Babel Fiche

Emily Gosling: What does ‘digital’ really mean?

From: Emily Gosling, review of Frequency13, Design Week, 21 October

“Another incredible and incongruous space that makes the most of the juxtapositions between futuristic artwork and the city’s crumbling medieval past is the Bath House next to Lincoln Castle, where Dave Griffiths’ work Babel Fiche is running. The 18-minute video piece was formed from moving-image content donated to the artist, which was then compressed onto microfilm to form a strange, non-linear ‘time capsule’.  The piece explores how archivist of the future will view our continually-recorded present, which – as one of the video’s many narrators puts it – ‘we flick from scene to scene without observing’.

Through the endlessly shifting footage of a dead mouse, rubbish dump, clubbers, line dancers, pretty girls, planes, a young family in a suburban high street, riots and skimming pebbles by the sea, Griffiths places all imagery on a level plane. The non-hierarchical, non-linear treatment of the scenes questions what recorded fragments from today will be valuable in future; and whether our constant desire to record and document our time is, deep down, a manifestation of our ‘fearing the crime of disappearance’.”

Read the full review of Frequency13