To Breathe The Sky
role in production: film-maker, videography, editing
1080p HD Video, silent.
Installation intended as a projection on custom curved frosted and mirrored screens.
To Breathe The Sky continues to my interest and research in mirror spaces, motion, memory, the senses, and light. In this experimental video installation, I consider the mirror mechanism of a camera in relation to the eye as it sees light, and the screens that we encounter daily. Using a mobile phone camera mounted to the dashboard of my car, in combination with hand-made colour filters and mirrored surfaces, I record short trips made to the grocery store on multiple occasions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pointing to the sky, the camera reflects, bends, and activates light entering the camera. The sky-scape unfolds for the camera, producing subtle shifts in colour, traces of motion, and distortion. The resulting silent video is a series of soft, imperfect, experimental, and ethereal moving images that contain mirror imagery of my surroundings in addition to what I’m looking at with a lens. It suggests something akin to a memory rather than a recorded sequence of moments in time. Colour becomes scent, and motion resembles thought passing through the mind. At times it seems the sky is almost bouncing, as if you are looking through a moving mirror. At others, latent imagery of the film-makers hand, double exposures moving in opposite directions, light shards, and sun spots, are visible; making you aware that you are looking at the world through a screen. In other areas of the video, it seems as if you are floating, and not aware of what is up or down. As a result, To Breathe The Sky produces an encounter that speaks to the slowness of time and the process of recording an experience that relates more to the rhythms of our exterior environments than it does to digital reproduction.
Natalie Hunter wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council in producing this body of work.
2020: Light The Night. Cotton Factory. Community Festival. December 3, 4, 5, 2020.
2020: Factory Media Centre’s Cell Phone Film Festival. Factory Media Centre. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. September 24-26, 2020.