Adam Hodgkins in Sight&Sound Magazine

Posted on: 20 May 2015
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Filed under: Staff research

Film maker and artist, Adam is currently studying for a PhD on the impact of databases upon film production and consumption.

When he’s not studying he enters his amazing work into festivals such as the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2015. Here he presented a two screen video installation with the name of “The Leiden Translations” (Image below)



Alistair Zaldua and Adam Hodgkins’s Leiden Translation

“Leiden Translations” is a response to alchemical ‘recipes’ from 3rd Century Greece, practical yet mysterious proto-scientific instructions to effect and monitor material transformations. Composer Alistair Zaldua translated these recipes and their sigils (symbols with quasi-magical potency) into semi-improvised contrabass parts filmed by Adam. Adam then also further visually translated the recipes into representations through British Sign Language, the composer (alchemist) writing the recipes in their symbolic form. These visualisations were themselves informed by transcriptions and transformations across the history of film and video art, from the praxinoscope to YouTube.

For the installation these filmed sequences and contrabass sound files were entered into a database, then software is employed to (semi) randomly compare and contrast the ‘translations’ within a two screen installation. The effect is to create new collaborations or ‘chymical weddings’ of the above and the below – powerful alchemical principles.

The installation received an amazing review in the Sight&Sound Magazine : “The strongest of the Crown Building’s installations was the world premiere of Alice Betts’s And the Walls Became the World All Around and Alistair Zaldua and Adam Hodgkins’s Leiden Translation (pictured), a two-screen work about the Leiden Papyrus, a third-century text describing processes to improve nature. Zaldua and Hodgkins’s rhythmic work combined three forms of translation – British Sign Language, the writing of alchemical sigils and musical interpretation – demonstrating the gesture and physicality of each communicative form.”

Congratulations Adam!

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