2007 FPS- A London Conversation
D-Fuse and Illustrious Company have been commissioned to make a new immersive visual and sound installation, to be presented as part of the opening of the revitalised and refurbished National Film Theatre, BFI Southbank. Designed as a large scale piece of public art, the work will be projected onto the exterior wall of the National Theatre, and along the entire length of the façade of the new BFI SouthBank building. The audience will be enveloped in a three-dimensional soundscape.
D-Fuse [Michael Faulkner + Cesar Pesquera] have selected a number of films from the venue's new digital 'portal' into the BFI National Archive, the Mediatheque. Focusing on material from the Mediatheque's London Calling programme, D-Fuse have sampled a dozen films and created a spectacular multi-channel cinematic collage.
The three-dimensional soundscape for the project is being produced in collaboration with Illustrious Company, founded by Martyn Ware [Heaven 17/Human League] and Vince Clarke [Erasure]. Specialists in 3D sound, Illustrious will be creating a 3D soundfield in the avenue that runs between BFI Southbank and The National Theatre. It will blend samples from the films' original soundtracks with new musical atmospheres composed by Illustrious Company.
With the interplay between moving image and 3D sound, and the juxtaposition of old with contemporary, 2007 FPS – A London Conversation creates a series of unlikely dialogues that span the history of London on film.
A London Conversation began as an exploratory journey through the BFI's London Calling programme. D-Fuse and Illustrious were seeking a way to bring to the public realm via a large scale outdoor installation an intimate association with films that explore London. The purpose of which was to create a dialogue between the disparate pieces and to find a common thread other than the obvious geographical locations.
It is often said that cities are places of isolation and fragmentation yet within the urban sprawl we find emotion and a sense of belonging. This is more predominent as urban dwelling grows. "At some point this year, our species will prove Darwin wrong. For the first time since the dawn of civilisation, the human being is about to become a predominantly urban creature: humans have not evolved to fit our habitat, we have changed our habitat to suit ourselves." Jonathan Watts- The Guardian
One of the themes examined and juxtaposed over the timespan is London as a refuge, both to immigrants and to those who have gravitated to the metropolis from far flung corners of Britain. The stories and struggles of characters from London films making their way in the city are interwoven, and from this, a new intimate tale is drawn onto the Southbank.
The close-up story of the changing face of our city, architecturally and culturally, and how we interact with it is explored within the work. London cuts from being the star in the frame to acting as a backdrop for a million nights out, break ups, and family days out. Through the process of sampling, spooling and phasing, the snippets of conversation and their condensed meanings are amplified. From these disparate moments we take with us a sense of belonging to London, and it to us.
With thanks to the BFI [Stuart Brown] and film makers in the London Calling programme for allowing us to reinterpret their films and soundtracks.
01 Finnisterre - Colour
02 London1993 - Colour
03 Street Scenes Silent - B/W
04 John Krisch_The Elephant Will Never Forget - B/W
05 London Suite_London Suite - Colour
06 London Suite_Latifah+Himili's Normadic Uncle - B/W
07 John Krisch_Return of Life - B/W
08 We Are The Lambeth Boys - B/W
09 Brief City - B/W
10 London Suite_Sundial - Colour
11 This Year London - B/W
12 Colour on the Thames Silent - Colour
13 Together - Colour