Format: 3 screen DVD work, silent

Duration: 23.48 min

Technical Spec: 3 pioneer DVD players, 3 projectors, syncing device

‘Persistent vision’ - a film term for the production of moving images from still pictures. The process of creating a moving image is dependent upon the eye/brains persistence of vision, whereby the memory of the image is retained by the viewer.


Made from donated Super 8 material held by the Empire & Commonwealth Museum archives (UK), the project questions the construction of history and collective memory through the medium of film.


3 large floating screens, carry waves, rhythms, abrupt cuts, repeats and simultaneous images, moving back and forth, competing for attention, or providing harmonious vistas of complimentarity e.g. image of landscape or soldiers marching. The editing provides fluctuating experiences of ease and dis-ease, consumption and comprehension, disruption and disjointedness. This is further compounded by the materiality of film, its quality, showing of age, processes of replication, reproduction, failing, faltering, and disintegrating images. The work is mostly experiences without a sound track, in keeping with the mode of an interpretive space, which the work seeks, however there have also been versions of the work where this interpretive space has been disrupted by the inclusion of a response to the work. In 2006 a live soundtrack was played alongside the installation by the REMIX Youth Music Group in Bristol. Further collections of responses and interpretations of the work are currently being made.


Persistent Visions was made to create an interpretive space, a work in which the activation of the audience was key to knowledge production. Each showing is seen as a new iteration of the work. Most recently it was screened in Hong Kong to an audience who created a live sound track to the work as it played. Previously it has been shown within the NUS Museum spaces as a strategy used by the curators to activate new ways of thinking about the permanent collections already on display and the practices of museums to impart and construct knowledge. It was also instrumental in a series of south East Asian University museum conferences in which the invited speakers and audience, all museum curators used the work as an in-road to discussing contemporary museuological practices in Asia. Prior to this the work has had several appearances in the UK, Germany, Canada. In the UK there have also been attached projects where responsive sound tracks were developed for the work by specific audiences.

Commissioned by: Picture This, in association with The Empire & Commonwealth Museum Film Archive, Bristol

Shown at: Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, Solo Show, 2005.

Touring as part of Ghosting, a Picture This Touring project to Chapter, Cardiff, 2005 and Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, 2006. A Bond Space, Bristol, 2006.

Centre A, Vancouver, 2006 - Mining the Archive, a 2 person show.

ICA/South London Gallery, A Round The World In Eighty Days. Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, June 14 – Oct 21, 2007.  Curated by Peter Weibel and Wonil Rhee.

Collected by The British Council.


Ghosting: The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists’ Film and Video. J. Connarty & J. Lanyon, Picture This 2006.


Essay contribution and essay by Amna Malik on the Ghosting Commission works, including Persistent Visions.