Saturday, 7 February 2009

David Daniels "Buzz Box" & "Big Time" (Peter Gabriels)

Buzz Box (clip) was completed in 1985 and seems both experimental and state of the art even today with a saturation assault on the media in its its amplified banality and hype. David Daniels took four years to complete the piece, a labour of love. With weird sounds and a quicksilver change of images, a montage of sound clips and images, it is as if a madman had gained access to a local radio or television station's resource bank. Or just conceivably an amusement arcade with all the taste that has in colour and sound. As to the manufacturing process, strata-cut animation. Well, there are better explanations on the web but perhaps my analogy may help. My Uncle Bill has a rock factory in Blackpool; if, dear reader, you are also unfamiliar with sticks of rock, think of rolled sugar, coated in pink and sold all over the UK at its seaside resorts. Rock is made out of sculptured slabs and for his (and Auntie Edith's) silver wedding anniversary he had some made with Bill and Edith running through the centre, slabs of red to make the name and rolled out into long cigar like shapes. I have never tasted this particular specimen by the way as it is a memento kept and treasured in a cupboard somewhere. Enough of my family history. If the stick of rock had been sliced and each cross section photographed, well you would have had rather too much of Bill and Edith. Buzz Box is over 15 minutes long and remorseless. Big Time made two years later has great music by one of the greats. David's music video is also one of the greats, an eclectic mix of images and techniques, albeit the strata-cut process is again to the fore. There is wit aplenty as Peter Gabriel intones "My house getting bigger” as the house does indeed do that, morphing into the White House. More of David's recent work to come shortly.

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