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Videolightwork one

Clemente Calvo


Videolightwork one is a choreography that synchronises light trails to a sound piece composed by Calvo. Just as he did for Pintando el Celuloide, the artist once again revisits the formalist origins of experimental film, but this time, he leaves the lab in order to capture nature’s chaos and organise it musically.

The optical illusions that Calvo captures at the twilight of the day, when the light turns to an intense yellow and sometimes a deep red in cloudy settings, are like displays of divine powers. He then combines these rhythmically with artificially generated trails. Following the pattern of his piece of 1994 The Flame, Calvo organises the images according to the music. In this case, the levels of visual abstraction are much higher as it is the light trails at night that guide the editing. These are the trails that appear when an image is recorded with a low shutter speed, an effect which the naked eye does not perceive. In the image, time is coloured by the light, which is influenced and distorted by the atmosphere of the setting. This is an atmosphere of intrigue and expectation that is achieved with the specialised use of the technical equipment. What seems like an error is in reality a virtue.

As the video unfolds, the light stains acquire further complexities and take different shapes and colours. They construct symmetries in the manner of Rosarch inkblots, where each individual sees a different image. Different chaotic threads are superimposed. Small whips of different coloured light generate random structures of movement between points and lines, into a dance of light trails that through overlooked discontinuities, leads us into a hypnotic state. The poetic capacities of the image turn pictorial as the light moves organically, exploiting all the possibilities of the recording equipment.

“The result suggests a dance between the two forces that determine the existence of the Universe: asymmetry, disorder, amorphousness and unpredictability together with order, symmetry and structure.”

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Videolightwork one
  • Direction: Clemente Calvo
  • Production: Clemente Calvo. 2012.
  • Duration: 00:03:50
  • Original format: DV-Cam
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Creative Commons