super 8 and video 1986 - 2000
Steven Ball

(click on the title for streaming video)

Apostrophe-S with Philip Sanderson, super 8 to video, 3:00, 1986
Green on the Horizon
with Philip Sanderson
super 8 to video, 18:00, 1988

works made in Australia
A couple of years ago I started to excavate some of my earlier work, in particular the films and videos I made in the early 1990s in Australia. Part of the intention is to ‘archive’ them, and a crucial part of this process is a to make them available for future viewing. This is particularly key to much of my Australian work which was made on super 8 film and in most cases only exists it its original form: they were made on reversal film so the projected film is the same physical material that passed through the camera. Of course film is a reproducible medium and it was never the intention to produce unique art objects, however the economics of ‘no budget’ filmmaking that I worked within at the time largely discounted the possibility of making expensive prints or telecine copies which would eat up the precious funds needed to make the next piece. I was prolific (see the fairly comprehensive filmographic info at Melbourne Independent Filmmakers for an idea of exactly how prolific) and the selection here represents a fairly small proportion of the super 8 films I made. read more

Pools Between Land
3 channel video installation, 1990
10 mins, single channel video, 1991 video, 6:02, 1991
Harmonic Maheno (Harmonic Three Three) super 8, 23:00, 1991
Off Off On super 8, 4:08, 1992
Periscope 180°
super 8, 16:00, 1992
However, the Autodidact super 8, 17:04, 1994
Among Vertebrates video, 8:03, 1999

For other work from the 1990s see Direct Objective

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Apostrophe-S super 8 to video, 3:00, 1986 with Philip Sanderson voice: Diana Gordon
music: Storm Bugs

A suburban folktale in which a visage of a young woman hitchhiker is continually replayed on Bluebell Hill.


Green on the Horizon with Philip Sanderson
super 8 to video, 18:00, 1988
The Girl: Angela Staples
Voices: Patricia Hosking and Tony Raven
Shot on location at Cliffe Marshes, England

An exploration of a bleak and mysterious marshland by a young woman on a bicycle who navigates this strange territory with the aid of a portable tape recorder whose prompt functions as an audio or guide book. Not quite a treasure hunt, the goal she seeks seems unclear, the journey is perhaps a self-fulfilling exercise. It has some of the atmosphere of a television thriller, a home movie Mission Impossible at whose outcome we can only speculate.
- Jeremy Welsh, 'Electric Eyes' programme, Film and Video Umbrella, 1988

Short cuts make long delays. Green on the Horizon makes a wonderful diversion.
- Steven Bode, City Limits, London, 28 April, 1988

More at Direct Objective

• Piccadilly Film Festival, London
• Independent Video Festival, Bracknell, U.K
• Institute of Contemporary Art, London
• Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scotland
• Tate Gallery, London
• Metro Cinema, Derby, England
• Crescent Arts, Scarborough, England
• Video Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
• Pheonix Theatre, Leicester, England
• Australian Video Festival, Sydney
• Wien Medienwerkstatt, Vienna, Austria
• Wide Angle, Birmingham, England

Pools Between Land 10:00, 3 channel video installation, 1990
single channel video, 1991
(this version remastered 2005) A broadcast from the undergrowth. A transmission from the fields of electrical and emotional energies imprinted on the landscape, recorded in the water. Snatches of a disembodied voice were recorded, subjective glimpses cut through the electrical crackle of the carrier frequency on the monitor. A fragmented world of reconstructed space and time in a claustrophobic environment beneath the canopy of trees. (original programme note)
read more

• Experimenta, Performing Arts Museum, Melbourne, Australia, 1990
(3 monitor installation version)
• A Different Light, MIMA, State Film Theatre, Melbourne, 1991
• Matinaze, Sydney Intermedia Network, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1992
• Frames Film & Video Festival, Adelaide, 1992
• Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 1993
• MIMA, State Film Theatre, Melbourne, 1994 video, 6:02, 1991 A recently rediscovered video that has never been publicly screened.

Harmonic Maheno (Harmonic Three Three)
super 8, 23:00, 1991

(original programme note)
read more

• Melbourne Super 8 Film Festival, Australia, 1991
• ‘Super 8 is Dead or Alive?’, London Filmmakers Co-op, 1993

Off Off On super 8, 4:08, 1992
Personal experimental, philosophical...

After the crash, Easter 1979, in the flat. Travelling, going nowhere fast. Flat screen, flat horizon, speed flattens everything. After the crash. The lapse occurs at breakfast, the cup dropped and overturned on the table, then time comes together again. Eating, sleeping, fucking, dreaming, tracing the lines on a page. (original programme note) more at Direct Objective

• Experimenta 1992, MIMA, State Film Theatre, Melbourne

Periscope 180° super 8, 16:00, 1992
The title indicates the scopic and conceptual topography of the film. The first part shot in Fremantle, West Australia, with nautical references (seascapes, masts, lighthouses). The second part shot in East Gippsland, Victoria, alternating indistinct images of beach, sea and sky with black and white footage of fishermen on a beach, the voice-over taking up notions suggested by the first part: a poetic speculation on the uncertainty of migration towards a nomadic condition of continual departure and the paradox of return: the refrain. The third and final part in aerial transit, an arrival denied by the films ending.
(original programme note)
read more

Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, December 1992
Matinaze (Sydney Intermedia Network), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. May 1993
Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia, July 1993
Real Time, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra, Australia, September 1993
1st Biennale of Video, Santiago, Chile, September 1993
Persistence of Distance (Steven Ball retrospective), Perth Super 8 Group, Australia, July 1993
Australian Focus, Week of Experimental Cinema, ARCO, Madrid, Spain, April 1994

However, the Autodidact super 8, 17:04, 1994 "Those ubiquitous helicopters appear as if blown in on some poisonous storm from across the bay, sweeping the streets with searchlights, invading the backyards and pavements of bayside Elwood, peering into the windows like some suspicious all-seeing eye; mostly at weekends, mostly late evening."
Steven Ball ‘...Testing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9...However, the Autodidact’, Cantrills Filmnotes nos 75/76, 1994, Australia

Among Vertebrates video, 8:03, 1999
The Warmth of Passing Cars, Up North and Down South, part 1
Through distributed images, pixellated diegesis and obliquely connected anecdotes, this video is an ombibus of lateral journeys around inner urban night light. (original programme note)

Ultra-projections, Dancehouse, Melbourne, May, 1991