Open House | Divided Estates
A film by Eileen Simpson and Ben White shot on location at Casa Luis Barragan, Mexico City during a de_sitio residency
A new version of Open House | Divided Estates assembled for public domain distribution in Europe launching April 2014 at MK Gallery
Shot on location in Mexico City, Open House | Divided Estates (2013) takes as its starting point the intimate spaces of Casa Barragán, the former home of architect Luis Barragán (1902-1988), and his large collection of vinyl records. Shelves of vinyl, record turntables and speaker systems are installed in almost every room in Barragán’s house, including hidden speakers in the garden. The film reanimates the architect's extensive record collection through playback, choreographed camera moves and lip synch.
Open House | Divided Estates attempts to open out the public domain territory of Barragán’s record collection while exploring the grey zone of the building's image rights. The film explores both the complex web of propriety rights locked within the vinyl collection and images of the house in relation to their legal position and public access.
The soundtrack to Open House | Divided Estates is created entirely from copyright-expired recordings and fair use samples taken from the extensive and idosyncratic record collection. For MK Gallery a new version of Open House | Divided Estates has been assembled for European distribution in 2014. The film and its soundtrack are distributed under a copyleft license (cc by-sa 3.0).
Auditory Learning (working title)
Building on the pilot project The Brilliant and the Dark, Auditory Learning transposes tactics borrowed from commercial music video production and musical cinema to reanimate out-of-copyright music recordings (1920s to 1940s jazz, blues, folk, and music hall). Through re-enactment, lip-synching, and choreography, the film weaves together musical vignettes excavated from public domain recordings.
This hauntological experiment explores the politics of the beginnings of the recording industry at a time when emerging models of peer-to-peer distribution and collaborative production are urgently problematizing established notions around the authorship, ownership and distribution of culture.
The project will announce the release of newly copyright-expired work into the public domain and will be copyleft licensed – so, like its public domain sources remains free for distribution and reuse in the future.
We've been invited by Ponsonby Press to develop a project for publication.
"The Press' ethos is rooted in an underlying belief in the connectedness of people, things and society. It values the importance of independent thought and action as intrinsic qualities of the social realm. There are countless other words in the dictionary but some useful ones could include: open, hermetic, adaptation, speculation, arbitrariness, relay, delay, persistence, certainty, serendipity, absurdity, and so on."