Residency at the Art Gallery of Windsor

Green – Red frame strip, from the film of the shopping trolly below.

Michigan Central Station frame strip. Shot on Eastman Double X negative (7222), developed in D76, then printed on Agfa ST8 sound recording film and developed in Dektol print developer.

Filming the Michigan Central Station in Detroit from Riverside Drive, Windsor. One frame every ten seconds for five hours from 8am to 1pm, during which time the sun moves round approximately ninety degrees, successively illuminating the two sides of the building visible from the riverbank opposite. The station, now derelict, operated from 1913 until 1988 and was designed by the same firm that designed Grand Central Station in New York.

Frame strip from Parking Garage film. It was shot on Agfa ST8 sound recording film, processed for five minutes in D76 neg developer, then printed onto the same stock, processed for two minutes in Dektol print developer.

Illuminated Sign, Windsor.

Audience for a private screening of my films at 401 Miller Avenue, Ann Arbor, on Monday 14th of May, organised by Ted Kennedy, who is visible at the back on the left in a blue shirt.

Working on a black and white film of this multi-storey car park.

Frames from the time lapse film of the Renaissance Centre, latterly the General Motors headquarters, in Detroit. Filmed from across the river with 150mm lens, taking one frame every thirty seconds for 48 hours over three days (midday to midday).

Audience for my screening on Monday 7th of May at the most recent of Chris Kennedy’s “Early Monthly Segments” series, held each month at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. At Chris’s request I showed an older film: That Has Been (1984), as well as White Light (1996) and Tobacco Shed (2010). Excellent audience including, in the front row from left to right: Tess Takahashi, Assistant Professor in Film Studies at York University, Bart Testa, writer and lecturer in Cinema Studies at Toronto University and Dagie Brundert, a filmmaker from Berlin who is artist in residence at LIFT film workshop. Behind Tess are my friends and hosts Sophie Thomas, Associate Professor in English at Ryerson University and Julian Patrick, Professor of English at Toronto University. Standing at the back left in a white shirt is Kate Mackay, who among other things, is the projectionist at the Temenos screenings of Gregory Markopoulos’ films in Greece and at Media City Festival, Windsor. Also at the back, in glasses and cap, is Scott Miller-Berry, director of the Images Festival in Toronto.    Photo: Aliza Ma

Q & A with Chris Kennedy. Photo: Aliza Ma

Second of the mirror structures showing the flip from negative to positive in the middle of the film.

Work table.

I am making a short colour film of this shopping trolley I found in the street. I put it in the back garden of the house where I am staying and have made a green and red film to tie in with Angela Allen’s complementary colour themed paintings.

Not untypical Windsor scene, near where I found the shopping trolley above.

Frame strip from the first completed film. The work has a mirror structure, running forwards in negative then backwards in positive. This shows the join in the middle where the film flips from negative to positive. It was shot on Agfa ST8 sound recording film (about 12 asa) then printed onto the same stock, using the Bolex camera as a contact printer.

16mm camera, film, process and project one day workshop.                                          Photo: Oona Mosna.

Drying film in the workspace, 29th April 2012.        Photo:  Steve Nilsson.

I am making three films in this location; one hand-held sequence shot at 24fps, one hand-held and tripod mounted animation and one timelapse film shot at one frame every fifteen seconds.

The Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) is located in Windsor, southwestern Ontario, on the Detroit river, which connects lake Erie and Lac St.Clair, a relatively small lake, (actually about thirty miles across) south of lake Huron.

The AGW.

It’s on the same latitude as Corsica or thereabouts, so hot and humid in summer, cold in Winter. Windsor, geographically a southern suburb of Detroit, is a “post-industrial” city, but parts for Chrysler and Ford vehicles are still made here.

Self-portrait with Detroit River and Ambassador Bridge between Canada and the USA, in the background.

Windsor also has a salt mine and the Walker distillery, now owned by Pernod-Ricard, where Canadian Club whisky is made (Baileys is also made here, but we won’t go there). There is a workers’ model village, Walkerville, established in a similar spirit to Port Sunlight and Bourneville, but which also contains a number of impressive mansions, besides the workers’ terraced houses, which are themselves very attractive.


As in Detroit, there is an abundance of conspicuous philanthropy in the form of buildings and institutions, but visibly high unemployment on the ground. Windsor was also an important destination on the “Underground Railroad”, a route from the southern USA, dotted with a series of safe houses, via which slaves were smuggled to freedom. The Detroit skyline, visible across the mile-wide Detroit river, is dominated by the Renaissance Centre, latterly the General Motors headquarters building, which I have been filming as part of my residency here.

Timelapse filming of the Renaissance Centre with Bolex, 150mm lens and Tobin TL Motor, from the 2nd floor terrace of the AGW.

The gallery is hosting a show of films by myself, paintings and a drawing by Angela Allen, from which my films are derived, and a boldly simple, three projector, video installation by Simon Payne that is constructed from slow wipes and additive primary colours. The pictures hang in a corridor / gallery and the films are projected on two xenon Elfs with loopers.

Angela Allen’s work installed.

The two films, Sequences and Interruptions (2008) on the left and Correspondences (2011) on the right.

Simon Payne’s installation Primary Phases (2006-12) showing two of the three screens.

During the residency I will be making films that will be shown at the Media City Festival, in Windsor, from 22nd to 26th of May. Much of the work will be made on Agfa ST8 sound recording film, which I will process in a LOMO tank and print using the Bolex as a printer.

Residency work / projection space and gallery view.

Reverse angle on adjacent south facing residency work space with construction of new aquatic centre visible through the window.

Exposure and development tests for negative and print, using Agfa ST8 film and Dektol print developer.

The residency and exhibition have been organised principally by the wonderful, indefatigable directors of Media City, Oona Mosna and Jeremy Rigsby, in conjunction with the curator of contemporary art at the AGW, Srimoyee Mitra. While I am here I will also be teaching three one-day 16mm production workshops from Bolex to projectable film, as well as hosting tours for parties of school children and college students.

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