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Exercise 14: Blind Units

25 February 2010

Director: Sergio Prego

Venue: Outdoor location

This exercise focuses on executing an action subject to a device geared towards causing a discontinuous distortion in the way the flow of time is recorded. The device is made up of a metronome and two scores of music that will provide a template for the recording and for the action itself.

One person walks as the metronome sets the rhythm of his or her steps at a moderate pace. The person shall execute varying frequencies in his or her walk following a sequence established in a score that progresses until it reaches an absurdly slow pace. The person shall attempt to keep the movement as uninterrupted as possible, shifting his or her weight from one leg to the other, in a way that may not be natural but is continuous. A handheld video camera shall record the action, moving around the figure with a swaying movement. This movement shall be determined by a second score, following a sequence connected to the metronome by a different pattern to that of the person walking. The aim of the camera’s movement is to obstruct the recording and layer a new frequency over the walking frequency.

Three teams of six people shall carry out three simultaneous and supposedly identical video recordings at different outdoor locations. The exercise intends to highlight the impossibility of predicting the outcome during the process, forcing the people involved to carry out their actions blindly.

Before a joint viewing, the material shall be manipulated in postproduction by compressing the speeds in order to adjust the tempos, trying to make the paces of the final movement as continuous as possible. In order to achieve this, the scores will serve as a template, and the dilation of time shall be inverted. The exercise will wrap up with a joint verification and comparison of the three working groups’ outcome on video.