Baltasar Thomas

 

Every Now and Then
SD video (found footage), 8’53, 2017

The limitations of found-footage film are its strengths. The inability to pursue continuity editing forces you to combine images you would not have in a traditional narrative setup, and produces unexpected results. It converts the editing room into a creative playground where the world you are creating unfolds piece by piece, through every choice you make.

Perhaps the result can best be described as dreamlike. Logic is not entirely absent, but never its driving force. Meaning is present, but never fixed. I rather like the idea of dreams being our way of sorting and processing the things we experience during waking life. ‘Every Now and Then’ may have served me in this sense as well. The selection of images was done rather intuitively, yet somewhere along the way the edit came to resemble a narrative: a boy is witness to the injustice in the world and aspires to help. Yet he is paralyzed by the violence seemingly inherent to his own kind.

The film reflects doubts I have on the ability of mankind to think of himself as a species (with the aim to survive and prosper as a species), as opposed to thinking of himself as a singular being (that perpetuates conflict with other beings in order to achieve and maintain prosperity for himself). In other words, shifting from a thinking focused on competition, toward a thinking focused on cooperation.

In my understanding, the mediated image of war and poverty plays a crucial part in undermining the ideals in man which fuel his drive for change. The amount of images we are exposed to on a daily basis, numbs us to their content. War, poverty, death and decay become things we are familiar with. The desensitized indivual becomes cynical and the cynic is difficult to convince to focus on prosperity on a scale that expands beyond his immediate surroundings and short-term personal gains.

I suspect art has the power to sensitize the desensitized. Either by exposing the mechanisms here described or by using images in new and unexpected ways to enable emotional response. Both methods may clear paths toward enabling the ability to consider an image worth discussing. Discussion may revive ideals.