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The Russo-American new media theorist Lev Manovich coined the phrase ‘database films‘ (The Language of New Media, 2001) to indicate one of the many potential futures for film-making. I think that ZeitEYE is a data-base-film for several reasons:

it started as a database – a database of images and hyperlinks and text collected initially to manage the writing and production of my fourth book The Cyberspace Lexicon (Phaidon 1994).

Malcolm Garrett's elegant interface for the CDROM version of Cyberspace Lexicon - an A-Z index of the new media-scape. Designed c1995

it is semi-automated – images are batch-processed in Photoshop, sequenced semi-automatically in Director – and theoretically could be completely automated, perhaps apart from the initial selection of subjects and their final editing.

Although a linear montage animation, ZeitEYE is curiously non-linear – exploiting the delayed cognitive reaction of memory and subliminal perception, it has the effect on several viewers of triggering memories belatedly – memories that have to be refreshed by a second or subsequent viewing –  a bit like serially browsing a visual database, or thumbing a flip-book.


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