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Static Acceleration

David Critchley
1976
17 mins B & W Video

Static Acceleration

Static Acceleration was first made in a 17 minute version on a half-inch open reel edit deck.

A relatively new medium for artists at that time, video was still in the process of being explored for its possibilities and limitations. This is one of a series of works I made in the 1970's examining specific technical properties while also relating them to expressive or emotive content. While Static Acceleration has an emotive element that can only come from a viewer watching the tape, this piece can be described as analytical of the scanning process both in relation to the physical tape and the cathode ray tube.

A one-minute take was made of my head twisting from side to side at a rapidly increasing rate, stopping only after I went as fast as I possibly could. This was then re-recorded by camera from a monitor with the action being gradually slowed down to play at a constant rate in time with a series of loud regular beats. Using the alarmingly small tape-speed knob on the 1970's Sony edit deck to progressively slow down the action, the movement of the head stretches the ability of the record-head drum to coherently represent the action, while also displaying its own technical limitations. D.C.

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