A timelapse to look after you while you rest
. . .
It was this clip that cemented the view that I was living in a kind of Space Station. I was very ill when I made this and didn’t think I’d be capable of a creative act again. It was a frustrating period of severe M.E. and a trip on the bus seemed like the outer limits.
Looking back on this footage now, I realise that from a certain perspective it is reminiscent of videos looking down from the International Space Station. But it’s been made from inside the house by and large and in the street outside.
I started doing this because I was annoyed I was missing yet another sunny day outside – why does the best weather fall on the worst days, when I’m really immobile? it’s frustrating. I managed to set up a very simple timelapse recording with a great camera I own called the DJI Osmo Pocket.
I left it going five hours.
A curious and unexpected emotion arose when I was making this piece (full version below). As I lie struggling in bed, I felt that the technology was almost looking after me. There was a sense of relief in being able to collapse, but at the same time, this little camera robot was taking care of business for the day. I felt a failure in my career. But here was a thin connection to my past as a filmmaker and artist. I was briefly a TV director before my descent into the period of my life I now call ‘the humbling’.
I didn’t see much of that day, so when I connected the camera to the computer at the close of light, it was like receiving a missive in the post, some kind of present. A consolation that opportunities aren’t quite over yet.
While Osmo is around £300, a smartphone can take a decent timelapse and a cheap timelapse camera can be bought from Amazon for £30 – and you can buy a sucker mount for the window for less than £10
The video below shows a summer of timelapses set to music, created from live set I managed to do in Glasgow in 2019 of electronic beats, creative writing recordings and other bits of exhausted detritus.
My guide and suggestions to making your own window timelapse will be up on the pdf link shortly. And also, the poetry in the first section of the clip is actually another accessible strategy I’ll be looking at in WORDS.