Artists in Residence: Little Black Boxes

Little Black Boxes

Noun  – A small machine that records information about an aircraft during its flight, used to discover the cause of an accident


Noun  – A system or process that uses information to produce a particular set of results, but that works in a way that is secret or difficult to understand



Noun – A simple indoor performance space with plain black walls and a level floor, typically designed to provide flexibility in the configuration of the stage and the audience seating


Noun  – The small rectangular on-screen voids in which our real life experiences and interactions in isolation were channelled through


Noun – A project exploring the lockdown experiences of old and young New Zealanders as told by young circus artists




Spare time gives you thinking time, and you don’t want that

Little things went big…. Little irritations become major operations

Devices. The new normal. Computers control our lives

I’m sorry you’re going to have to go somewhere else, I’m talking to my friend, Mary, here

I miss my friends like an abandoned cub would miss its mum

I have a lot of acquaintances here, I don’t have any friends

When we got out of the house the streets were deserted. The teddies in the windows stared longingly out at me 

I sing a lot. Can’t sing now the voice won’t work. But I still can’t stop the words coming out

You need a human side. You need sunshine on your face and skin

Are you as nervous as I am?



Something lingered in the back of my mind. “Gosh!” it said, “This is gonna take a while…”

Have I ever told you, you’ve got nice hair
Don’t make it too short
You just think that I’ll be very angry if you do

Why am I so lonely? 

I haven’t got the patience to do a jigsaw

This is the first time I ever wanted to go back to school

A playground to me is like brother to you  

I better not get too tearful
No I won’t cry, I’ll try not to

I find it a great comfort that I can sit here and talk to her
I sometimes worry that someone might hear me and think I’m talking to myself

Ruby red bike. Pointy petals. Sporty clothes

I’d love to see you, in face



Tick tock tick tock I can hear the clock. It’s counting down in my head

Country music on Sundays, autumn leaves and diamonds…

It was like a switch being flicked suddenly

Sometimes, when I’m alone, I’ll scream ‘AAAAAAHHH!’

The clouds are saying ‘Haha!

If you can’t be nice SHUTUP!

And then I’ll giggle to myself and say ‘Oh, you silly bitch!’

Please take me home. I’ll sit in the corner and won’t be a nuisance

It started to feel like trying to make animals float (which I think is impossible)

I just pretend I have swings in my backyard


I miss Hugo. He is funny, tall, a good sport, kind, and especially happy

Because I spend plenty of time in my room, well I’ve got plenty of time to think, I s’pose. But I can’t think of anything really…

Your thoughts just go back to different times of your life at times

Watching movies in the shade at nighttime…

Nighttime is the best time to drive

I was my dad’s son and my mum’s girl

It was quite a high hill… I couldn’t do it now, I’m afraid

My knees shattered to the floor like tiny pieces of glass. My heart had sunk like the titanic. It will not go on…

I’d love to cuddle a cat. He was a big, black, fluffy cat with golden eyes. He was a lovely cat.

Dying in Minecraft just isn’t the same without friends…

13:19:00 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : “He’d sent me a note saying he would be home by my birthday”

13:19:00 From Jay Clement : Ok so the sentence we worked with this week waaaaas:

13:19:37 From Jay Clement : Quick on the draw you are

13:19:48 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Linear this conversation isn’t

13:20:04 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : PART ONE

13:20:06 From Jay Clement : And you worked with a ceramic(?) pomegranate as your object

13:20:10 From Jay Clement : HA

13:20:40 From Jay Clement : And my object was the proverbial coffee mug

13:20:48 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Yep I did, I tried to find an object that was as objective (ha) as the sentence we used, so not attached to any particular essence of feeling

13:21:14 From Jay Clement : Iiiiiiiii did the opposite HA

13:21:33 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Admittedly I found it very hard to stop attaching really strong feeling and sense of story to that sentence

13:21:50 From Jay Clement : Can’t imagine

13:21:59 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Opposite is good, we like opposites and choices

13:22:13 From Jay Clement : I think for the first video I was trying to show the future of what that sentence was

13:22:47 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Yeah I really got that, like the stretching of the sentence into a bigger story

13:23:20 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Which is exactly what even one sentence naturally does right, what is next? What is before? What else does it actually mean

13:23:32 From Jay Clement : YES

13:23:58 From Jay Clement : And so I dug into a bit of maybe not the most clever symbolism of some of the other objects that were present

13:24:32 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Like travel and a journey?

13:24:43 From Jay Clement : The tea towel that said New Zealand on it + my passport which both have “home” connotations to them

13:24:50 From Jay Clement : And yes the stairs were traversed

13:25:06 From Jay Clement : My passport is also something that features a birthdate in it so there was a sly reference there

13:25:15 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Ooh nice

13:26:05 From Jay Clement : I also like the idea of seeing the mug leave  away from the camera and then switching to seeing it arrive towards the camera

13:26:07 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I liked the stop motion creation of movement within too. The inanimate animated

13:26:22 From Jay Clement : Yeah I’m REALLY excited about the idea of stop motion actually

13:38:08 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : PART TWO!

