Light Trap

Light Trap is a performance/live art piece using 3 or 4 prepared 16mm film projectors with operators and a sound artist.

The Idea

The idea is to create a live (and continuously changing) light and sound volume / sculpture generated by equal degrees of randomness and control.
Light Trap harnesses the mechanisms of film and cinema; the projector, the film material, the darkened room and synchronized sound – while creating a radically different outcome; there is no screen, no ( two dimensional) image, no seating and no beginning or end.
The audience are left to contemplate the apparatus of cinema and the generation of light and sound – they can see the operators creating the outcome while simultaneously experiencing it.

The Set Up

Four projectors are placed on separate tables in the corners of a large,empty, blacked out space. They are all focussed towards the centre of the space.
The projectors are laced with 3 metre black film loops (film which has been completely exposed and then developed) Each loop passes through a specially devised scratch machine, located behind the projectors. Two of the projectors are rigged with a mirror device which rotates the image 90 degrees.
Audio is created using the optical sound outputs of the projectors, the 4 sound tracks are mixed and amplified through a P.A.system. Additional sound is created by contact mics attached to two of the scratch devises. A ‘Hazer’ machine is used to create a medium density mist throughout the space.

The Performance

Before the audience enter, the projectors are turned on and the Hazer machine fills the space with mist.
Only the click of the splice on the loops is heard in the darkness.
The audience enter the space and are free to wonder around and inspect the projectors, the mechanisms and their operators.
After this minimal start the operators apply the first abrasive roller to the loop. The roller randomly scratches individual frames which create fast travelling traces of light as they are projected into the mist. As the loop rotates repeatedly the scratches become more numerous. Light ‘shots’ emanate from all projectors – their traces crossing in the centre of the space. The sound of the scratches (passing the optical sound head on the projectors ) creates an increasingly complicated series of clicks and buzzes, as mixed live by the sound artist.
In a second phase, abrasion with needle-like tools to the loop creates ‘tramline’ scratches in the film emulsion – projecting horizontal and vertical lines in the mist, forming an ever changing light drawing in the space. The sound intensifies.
The last element in the piece is the complete removal of all film emulsion from the loops. This is done using hand held abrasive grinders on the material.
The result of this last violent action increases the amplified sound to a cacophony while the projections form four solid blocks of onrushing light streaming into the central area.
At this point the operators simply leave the projectors running, the audience being free to linger indefinitely. The action lasts 35 to 45minutes. Interview from LUFF 2012.

Performances of Light Trap to date / with sound artist :

2015 CABLE festival, Nantes / Arron Dilloway

2014  MMCA, Seoul, South Korea / Chulki Hong

2013  Avant festival, Karlstad, Sweden / John Hegre

2012   Lausanne Underground film fest / Jérôme Noetinger

2012   102, Grenoble, France / Jérôme Noetinger

2011    Kontraste festival, Krems, Austria / Gert-Jan Prins

2011    25fps festival, Zagreb / Gert-Jan Prins

2011    Institute of Modern Art, Melbourne  / Mike Cooper

2011    Transmediale Festival, Berlin /  Gert-Jan Prins

2010    Landmark , Bergen /  John Hegre

2010    Meta.Morf, Verksted, Tronheim /  Per Platou

2010    Sonic Acts festival, Amsterdam /  Gert-Jan Prins

2008    Kill Your Timid Notion tour, CCA Glasgow /  Jérôme Noetinger

2008    Kill Your Timid Notion tour, Spike Island, Bristol /  Jérôme Noetinger

2008    Kill Your Timid Notion tour, ICA, London  / Benedict Drew

2008    Morra Foundation, Napoli  / Mike Cooper

2008    Videoex Festival, Zurich  / Norbert Möslang

2008    Images festival, Toronto /  Knurl

2008    Issue Project Room, New York  / Barry Weisblat

2007    Kill Your Timid Notion Festival, Dundee  / Norbert Möslang