Wessenden Brook

avi-laurel2WessendeWB Hex Still 1n Brook (24 frames Hex) is an investigation into the materiality of digital video and the boundaries of landscape film.

Wessenden brook flows from Pennine moorland into the West Yorkshire village of Marsden. On 19th March 2015, I recorded a section of the brook using an old digital video camera.

A one second (24 frames long) excerpt of this recording was split into video and audio files. The binary code making up these files is millions of digits long and is usually read after being converted into hexadecimal code made up of 16 characters: 0-9 and A-F.

Video playing software will read the code as video and audio but I created text file transcripts of it and used these as the basis for a film in which the code of the file of a becomes a river aWB Hex Still 2gain.

It would take a single person nearly 20 hours to read out the code making up the audio file from a one second video clip so I split it into 24 sections, each lasting 48 minutes long. Each section is “read” by a different voice and all the voices in the film belong to people who live in Marsden. The audio was mixed to create an ever changing babble of voices in a repeating 24 minute pattern.

WB Hex Still 5The code making up the video file was converted into 480 still frames of text. These were then edited together in a constantly
streaming, repeating, 24 minute pattern.

The code you see and hear in the film is exactly the same code constituting the one second clip I recorded on 19th March 2015. The film is, then, a faithful record of the Wessenden Brook as it was on a sunny day in early spring, 2015.

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