13:38:32 From Jay Clement : Yeah exactly

13:38:57 From Jay Clement : Your second one has really great representation of time for me

13:39:22 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : YEAH!!! Thats why I ended up using that particular section of film!!

13:39:24 From Jay Clement : Like the way that you played with the light made it seem at first like the passage of days going by.

13:39:59 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : That was literally a process of experimenting with the light and firstly trying to animate the shadow and then realising how much it felt like time passing

13:40:12 From Jay Clement : And then it ALSO had this really wonderful reminiscent moment towards the end when you were playing with your hand shadow that was throwing back to the first clip.

13:40:15 From Jay Clement : WOOOOOO!

13:40:18 From Jay Clement : SCOOOORE!

13:40:24 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : YES THAT WAS EXACTLY IT

13:40:57 From Jay Clement : It also seems like it could have just been time speeding up and just getting faster and faster and so that speed “transformed” the shadow image to something else

13:41:03 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Like time becomes not just seconds passing but the shadows of what was before as well which is EXACTLY what I was playing with

13:41:46 From Jay Clement : Nailed it

13:41:50 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I didn’t love the text integration on this one

13:42:00 From Jay Clement : That’s fair

13:42:25 From Jay Clement : But to be honest what was nice for me is that I read the text right away and then my attention was immediately drawn to the shadow play and completely forgot about the text

13:42:58 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I think if the clip had been longer and part of a bigger whole I could have been happier with the text layering on top like it did. Like in a longer film it could have sat better within the whole

13:43:12 From Jay Clement : Completely

13:43:28 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I didn’t love the fonts either but I think a move to final cut will help that hugely

13:43:39 From Jay Clement : God yes

13:44:01 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Fonts are a funny old thing

13:44:18 From Jay Clement : For my second film I was playing with another way that the text made me feel.

13:44:35 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Like you what them to be so perfect you don’t even think about them and as soon as you ‘notice’ them you’ve lost. Feels kinda like stage lighting

13:44:50 From Jay Clement : So it was like the idea that there was a sense of something being put off or ignored

13:44:53 From Jay Clement : HA OH GOD YES

13:45:20 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Ah yeah I loved the step away that your second film had, it felt like opening up to possibility of the feeling of the sentence

13:46:17 From Jay Clement : And like the object was still the coffee mug but I didn’t need that to be obvious because it was more the idea of that being the thing that was pulling the person away from doing what they needed to do.

13:47:01 From Jay Clement : I used completely environmental sound for this because it was frantic. I chose to keep the sound in real time as well even though the film was vastly sped up.

13:47:33 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : YES, I liked that use of normal and not normal speeds together

13:48:01 From Jay Clement : And I tried to zoom in on the screen at the end to show the words at the end of a long rambling note but obviously le iPhone 6 does NOT do a good job of that haha

13:48:39 From Jay Clement : I also chose to keep the camera locked in one place up until the end cause I felt like it added to the sense of weight if that makes sense?

13:48:40 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I also really enjoyed again the stretching of one part of the story, and the use of the PROCESS of coffee cup not just the object

13:48:52 From Jay Clement : YES!

13:49:17 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : That make total sense

13:49:21 From Jay Clement : I think that’s also why I chose coffee cup just cause I immediately imagined the attachments it could have

13:49:34 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I also really actually enjoyed the potential of the computer screen

13:49:56 From Jay Clement : Yeah I liked the idea quite a lot as well! Very keen to explore it more with a suitable camera.

13:50:03 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Coz it had moments of being pretty much a mirror to the trees outside and then when you shadowed it the text appeared

13:50:18 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Which has so much potential to explore

13:50:30 From Jay Clement : YES THE MIRROR OF IT WAS SO COOL!

13:50:47 From Jay Clement : Cause you don’t notice it necessarily until the camera pulls in

13:51:17 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Like I can imagine with the right set up, a screen reflecting a performer than moves in a way that reveals and hides text onscreen

13:51:38 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Technically hard but could be such a cool way to move between physicality and text

13:54:47 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : To finish off – were there any other possibilities from all the other experiments you did that seemed ,like potential things you would like to further explore?

13:55:46 From Jay Clement : I’m excited with the idea of filming from above things because that often changes their shape.

13:55:56 From Jay Clement : Though I didn’t find any success with it yet.

13:56:20 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : For me, it was ideas of writing on screen, of notes in a physical space, of audio text layered in and of moving away from the neutral spaces I had into spaces that speak more of home

13:56:25 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Oh that’s a cool idea!

13:56:47 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : I have been thinking about windows a lot too

13:56:58 From Jay Clement : And I guess to reiterate I’m quite jazzed at the idea of stop motion being used for different parts/reasons

13:57:23 From Jay Clement : I also really like the idea of the text being present on things like books/magazines/ etc in the background and not super obviously

13:57:23 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Nice!

13:58:18 From Jay Clement : Sweet!

13:58:28 From Jay Clement : Well I reckon that’s a wrap then!

13:58:48 From Carlene Newall de Jesus : Till next time, with the next experiment!