“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world”.
-- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Forbidden science, archaeology and animation as re-animation.
The speed of light has sent the souls of the first projected images to the furthest limits of the solar system, but its earthly remains lay dormant, ripe for re-discovery. Recalling Brakhage’s attempt to re-animate insects through projection (Mothlight, 1964), this live performance will harness electro-mechanics and digital micro-cinematography to unearth the magic transformations buried alive within the layers of decayed and dying film prints.
Like forensic lab tests, The Mechanical Afterlife will probe the molecular life-forces of selected film frames and finally “re-animate” them from their stasis in a 35mm projector.