Eve Sussman and her collaborative team Rufus Corporation are touring their latest film project whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir, to the Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale, and Site Santa Fe in January and February 2012.
An expedition to the banks of the Caspian landed Rufus Corporation in a dystopian “future-opolis” that became the location for their experimental film noir. Pushing the envelope of cinematic form, the film is edited live in real time by a custom programmed computer they call the “serendipity machine.” whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir delivers a changing narrative - culled from 3,000 clips, 80 voice-overs and 150 pieces of music - that runs forever and never plays the same way twice. The unexpected juxtapositions create a sense of suspense alluding to a story that the viewer composes. Driven by key words, the work seamlessly comes together as a movie – that is not a movie.
The film follows the observations and surveillance of the central protagonist, a geophysicist named Holz (Jeff Wood), stuck in a 1970’s looking metropolis operated by the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company. Voiceovers and dialogues (in English and Russian with English subtitles) forge the implied narrative – wire tapped telephone conversations, reel-to-reel tapes, snippets of a job interview between Mr. Holz and his employer and a mysterious woman referred to simply as “Dispatch”. A narrator describes various impositions on the citizens including strangely manipulated time keeping, a language ration, lowered suicide statistics, the effects of lithium, and the workings of the water factory. It becomes evident that the character is controlled by the city and the factory
he is working in, as the course of the story is controlled by the machine that edits the film.
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir – inspired by the Suprematist quests for transcendence, pure space and artistic higher ground – was created with a small crew, one American actor and local actors hired en route. Filmed over two years, the artists journeyed through Central Asia ending up in a 50-year old utopian town. The fictional location is named – in a nod to Alphaville – City-A. The place is the result of the ironic marriage of the opposing forces of the twentieth century as pre-fab apartment blocks are gilded with mirrors and chrome. In actuality City-A is a conflation of many places from the mid-century modernist planned living systems of ex-soviet space to the Norman Foster sci-fi baubles requisite in every new rich metropolis.
Past exhibitions of whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir have included the photo series by Simon Lee created during the production, When the future throws a shadow over the land, Wintergarden by Eve Sussman and Simon Lee and photographs from Yuri's Office that Sussman shot with Monia Lippi.
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival – Future Projections and at Cristin Tierney Gallery in NYC after previewing at Haunch of Venison–London.
An online excerpt of whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir was commissioned by Triple Canopy's Internet as Material project.
Rufus Corporation worked with Joshua Noble to write an internet capable version of Jeff Garneau's original algorithm.
A live edit preview of six excerpted episodes of whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir can be seen here.
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir is a project of Creative Capital with additional support from The Richard J Massey Foundation, Fundación La Caixa Sisita Soldevila/Amister Collection, Cristin Tierney + Jim Shapiro, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, New York Foundation for the Arts, CeCArtslink and Adam Audio.
Directed by Eve Sussman
Mr.Holz Jeff Wood
Edit Kevin Messman
Algorithm Jeff Garneau
Produced by Catherine Mahoney
Camera Angela Christlieb Sergei Franklin Eve Sussman
Sound Supervisor Algis Kizys
Still Photography Simon Lee Monia Lippi
Assistant Director Misha Libman
Production Design Ioannis Savvidis Nicolas Locke
Production Coordinators Olga Mustach Vlad Rotmistroff
Cast Marina Fedorenko Olga Grislis Claudia de Serpa Soares Kenyen Akurpekov Gyul Ziyatova Meryambek Eralin
Voices Alexandra Lerman Valeriya Shondra Jim White Jeff Wood Misha Libman Konstantin Kudin
Music/Sounds Algis Kizys Colleen Burke + Matthew Smith Volkmar Klien Bradford Reed + Lumendog