for a Spell'
DVD, single screen projection and 5.1 surround sound
Commissioned by Film & Video
“Plan for a Spell” 2001 shows a series social spaces (some
are real, some are possibilities) from the contemporary British landscape
that in a certain configuration create the formula for a spell. The
spell is to experience clarity.
Many of these ingredients are folk events; (eg: Uppies and Downies,
and Ottery St Mary Tar Barreling ) where communities assemble to create
play within chaos. Other constituents of “Plan for a Spell”
show other forms of engagsement: coincidences, movements (of a weaver’s
hands, and the blades of wind turbines), foot and mouth pyres, journeys
from within a computer game, and a demolition derby… All these
spaces vacillate between disorder and order.
Together, if played out in the right sequence they will configure
The DVD is encoded to randomly assemble the sound, vision and subtitles,
so every time it is played it will play differently, incessantly evolving
the narrative. If left on infinitely it may never play all the possible
configurations and may never trigger the spell…or it may release
it in the first few minutes. It is random; It is impossible to predict
what it will play next.
A voice-over via subtitles witnesses the configurations unfolding,…sometimes
apparently within the work itself. At others, apparently watching
it, with the viewer
.‘Plan for a Spell ‘ continues artist, Adam Chodzko’s
fascination with how our imagination and beliefs operate socially.
Using a DVD encoded to randomly sort through an index of contemporary
'folk' sites (some of them existing folk events, some of them proposals
of sites for future folk events), image, sound and text combine in
a multitude of permutations, searching for the right combination of
sequences that will catalyse the release of a spell. The viewer may
chance upon this spell immediately or it may be infinitely deferred.
As the DVD unfolds, sequences of crowds at a fire festival might run
into scenes of foot-and-mouth pyres, followed by a images of a weaving
set to the sub-sonic sounds of wind turbines…or it might not.
The power of the contemporary British landscape and the play of its
communities is up for question here. Plan for a Spell is a proposal
for a social space set in the immediate future that literally makes
itself as you watch it.
“It’s tempting to see Plan for a Spell as a kind of requiem
for an unmediated culture, for experiences that haven’t been
defined to death by their own representation.” Will Bradley
“From the collisions of cars in the demolition derby footage,
or the surging and scattering movements of the scrumming bodies it
becomes clear that, as well as being documents, these images are also
declarations of the work’s process. ……. they are
the image and its analysis at the same time.” Chris Darke