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Published on Aug 17, 2010

ZeitEYE is a film about innovation in media and the arts since 1900. It is in the form of a rapid montage of stills featuring all the principle media and art innovations of the last eleven decades. It is punctuated and contextualised by the inclusion of keynote artists and celebrities of each decade, and is framed by closeups of the eyes of these zeitgeist figures. It is a kind of back-story of our contemporary broadband networked media, and it is a film about the evolving spirit of the age. It is eleven decades of media-arts innovation in eleven minutes.

ZeitEYE traces significant developments in the media, technology and the arts, featuring stills and intertitles that cover some 2000 key innovations of the last eleven decades. The film is structured as a chronofile - a chronological montage of images that decade-by-decade, build a kind of back story or historical context for the current 21st-Century media landscape. It proposes a personal kind of canonical appraisal of the developments in media-technology, art and media content-design that helped form or influenced the development of our current broadband, global, computer-mediated, omni-media access. ZeitEYE is accompanied by the classic Modernist composition 'Ballet Mecanique' written by the American avant garde composer George Antheil in 1924, for the film of the same name made by Dudley Murphy and Fernand Leger that year. Recorded by Daniel Spalding and the Philadelpia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra in 2001 The film is experimental in that it projects still images and intertitles at 7 frames per second. That is, each image is shown for c142 milliseconds. Bearing in mind that the average 'cognitive moment' of perception/recognition and memory recall is around 300 milliseconds, ZeitEYE pushes the cognitive experience to its limit, providing a film experience which stretches our memory recall to engender a unique viewing experience.

ZeitEYE is therefor an experiment in exploring how far the cinematic experience can be stretched beyond the classic moving image presentation we have become acclimatised to over the last 115 years. In the 'omni-media' environment we have created in the late 20th and early 21st century, when we are rapidly reaching the point at which all mankind's mediated cultural output can be accessed at the press of a button wherever we happen to be on the planet - all the movies, all the photographs, all books, television, museum collections, archives, records (etc) are all omnipresent, there is obviously a need for synoptic and canonical tools that aid in the browsing and exploration of this vast wealth of knowledge. ZeitEYE suggests one such model, and is an attempt to illustrate the range and diversity of the art, science, design and engineering achievements that enabled this state of omnimedia.

A feature of ZeitEYE is the peculiar and hard-to-explain notion that certain artists and performers somehow capture or personify the 'spirit of the age' (the zeitgeist) in which they live. You could thus argue that artists like Charlie Chaplin, Tomasso Marinetti, Alexandr Rodchenko, and Josephine Baker - and the Beatles, Stanley Kubrick, David Hockney (and so on) demonstrate in their work something of this affinity with the zeitgeist. ZeitEYE attempts to illustrate this at-one-ness of artists and other creatives withe the spirit of the age by cataloging closeups of their eyes as contextual frames for the featured artists, artefacts and ideas in the film.

  • Category

  • Song

    • Ballet Pour Instruments Mecanique et Percussion, Roll One
  • Artist

    • The New Palais Royale Orchestra & Percussion Ensemble, Maurice P
  • Album

    • The Original Ballet Mechanique - George Antheil's Carnegie Hall
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • The Orchard Music (on behalf of MusicMasters); Music Sales (Publishing), LatinAutor, and 1 Music Rights Societies


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