Celestial Navigation

by Smith, John

Film: 16mm 1980

Arts Council of England/Great Britain

Two strategies for following the earth's movement, presented in dislocation and conjunction. "Celestial Navigation could be seen to work in the tradition of British landscape film in that it incorporates a 'natural' element (the Earth's rotation) into the structure of the film. Filmed in the course of one day on a beach the film uses pan and tilt movements to follow the shadow of a spade and retain its vertical position in the frame... There are elements which can be intellectually measured as variances and towards a deciphering of the structure of the film; but these are not keys to the viewing of the work... The changes of colour, light and sound signify also different sets of variances and give the film an aesthetic pleasure in conjunction with the reading of the system." Michael Maziere, Undercut Magazine No 10/11


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