Possibly the most abstract short commissioned by Dazed & Confused for Random Actsis 'Maschinezeit', a collaborative project by fashion designer Damir Doma and filmmaker Aaron Chan. In it, a creeping figure dressed in black moves like an expanding pixelated phantom around a plain space, serenaded by Berlin duo Aids-3D. Random Acts is an arts strand on Channel 4 of three-minute films from both established and up-and-coming artists. Dazed Digital spoke to the somewhat baffled Aaron Chan about creating the project, and the significance of the title.
Dazed Digital: How did you come to work with Damir Doma? Aaron Chan: I was still really confused at that point as to why I was approached to put this film together and was very suspicious the proposal was ultimately part of a scam to drain my bank account. I’m still very distraught and shaken up about the whole thing. It was far too random.
DD: What's the relation between the body and the space? Aaron Chan: I tried to depict the body simultaneously being absorbed by the space and the space becoming an extension of the body. They both melt together into what I see as an alternate reality unknown to most unless you do a lot of drugs or you’ve played around with the transform tools in Photoshop… or both!
DD: What's the significance of the title ‘Maschinezeit’ (‘Time Machine’) to the linear flow of the video? Aaron Chan: I think it’s significant the same way the title Back to the Future has to do with the linear flow of that movie… It’s good fun within allotted time restrictions. Marty McFly tinkers with the space-time continuum to ensure his parents properly fall in love at The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in under two hours. ‘Maschinezeit’ similarly tries to play with our perception of space and time, but in about two minutes instead.
DD: How closely was the video designed round the music? Aaron Chan: It was very closely designed around the music. Things typically seem more compelling when a soundtrack drives the imagery. I didn't think the film would have been interesting enough to sit through otherwise.