Director, cinematography, and editing: Aaron Dylan Kearns
Release Date: December 31, 2017
The Thinklematter Visual (TV) series is, in concept, a multi part instillation of multiple minute long short films. The films are meant to be projected in a box-like room with plain walls, with each entry of the series being played simultaneously on each wall of the room, including the floor and ceiling. The number of shorts in the series is indefinite.
I usually do my own music but borrowed here from Brian Eno.
Watching Thinklematter Visual (TV): 3
Commentary by JMK
The film opens on a still image of what seems almost a combination of fractured typeface over a similarly fractured topographical street map. Cut to white. Which is somehow a surprise, this searing, bright field of white. Into it, from bottom right, enters the vaguest sketch of a black form. It disappears. Then is it the same form that immediately reappears from screen right but this time swiftly tears a large black hole in the screen. The music is gentle, serene, and as the black form fluctuates, ebbs and expands, there's tension between the tenderness and the inherent aggression of the unexpected represented in this great negative field that charged into the screen. The form and its auxiliaries drops out of view. White again. The darkness had receded out of the bottom of the screen, and now another darkness enters top left. It forms a kind of horizon line that quickly becomes a gently curved boundary, a container of the white space, even as within the white space, at bottom right, the barest grainy glimpse of a human figure appears. We can immediately tell, with just this slim suggestion of form, the 1000th generation of a carbon copy, that it is a skating child, their reflection now appearing also in the white. Then the white field floods over them. They disappear into the white as various configurations of black encroach on the screen's edges and create an ever-fluctuating boundary that dance about. As the boundary attains a semi-circular shape at top again, clarifying an even more distinct container, a black field sweeps up at screen bottom. Upon this field of black, the vaguest apparition of the child and another appear, skating. The figure on the left falls into the black. Then both figures disappear. With the tender music, there is something very sweet, even sentimental, about these unbalanced skating figures, these children. The black field at the bottom becomes a circular pool of black that moves up the screen. Beneath it, the apparition of another form appears against the white, gazing up at us. Despite the graininess of the apparition, the look on the figure's face, its eyes reaching out beyond the screen and grabbing our own, is plaintive. We realize that this is a closer view on the earlier skating figure that had lost its balance and fallen. What had been rather sweet and lovely, with a touch of sentimental sadness that accompanies things lost, completely flips emotionally and the gaze of the fallen child annihilates sentiment. Sentiment is replaced with the immediate pain of a distant past and a sense of anticipation for what will and has occurred in the years between. All this transpires in less than two seconds as the child breaks the gaze, looks back down at the ice and immediately evaporates. The screen goes black. We are returned to the opening still image and can now see in its fractured topography and splintered alphabet an allusion to the cuts that the blades of skater's shoes leave on ice. End film.
I don't know if I should reveal that the field of white the ghostly skaters glide upon, and the black pool upon which one falls, is actually the white of a porcelain sink and its dark drain that have been abstracted by heavy grain and high contrast.