Friday, 26 April 2013

Haptic Visuality

"Haptic" comes from the Greek ἅπτω ( thanks wikipedia), and refers to nonverbal communication involving touch. Haptic film evolved from Cubism and it's suggestion of a 3D shape. This exploration into creating a surface texture that could be read by the eye as "texture" rather than solely as an "image" evolved film into something that you don't only look into, but rather created another dimension to the 'feast for the eyes'. As I referenced earlier, Walter Benjamin, speaking of early film cameras, said;

" Evidently a different nature opens itself to the camera than opens to the naked eye-if only because an unconsciously penetrated space is substituted for a space consciously explored by man. Even if one has a general knowledge of the way people walk, one knows nothing of a person's posture during the fractional second of a stride." The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

While he was referring to the object as seen through the lens of the camera, haptic film makes us more aware of the canvas that is the physical film. Through painting, scratching, stitching the film we are aware of it's tactile changeability.   

Len Lye "A Colour Box" 1935

Len Lye's kinetic film was created by scraping through coloured ink. The result is an almost sculptural, playful, and abstract film that really takes joy in the fundamental actions of the filmic process. Earlier I cited Joris Iven's "Regen" , this even earlier film, focused not on narrative content but rather on the details, fragmented shapes and texture of the wet city. The texture of 'rain' as all parts of its nature are explored, describe the city as purely existing in one moment of time. 

So in my project STKINT, where I had to describe the experience of visiting Stoke Newington International Airport in a film, I lifted textures, colours, and sounds and created a haptic film using paint on projected slides creating a stop motion short film. View film with the link below.

work from Chloe Cornell 2009

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