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Finite Eyes

Finite Eyes

Still Frame from Finite Eyes (2020) | © maschinn and Clemente Ciarrocca

Finite Eyes is an experimental short exploring permanence and volatility across emotions, perceptions, objects, concepts and the natural world.
A reflection that takes place over twenty-four hours, ‘condensed’ — like matter passing from gaseous and somewhat undefined to finally liquid state — by attempting to render on frame the experiential detailing of a day’s arc: how it is processed, perceived and imagined, rather than simply recorded.


10:45 CET .. | .. 23rd September 2020 .. | .. 46.423458, 9.754055 .. | .. outdoor

Begun in the midst of lockdown in Europe in Spring 2020, Finite Eyes will be released on this platform once — and if — the pandemic emergency will have ended across the world, to let the work circumscribe and embrace this unique period.


16:03 CET .. | .. 5th May 2020 .. | .. 46.655126, 10.033582 .. | .. indoor

This Spring we felt the need for addressing the relationship between change and persistence — or rather, the interdependency of the two.

What is permanent and what is volatile enter a constructive dialogue when overlaid and simultaneaously engaged. Emotional and perceptual shocks feel deeper if perceived in relation to a permanent reality, whether natural or spiritual — which in turn feels to our senses more promising, fuller and more powerful in its endurance.

Finite Eyes must inform this statement, by targeting a flow where lyrical prose, conceptual dichotomies, fears, hopes and emotions resonating with a world in a pandemic can blend with a variety of perspectives on land, reclusion, steady states, and the referential role of nature; where permanence and volatility can blend within our perception.

The film’s title is adapted from a line of Emily Dickinson’s 1868 poem Before I got my eye put out. As we struggle to understand, to move, to live in the world around us, the poem’s take on the self-environment relationship as a sort of miraculous, inverse process of receptive birth-labour is suddenly a safe harbour. We must receive.

The incongruence that seems to exist between reality and the mind’s eye that witnesses is unexpectedly provides ground for both permanence and volatility to flourish and stabilise into a solid relationship. Finite Eyes must present this process — economically, efficiently, lived upon our senses.

Still Frame from Finite Eyes (2020) | © maschinn and Clemente Ciarrocca


08:24 GMT .. | .. 10th June 2020 .. | .. 51.510610, -0.207857 .. | .. indoor

In Finite Eyes, remote daily exchanges serve as a background for a real encounter between the self and the environment. What are others? What is the difference between light and someone’s voice, if we process them through the same sense?
Below are the transcripts from the daily conversations that feature in the film:


[inaudible voice on the other side of the line]
Yeah … — I’m — I don’t think I really… I don’t know if I really… understand…
So basically, … You’re just not feeling like — …
Maybe fear is your desire. Maybe what you fear might … — yeah… I don’t know… mmh, how do you — but what was I going to say… — and do you… have you been having weird dreams in these days?
[inaudible voice on the other side of the line]
Well… — Right… Well I mean — … right — well I mean I feel like… I think that going back to the freedom thing, I mean, I think the fact that I don’t feel like I have freedom in this world. And I don’t think anyone does. And most people are conformists and they just go along with everything they’re doing and they think that because they have the choice of, you know, what kind of toilet paper they can buy or what kind of cheese they can select from the grocery store or at the cheese market or what shoes they can — you know what I mean? — where they feel they are content or they can talk to their friends and see people then they don’t have to — you know what I mean? — then they don’t have to really think about themselves, but when I really think about it and I think in these times one of the most frustrating things has been for me is realising what a lack of freedom I actually really do have.
[inaudible voice on the other side of the line]
Oh… you… — You actually have to live inside of yourself — which is what I guess you’re probably experiencing is that: you like yourself. You can think of it as some kind of self-love! You know…? You know what I mean? Or like some inward… you’re going on an inward journey…! Or inward exploration! And maybe you’re enjoying that, you didn’t realise it because the whole thing is just, like, I mean, we’re… we have too much contact with people…
[inaudible voice on the other side of the line]
Wait, what… — wait, what is not going to lead you somewhere…? Why is it self-destruction — I don’t…
…Yeah. I am trying to avoid it as much as I can, and I don’t really think about it anymore, you know… to me it’s something very… distant.
And… and sort of… I don’t really… — I can understand, you know, the mentality, I can also follow, you know, the string of thoughts and, you know, the general politics that are going on, but… but it’s just like… it’s really not a part of me. I feel as foreign, maybe, as you, you know? I don’t ever — I have never really felt… like I was a part of it.
[inaudible voice on the other side of the line]
[giggles] yeah…
… and that’s to us, who are so used to our freedom! Right? We can do pretty much anything at any time nowadays! And… and this worry of not being able to be free in your decisions… and when… yeah… mmmh… yeah… you know!? So you, you… you don’t even have time to reflect on things! And, and it’s… it’s this massive overconsumption of things! Of emotions, of of… of everything! And… — yeah… because people also take time, you know? They take the time, they maybe just make time, you know, in the day, and find a moment to call you; or are maybe a bit more focused, a bit more sort of… grounded, I don’t know… a bit more… actually really interested in hearing what you have to say, and… I feel like there’s a… a bit more engagement, and…
[inaudible voice on the other side of the line]
… ooohh! How is he doing actually? … Yeah? Good, good!… I know! Days, actually!
I think it’s also — and then I am going to shut up, but I mean I think it’s also, I mean — it obviously has to do with… I mean … you need to be sensitive. You know? You need to have certain antennas, I think, in order to feel these things and to make room for them. And I think in that sense, ehm, yeah… I mean… It may be different, I mean… but it’s interesting to hear like how you feel about these things also because of, you know, your work, and your life, and the way… the way I know you at least — the way you think, the way you feel about things — so… ehm, I am not surprised that we’re… kind of on the same page here.

Still Frame from Finite Eyes (2020) | © maschinn and Clemente Ciarrocca