there are quiet places also in the mind, he said meditatively. but we build bandstands and factories on them. deliberately – to put a stop to the quietness. …all the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head – round and round, continually … what’s it for? what’s it all for? to put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn’t there.
so said old aldous huxley.
marconi’s shipwreck is i guess about this creation of noise (and all the connotations and derivations of that particular noun), this distraction from, this subsumation of, quiet, of reflection, of connection. a disorienting seventy-odd minutes of aural fog that simultaneously represents and despises this confusion, that attempts to dissect the overloaded clamour of modern life, the unthinkingness of much of the relentless hum and chatter that swamps ears and eyes and mind.
marconi’s radiowaves: aetheric waves. i dig the poetry of that. part science / part space / part spiritual. same vibes here. waves that don’t die, but count down; an inexorable half-life, on the longest timeline. eventually all that’s left is a whispered core, a ghost-truth.
it’s a logical visual / audio synchrony. both a reflection of one other.
tune your television to any channel it doesn’t receive and about one percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the big bang.
said old bill bryson.
the film itself is a mirror held up to a mirror. an ouroboros of digital information; ever expanding, dying, consuming itself. recursive feedback loops (to pinch a phrase).
that it’s done with tv is interesting. a medium that traditionally has a relationship with viewer (or at least pretends to) but obviously has more of a visual quality than the faceless face-to-face blank-eyedness of omegle or chat roulette. is it a comment on dead/dying tech, relentless obsoletism? i dunno. thinking (typing) out loud…
either way i don’t think there’s an attempt to create a narrative out of any of this. feels more like a swell of moments to watch, to hear. a post-waking dream / nightmare autopsy. a babble of image and voice that turns seasick. yr left searching for meaning, inventing/choosing/unpicking what you can from the confusion. which i suppose is the point. it being a conceptual piece on being lost in the medium and the message. liminal. interstitial. the devil’s in the details. there are no details…
i hear things that sound like things. or sound like other things. or are brought into being as things by me. white noise elementals: fire, water, air. bass like sonar. helicopters (to fit in with the paranoiac ambience). jeck or koner at their most abstruse. swanson as he shackles something like a beat to dubbed skree. a hundred a.m. radios barely tuned. garbled messages. future warnings. the expanding echo of existential terror. so much texture and tone. a minimal techno record trying drag itself up through unyielding breakers before it drowns.
as an enterprise it’s one dripping with cynicism yet curiously romantic. whether he’s yearning for something post- or pre-futurist i’m not sure but it is a rather forlorn howl of despair at the now.