I Was Here
2012 | 16mm to HD | B/W | Stereo | 6min
Sound by Mark Lowe

These images were captured during a long afternoon spent sitting in front of the Pantheon in Rome, paced by the sound of a shutter regularly opening and closing for long exposures whose duration was counted off in a whisper. At precise intervals, the photosensitive surface recorded the constant flow of tourists, people-watchers, cars and animals as they moved, stopped, gathered, and took photos. The historic building thus reveals itself as a magnet whose pull on people has lasted for centuries. I Was Here is a reference to the common phrase often found scratched on public walls, marks left as visible proof of a person’s visit to a place. Like that age-old practice, travel photography is an attempt to record a person’s presence in a particular place – a photographed place taken home as proof. The soundtrack comes from the same place, but from a different timeline: it was compiled from the audio tracks of amateur videos posted to YouTube. These audio snippets, all recorded in front of the same landmark, tell a collective story through each “I” that has recorded a visit to that same piazza. The clips of murmuring crowds were then edited and manipulated to give them a particular synchronization with the images.

Les sommets du cinéma d'animation, Montreal (Canada) — November 25-29
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (Canada) — August 11
FIVAC International Video Art Festival of Camaguey (Cuba) — March 31-April 1
Millenium Film Workshop, New York City (USA) — August 27
Art Project TGD10, Dakar, (Sénégal) — December 26-January 4
Analogica Film Festival, Bolzano (Italy) — December 13-15
Galerie Les Territoires, Montreal (Canada) — November 7-December 14
Vermont International Film Festival, Burlington (USA) — October 18
Anthology Film Archive, New York City (USA) — July 31
Edinburgh International Film Festival (Scotland) — June 26
Festival International du Film d'Animation d'Annecy (France) — June 10-15
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany) — May 2-7
Galerie Michel-Journiac, Paris (France) — March 13-22
Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands) — January 23-February 3
Alliance Française, Washington DC (USA) — December 8-9
Festival du nouveau cinéma, Montreal (Canada) — October 10-21