Vector by Boris Brecht debackere
First screening on 26 January 2010 at iMal, Brussels.
A vector (Latin: carrier) is a mathematical element of a vector space. In geometry and physics, vectors represent as much direction as displacement, velocity, acceleration and power.
VECTOR is a film that derives from a generative computer application. The production aims to explore the intrinsic qualities of the digital media and to utilize them in the creative process. The digital media do not represent, they generate. They are more software than hardware, and by nature quite different from any other medium that we know, in short: transforming and growing systems.
The modular qualities of the software enable emergent processes, feedback and (re-)generating processes to unfold into dynamic elements. The “virtual tool” plays an active role in the creative process of the film-production. By handling those digital technologies with dynamic processes, can arise new and alternative production methods, different from those in the representational media.
The focus of production of VECTOR is to develop a computer application to represent the concept of pure movement. Film is movement. The movement of the subject, the movement of the camera, the movement of the film through the projector. All these movements create tension, dynamism, and also determine the experience of the film. Translated into mathematics, the movement is represented by a vector, the core of this project.
The starting point of VECTOR is the action movie as a genre preferring the spectacular and sensational audiovisual experience to the psychological conflict and reflection. This yespornoplease genre was deliberately chosen because, like no other, it explores the many features of movement and uses them as its central theme. Action sequences are based on stylistic conventions such as slow and fast motion, continuous motion, unrealistic lighting, staccato editing, speed… In VECTOR, these conventions are analyzed and applied within an abstract world free from a narrative context but with the purpose of generating a similar audiovisual experience. Therefore, special attention is paid to the specific form and style elements that emphasize the movement and are crucial in the experience of motion.
VECTOR has an affinity with the tradition of Absolute Movie where the formal and structural characteristics of film are used to produce a purely cinematic effect. Our method is also closely related to the formalist and structuralist tradition that assumes that the cinematic codes and conventions are meaningful. The formalistic nature of cinema can do more than tell stories, it reveals a different mindset. The “language of the medium” is the basis on which the “story” is subordinate to the form. Experiencing a structuralist film is like watching a chain of dominoes: once the first stone falls, one pays attention rather to the outcome of the overall organization of the stones than to one individual element.
VECTOR wants to make visible the internal movement of the film by reinforcing the conical projection beam and joining it to the laser beam. This creates a dynamic friction between the flat screen and reality. The laser patterns that are projected as meta-layers in the space and on the screen lift the two-dimensional images out from the projection plane and bring them into the three-dimensional space of the movie theather. This unveils and makes visible the underlying system of movement and deformation. In that case, the film experience has no longer its transparent quality that allows the viewer to see through the media; but, paradoxically enough, becomes immersive thanks to the real-time visualization of itself. The game between the laser light and the video projection, both having their specific qualities, sticks out the flat screen and places the viewer into the film frame. This total experience both gives an insight into the underlying mechanisms of the film and provides an immersive and fascinating experience.
Vector is produced by Cimatics with the support of VAF.
Project made during Boris & Brecht Debackere’s residence at iMAL, Brussels.
Related links: ROTOR, autofasurer
Cimatics is a Brussels – based international platform for digital culture.
Cimatics v.z.w. is a non-profit art organization with structural funding from the Flemish government and the French community, Brussels Capital Region and the City of Brussels as well as by European cultural institutions like Austrian Kultur Forum, Finnish Cultural Institute, Institut de la Francophonie Numérique and many others.
Cimatics Platform was born out of the annual Cimatics festival, bringing rapidly expanding goals and activities.
On one hand there has been a broadening of free porn vision:
To look at a wider field of experimental audiovisual performances, to tighten the links between audiovisual art, media art and the broader, more popular digital culture.
On the other hand, on the basis of this activity it is building a platform focusing on the production of new audiovisual performances and installations, holding educational workshops and creating publications as well as initiating a great number of multidisciplinary events.
Annual festival for digital culture.
The main activity of the platform is the annual Cimatics festival.
It is a citywide event in Brussels and it’s latest edition was spread out all over the city with more than 150 artists, 17 venues, 10 days and nights and over 10.000 visitors.
With a focus on audiovisual art and digital culture, festival is unique in Belgium and has built up a strong international reputation.
Festival was set up in 2003 for a first audiovisual festival explicitly grounded in electronic subculture, afterwards was expanded into a festival for ‘Live Audiovisual Art & VJing’.
Festival has always been intended to be an event with a meta-narrative, a node where grass-roots, underground and pop or art become mixed. In short, a contemporary happening with a capital ‘H’.
Since the beginning, a great many artists of all sorts have formed part of this collage, this cultural mash-up.
In addition, but crucial, is that the artists are challenged to leave their familiar position on a stage in a concert hall and enter the public domain with interactive audio-visual installation and performances.
Cimatics Festival is located in a multicultural city Brussels and has had an intercultural nature from the very beginning.
The interactive and participatory program of the festival reduces exclusion and promotes inclusion of diverse audiences. It encourages people from different social and ethnical backgrounds to share ideas in dialogue and creates new and authentic social ties.
In 2011, we initiate a user-generated way of organizing a festival. This will be the core idea around which the festival will be built on.
Therefore, Cimatics will focus on 3 key elements for the next 5 years, besides exploring innovative cross-cultural or cross-media and hybrid art forms:
1. encouraging the audience to participate in the festival content co-production
2. improving the city environment
3. involving multicultural communities
From 29 September – 02 October 2011 we need your participation to make Brussels again – for 1 week – the worldwide capital of digital culture.
Call for submissions
Agency for audiovisual production and distribution.
Next to the organisation of festival, Cimatics is a label recognized agency the world for the direction, production, commissioning and distribution of pioneering audiovisual artworks, performances and installations by world-acclaimed artists such as Ryoichi Kurokawa, Quayola, Telcosystems, Boris & Brecht Debackere, Arne Deforce, Yutaka Oya and Visual Kitchen.
We focus on audio-visual performances, with the emphasis on those that have grown out of VJ culture and digital culture.
Most of the projects revolve around the interaction (live or otherwise) between sound and image: live cinema, visual music, expanded cinema or DJ/VJ.
Next to that there is also a continuous attention for audio-visual installations, experimental cinema, music video and motion graphics.
Label activities are tour management and bookings, educational workshops, film screenings, conferences, exhibitions and professional meetings.
Most of the artworks produced were also presented at the Cimatics Festival.