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Ian Breakwell
Performance Black & White 16mm
A participatory film by Mike Leggett of Ian Breakwell's mixed media performances of 1969 - 1970


Based on performances by Breakwell which took place in London (ICA), Bristol and Swansea, UNWORD is an extraordinary amalgam of text, performance, sculpture, radio and projection, all filmed and re-filmed to make a cinematic collage of sound and image.

The series of UNWORD mixed-media performances during 1969-1970 incorporated the simultaneous visual recording of each event as part of the performance by Mike Leggett.

The subsequently processed film footage would then become part of the multi-projection elements of the next UNWORD performance, which would also be filmed, processed, and then projected in the next performance, and so on.

The stopframe projection of the footage was on a Spectro analysis Projector, usually used for scientific examination, at 2 frames per second. The rarity of such projectors meant that the UNWORD stopframe film which Mike Leggett edited after the end of the series of performances, could only be occasionally shown.

In 2003 Mike Leggett and Ian Breakwell digitally reconstructed the UNWORD film at 2 frames per second, with a married soundtrack of the mix of found tapes of language lessons and eyesight tests plus voice-over narrations by Ian Breakwell which were used in the original UNWORD performances.

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