buildings” and is a collection of video works that attempt to capture the essence of the building, rather than to simply document it.
Still from The Secret Life of Buildings #6
This work has been selected to be shown at the Chronos 2011 Film Festival of time-lapse, slow-motion and stop-motion in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and here is The Secret Life of Buildings #6 with music by Erik Satie, played by BL Underwood: