The Unfurling

TR Flaxton

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


‘The Unfurling’ was formulated to explore the core research question that was part of the original AHRC bid for my 2007 Creative Research Fellowship: ‘In what ways will High Resolution Imaging change the work produced in the convergence of art and visual technologies and consequently, our experience of that work?’ To answer this question I formulated the idea of ‘Quantum Resolution’ which proposed that audience immersion deepens with quantum as opposed to quantitative increases of resolution – that is the effects of deeper immersion would be felt with larger increases of resolution rather than incremental increases of resolution. Initially I formulated 3 practice as research portfolios as differing strategies to uncover the effects (if any) of increased resolution. These three were a) to examine everyday moving images of the world immediately around oneself, b) examine iconic moving images of the world and c) examine human portraiture and by way of this examine ideas around the human gaze. I argued that each work would be a building block in a developing argument to examine my hypothesis and that all of the works would be presented together in a major exhibition as the overall thesis – this occurred in December 2010 in collaboration with University of Westminster in their London P3 Gallery. My examination of the idea of Portraiture was filtered through a set of constraints I had set myself which involved the subject being stationary and gazing directly toward the audience. But these constraints did not take account of the sculptural issues within portraiture (which I examined in part in Dance Floor) or specifically the effect on the audience of the momentary extra-diegetic gaze: the gaze of a person depicted in the text looking 'out of the frame'. In the Unfurling I shot a person in slow-motion, making a simple movement from a coiled position until the get up – look directly at the viewer and then leave the frame. The slow-motion element was direct reference to Muyerbridge breaking down the stream of images into their constituent still images and also to Cartier Bressons ‘Definitive Moment’, with its absolutist position about the definitive editorial constraint. But I also wanted to create a reference to Conrad Hall’s idea of ‘the photographic moment’ where the great cinematographer in apparent opposition to Bresson argues that every frame in every shot of a movie should be of photographic quality. In ‘The Unfurling’ I combined the two ideas to show Hall’s position where I use the sculptural slow-motion qualities of the human form and then I utilised the moment of the subjects extra-diegetic gaze to the audience to introduce Cartier Bresson’s Definitive moment. This work was shown at several locations, subsequently I have spoken of the research outcomes in articles and papers at various conferences.
Translated title of the contributionThe Unfurling
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVarious (1st Exhibition, Bristol)
Media of outputInstallation
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2008

Bibliographical note

Medium: High Resolution Digital Installation
Event title: Various (1st Exhibition, Bristol)
Other: Part of the 3rd Practice as Research Portfolio from the 2007 - 2010 AHRC Creative Research Fellowship


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