Our Selves Unknown

Included in Parts & Labour, the second Animate OPEN, online from 1 April to 30 May 2016 only.

Our Selves Unknown is an experimental animation exploring ideas of landscape and dislocation. The film takes the book ‘Landscape in Distress’ as its sole raw material, isolating and reconfiguring its photographic illustrations, text and cover design as pencil and ink drawings, and using a working process of self-enforced rules and restrictions, obstacles and chance.

Published by the Architectural Press in 1965, ‘Landscape in Distress’ was written by Lionel Brett, a British peer, architect and town-planner. The book examined 250 square miles of Oxfordshire, recording “in intimate detail the post-war changes and present state of the landscape of a typical section of […] Britain.” It described the damage that had been done to the area and tried to alert the reader to “the inevitable damage that lies ahead”, drawing specific attention to the increasing homogenisation of areas on the edges of cities.

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