Archive object:
BT Archive Videos

“In the act of performance, dance shows (manifests itself) and shows itself (points to itself). In contrast, writing as movement – and this has as yet been little reflected upon as an aspect of the performativity of writing – eludes observation by an audience.”
Gabriele Klein, Transcription-Materiality-Signature (2011), p. 122

“...the film material and the process of viewing together transform film into a new object and process.”
Peter, Materialist Film (2016), p. 7

This project questions the performativity of the hand gesture in the current and future digital environment. The idea of the gesture in fine art, such as brushstrokes, signatures, and styles, indicates physically manifested artists’ emotions, messages or states of mind. These would be read by the viewer in the resulting marks. In digital media, on the other hand, the presence of the artist is flattened and smoothed with the high fidelity quality of video on the seamless screen, but the traces behind the image remain as data and process logs. These digital traces, I believe, are not visually present in the forefront, as like a physical gesture, but tele-connected and tele-communicated through the processes of editing and collecting with various applications, in the digital environment of producing, viewing, and responding.

For this project, I collected videos from the BT film archive that used old dial telephones and explain the way of use the new technology. Then, I experimented with developing a performative image-based video, which can be transformed through the reflective editing and archiving process. Through this process, the artist becomes a performer and self-spectator in the aspect of artistic gesture. Videos featuring hands manipulating the telephone  from the BT archive are edited into ‘gesture clips’. These are recreated in the image sequences by two orders: digital data and time. After that, the edited video is placed in a three-dimensional virtual space that triggers the spectators hands’ or heads’ interactive movement using the computer, smartphone or VR. Thereby, it not only allows the artist's process to become part of the project, but also connects three different gestures within the transformative moving image: imagery, artist, and viewer.