Minutia to Meta

The last few days have been spent editing and archiving video from our 1991 AID’s Bottle Project. The footage had been broken up for storage purposes, loosely labeled, and (being an older format) most of the footage made it hard to capture a clean still. But, I’ve discovered, the ICI looks kindly on the rough and worn down edges of our cultural record. After deciphering a few new editing tricks I was able to pull together some short, (hopefully) coherent, and neatly labeled videos chronicling the AIDS Bottle Project. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to review and engage this footage, never having seen the event myself. It gave a better sense of the sentiment and interaction sought by these projects. In editing new videos I tried to be cautious about cleaning, organizing, and adding to the record without tainting the existent aesthetic of the original videographer. The videos were constructed with the aesthetic of an insightful pedestrian’s, a filming technique that I wanted to respect and uphold. As I sifted through the clips I continuously returned to passages in Johnnie Graton and Michael Sheringham’s “Tracking the Art of the Project”. One in particular significantly contributed to my self-orientation while editing, “The project is frequently a lure, a device designed not to achieve a particular end, but to allow something unforeseen to happen.” It made me think of the balance needed between control and chaos; the desire to catalogue and create systems of organization in an attempt to better understand and control the untenable and overwhelming. However a true project embraces the inevitable leaks of chaos that serve to check, complicate and humanize our systems.


Thus far working at the ICI I have felt variably like I am wandering through a maze and standing on a bluff; between minutia and meta. A little lost at times but actively trying to develop a more comprehensive outlook.

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