Special Feature – Ian Helliwell

  • Abstract
    • Red/Blue Electron Guns (1999, 2`50)
      Ian developed an abstract pattern generator, originally designed for playing tv tennis games, and fed high frequency audio signals directly into the circuit. The resulting monochrome images were filmed off a monitor, and superimposed during telecine through red and blue filters.
    • Beyond the Light (2003, 3`30)
      The third part of a trilogy of films started in 1998, exploring the filming of projected light through distorting lenses. Shot and edited on super-8, the film features a carefully constructed electronic soundtrack made with Hellitron generators.
    • Patterns Of Interference(2000, 3`05)
      A combination of 2 reels of super-8 animation, with driving electronic music, creating superimposed pulsing abstract patterns of stroboscopic intensity.
    • Deflection Currents (2005, 3`15)
      A mixture of Lissajous patterns and images from a modified TV test generator, filmed off a monitor with super-8, and combined with hand processed footage shot on the streets of London using various distortion lenses.
    • Colour Supply (2009, 2`15)
      Super 8 film shot in the Colourscape structure sited on Clapham Common in London; an abstract exploration of the striking interior chambers lit by sunlight through coloured translucent PVC.
  • Found footage
    • Coloured Light District (2002, 2`10)
      Derived from found super-8 footage of night-time cityscapes shot in London and Berlin in the early 1970s, this silent amateur film of lights and neon signs has been reorganized through editing, superimposition and colour inversion, with Helliwell`s soundtrack combining electronics, computer sounds and short wave radio signals.
    • The Firing Line (2000, 5`)
      A film of British army soldiers shot on super 8 while stationed at their barracks in Germany during the early 1970s. Helliwell has cut this found footage into 2 parts to reflect 2 aspects of military life as captured by the men themselves. His specially composed soundtrack consists of electronic sounds from tone generators and various drums and percussion instruments.
    • Playing Up (2007, 3`45)
      Naturally decayed found super-8 footage of children`s and adult`s games, has been cut up and spliced back together to reveal new rhythms and connections.
    • Interpenetration (2004, 3`25)
      A found, offbeat 1970s super-8 sex film, featuring an amorous couple in an art gallery, completely dismantled and reassembled using tape splicing, double projection and treated sounds from a 4 track cassette.
    • Origami (2003, 0`50)
      Found super-8 footage giving a short demonstration in the art of paper folding; the film has been bleached and cut up, and accompanied by Helliwell`s electronic music and animated titles.
  • Direct animation
    • Rectangular Motion (2000, 4`15)
      An abstract film derived from coloured inks applied onto clear super-8; sprocket holes from different gauges of film were used as stencils, leaving behind hard
    • Particle Acceleration (2002, 4`40)
      Fast moving semi-abstract film in 2 halves, gathering together super-8 fragments and off-cuts shot over several years. The images include fairground lights and neon signs that have been bleached and hand coloured.
    • Grid (2007, 2`20)
      Circles in formation glide by, in this abstract direct animation film. Coloured inks were applied onto clear super-8 with felt-tip pens, using an old speaker grill as a stencil.
    • Crystallization (1995-2000, 3`50)
      An abstract work originating from experiments in the early 1990s, using bleach, ink and scratching directly onto super-8 film. The recurring circular image was formed by placing droplets of bleach onto each frame with a pin.
    • Get Set (2005, 3`20)
      A direct animation film made over a period of 3 years, using clear super-8 covered with ink and overlaid with various Letraset shapes. The titles use paper cut-out animation, and the soundtrack features Ian`s electronic sounds and improvisation on toy organ.
  • Live action & animation
    • Disc Break (1998, 3`25)
      An offbeat document of an exhibition at a Brighton art gallery celebrating the vinyl record. The many displays of singles, albums and turntables, are superimposed, intercut with images of vinyl destruction, and combined with a collage of electronics and radio sound.
    • The Motion Controllers (2009, 5`30)
      Recording the moving junk sculpture of Brighton collective Circus Kinetica, this super 8 film was shot on the seafront near their studio in the summer of 2009, with a mixture of live action, stop motion and superimposition. The soundtrack features Hellitron generators, radio and tape.
    • Street Lights (2008, 3`55)
      Super-8 film of night and daytime cityscapes and illuminations, collected over several years and spliced
      together into a split-screen collage. The work is a mixture of home movie found footage, offcuts from various projects and specially filmed sequences.
    • Art Flies Free (2000, 3`05)
      A super-8 portrait of veteran underground filmmaker Jeff Keen, combining live action and paper cut-out animation. Keen is captured at work filming and drawing, and on the soundtrack he recites extracts of his ‘Rayday’ poetry, which has been cut up and combined with Ian`s electronics