E4.3: Lockdown Compressions

This 1 minute video is a compilation of clips from a holiday room in Aldeburgh Suffolk during Lockdown in December 2020.

The original footage of boilers at night and close-ups of items in kitchen and backroom were already very noisy and degraded because of low light levels. I layer these together with shots outside my window to give a sense of imprisonment and claustrophobia. Using blend modes to add the red almost explosive anger at being confined. Also I got an extremely bad cough because of all the traffic fumes coming under the door day and night on what was supposed to be a quiet road from town to the yachting club. Because of Lockdown everyone was using cars for short journeys and very few people were bothering to use masks.

The Codec used here was for mobile device 6MB 480 which further amplifies the artefacts, and thereby the edginess of the clip. The audio though is also degraded and probably needs a bit more work. I did export higher bitrate and larger resolution versions as comparison, but these files are too large to upload on WordPress.

TASK: Make a short animated video that uses the idea of compression as its basis/idea.
This is an opportunity to experiment with lossy compression, or zooming into an image, making copies until they deteriorate, or inventing your own way of processing an existing animation. Be sure to reference your sources if using a found animation rather than one of your own.

For further research, search for and read Cory Arcangel’s essay On Compression .


Lockdown Compressions

Background Research


Made with Padlet



Further applications of Compression to try

I have always been rather worried by the ethical dimensions of Street Photography and more voyeuristic forms of documentary video without consent. Other ways of using compression would be to see whether and how I can capture the essence of life in a place through degrading footage and/or parts of footage so that the actual people are not recognisable. Going beyond the usual blurred/mosaic track mattes.