Village Underground

by Di Mainstone, Hollie Miller, Heiko Prigge, Judy Jacob and Adam Stark
As seen at the Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner

Words & Numbers visualises a woman’s internal thoughts as they burst through the surface of her skin in the form of words and numbers. As she sleeps her tear ducts weep numbers. These abstract equations spell out a story, whilst playfully growing and moulding themselves around her body until sinking back into her skin.

The Story
The sleeping woman’s dreams and anxieties revolve around a mysterious man with elegant eyes. The sleeper appears to count details, days and memories of this man. These thoughts form complex equations to which there is no answer. Time passes and her recollections become confused as numbers mix with words and time appears to fluctuate. We wonder if this man is a figment of her imagination or someone she has yet to meet…

Di Mainstone began by writing the story of the dreaming girl. Di and Hollie Miller then mapped out detailed thumbnails, visualising the story, and cut out all of the fonts in foam. Hollie and Di tested where these words and numbers could be placed on the body and how they might travel across the skin. They then transformed Di’s living room in to a studio and worked with photographer Heiko Prigge to create a stop frame animation. Di manipulated the small words step by step on Hollie’s body and also built larger structures that Hollie disassembled and manipulated with her movement. Design assistant Liisa animated various elements of the story and Judy Jacobs edited the film.

Words & Numbers is an experiment of how Di’s body-centric sculptures can inspire or trigger sound via movement. Di and Hollie imagined that each letter had a particular sonic personality. These ideas were passed on to sound artist Adam Stark who created a mesmerising score that brought the piece to life.

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