Anatomy of a film I made

by Emma Northey
First published in Cinema Now zine, May 2018.

The Neptune Pak Interviews I made in collaboration with sound artist Stephen Roedel are short non-narrative sound and moving image collages, they blend abstract and figurative images with electronic noise music; interpreting the mesh between human and electronic environments. Sound is intrinsic to my process, the sound can be the instigator for the visuals; the sounds become visual forms and vice versa. The collaborative dialogue changes between projects, it can be a series of intuitive responses or developed from a pre determined proposal. This work evolved from the capture and distortion of media from analogue and digital sources and devices including Super8, VHS, Digital Camera, Television, Cassettes, Synthesizers and the Personal Computer.

The Neptune Pak series references the work of video art pioneer Naum June Paik. It was made with footage from some of my analogue moving image experiments beginning in 2004, as a continuation of my photographic practice and my work with the portrait. This was an exploration into methods to disrupt or obscure aspects of the face.


I started with capturing and editing the flickering, and blurring of holes burning in Super8 film and experimenting with the disruption of VHS, as I began to pull on cables during filming to affect colour and image. Experiments were also conducted with generating noise by using Fast Forward, Re Wind and Pause during transfer to hard drive, or playing NTSC on a PAL system using incompatible capture settings to generate skewed colour and fractured image. These types of base hacks formed the basis for my curiosity with the formation and meaning of machine vision.

In these works the portraits were filmed with methods such as spot lighting, shooting through glass, using mirrors, movement and lens blurs. The abstracts and portraits were further pushed in post production by manipulating colour light and speed. The Neptune Pak portraits interpret the presence of self within an electronic environment and its effects on perception and existence within contemporary technological society's connected/disconnected dichotomy.


Emma Northey
is a photographic and moving-image artist living in Adelaide. She frequently collaborates with artist Stephen Roedel.

Published June 13, 2018. © Emma Northey 2018.