2012 – Single Screen Film - approx 35min – 2K – 1.85:1 – Color – 5.1 surround sound – English spoken
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the “right or opportune moment”. The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological time, the latter signifies “a time in between,” a break in the continuity of time, a moment in which something special happens.
The final installment in an investigation on the “infrastructure” of the archetypal landscape of the Australian Arid Zone, focusing on an area stigmatized by recent human intervention, Kairos is a film that revisits it by means of a science fiction narrative about time, which resonates indirectly with Australia’s colonial history & the omnipresence of the mining industry.
From a research on Australia’s altered landscape, developed throughout a number residencies, the work was produced in collaboration with the philosopher Aaron Schuster. Drawing on a documentary approach, it uses existing locations, structures & objects as ready-mades for an allegorical science fiction story.
Kairos results from a research on the Arid Zone around the mining town of Broken Hill – the birthplace of the Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP), one of the world’s largest mining corporations, and a setting made famous through the Mad Max films – an area where the colonial intervention has had a dramatic effect on the landscape, both ecologically, through desertification, and culturally, through the demise of the aboriginal cultural identity. Contained in the notion of “Catastrophe”, these facts are referenced obliquely while the fundamental dichotomy in the significance of the landscape between the corporate / colonial and the indigenous perspective form the subtle and unspoken backbone of the narrative.
Kairos is a film about the desert, as a physical geography, as a mental landscape but also as a residual image of ideology.
Relying on a minimal and fragmentary narrative, the film was devised as a set of clues for the viewer to assemble, an agency to configure. By interrupting the linear, “horizontal“ unfolding of the narrative, the film opens up the space for to a “vertical” lecture: a space of experience and structural negotiation. By withholding and diffusing narrative information, by introducing blanks, by shifting between cinematic registers and codes, it defers the viewer’s expectations and invites him/her to cast a critical gaze. Ultimately, by means of a circular twist, a “mise-en-énigme”, it questions the status of fiction and reflects on how our reality is informed by fictions.
Kairos is scored and textured by experimental musicians Oren Ambarchi, Randall Dunn & Stephen O’Malley. Intended as an essential constituent of the film, the music was recorded prior to the editing, allowing a blurring of the line between diegetic and non-diegetic sound and a questioning of the intricate relationship between music and the creation of a fictitious universe.
In the aftermath of the Great Temporal Catastrophe, an apocalyptic event that brought an end to linear time, the company CTF (Collective Time Flow) developed a technology to extract crude time and process it into a quantifiable commodity, reinstating a new era of human history and civilization.
We follow Larry Church, an unruly worker for CTF, stationed in an outpost at the edge of the Desynchronized Zone, the uncharted territories prone to temporal disturbances. and the repository of raw time reserves.
Transgressing his mission order, in a attempt to garner some raw time for himself, he takes his chances and ventures beyond the grid.
The film is a dérive, a layered journey that lets us take a glimpse into a world where time itself has become a coveted and dangerous, if merely fabulated ,commodity.
KAIROS - COMPENDIUM ON THE FUTURE OF TIME
2012 - HD - 9m12s - 16:9 - color - stereo sound - english
Compendium on the Future of Time is a "short" single screen work, an exhibition version to be projected as a single screen video installation. Stripping away character and plot from the narrative, it focuses on the speculative universe developed for the film. It was first presented during the 18th Biennale of Sydney "All Our Relations", curated by Catherine De Zegher, in 2012.
Direction and production: Alexis Destoop | story & dialogues: Aaron Schuster | cinematography: Vincent Pinckaers | sound engineer: Peter Connelly | music: Oren Ambarchi & Stephen O’Malley | editing: Cécile Chagnaud & Alexis Destoop | sound design: Cécile Chagnaud & Peter Connelly | music recording & mixing: Randall Dunn | sound mixing: Peter Connelly & Emmanuel de Boissieu | compositing & animation: Devi Mallal grading & effects: Massimiliano Simbula | image assistant: Christophe Bouckaert | sound assistant: Craig Freeman | production asistants: Susan Thomas, Louisa Achille, David Cranswick, Bram Coeman & Loïc Serot props: David Rogers, Michael Graham, Don Mudee & Mirabelle Wouters | actors: Lee Wilson, Richard Green, Susannah Bayes-Morton & Peter Connelly | voices: Aaron Schuster, Barry French, Devi Mallal, Elisabeth Thurbon, Donald Sword & Erik Lambert.
Produced by An Archer A Weaver | supported by Filmlab, Flemish Audiovisual Fund, Visual Arts Board, Australia Council for the Arts | coproduced by Buda Kunstencentrum (BE), Le Fresnoy, Studio National (FR), Broken Hill Arts Exchange (AU), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (BE).