24/7 (Into the Direction of Light)

by Claudia Slanar (Translation: Steve Wilder) for sixpackfilm

Light, landscape, camera: 24/7 seems to have been created with the pure ingredients of filmmaking. The picture’s blackness at the beginning turns into ever-lightening shades of blue, eventually becoming a view of the sea. The line of the horizon divides it into two halves: water and sky, which change constantly in fast motion, then return to black (the black of night). Shot with a static camera over a period of seven days, 24 hours each, 24/7 uses digital technology to continue the tradition of the branch of experimental film dedicated to exploring the mechanisms of cinematographic representation, using landscapes and their topographic features or natural phenomena (light, weather).

This particular case involves portrayal of a subject and illusionistic space which are dealt with in a new way. While 24/7 refers to something that in fact exists, something we can cling to, in the course of the video we notice that the direction taken by the change is uncertain. It seems to move along the picture’s horizontal axis from left to right, though also from background to foreground at the same time, and in the transitions between day and night especially a kind of pull is developed which seems to literally unfold the space.

These constant shifts and uncertainties with regard to the viewer’s standpoint are references to the artificiality of what is being portrayed. This (natural) space is, in fact, artificial, having been assembled through manipulation of the prevailing conditions during shooting with digital equipment, with the aid of the slitscan process. As a result 24/7 becomes a subtle study of the limitations of our perception: In the end we can see only the things we are familiar with.