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Silver Surfer

Mike Dunford

UK, 1972
15 minutes, B&W, mag stripe, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: 16mm / HD Digital file / HDCAM / BluRay
Silver Surfer

The suspended image of a surfer, refilmed, almost at the border of recognition dissolved in grain and contrast. The looped surfer surfs endlessly, surfs nowhere, beginning as a still image, a black and white image informed by our preknowledge of the film title, breaking into the endless loop of the iconic image, recognisable by its gesture from our culture/social construct. This film sits at the border between representation of an archetype, and abstraction. Part of the early synthetic Coop work in which film imagery and refilming became the fragmentary basis for an examination of film, and the viewers cognitive relation to film-imagery, and emphasis on the duration of the film as opposed to the duration of time within the film These films were deliberately not filmic poems, or suggestive representations and contained the careless errors, and visible marks of their making as a counter-representational set of artifacts to offset their vestigial representational basis. The ambivalent area between image and its construction was the subject matter. These images belonged to a growing library of found footage, a trove of footage drained of its significance, used and re-used in different films to flatten and reinforce its lack of specific reference, but still containing the cultural tropes of its origin.The soundtrack is almost Basinki-like, and consists of the decaying loops of waves, foghorns, and an extended chord, interspersed with ringing chimes, and has little to do with the image beyond the metaphors for water. They co-exist and reflect upon each other.