23 November 2008

New Film Stills

These stills are from films by Sreejata Roy in India. Her films are called Stationary Journey and I have used them to form the framework for the compilation film for the whole project.

Thank you

I wish to thank everyone who took part in the project. Without their enthusiasm, talent and skill, this project would not have been successful. Over thirty people created new films on their mobile phones which were then exchanged, again by mobile phone, with each other. Some people made just one film, while others made upwards of a dozen. Approximately one third of the participants were based in Shetland. Other locations included Australia, China, England, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland and the United States.

Exhibiting Swap Shots

I have been working on making a compilation film from the project. It is being exhibited in two locations in November and December - at the Shetland Arts Bonhoga Gallery Stairwell Projection Space and at ET4U Contemporary Art in Westjutland in Denmark. The project generated approximately 140 films, most of which are six seconds long. The compilation film is 18 minutes, 36 seconds long.

27 August 2008


Huge apologies for those of you who have been looking for new posts here over the last few weeks. I have been battling against cat dander! I am hoping to get back into the swing of things again soon, so I will be trying to re-start the film exchanges. I have received some new films from Norway and India, which I will try to post soon.

Forgotten Film Stills

I have been organising files and folders today and discovered this set of film stills some of which I believe haven't been posted.

12 August 2008

Anya's Animation

Anya has sent another animation from which these stills are taken.

7 August 2008

I believe these are the last film stills I have received to date. My next plans include putting the videos onto the Internet, acknowledging all the people who have made films and collecting a few more films by email from some of the artists who weren’t able to get their films sent through their mobile phone networks.

Left to Right Top: Climb; My House on Nevsky Prospekt, Other Roo Chases
Left to Right Bottom: Roo Chases; Reform Lane; Clouds

5 August 2008

Left to right, Top Row: Bushie Friends, Mailboaters, Watery
Middle Row: Rainforest, Crane, Grasses Waving
Bottom Row: Clover Waving, Waking Up 1, Honeysuckle Waving

3 August 2008

Stills from Shetland, Dusseldorf, Australia, Edinburgh and St Petersburg

Left to right, Top Row: Please! Please!; Swing; Flutter
Middle Row: Hill; Good Night!; St Isaac’s Square
Bottom Row: Cat: Sculpture; Shoes

Russian Exchange

Today Maksim sent this photo of me speaking about the project and exchanging films with Russian visitors to Manezh. You can see his photo in the Archive for 27th July. He is a student in St Petersburg and doing a placement in the Manezh over the summer. He helped me during the Festival, setting up and looking after the exhibit.

2 August 2008

Back in Shetland

I have just arrived back in Shetland tonight after travelling through London, Newcastle, South Shields and Edinburgh. I have been receiving more films by email and will begin circulating them next week.

1 August 2008

Anya's Animation

I met Anya on the last day of the Festival in Manezh. She has just got a place to study animation at the Cinematography Institute in St Petersburg. We swapped films by Bluetooth, and she has sent me another film by email. These stills are from her animation entitled, Alukards Fait!

31 July 2008

These film stills are from Roma’s film, one of four young Russian people who came to the gallery on Sunday, 27th July, the last day. We swapped this film by Bluetooth, but sadly it was too big to send as a picture message on my mobile. For the time being I thought I’d post a few stills here.

30 July 2008

Left to Right , Top – Lerwick, Edinburgh, Sculpture on the Neva;
Middle: Crab, Bee Loving; Bunting. Bottom: Crane; Flying Saucer; Dahlia

29 July 2008

Left to right - top: Face Forming in Clouds; Hello from London. Middle: Let Sleeping Bluebottles Lie; Masha and Andrei at Manezh; Fishing. Bottom: Guitars; Woman in Pink; Dahlia 2

Left to right, Top - Dahlia; Navy Day, Waterfalls; Old Navy Couple. Middle: Waking Up 2; Watching Our Films at Manezh; Pausing in the Rain Forest. Bottom: Salute; 60º North

28 July 2008

Left to right - top: Dry Stane Dyke, Sunny Queensland, Tea. Middle: Reeds, St Petersburg Seen from Shetland, Red Dress. Bottom: Nevsky Prospekt, Clouds Forming a Face, Shetland News 24th July 2008

Huge thanks to everyone who has sent films as well as those who are sending films. I have shown more today informally as the Festival has ended, using my mobile phone to play them as a continuous programme. I am relieved as feedback is good! The collection of films is working to reveal similarities and differences in slices of life in different places. The different ‘eyes’ through which we are looking is giving a varied perspective.

I travel to London tomorrow and I am not sure if I will be able to up-date and add more film stills.

27 July 2008

Selection of film stills, clockwise from top left: Glasgow; Possibly A Russian Dog?; Glass Egg; Wish You Wee Here; Mareel; Definitely an Edinburgh Dog. I am so far behind posting the film stills here. I have around one hundred films so far. I am finding it a little difficult to keep up! I will keep posting until they are all posted, then I will try to make some links so that the actual films can be watched over the Internet.


Bluetooth has worked so well in the gallery. I have just been asking people if they have it, which leads to immediate action. Everyone takes their phones out, turns on their Bluetooth connection and we all start speaking with each other and sharing films. We had lots of fun exchanging films in this way. Anya has just won a place to study animation at the Film Institute. She swapped a wonderful animation for a selection of both funny and artistic films.

