MIDVA 2010 - 2028 - An 18-Year Video Project
Director & Photographer: Simon Chang
Soundtrack: Rebecca Adorno
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I believe that everyone’s life is a movie. Mine is no exception.
There are 24 frames in every second of a movie. A roll of film contains 36 photos. That means a 2 hour movie is equal to 200 rolls of film. If the average human lifespan is 80 years, that is equivalent to 350,633 movies or 60,600,000,000 photos. 60 billion photos side by side is almost 180,000 kilometers long. It is enough to circle the planet four and a half times.
Every video has a time limit. This time, my starting point is the role of a father and Sonja has only been on this Earth for 394 days. There’s not enough time in which to “condense” everything. Instead, I’m giving myself 18 years – expanding a year + 9 months into 18 short films. It is very possible that I have already left clues for all future plots or riddles in Chapter I – Astronaut Sonja.
The dense calculations that cover my notebook and the particles of varying thickness on my film are interwoven with surprise and lament from layers of both old and new memories. As I edit the plethora of combinations on my video timeline, I crop and edit the same clip from the scene again and again. Copy, delete, rewind, restore as I hum the melody that I imagine will accompany the clip. Doesn’t the practice of endlessly editing this montage symbolize our daily lives?
The most magical aspect of editing a montage is nothing more than letting time that is originally linear to extend indefinitely. To let this time be condensed by thoughts of appreciation. To let us have the opportunity to examine it once again, frame by frame. There are some moments you didn’t have time to carefully delineate. In the end, you suddenly realize the most unremarkable excerpts of daily life are actually like liquid metal, streamlined and intense.
For the MIDVA photo series, I contemplated all possible connections between the photographer and the photographed. I plan to use 18 video prose stories to record Sonja’s childhood. It may be because of various factors, such as aging parents or global warming, but I plan to use Sonja’s 18th birthday in 2028 as an ending point. (Hopefully her future boyfriend can take over this task or simply use these videos to make fun of her childhood years).
I’m curious to see how the stories will play out. Not only will there be changes in weight and appearance, but also insinuations of fate. And we may realize that time may be much more agile and nimble than we ever fathomed.
Simon Chang 28.5.2012
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English text translated by Joan Li-Chun Wang (joanlcwang@gmail.com)

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