installation view photo: Lillian Wilkie.  

phi
mobile phone video, 14:35 mins.
broken telephone at Exchange Project Space, London, August 2011.

This piece was made in August 2011 for a group show called ‘Broken Telephone’ at Exchange Project Space in London, as part of the Hackney Wick Festival. The show was an experiment in chinese whispers by POST artists (a UK network of artists who respond to place). The piece is a response to a response: the fragments that participants were given as source material for our pieces were 1. a trip to athens in 2010 by four members of POST, and a performance-video made there with an athenian collective; 2. a collection of literary and art references offered by another four members, in response to that video. This is the text I wrote for the group, to introduce my work:

“After sifting the ingredients, I think I am going to make a short video montage of the Greek riots last year (and ongoing), played on a mobile phone. The images will be sourced from youtube, eyewitness videos from the streets, but I will revoice the soundtrack using just the sounds ph- and p-, creating a close-up personal response to a highly mediated event, as well as a focus on certain key sounds in that situation beyond/nearer than the general crowd and sirens. I’m interested in Fiona’s ideas about the golden proportion, which is represented by the Greek character φ(phi) and is a neverending ideal, and the concept of constant movement in the context of direct action and social change, as well as the shadow side of that – the state doctrine of ceaseless linear progress and ‘civilization’. I want to also pick up on the Atrocity Exhibition references in regard to the way we experience and interpret ‘riots’, which seems suddenly rather urgent. I’m interested in putting these things alongside each other to explore and complicate ‘moral’ responses to street violence, which is something I am personally finding quite challenging in this last week. As for placement, it can go anywhere, it’s very small and will be fairly quiet.”

Phi was selected for the 6th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, screening at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in January 2012 and Future Perfect Asia Gallery in Singapore in July 2013. It was also selected for a one-day screening event at Nottingham Contemporary - 'Radical Footage', March 2012 and for the OVNI: Oblivion film festival at CCCB in Barcelona, May 2012. It is collected in OVNI archives at desorg.org

This video contains footage taken by: AlexMavros1000, apolitistosteki, baznr, cjpapachristou, eossyriza, GiaNtakos, greekalert, Greekriots, notosportnews, PiZKei, pallerio, Perseus999, selectorjohn, nikos794, socratesjr76, and y2b4m1.