Dynamic Invigilation

Maksim watched my miniature DVD player while I photographed and looked at the other work in the gallery. Valentina Pavlovna, one of the gallery invigilators who was sitting opposite me, kept directing visitors to my corner in the gallery, advising them that I could speak Russian. She has been invigilating at Manezh for many years and is dynamic in her approach to invigilation. Last year Susan in particular made friends with her during Domestic Dialogues. Of course I was very grateful for her help, because I found many visitors were very shy to speak with me.

Citywide Celebrations

I have concluded that the best way to look at these films is on a mobile phone. I was able to show some visitors most of the films as a continuous ‘show’ on my mobile. Nadya visited on Navy Day when the whole city was celebrating and many were wearing the navy’s blue and white striped t-shirts. She is from Nizhni Novogorod and is spending two weeks in the city. Like many other visitors and artists I know in the city, she is going to email me some films.

Guerilla Tactics

I even started trying to send films by Bluetooth to any phones that mine could fine. I am afraid it didn’t work, not even when someone had just been exchanging with me and was still watching the films, as she’s doing here.

26 July 2008

Remembering Snowy

These are all film stills from some of the earliest films, clockwise from top left: Pinging Sweetcorn; 56 Degrees; Queensland, Australia; Hens; Joe; Remembering Snowy. Sadly this project already is serving as a memorial. Snowy, a lovely cat from where I live in Shetland, died the day I arrived in Russia. The film will help us remember her.

First Bluetoothers

Masha and Andrei are the first people at Manezh with whom I exchanged films by using Bluetooth. It has proved to be the best way and in fact the only way that so far I have been able to exchange films directly with anyone so far in St Petersburg. They are designers and were involved in an exchange with the Big Issue in Edinburgh.

I’ve had so many interesting discussions with visitors of all ages. Two pensioners came to say hello because the curator, Larisa Skobkina, had mentioned the project on the radio. Oleg, Asya and Nastya, pictured here, are artists working in St Petersburg, although originally they are from the south of Russia. We spoke for a long time about questions raised by the project. What is the relationship between the local and the international? Will the films reveal the personal and individual characteristics of each place or will the films speak about the international? The project is in its early stages, so I don’t yet have answers to these questions. They are going to go away and make some films to send to me.

Local and Global

I have made a very simple display in the gallery on a low table. It is marked by many metres of bunting which my friend, designer Sojourner Jones, made specially for the project. Our favourite Dezhurnaya (from last year's Domestic Dialogues, www.domesticdialogues.blogspot.com) was delighted with it and helped advise me in setting it up. She says the bunting is cheerful and brightens my corner up well.

I've set up a miniature DVD player and keep putting out lots of cards about the project, directions for contributing to it and two maps. A map of Shetland sits next to a rather dilapidated map of the world that I bought on Nevsky Prospekt my first night here. Each map has dots showing where people are making films, including Australia, America, London, Scotland, India, China, England, Norway and of course Shetland and St Petersburg. The difference in scale between the two maps is helping trigger discussion and understanding about the local versus the global.

Japanese Performance

The Festival of Experimental Art hosts a lot of performance work. Kazu Yanagi, painter, and Yoshiko Swain, dancer, gave a visually stunning performance today that combined painting and dance, holding the attention of an enraptured audience including a diverse range of ages. They were joined by a Russian dancer and accompanied by musicians.

25 July 2008

From Aberdeen to Australia

A Film Fae Diane, Pebbles from Tresta Beach in Fetlar, Far North Queensland, Muvee Live Broadcast, Smuggins Stones, Sky Flower

Taking Off

Saab Flight, London Street Corner, Freshly Collected Eggs, Alex goes fast!, Terminal 5, Shetland Rose

Rainer’s Films

Rainer Eisch, an artist who lives in Düsssesldorf, contributed the first films to the project. He sent some videos that he has taken with both his mobile phone and his digital camera that are “a kind of sketches” for him.

Technical Hiccups

I brought a spare phone with me to St Petersburg just in case I experienced problems getting the British and Russian phone networks to speak to each other. Sure enough, I have had to get a Russian sim card because the Russian networks would not accept the videos from my British network.

It took half a day to achieve, and I had to wait until I got my passport back from my tourist registration. Finally I can send and receive videos from the phones here on Russian networks. I had to show my passport and my registration papers when I bought the sim card. Then I had to go halfway across the city to the network’s office to get arrange for it to use video and photographs on my phone. This gentleman fixed it!

First Films

I began testing films for this project in two locations at 60º North: Shetland and Øygarden, an island about one hour north of Bergen in Norway. Left to right from upper left: Shetland Seaweed, Forest, Tunnel, Wave to Me, Norwegian Pancakes, Sea Pink at Midnight

24 July 2008

An Invitation To Send A Video

Does your mobile phone receive video films? Can you film original video footage on your mobile phone? If you can do these things, then I invite you to make a film on your mobile phone that is 6 seconds long and which is appropriate to show publicly. Your film should be no longer than six seconds!

Contribute to Swap Shots Mobile Film Exchange

Make a film that is 6 seconds long.
Give your film a title.
Send your film to me as a picture/media message to: +44 7711 157 451 (UK and rest of world) and +7 911 157 9924 (Russia)

Thank you very much for your contribution.