|The camera was pointed at right angles across a busy park pathway.
On the other side of the path are many trees receding into the
distance. About one third of the composition is taken up by sky.
Many people move through the picture, both on and off the pathway.
One frame was taken each time a person on the pathway moved into
the picture and one frame was taken again as they moved out. The
procedure was repeated over a period of three days with filming
beginning at dawn and ending at dusk. Two of the days were sunny
and the other was very stormy. The speed at which people, clouds
and shadows move in the film is directly related to the flow of
people through the park.
The overall pacing of this film was dependent on the flow of
people along a busy park pathway in London. The flow of people
is determined by the commuter clock, by the morning and evening
rush hours, by the timing of the daily coffee break and lunch
break etc. In Park Film the rhythm of the city can be
seen to interact with the changing light and weather conditions
throughout the day.
This is not so much a film about a park, or a record of the
people passing through the park. Here the camera is not a passive
observer, nor is it used as a surveillance device. Rather, the
camera in Park Film, like the passers by who trigger its
shutter, is an active participant in the interaction between
a park and the city which surrounds it.
"The primary strategy for exploring the properties of cinematic
representation is the manipulation of the recording devices (e.g.
the shutter of the camera, or the aperture, or the framing of
the composition, or the use of tripod or tape recorder), and
the primary strategy for then integrating the 'content' of the
landscape with the 'shape' of the film is to establish a system
or systems which incorporates the two. Chris Welsby's Park
Film is a good example. This seven minute film is constructed
around a rigid system (the 'shape') which is mitigated by an
aleatory system (arising from the 'content').... The preconceived
rigid system (precisely when a frame should be exposed) is dependent
for its execution on the aleatory system (the passerby).... The
landscape is thus an integral factor determining the shape of
(Deke Dusinberre, St. George in the Forest: The English Avant-Garde, in Afterimage Summer
with assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain.