The location for this film was by a small stream on the northern
slopes of Mount Carningly in southwest Wales. The seven days
were shot consecutively and appear in that order. Each day starts
at the time of local sunrise and ends at the time of local sunset.
One frame was taken every ten seconds throughout the hours of
daylight. The camera was mounted on an equatorial stand which
is a piece of equipment used by astronomers to track the stars.
In order to remain stationary in relation to the star field,
the mounting is aligned with the Earth's axis and rotates about
its own axis at approximately once every 24 hours. Rotating at
the same speed as the Earth, the camera is always pointing at
the either its own shadow or the sun. Selection of image, (sky
or Earth; sun or shadow), was controlled by the extent of cloud
coverage, i.e. whether the sun was in or out. If the sun was
out, the camera was turned towards its own shadow; if it was
in, the camera was turned towards the sun. A shotgun microphone
was used to sample sound every two hours. These samples were
later cut to correspond, both in space and time, with the image
on the screen.
There are two aspects to the structure of this film. i) The
camera motion is mechanistic; time is accurately calibrated in
frames, seconds, and minutes, and space is organized according
to geometric principals which govern the operation of the Equatorial
Stand. ii) The in-camera editing, however, is not at all mechanistic
and is governed by the unpredictable nature of the weather: by
the amount of cloud cover, which varied from day to day and by
the speed of the clouds drifting across the sky, which depended
on the strength of the wind. The final shape of the film is consequently
a product of the interaction between the predictable mechanistic
nature of technology and the chance-like qualities of the natural
Seven Days invites the viewer to contemplate the complex
relationship between the structures we invent in order to observe
the natural world and the structure we perceive as a result of
those observations. The resulting sequences of images suggest
a relationship between technology and nature based on principles
other than exploitation and domination.
with assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain.