STUDENT FILM.>> <<.INTRODUCTION &TITLE
WHERE THIS ALL REALLY BEGAN WAS IN GRADE 11 ART CLASS WATCHING A STOP-MOTION HAND DRAWN ANIMATED FILM BY WILLIAM KENTRIDGE CALLED THE HISTORY OF THE MAIN COMPLAINT. THERE WAS JUST SOMETHING ABOUT THE GROSS POWER, OF THE MAN IN A SUIT BURROWING DOWN INTO THE MINE SHAFT WITH A COFFEE GRINDER, THAT NEEDED TO BE CUT DOWN TO SIZE. AFTER FINDING OUT ABOUT A 20 YEAR LONG STUDY OF PAINTINGS BY THE LATE SOUTH AFRICAN PAINTER, ROBERT HODGINS AND THE ORIGIN OF SUCH A CHARACTER BY THE THEN YOUNG SCHOOL BOY, 19TH CENTURY PLAYWRIGHT ALFRED JARRY, I REALIZED IT WAS POSSIBLE. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT.
// Phillipe Ubu: Short film
//Introduction and Title
// Concept of Ubu
// Screen Play
// Further Reading
// Full gallery of Artwork
Student Film: Phillippe Ubu in a History of the Next complaint Adventure
THE BEGINNING TITLE CAME FROM A MUCH EARLIER >> project I started as a net.art idea in digital art class, where the class had to build a website/blog (just as blogging was becoming a prominent part of social connectivity on the web). For some reason I was not inspired to make a logically coherent and rational website, even though the one of the goals of the project was an exercise in navigation building through internet interactivity. I decided to subvert every aspect I possibly could and it would all be based on random events taking the internet user to another random event, through very confusing prompts and distractions, and these events would be based on something that could inherently be prompting to want to navigate through - complaining, my complaints, the complaints of one sole internet user creating a website without any apparent reason. I will never figure out the real reasoning to why I chose "complaining" but it could be related to the earlier work of William Kentridges I had seen called History of the Main Complaint and how I understood it to be a political statement about some aspects of the Apartheid government in South Africa and the injustices that were unleashed on the great majority of mine workers for the gain of excessive greed and wealth of the mine bosses. However, I did not want this site to be some profound statement, because at the time this kind of social networking was not yet considered a serious concrete method of communicating or creating internet content that could be taken as serious it was trying to be (remember how MySpace was first thought of?). So I wanted to subvert the intention of making this website be worth something by trying to make it completely not worth anything and hence changing the wording of the inspired art piece into A History of the Minor Complaint, (as opposed to Main) which soon became History of the Next Complaint both indicating the nature of the website content and indirectly hinting at the main purpose of the website which was to navigate through it and just see what would come up next.
IN THE END, THIS ALL SOON PROVED TO BE VERY SILLY.>> Even though randomly generated internet content was a trend in net.art I was not really generating anything, or at least not to the extent I originally intended. It all became much too predetermined. However, the exercise was not in vain, I managed to find a character - a bubble headed mouthless beady eyed character in a suit. He was first meant to be a mascot, but at the beginning of this student project I found he was the most original unoriginal character I had come up with. I thought the whole inital idea would be better suited to and adapted to an animated narrative where the internet user was replaced with a scripted character going through the intended sequence of scenes which were meant to be basic pages of the website. He was funny looking, he looked like he could have a lot to complain about and he ended being quite relatable because of what I found was the entity of the Everyman in the Human Condition based on the work and art of Alfred Jarry, Robert Hodgins and even William Kentridge (to spoken about later). All these coincidences were too coincidental to over look and so I went with this idea, gave the character a name, and decided to call the piece, Philippe Ubu in a History of the Next Complaint Adventure. Every single word in the title is due to some event that had lead up to the initiation of this idea, Philippe - because this is a common French name and he had to be French, Ubu - to keep the family name of the heritage of characters I was drawing from, in a History - because it is a chronicle or narrative, of the Next Complaint - because it is chronicle of complaints and Adventure - because it finally made the meaning of navigation make sense, the character was on going to go on this voyage/adventure and it could be well worth the 3 minutes of animation running time we had to come up with for the student project.