Perpetual motion

Perpetual motion A film by Benoît Labourdette (1’22s, 1998). Ode to childbirth by a young adult. thumbnail Benoît Labourdette
31 December 1998. Published by Benoît Labourdette.

Ode to childbirth by a young adult.

Touching the image, again

In 1997-98, with the first online virtual video editing systems, it was suddenly possible, as it was before with cinema (but video no longer allowed, for technical reasons), to work on a film frame by frame, to use drawing, in short, to manipulate the material of the image itself. It had become digital, which allowed us to touch it again, to give birth to it with our hands. Hence the subject of this film, in echo.

The five ages of the moving image

In the history of moving image technology, in my opinion there have been five ages:

  • Cinema : 1895. The photographic image, that we see, that we can scratch, on which we can draw, that we can develop ourselves. The image was a real object that could be manipulated as such.
  • Video: 1970. The image is transmitted and recorded by electronic technology. The image then became abstract, it is only a signal that circulates in electronic circuits. Its handling has become dependent on extremely complex and expensive machines. Operations that were very simple in cinema have become very complicated in video. The video also opened up new avenues, of course, but it was a new prehistory of the image.
  • Digital video: 1996. The video image, digitized, has become manipulable by personal computers. Suddenly, we were able to “crush” the image again, even more than we could do with photographic film. We didn’t know it yet, but by then we had already become half-man, half-machine.
  • Digital cinema: 2005. The application of digital video techniques for large screen projection. The official replacement for cinema of the silver image by the digital image.
  • Digital moving image : 2012. Digital technology has become a part of life. There is no longer any difference or debate between cinema and video. There is only one moving image technology left.

Film digitized in 2018 by Pauline Scopetani.

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I make short films as a painter makes paintings, usually in a lonely way, away from academic practices of making cinema. Some films are made in a very spontaneous way, others can take years to mature. I explore the meeting between the image and the world. These are experimental works, which often also tell stories...