From: Steven Ball (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 31 2007 - 04:40:54 PDT

Recent installations by Chris Welsby
6 November – 13 December 2007
Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat 10am – 4pm

Private View 6 - 8pm Tuesday 6 November 2007

River Yar (twin-screen, 1972, William Raban and Chris Welsby) and discussion
with Chris Welsby and William Raban
6pm Thursday 8 November 2007

Lethaby Gallery
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Southampton Row
London WC1B 4AP
United Kingdom

Nearest Tube: Holborn

Systems of Nature
Screenings and conversation events
7-10 November 2007
BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road
South Bank
London SE1 8XT
United Kingdom

Nearest Tube: Waterloo / Embankment / Charing Cross

Presented by the British Artists' Film and Video Study Collection
Telephone: 020 7514 8159
email: email suppressed

The exhibition Systems of Nature presents two recent installations by Chris
Welsby, a British artist who uses moving image technology to explore the
representation of nature, the passing of time and the forces of the weather
in relation to the filming process.

Welsby became known as one of the key figures of British artists' film
through celebrated works such as River Yar (1972, in collaboration with
William Raban) and Seven Days (1974). In his early films he applied
techniques such as using the power of the wind to control camera movement
(Wind Vane 1972) and to alter shutter speed (Anemometer 1974). More
recently, digital technology has enabled Welsby to create increasingly
complex installation work.

In Lost Lake #2 (2005) an image of a lake is projected from above onto a
raised surface. At times it appears as a motionless mirror image. As the
surface of the lake becomes agitated, ripples move faster and the
compression of the digital image pixellates the natural diffraction effect
of the water.

"Nature, as represented by the lake, is not seen to be separate from the
technology that produces it. The viewer is invited to contemplate a model in
which nature and technology are seen to be one and the same thing,
inextricably bound together in a playful dance of colour and light." (Chris

Disruption of water's natural course is also at the core of the second work,
At Sea (2003), in which four large screens present an apparently
naturalistic representation of a seascape. Sustained viewing reveals the
image to be four different shots arranged to create a projected panorama.
The immersive character of this installation evokes a real sense of looking
out at sea, but also points to the perceptual limits we encounter when we
try and 'see' the enormity of the ocean.

"While half seen objects hover on the threshold of visibility, viewers are
invited to consider their own role in the construction of a fiction, a
seascape that only exists in the moment of the projection event." (Chris

On Thursday 8 November at 6pm Chris Welsby and William Raban will discuss
their practice. This special free event will include a rare presentation of
Raban and Welsby's twin-screen film River Yar (1972).

The exhibition is complemented by Systems of Nature screenings at BFI
Southbank from 7-10 November, featuring Chris Welsby's films, an
in-conversation event and two programmes of works by contemporary artists
which explore similar concerns and techniques (see below for full details).

Chris Welsby was born in Exeter in 1948 and has lived in Canada since 1989,
where he is currently a Professor of Fine Art at Simon Fraser University in
Vancouver. Systems of Nature is Welsby's first solo exhibition in Britain
since 1995.

The exhibition and related events are curated by Steven Ball, Maxa Zoller
and Mark Webber, for the British Artists' Film and Video Study Collection.

Systems of Nature
BFI Southbank, 7-10 November 2007

Landscapes in Time

This series of programmes begins with a retrospective of single screen 16mm
films by Chris Welsby a British artist whose work explores the
representation of nature, the passing of time and the forces of the weather
in relation to the filming process.

In my work the mechanics of film and video interact with the landscape in
such a way that elemental processes – such as changes in light, the rise and
fall of tide or changes in wind direction – are given the space and time to
participate in the process of representation. (Chris Welsby)

The Chris Welsby presentations are complemented by two programmes of recent
film, video and digital media, which extend and expand upon Welsby's
subjects and processes, concerned as they are with a variety of landscapes
and the 'natural world' in relation to technology. These processes take a
number of forms and techniques such as time-lapse in the work of Emily
Richardson and Jeanne Liotta through to more recent experiments such as
Semiconductor's digital constructions of imaginary weather systems and Susan
Collins' real-time pixel fragmentation of the landscape. A conversation
event with Chris Welsby, Catherine Elwes and William Fowler will concentrate
on seascapes in the moving image.

Chris Welsby has been exhibiting work since 1969. He is renowned as a
landscape artist and pioneer of moving image installations. These screenings
accompany the exhibition "Systems of Nature" at the Lethaby Gallery, Central
Saint Martins College of Art and Design (6 November – 13 December 2007),
which presents two of Welsby's most recent installations for the first time
in the UK.

