Loss 6.4 - Umeboshi (2013)

Loss 6.4 is a short interlude between Loss 6.3 and Loss 6.5. It brings us back to the character of the narrator and her subject, the odd Inertia.

The video was shot in Shibuya, Tokyo at the famous Shibuya crossing coming out of the JR station in 2010. The music is by DJ Ringfinger and features the most simple arrangements of the entire series. The found element arises from the faces that ignore, furtively glance or stare straight at the camera, often in strange sync with the narration. The narrator of this piece was played by AK.

The third and final film is a repeat. I am sure Inertia has seen it before. She sits on the floor of the gallery, feet hunched up under thighs and settles in. She takes out a small plastic container of shrivelled Japanese sour plums. The sourness acts like an aphrodisiac on her frayed nervous system. She closes her eyes and lets her head roll back. The skin on her lower thigh shows a slight glistening of sweat and an even more imperceptible tremble. The artery in her neck begins to subtly throb, stopped only when she brings her hands up to the stretched skin. She slides her hands up to her cheeks. They stop there, briefly, as if to contain the flood. After a minute or so, they fall back to her thighs and slowly glide up her under her tartan skirt.

It would be rude of us to observe any more her of ecstasy. She is not the reason we are here.

Watashi wa kanojo o miru tame no hentaida? Wareware wa hentai de wa nai. Am I a sexual pervert for watching her? No, I am not a sexual pervert.

Umeboshi wa, yoidesu ka? Is Umeboshi that good? Hai!

Anata wa eiga no bangō 3 o mite junbi ga dekite iru Inertia? Are you ready to watch film number three, Inertia?

Full Description

Using a variety of found objects as its base, Loss is a multimedia artefact with works in sound, video, writing and images. The notion of found is fundamental to the work, as something that is lost can eventually be found. Using a bricoleur’s sensibility and a DIY approach to construction and editing, Peter improvised sounds, images and video, remixed and repurposed them for this project. Both the videos and the sounds draw heavily on the abstract and concrete notions of found. Each soundtrack is a mix of new compositions mixed with found sounds from around the world, not recorded specifically for this project and found on stacks of old minidiscs, tapes, hard drives and videos.

The same methodology was applied to the video footage. The majority of the footage used in each video was not shot for the project. It was selected from hundreds of hours of footage shot as Peter travelled the world. Some of it was tourist footage; other pieces were simply something interesting or odd things that caught the eye at the time. The footage was shot on a range of digital cameras with a variety of qualities and compositions. Some of it is shaky, handheld and oddly composed.

The sounds were composed as the vehicle for the words. As the majority of characters are female, Peter experimented with a number of options including pitch shifting his own voice and use the increasingly sophisticated text to speech engines, but settled on human voices sourced through the fiverr website, a platform where people sell small size services for US$5. Intuitive and committed performances from AK, Lynx and Astrid provide a resonance to the emotional spirals each character has committed themselves to.

The gestation of the soundscape style of the sounds originated 7 years ago in the bedroom of Peter’s flat in Petersham, Australia, with bass guitar, an old casiotone keyboard and a borrowed delay unit as his only instruments. Once he started working with found sounds as part of his old radio show ‘fabrication de bruit’, linking and fracturing the op-shop and outsider music he was playing, he saw an application to the formative idea he had for linking a number of half sketched pieces of writing in his trusty Moleskine, and they became integral to the Loss project. Drum beats from clanking escalators, church bells ringing 360 degrees around a city, the click-clack of heels on a cobbled street, train announcements at Gare du Nord in Paris and Pachinko parlours in Ikebukuro. Now based in his flat in London, the sounds have grown more sonically complex, and drawn from a variety of digital and analogue instruments.

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Artist Statement

Loss is a discontinuous story, told from a number of perspectives, over an inconsistent timeline. Loss is the story of ‘her’ and ‘him’ and how they chose to exist and act in worlds close to, but not the same as each other. Loss is set in Tokyo, Paris, New York and Sydney, but doesn’t really concern itself with these cities.

There are a number of recurring motifs in Loss. Black ribbons, dirty scars, sour umeboshi and bright flames. They represent hiding places, consequences, sensations and redemptions, and not in that order, and perhaps not what they seem. Each piece has its own momentum and sense of motion, a contrast between the reflective narration of the characters and the need to move on, forget and get on with life.


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