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Anemometer

Chris Welsby
1974
10 min Colour Silent 16mm

Anemometer

The location for this film is a small London park called Euston Square which is situated close to the busy centre of the city.

The camera faces south east across the park, in the foreground there is an expanse of grass surrounded by walkways and luxurious plain trees. In the middle distance is a junction of the busy Euston road, trucks busses and commuter traffic surge past halting only for the traffic lights.

The camera angle remained unchanged throughout but the filming speed changed according to the wind speed. The camera motor was driven by an anemometer, a device used to measure wind speed, the harder the wind blew, the faster the camera motor ran, and vice versa. If the wind stopped blowing altogether, no images were recorded, causing a jump cut in the film's continuity.

As a result of this process, cars, buses and pedestrians are seen in "gusts," the mechanistic rhythm of the traffic lights no longer dominates the flow of people and traffic. The motion of the wind breathes new life into the stale tedium of the London rush hour. CW.

Electronic circuitry design Chris Brisco.

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