Second Sight/Split Seconds 2010
Challenging notions and perceptions of time and the relationship and tension between stillness and motion. Silva filmed quotidian gestures that lasted for one second recording them at 2000 fps with the Edgerton Lab high speed camera transposing them into 3 minute extreme slow motion films of non-events or non-actions.
Epic Measures unravels the episodic film Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War (2008), to interrogate it’s construction as a documentary and to mine potential alternate readings, ways of experiencing, and interacting with its physical substance. Silva became interested in exploring and contextualizing the actual objects within the film that carry significance and represent the fundamental armature that drives the film.
The core conceptual object of Balkan Rhapsodies is the postcard (see image). This postcard functions within the film on many levels as an outcry, as a joke, and as a tool for investigating a complex set of questions that the film wrestles with throughout its seventy-eight episodes. What does this postcard actually signify? What is Slivovitza? Who and What is Serbia and Kosovo? And how do American people relate?
2009 | 180 minutes | Video
NDB makes use of a single 45 second piece of archival footage of a 1997 police attack of Serbian anti-Milosovic protesters in Belgrade. A rendition of the original material also features prominently in Balkan Rhapsodies as the first image of the film, where it is presented in reverse at regular speed with slowed down synced sound. This backwards image sets an unsettling tone for the piece that signals and foreshadows an interrogation of the documentary form and the content of its images and sounds. The footage is preceded by the films first inter-title with three lines of a T.S. Eliot’s Burnt Norton:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
The Eliot quotation and the gesture of reversing footage makes the image less vulgar but at the same time makes it more claustrophobic and intolerable. As the viewer watches the officer violently snap back their batons away from the people whom have just suffered the tremendous blows one ponders the residue of the ineffable violence perpetrated throughout history and the difficulty of escaping its cyclical motion through time.
Anthem Anathema is a collaboratively dispersed project seeking to engage with, interpret, and creatively interrogate linguistic and cultural symbols. Using craigslist, Silva posted a call for artists to interpret and respond musically to the three lines from the postcard featured in Balkan Rhapsodies. He encouraged experimentation in musical form and text, even further development of additional lyrics to expand on the narrative of the lines. Eighteen songs were created over the period of the month long call representing a range of interpretations and musical tastes. These sonic vociferations, repeating the phrase over and over again, become a surreal echo of abhorrent humor that becomes deeply lodged into the listeners long after they have left the gallery.
Chilangolandia: Capital in Movement
16mm film & monograph| 10 minutes | 2007
Through documentary images, time-lapse photography, slow-motion and other impressionistic camera work, Chilangolandia explores the cultural layers and rhythms of life in Mexico City.
Made in collaboration with Wendy Jacob | Concept: Wendy Jacob | Camera & Edit: Jeff Daniel Silva
ARCUS 2004 | Loop duration: 4 minutes
Jeff Silva & Alla Kovgan Concept – Camera – Edit | Made in collaboration with Nicola Hawkins Dance Company
Hans Richter stated that “by taking the whole movie screen, pressing it together and opening it up, top, bottom, sides, right, left, you do not perceive form anymore, you perceive movement.” In tune with Richter’s insight “ARCUS” is an exploration of the ephemeral nature of movement.
Review of Site Specific Installation of ARCUS on Pond in Brooklyn, NY (2003)
ARCUS played beautifully on the pond—it really allowed me to consider a space–both of the dance and the screen–with the multiple frames and the editing which seemed to stretch the frame sideways (less vertically) so that I do wonder what it looks like rectangular–the shooting and editing suggest that it didn’t matter so much–and of course, by the end it was justified, as I was either so far inside the piece or so far away that what I could see was the remains or shadows of hi-con movement –which, incidentally, was one of the nicest moments–as the ending came, the boat moves slight farther off and the oval screen with what could be seen as ripples on the water was reflected in ripples on the water–that was beautiful. It brought everyone around me to a very active stillness. I found myself thinking (feeling, more) about where my body is in relation to time and rhythm and space– m.Jamieson