Independent Artists’ Association – Platform and Experimental Ground for Dance, Performance and related Art Forms

The Duellists

7’ 13” / Video

21.15 / Im_flieger

Free-running meets free-media film in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre when two late night traceurs are caught on CCTV. Filmed using only the in-house CCTV network with a soundtrack created from the environmental noises recorded during production. David Valentine directed this MediaShed production for Futuresonic 2007, which features breakin’ parkour crew Methods of Movement; with a foundsound soundtrack created by electronic experimenter Hybernation.

Von David Valentine /MediaShed ft. Methods of Movement (GB) Performance James Hall Joe Livermore Soundtrack Hybernation

Long Description
In March 2007 MediaShed were invited to the Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre as part of the Futuresonic Festival to make a film combining free-media with free-running. Free-media is about repurposing technology and finding new and unusual applications for media systems beyond their original design. It’s also a way of doing art or making things for little or no financial cost. For filmmaker David Valentine this meant finding ways to make films using environmental technology such as CCTV networks or by experimenting with discarded equipment. Parkour or free-running is an urban physical discipline of expression that reinterprets the architectural space within the environment using fluid uninterrupted movement and adapting motion to obstacles encountered there. Both make use of and re-energise the infrastructure of the city.
Working with UK based professional parkour breakin’ crew Methods of Movement a choreographed performance that combined street dance with free-running was created and filmed in the shopping centre over three consecutive nights. The film was shot using only the existing in-house CCTV network of 160 cameras operated from the central control room. In order to further extend the idea of creating a piece based on a reinterpretation of the environment electronic musician Hybernation was brought onboard to compose a beat driven soundtrack using only the field recordings of the environmental noises and sounds he recorded during the production (except the bassline).
The finished film was screened at the Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre (10th – 20th May 2007) on the infrastructure plasmas, in an exhibition pod and inside eleven stores as part of a ten day exhibition entitled Art for Shopping Centres. The Duellists has since become one of the best known CCTV movies ever made enjoying regular screenings around the world, winning the audience 3rd Prize at the sidewalkCINEMA Festival and short-listed for the Big Issue Film Festival Award. The film represents the first official UK implementation of Gearbox ( a web based free-media video toolkit developed by MediaShed in conjunction with Eyebeam Studios in New York, as part of Eyebeam’s 2006/07 commissions program.