Music Video | 10 mins | Aug 2019

The tire was dangerously compressed. I guess I hadn’t thought this through. I was cycling home on the narrow and steep bike path of Pont Jacques-Cartier with a large stolen rock from Parc Jean-Drapeau in my bag. Was this too much weight for my bike? A week or two earlier, a couple of days before I was meant to VJ a musical performance for the first time, my computer screen went blue: Windows crashed. After testing the possibility of installation in a VA basement gallery with three projectors (see Audiovideo Sketch Series | Winter 2019—Installation), I was averse to projecting onto white walls. I wanted to incorporate images to natural environments (see Pond). I wanted to project onto the rock walls at Jean-Drapeau Parc during a separate musical performance for the rocks. However, the electrical plugs I had discovered, didn’t work, the projector’s battery was short-lived and the weather would need to comply with resource availability. That’s when I stole the rock.

You don’t have to make music videos before making real films anymore.

Explained the short film director (short both in duration of film and height of director) to me at a Benelux crowded with film geeks and filmmakers.

As a child it never occurs to you that there is such a thing as real films or fake films, or that Jonathan Glazer, Spike Lee and Michel Gondry were making music videos as a chore to get to other places. Though comments like this made it clear that music videos were second rate to many in cinema, but all my plans had fallen apart and I love making music videos.

In preparing for this VJ experiment, my Cecelia McKinnon aka Star Canyon, told me the song was about rocks and fracking. Rock, be it volcanic or sedimentary, is formed through a process of layering. To us, they hold on to the past in fossils and do not move, when in fact rock is in movement and transformation at a speed we humans cannot see. I borrowed her rock collection: some plain grey, some sparkled, some were wrapped in felt or seaweed. She does not remember why she picked up these rocks, or why they remain a treasure. I recorded them as I swung around a table lamp to let the light reveal them and digitally rotated and layered these images onto each other. I projected these images onto her face. I projected the images of the rocks and the rocks on the face, onto my stolen rock. With each layer captures the interaction of the body and the rock with the digital shifting of colour and pixelation caused by the projector and camera. 

I had wanted to work with this layering effect ever since I had seen Michael Reich’s absurd and crass feature film: She’s Allergic to Cats (2016) which blends 4K RED footage to low-fi camera. A classmate noted that the work seemed to belong in an art gallery. I realized that Antidote resembles more the work of Erin Schirreff’s Still (2019) which I saw at Parisian Laundry. I also had the pleasure to hear the artist talk at CICA. She is a sculptor who mainly works in film and photography. The viewer never gets to see the three-dimensional modern sculpted objects as he is interested in the transformation and the trace of the sculpted object into these new forms.

[…] her unique play of media between the moving image and single exposures have been dubbed ‘duration pieces,’ which add temporal motion to the otherwise still, and illusions of depth to two-dimensional surfaces. […] She’s been shooting it under different light conditions in her studio, and swinging us through their atmospheric and illusory effects. [1]Gooden, Sky, “How Artist Erin Shirreff Reveals the Secrets of Modernist Sculpture”, Frieze, February 22, 2019, … Continue reading

I guess it was just my luck that so many of my plans failed and I ended up doing something I enjoyed and made it home without a flat.


1 Gooden, Sky, “How Artist Erin Shirreff Reveals the Secrets of Modernist Sculpture”, Frieze, February 22, 2019,, accessed on March 3rd

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *