Now it seems to me that everything that surrounds me is a part of me, that I have managed to become the whole, finally…
- Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979)
From July 4th – September 26th, James Coupe will be artist-in-residence at Lanternhouse International in Ulverston, UK. The residency is co-hosted by Folly.
Over the course of the residency, he will produce a series of algorithmically generated films, shot on location around Ulverston. The films will be based upon Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler, a self-referential novel consisting of ten chapters from ten different novels, all of varying style, genre and subject matter. All overlap slightly, suggesting a single meta-narrative, and all are interrupted at strategic points. What is absent or missing becomes a sub-plot all of its own: narrative is composed as much by what is not there as by what is.
Recorded footage will be run through a face recognition algorithm that identifies people’s age, gender, race, facial expression and movement patterns. Using a series of script rules derived from the novel and produced in collaboration with a number of scriptwriters, the everyday activities of the town will be transformed into narrative films. The auto-generated results will be compiled as video montages and exhibited in the Lanternhouse gallery.