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.
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.
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: