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11 June 2022: Perconte: Digital Landscapes


This programme focusses on landscapes and the way Perconte engages with territories. Coming back to the same places and filming over and over again is part of Perconte’s approach: each of the films presented in this screening is part of a series and is inscribed in a wider gesture of what could be called “performing landscapes”. From the golden and then grey Scottish sky to the cold Mont-Blanc mountain and the calm and majestic of island of Madeira, we travel into a digital flow of colours and forms where nature, culture and representation intertwine.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Jacques Perconte, Fred Brayard, Joel McKim and Muriel Tinel-Temple

Or / Or, Hawick
Jacques Perconte, 2018, 10 min

Presented by Fred Brayard

Filmed at Hawick on 4 May 2018, Or / Or Hawick celebrates the digital fusion of a Scottish sky and a detail of Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss. The encounter of the gold (‘or’, in French) of the painting with birds, clouds, insects, winds, and digital compression creates a multiplicity that engages in a shared becoming. In this digital ecosystem, every detail can affect and be affected, create movement, colours, time and difference. Art, culture, nature, technology, life and matter are neither distinctive nor exclusive and any aspect of their expression is acknowledged, empowered, and granted with the possibility to participate in the process of making.

Avant l’effondrement du Mont-Blanc
Jacques Perconte, 2020, 16 min

Presented by Jacques Perconte

The film is dedicated to the eponymous Mont-Blanc and mainly filmed from a plane. We are in the middle of the mountain and its glaciers, witnessing the way they are dangerously melting, faster and faster. There is an emergency in this film: being able to fly over the mountain one last time, and the diagonal lines, the blocks of snow rolling over, the camera movements, and the sound all evoke something that is falling. Working against the idea of a drone film with perfect digital definition, Perconte pushes the media and its ‘accidents’ to inscribe digital aesthetics in media archaeology: continuing photography (the film starts with a photograph by Ruskin) but also intaglio and other etching techniques.

Jacques Perconte, 2014, 30 min

Off the Northwest coast of Africa Madeira, is a volcanic island, arising from the Ocean, so the film starts and finishes with the sea: blue, in movement, and all around. The film then explores the territory, the trees, the valley, the wind, and the incomparable red of the earth. As opposed to the camera movements in Avant l’effondrement du Mont-Blanc, here Perconte stays at a distance, as if not to disturb. The colours are melting, remodelling the landscape, and gestures are repeated, superimposed, sometimes far away, sometimes enlarged, playing with our perception: images are turned over, the same way the soil is prepared for planting.

Jacques Perconte, 2015, 57 min

Presented by Muriel Tinel-Temple

Made over the course of several visits to the Scottish Borders, Ettrick might be one of Perconte’s most narrative films (along with Impressions, 2012). Here the harsh landscapes of forest, meadows and windmills interlace with the activity and expertise of sheep farming and wool-manufacture. Entering this territory takes time and effort, as the first moment of the film shows. Not only are we slowly following the path, but also Perconte uses of direct sound to anchor the reality of the land. As we observe factories and hands working, colours and shapes are shifting into tartan patterns and vice et versa. Time is important here, as is the weather, which forms the palette and light outlining the ever-changing horizons over the fields.  

Notes on speakers:

Frédéric Brayard is lecturer in French and French studies at Uclan. His research focuses on contemporary French film and philosophy, and he is currently working on a monograph Film after Nature in which he explores the work of experimental film makers and video artists who engage with alternative digital ecosystems.  

Joel McKim is senior lecturer in Digital Media at Birkbeck, University of London. His research focus on the study of digital images and the impact of digital technologies on architecture, art and design. He’s the director of the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology.

Muriel Tinel-Temple is associate lecturer in Film Studies at Roehampton University and Birkbeck, University of London. With a background in Arts History, her research focus on experimental cinema and artists’ moving images, especially works with reflexive and self-reflexive approaches.

This programme is the second part of a 2-part programme also taking place on Friday the 10th of June at Birkbeck Cinema. More info here: