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Third Angel presents

Technology

Inspired by a speech from Parts For Machines That Do Things, Alex improvises a monologue explaining all of the technology - simple and complex - that he encounters on his way in to work. Not satisfied with that, he then tries to explain gravity and why clocks run at different speeds depending on how fast they travel.

What starts of as an attempt to explain all of the technology that one person might encounter in a single day, becomes a struggle with comprehending some of the fundamentals of the universe.


Credits

  • Performed by Alexander Kelly
  • Camera & Edit: Christopher Hall
  • Sound: Cristabel Horne
  • Special Thanks to: Dr Simon Goodwin, Jeremy Killick, Gillian Lees, Chris Thorpe and Rachael Walton

Premiered at the Showroom, Sheffield, and also screened at the Iron Mule Comedy Film Club, New York, and as part of the Hybrid Exhibition, Sheffield.

Programme Notes

This is a film we made at the start of 2009. Originally the intention had been to film a semi-improvised, five minute speech that I performed in the show Parts For Machines That Do Things, about the fact that I don’t really understand any of the technology that I encounter on my journey home from work, until I reach my doorbell. (We wired up door bells in physics at school).

On the day of filming, though, Chris suggested I re-improvise the speech as the walk to the room we were filming in (our old space at Brookfield Yard). This opened up the subject up somewhat, and I ended up talking for over an hour, I think. Chris made this 10 minute edit and we were really happy with it.

After the first screening, someone wondered why we would want to listen to someone not know stuff. And this is a fair question, I suppose. Though for me, the film is more about the act of attempting to understand, about admitting that in fact the world around us is more complex than anyone of us could make or invent on our own. Admitting that we don’t know, that we’re not sure.

Then our friend Chloe Bezer saw a screening of several of our sci/art films and she wrote a lovely response (you can read all of it here), including this:

Watching the man at the blackboard trying (and failing) to recall or understand a hypothetical experiment, I’m not sure which was more heart-breaking: the belief that it mattered so much, or the faith that, in spite of it all, it was true.

I’m really interested in Chloe’s reading of faith and belief in this. The hypothetical experiment she’s referring to, that I try to explain, comes from a much longer conversation with Dr. Simon Goodwin, which has more recently inspired the spoken word piece 600 People, which becomes a meditation on our need to believe.

AK, 2013

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