Curated by Steven Ball, Mark Webber and Maxa Zoller for the British Artists'
Film and Video Study Collection at Central Saint Martins College of Art and



Wednesday 7 November 2007, at 6:30pm

Seascapes have a long history in filmmaking and continue to fascinate moving
image artists. Chris Welsby has made a number of works that contemplate the
ocean and the inability of the camera, the frame and the viewer to
appreciate its enormity; including At Sea, which is installed at the Lethaby
Gallery, and Drift, which is screened later tonight. This conversation
between Chris Welsby, Catherine Elwes (artist, writer and Reader in Moving
Image Art, Camberwell College of Arts) and William Fowler (Curator of
Artists' Moving Image, BFI National Archive) will reflect on the phenomenon
of the moving image seascape from early 'Rough Seas' films through to
contemporary practice.


Wednesday 7 November 2007, at 8:45pm

Welsby's films are dialogues between the filmmaker and the natural elements:
the wind controls the movements of the camera in Tree and the film speed in
Anemometer. Later films address environmental concerns, such as the threat
of radiation as a Geiger counter provides Sky Light's post-Chernobyl
soundtrack. Shifting from environmental structuralism to a more
observational mode, the final film Drift has the viewer literally drifting
off into a world beyond gravity, into an abstract space between sky and sea.

Chris Welsby, Anemometer, 1974, 10 mins
Chris Welsby, Tree, 1974, 5 mins
Chris Welsby, Colour Separation, 1975, 3 mins
Chris Welsby, Stream Line, 1976, 8 mins
Chris Welsby, Sky Light, 1988, 26 mins
Chris Welsby, Drift, 1994, 17 mins

Chris Welsby will introduce the screening and be available for questions.


Friday 9 November 2007, 8:40pm

Moving from ocean to sky and back to the land, these six films respond to
nature in less programmatic ways. Peter Hutton's camera explores the coastal
landscape and swirling waters of the Irish West Coast, whilst David Gatten
immerses raw film stock in seawater, allowing the ocean to inscribe its
presence in constantly shifting abstract patterns. Three films use
time-lapse and long exposure to reveal the celestial mysteries of
night-time, and the final work gently lifts us from our reverie with an
ecological warning.

Peter Hutton, Looking At The Sea, 2001, 15 mins
David Gatten, What The Water Said 4-6, 2006, 17 mins
Lucy Reynolds, Lake, 2007, 12 mins
Emily Richardson, Redshift, 2001, 4 mins
Jeanne Liotta, Observando El Cielo, 2007, 17 mins
Michael Robinson, You Don't Bring Me Flowers, 2005, 8 mins

Saturday 10 November 2007, at 8:40pm

Technological systems create, fragment and transform landscapes: a long
video monitor stream, digitally mutated coastlines and strange urban
microclimates introduce fascinating artificial worlds, blurring the
boundaries between natural and constructed landscapes. Starting with
documentation of Chris Meigh-Andrews' video installation Stream Line and
passing through a variety of spellbinding single-screen film and video
environments, the programme also incorporates a presentation of Susan
Collins' most recent internet transmitted, real-time reconstruction of Loch
Faskally in Perthshire.

Chris Meigh-Andrews, Stream Line (Documentation), 1991, 6 mins
Davide Quagliola & Chiara Horn, Bit-Scapes 135.1_08, 2006, 3 mins
Semiconductor, The Sound of Microclimates, 2004, 8 mins
Thomas Kφner, Suburbs of the Void, 2004, 14 mins
Daniel Crooks, Train No.8, 2005, 6 mins
Davide Quagliola & Chiara Horn, Bit-Scapes 135.2_03, 2006, 3 mins
Rachel Reupke, Untitled, 2006, 2 x 90 secs
Rose Lowder, Voiliers et Coquelicots, 2002, 3 mins
Davide Quagliola & Chiara Horn, Bit-Scapes 135.7_13, 2006, 3 mins
Alix Poscharsky, As We All Know, 2006, 8 mins
Susan Collins, Glenlandia, 2006, continuous


all screenings at

BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road
South Bank
London SE1 8XT
United Kingdom

Nearest Tube: Waterloo / Embankment / Charing Cross

Tickets: £8.60 / £6.25 concessions
Joint Ticket for Wed 7 Nov: £12.50 / £9.25 concessions
BFI members pay £1 less

Box Office: 020 7928 3232

Steven Ball
British Artists Film & Video Study Collection
Central St Martins College of Art and Design
107-109 Charing Cross Road
London WC2H 0DU
United Kingdom
telephone: 020 7514 8159
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.