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chapters:phx_x_is_for_xylonite [2019/05/28 20:14]
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chapters:phx_x_is_for_xylonite [2019/10/13 14:29] (current)
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-Single channel film, 12 min 44 sec, 16mm film transferred to digital and 3D animation, colour / black and white, stereo+Single channel film, 12 min 54 sec, 16mm film transferred to digital and 3D animation, colour / black and white, stereo
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-__PHX [X is for Xylonite]__ ​is a new film animation commissioned as part of Bow Arts' heritage project 'Raw Materials: Plastics'​. It presents a series of orbiting three-dimensional images of natural and semi-synthetic plastic objects, made through laser scanning and photogrammetry techniques. These are collaged with hand-processed black and white 16mm film footage, which includes a demolition on the site of the original Parkesine factory in Hackney Wick, where the first semi-synthetic plastic was invented. Both flickering, contingent materials allude to the history of cellulose nitrate - in particular, '​Xylonite'​ - in the development of photography and film as, until the mid-century shift to acetate, it was used as the base for film stock, and elsewhere to build props in film production. Extracts from Roland Barthes'​ essay '​Plastics'​ (in his book //​Mythologies//,​ 1957), colour experiments listed in a British Xylonite Company laboratory formula book (c.1888) and symptoms of plastics degradation,​ of '​crazing',​ '​yellowing'​ and '​bloom',​ are read by Dr. Miriam Wright, scientist and laboratory technician. The soundtrack proposes a warped love song between the organic and synthetic, where the human voice and recordings in shellac - the lacquer obtained from the secretion of the Coccus Lacca insect - are transformed through a vocoder. Although Barthes suggests that plastic "​embodies none of the genuine produce of the mineral world: foam, fibres, strata",​ in PHX, plastics are proposed as strata; so that the layers that make up the film - its emulsion and plastic substrate - are made evident; like the material seams of plastic that will, in future sedimentary rock layers, signal our Anthropocene era and its flawed capitalist productions. ​+__PHX [X is for Xylonite]__ presents a series of orbiting three-dimensional images of natural and semi-synthetic plastic objects, made through laser scanning and photogrammetry techniques. These are collaged with hand-processed black and white 16mm film footage, which includes a demolition on the site of the original Parkesine factory in Hackney Wick, where the first semi-synthetic plastic was invented. Both flickering, contingent materials allude to the history of cellulose nitrate - in particular, '​Xylonite'​ - in the development of photography and film as, until the mid-century shift to acetate, it was used as the base for film stock, and elsewhere to build props in film production. Extracts from Roland Barthes'​ essay '​Plastics'​ (in his book //​Mythologies//,​ 1957), colour experiments listed in a British Xylonite Company laboratory formula book (c.1888) and symptoms of plastics degradation,​ of '​crazing',​ '​yellowing'​ and '​bloom',​ are read by Dr. Miriam Wright, scientist and laboratory technician. The soundtrack proposes a warped love song between the organic and synthetic, where the human voice and recordings in shellac - the lacquer obtained from the secretion of the Coccus Lacca insect - are transformed through a vocoder. Although Barthes suggests that plastic "​embodies none of the genuine produce of the mineral world: foam, fibres, strata",​ in PHX, plastics are proposed as strata; so that the layers that make up the film - its emulsion and plastic substrate - are made evident; like the material seams of plastic that will, in future sedimentary rock layers, signal our Anthropocene era and its flawed capitalist productions. ​
  
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 Professor Tim Weyrich, Dr. Kathryn Piquet (Centre for Digital Humanities);​ Dr. Ruth Siddall and Jo Townshend; Vestry House Museum, London Borough of Waltham Forest: Ainsley Vinall; and Lillian Wilkie. Professor Tim Weyrich, Dr. Kathryn Piquet (Centre for Digital Humanities);​ Dr. Ruth Siddall and Jo Townshend; Vestry House Museum, London Borough of Waltham Forest: Ainsley Vinall; and Lillian Wilkie.
  
-With generous support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and University College London. ​+Commissioned as part of Bow Arts heritage project 'Raw Materials: Plastics',​ with generous support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and University College London.
  
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