What the Water Said Nos 1-3
- David Gatten |
- 1998 |
- 16 minutes |
- B&W |
Rental Format(s): 16mm
The result of a series of camera-less collaborations between the filmmaker, the Atlantic Ocean, and a crab trap. For three days in January and three days in October of 1997, and again, for a day, in August of 1998, lengths of unexposed, undeveloped film were soaked in a crab cage on a South Carolina beach. Both the sound and image are the result of the ensuing oceanic inscriptions written directly into the emulsion of the film as it was buffeted by the salt water, sand, rocks and shells.
"Bypassing half of the usual mechanical needs of filmmaking, Gatten instead uses nature as his recording device. The film is, indeed, about process, but also about nature as both subject and author ... the process yields a stunning range of results: at times quiet and lyrical, at others the scratching is so dense that it leaves a nearly white screen and a loud roar, evoking the waves crashing on shore. ... The overall feel is amazingly organic and seems to defy the random action of the ocean's weathering - it seems structured, following a predetermined pattern: one almost senses an underwater intelligence in its formation." - Patrick Friel, Chicago Filmmakers
Award: Director's Citation, 18th Black Maria Film and Video Festival
Exhibition (selected): Pacific Film Archive; Chicago Filmmakers; Art Gallery of Ontario; Ann Arbor Film Festival; Impakt Film Festival; Millennium Film Workshop, NY; Images Festival; Athens Int'l Film Festival; THAW99; Art Institute of Chicago; The Moving Word Film & Poetry Exchange.