Ballpark Collective Presents Short Straw
Short Straw (2019) 21' 44"
Ballpark Collective experiment with working processes, installation and the possibility of collaborative film making. Their response to last year’s Artlicks theme ‘Interdependence’ is reflected in their piece Short Straw. Drawing on The Surrealists' game 'Exquisite Cadaver' as a metaphor for collaboration and interpretation, Short Straw experiments with interweaving the artists' particular ways of creating and diverse use of form.
The parameters of the piece involved creating one moving image work from five individual sections, each made by one of the artists. Through the random act of "pulling sticks", a chronological order was determined in which to respond and react. The artist, who pulled the shortest straw, began the process by creating a moving image piece based on an idea of their choice. This work was then presented to the second artist who responded by making a work informed by their interpretation. No discussion took place between the artists outside of this ritual of passing work from one to the next. When the process was complete, each of the works was edited chronologically to create a whole.
Drawing on Eisenstein's view that “montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent shots” wherein “each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other”1 Short Straw reflects the idea that every piece is embedded within a whole. "Send and respond" are at the heart of the process.
1. Sergei Eisenstein, 'A Dialectic Approach to Film Form' in Film Form: Essays in Film Theory
Translated and edited by Jay Leyda, 49 Harcourt & Brace Company, 1977
The ties that bind…a lesson from Ballpark Collective by David Andrews