In this segment of Shooting Theory the concept is Zero, imaged through salt, in two ancient locations: Mount Sodom and the Dead Sea (Israel) and Rann of Kutch (India). Zero is understood, through both the Hindu theory of numbers and the thought of Alain Badiou, as “the ontological stopping point of number— which is zero, or the void”.
We chose salt as the object medium through which to image 0 for two reasons: the leveling role that salt has played in history, for example biblical history—“sowing with salt” an enemy city after its capture so as to level it to nothing, to 0; and, salt’s important role as covenant in antiquity precisely because it could not be destroyed by fire or time.
Our filming techniques are influenced by Dziga Vertov’s method of kino-eye premised on active seeing of “life caught unawares,” in this case geological life caught unawares and divorced from the standard way of seeing it, achieved through techniques of shooting similar to those of Vertov: hand-held camera, close-up magnification, zoom out, blur motion, partial object, reverse shot panorama, and a view finder-less camera strapped to the front of the head—technologically shooting while the human is consciously shooting.
We film using four different cameras of contemporary technology: Sony HD video, GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition, iPad Air camera, and Blackberry phone camera. The practice is shoot fast; point and shoot for still images, and for video count to 15 whilst pointing and shooting. The edited shots range in duration from 1.3 seconds (Vertov’s average shot length in Man With a Camera is 2.3) to 17 seconds. The arrangement is time and space montage.
The distinct areas of Mount Sodom, Dead Sea, Rann of Kutch are then edited together using montage—“organizing film fragments (shots)” to produce a single whole of images, a single film-object which is filmed at different times in different spaces. Our intent is to show both a different way of doing theory and of imaging space and location.