1984 - 7 minutes - U-MATIC video
“It’s the story of a lonely man who goes home and tries to connect with the world via a monitor; but he cannot find anyone – only video answering machines. The outside world is taken straight from Blade Runner.†In this short I imagine a ‘network’, new communication systems, new machines, all sorts of things not yet in existence at the time. In 1984 people were beginning to talk about that virtual ‘network’ – the internet.
I wanted to experiment with creating images that were a mixture of black and white and colour, using Chromakey, the system that made it possible to create fake backgrounds, used already in news bulletins. The idea of mixing black and white with colour images was a novelty then, but was later widely used in advertising.
ABSENT was awarded First Prize at the 1984 Salsomaggiore Festival; I remember the excitement of being next to Michelangelo Antonioni, who had presented there his first – and only – videoclip (made with Enrica Fico): FOTOROMANZA, featuring Gianna Nannini.
The direct consequence of this award at Salsomaggiore was the work I did with Federico Fellini in 1985. I was asked to go to Cinecitt‡ as a Chromakey "expert". My job was to add fake backgrounds to the adverts Fellini had shot with a blue background. These were going to be seen on the TV screens in some scenes in his film GINGER AND FRED. But since Fellini was an odd character, he never used the adverts I’d worked on because they weren’t entirely his own work” (Marco Bechis).