Meddling – Reading Experimental Film Festival

The 16mm film piece, Meddling, presents a decimated cognition, its interruptive beats simultaneously providing and disrupting the sound and vision in a positive/negative double bind.

Here the aesthetics of early cinema are invoked and linked to those of industrial production, some early movie equipment being, as Friedrich Kittler has shown, developed from sewing machine and military technologies.

Organic fruit forms are passed from hand to hand in an environment which connotationally slips between the control zones of radioactive research, Fordist production lines, warehousing, village stocks, markets and magic tricks.

Engels once described the men in his father’s factory who called each other hands, and did so to their faces. Here we see only hands and their co-operation, but also their facelessness. This is meddling as the combining, mixing, logistical nature of production, our unavoidable involvement in the stuttering process of provision. Yet it is meddling as interference, borne out by the visual strategies used, and the hidden elsewheres of ‘instrumental rationality’ which they inevitably hallucinate.

Dr Steve Hanson