The beginning, dropping the “Infinity White” dinner plate.
Dropping each shard of the broken plate separately and compositing the recordings together.
Dropping each shard from the exact dead center position of the previous recording.
The angle of the setup is adjusted according to position of each shard, so it can always drop straight drown from the center. The camera is attached to the surface which will capture this process in perspective (some shards will fall towards the camera some will fall away from it).
Weight & Pitch
Each shard has it’s own shape, size and weight. The weight of the shards determines the pitch of the audio recording of the elastic strings. The relationships between the weight and the pitch of all the individual shards are listed in the table above. A big and heavy shard is connected to a higher pitch, because the weight would increase the tension in the string. By connecting a specific pitch to each shard, the breaking of the plate in combination with the montage generates the sound composition.
Weight & Lines
The differences in shape size and weight is also expressed in the visual composition of the shards and in the lines (strings) that connect them. In the image above it becomes clear that the smaller shards are always closer together (because they bounce back up higher than the heavier pieces) and draw more wavy lines then the heavier pieces.
Self Description / Conway Sequence
The number of repetitions and the structure of the film as a whole is based on the Look-and-Say sequence (The Conway Sequence). Looking for a “logical” way to determine the ending of the expansion of the process I stumbled upon this mathematical sequence through the first numbers I encountered. The process starts with the plate as one piece (1), then the plate breaks in to eleven pieces (11). After 1 and 11 the next number in the Look-and-Say sequence is 21 which became the number of repetitions of each shard. The fourth number in the sequence is 1211 which became the diameter in millimeters of the composition during the rotation / reflection scene. The Look-and-Say sequence is used throughout the rest of the film in the timing and duration of the shots. The self- describing / reflecting sequence is also thematically linked to the process in the sense that each number in the sequence is reflecting on the previous number, just like the starting point for each shard is the endpoint of the previous recording.
The Twelve-Eleven Break
In order to rotate around the composition during the reflection scene I recreated the composition of video-layers into a physical sculpture. By using identical “Infinity White” dinner plates and cutting each of them into eleven piece according to the first broken plate I was able to build up the same composition in real-life. This object can be seen as a prop from the film and as a “sculpture” (or installation) that reflects on the process and on the mathematics behind the film. More behind the scenes images on the creation and use of this object can be found below.