Tag Archives: Trial of Terror

In Fridge

How do you respond to a letter? You take certain themes, expand on them, and answer certain questions.

But how do you respond to… A COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES?

In Fridge's Box

The same way.

When I was crafting a reply to Andrew’s “I Got the Poops” there were a few ideas I latched onto: 1) The repetition of the film made it far too long (an idea I hereby recant, you made the right choice Andrew and I was wrong), 2) There was quite a lot of copyright infringement there, and 3) The chapter headings and how they vanish as mysteriously as they started.  Item 1 and Item 3 I decided to use in the contents of the Tape itself, but item 2 was what I really latched onto: This would be a piece of copyright infringement.  I had my idea, and so for the structuring of the piece I again went about it the same way you do a letter: Mirroring the structure of the letter sent and going about things one by one.  So, I split up the video into ten segments that would last around eight minutes, and after eight minutes I would play the whole thing backwards.  But, enough of my explanations of The Tape.  Instead, let’s watch it now and get back to the deconstruction later, but first, know this: There are two distinct versions of this film on Vimeo. The first version below is the version I put onto the tape, the second is the version that was on the tape that Andrew watched (there was a bit of a problem in transfer, it would seem, and that changes the viewing experience entirely).  If you have not yet seen “In Fridge” be warned, the video you chose to see first will alter how you see the other one (I prefer the one put on the tape, Andrew prefers the one that ended up on the tape). So… choose wisely, traveler, for I cannot guide you here:

In Fridge from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

 

In Fridge from Andrew Gingerich on Vimeo.

The basic structure of In Fridge is a warped mirror to I Got the Poops: We begin with some personal footage, then go to an internet phenomenon, later on we have a reference to the other filmmaker’s unpopular video blog series (“Diary of a Mad Filmmaker”, I feel, was more successful than “Vvinni’s Adventures Through Art School”), take a whacky detour with whacky titles, and go back around to do the whole thing over again before ending with a personalized message.  And here, once again, we go into one of the heavily populated oases in the vast wasteland of the internet: Copyright Infringement.  This segment of the tape was an infringement on the previous, the music (another internet favorite, thanks to David Hasslehoff) wasn’t cleared, the youtube videos were ripped, I knowingly took Andrew’s creative property and exploited it for my own nefarious purposes. Then I took this melange of copyrighted material and mushed it all together to create what would later be described as Soup.

But the theme didn’t stop with the In Fridge video, the package for the tape also had to reflect it.  It also had to be the next step in being difficult to open.  So, I created an oddly shaped cardboard enclosure, sealed that up with papier mache created from product names, logos, and copyrighted photos, and covered in red duct tape. A lot of red duct tape.  I then put this complicated box into another box that was lined with aluminum foil, more of the papier mache, and sealed off the first part of the box with a cardboard flap covered in an infringement collage:

God, Putin, and any logos/company names I could find.
God, Putin, and any logos/company names I could find.

Afterwards I sealed the whole thing up, included information for how to replicate the box, wrapped it up in a brown paper bag, and sent the tape off.  You can read Andrew’s reaction to getting the package here.

What comes next cannot be believed, so stay tuned for more from… THE COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.

I Got the Poops

This is the story about a Tape. This is the story about A COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.

It begins five years ago in 2008.  I was having a terrible year, what with the collapse of CSF and all, and I never expected to get anything aside from a care package from home in the mail.  I certainly wasn’t prepared for this:

The Enclosure

It was an aluminum harddrive encasement, sealed shut with duct tape.  Inside were thousands of small papers that read “NO”, and another wad of wrapped duct tape hiding a Time Cube diagram. Inside of this wad was a VHS tape. A VHS tape that would become the source of pain, vengeance, and act as a microcosm for the entirety of the internet.

There were also a bunch of sticky notes on top of the encasement. Here are a few.
There were also a bunch of sticky notes on top of the encasement. Here are a few.

This tape was the beginning of a video correspondence between myself and fellow filmmaker Andrew Gingerich, and though I could go into written depth about what was on this video I feel it better to watch it:

I Got the Poops from Andrew Gingerich on Vimeo.

This laid the foundation for the installments to come: A smorgasbord of YouTube cats, our own footage (that would both be shot specifically FOR the Tape and that we had lying around), and Public Domain music, filters, titles, digital artifact, etc.  As I said above: The Tape acts as a microcosm for the internet and its culture.  There’s a lot in this foundational video that’s kind of fun but not really engaging and some recycled meme-ing, but there are also some fantastic parts that are still triumphs (There is some fantastic sound design here that I didn’t really appreciate when I first received the package, and the 8mm footage of people walking on the beach grows into a terrifying tizzy when everyone starts walking IN SYNCH WITH EACH OTHER).

It was a noble effort and an interesting idea, and I didn’t know what to make of it or how to respond.  But I tried. I tried, and tried, and I came up with something.

For more information on the creation of the “I Got the Poops” package, you can read Andrew’s write-up on it here. Stay tuned on the Henceblog for the next chapter of… THE COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.