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Vistasound

1981
Film
45 mins

" ...a part of the desire for that pleasure (interrupting) the satisfaction of that desire..."
The shooting of VISTASOUND commenced in 1977 and centred on a holiday postcard upon the surface of which was pressed a recording of a popular 50's song. This 'objet-trouve' was seen as analogous with film, combining a picture record and sound record physically onto a cellulose-acetate base. VISTASOUND then developed by raising questions around the associations that are made between the words in songs and particular places. Locations included, Bristol and Devon in the UK and Norman, Oklahoma in the USA.
Though music can function in a variety of ways in film, within dominant cinema it is generally used to manipulate the audience emotionally, VISTASOUND attempts to oppose such manipulations by opening a critical space, such that the relation between the various sound images, (music, sound 'effects', spoken words, etc.), and the visual images, (that of the film-on-the-screen, the photographs, people and places shown in it), are consciously understood in relation to the film's overall construction.
The debate which occurs through the three differing filmic spaces employs at one point the word 'symbiotic'; the reference could be psychoanalytic implying voyeurism and fetishism; or it could be a reference to the observational and recording activities of the military and police; or it could merely be a reference to enthusiasm, to that of the ornithologist or the tourist taking holiday snaps.
"This object describes the space which is the location of that substitution". (1981)

The large chart used in coordinating the shooting and editing of the three different filmic spaces was featured in a 1986 Arts Council of GB touring exhibition, Charting Time.

A three-screen version was installed for a screening at the Australian Centre for Photography in 2009.

Included as downloads is a student paper written by Chris Toovey (UWA) in response to the film; and an email dialogue about the film.