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James June Schneider - 1,2,3 Whiteout [zero007]

  • Artist: James June Schneider
  • Title: 1,2,3 Whiteout
  • Format: DVD+CD
  • Release Date: Nov, 2008
  • Price: $10.00
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7Escalators - subway stations, Washington DC4:16
6FB.21.98 - Berkshire, Scotland (The Borders)7:22
5>>Apart-City<< Hotel Ventilation - Lille, France4:06
4Construction - Changsha, China3:43
3Dark Matter3:39
2Drone Hill - Berkshire, Scotland (The Borders)2:46
1Boats - Belle Ile (France), Amsterdam5:01
3Degradation #2, X-Ray: Government Radiation 3:00
2Degradation #1, X-Ray: Shroud of Security 3:30
11,2,3 Whiteout1:12:00

Description

We are proud to present the latest release on zeromoon in collaboration with Sphairos Productions: 1,2,3 Whiteout (The End of the Light Age) - the latest feature film from James June Schneider. "This 'tone poem for darkness' mixes amazing original vignettes with diverse archive found footage, an exceptional sci-fi sensibility and incredible soundscapes to form a blissfully imaginative and retro-futuristic creation. Set in 'an old-fashioned kind of future', Veronique and an inventor (the legendary Lou Castel) are trying to bring back a 'positive' darkness to offset the glaring, bright, technological man-made light and 'make the night night again'. As much about sound as about darkness, it asks: Can we shine when we are faced with blinding light?" -Leeds International Film Festival

The set includes a CD with soundscapes, drone, and field recordings from the film. Sound is a guiding force in 1,2,3, Whiteout. The film and audio were constructed to operate as independent forces which work in counterpoint. The soundtrack is composed of found, sampled, and synthesized sound as well music/songs composed for the film. The latter were created by Elmapi and AE and the soundscapes were recorded and composed by Richard Harrison and Michael Schumacher amongst others. Drone Hill, a side project of Richard Harrison (of legendary Spaceheads) serves as one of the fundamental materials which runs throughout the film. Drone Hill was the title of an album Harrison made by placing sound captors on the wire fence at his brother's farm whereby creating an enormous recording device, capturing vibrations and natural phenomena. Accident and Emergency (AE) from Sonig records performs original music as a Greek chorus in the film. Emiko Ota (singer/drummer/vibraphone) appears in person, in voice, and on screen in 4 different scenes, lamenting, advising and commenting. Elmapi (Elise Pierre) who has just completed her US tour on her second album (mixed and mastered by Andy Moor of Dutch band The Ex) has composed two original tracks for the film as well as acting in 1,2,3, Whiteout. Sound from dozens of different films were sampled along with found sound recorded by Pierre who drew on her experience as an electro-acoustician as she transformed the material. The film also includes a track from NY sound artist Michael Schumacher's "Fidicin Drones" and a clip from legendary Soviet electro experimentalists Notchnoi Prospekt. Erik Minkkinen who created the international "Placard" headphone festival also plays a soundman in the film. As a bonus the DVD includes 2 short experimental films created using x-rays that feature music performed by Violet.

Reviews

Film maker James June Schneider is best known for his collaboration with Washington DC’s The Make Up on 1997’s Blue Is Beautiful. Schneider, a proponent of video/ audio sampling, or ‘vampling’, describes his films as “experiments, mobile pieces of a developing whole”, and his propensity for seeking meaning via recontextualised fragments is evident in the microcosmic form of this 70 minute science fiction feature.

1,2,3, Whiteout occupies a believably shabby, exhausted-looking industrial near-futurescape suggestive of the world which eventually crumbled into that of Tarkovsky’s Stalker. The bleached-out look of the film recalls the very early work of David Cronenberg circa Stereo and Crimes Of The Future, while exploring a theme somewhat related to the Canadian auteur’s rather more hysterical Videodrome. Like Cronenberg, Schneider is interested in the effect of technology on human neurology, focusing on man-made light as a metaphor for capitalism’s constant flow of distracting data.

Much of the film’s effectiveness depends on the inventive use of sound, including the avant pop commentary provided in the film by Sonig recording artists A&E (Stock, Hausen & Walkman’s Andrew Sharpley with Emiko Ota), and extending to the way the sparse dialogue works in tandem with the drones and field recordings of the soundtrack. These pieces, sourced by Schneider and collaborators Elmapi, Richard Harrison and Michael J Schumacher from locations in Scotland, China, France, Holland and the US, comprise the contents of a bonus audio CD. Experienced in isolation, the soundtrack acts as a spectral mnemonic for the film as a whole. It is perhaps only in listening to these tracks without visuals that one appreciates just how integral they are to Schneider’s vision. Joseph Stannard, Wire