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How I made “Fold”

The idea for Fold came from this one moment in Peel where the video changes from yellow to pink, I wanted to take that moment and expand it. Folding laundry where different colors and textures would swarm the screen every time I pick up a new piece of cloth seemed like a perfect way to get started. Since this video was an extension of Peel I decided to keep the format same (gird of 96 videos) which made the initial part of the process easy. At that time the only furniture we had in the living room was the white couch, which against the white wall, worked as a perfect background for this project. So just one afternoon I decided to set up my Hd camera and recorded myself  folding all my laundry from the dryer. It took me about 20 mins to fold all the clothes which I realized was too long for the length of the video, since I wanted  this video to have seamless transitions and have a long uncut shot so the video flows as smooth as the fabric. That meant the length of the single raw footage and the sequence of the clothes, color, pattern etc everything had to be perfect, right from the beginning. As expected it turned out to be a big challenge, as I had to do a lot of  planning and editing of the clothes before shooting, and realized that I could only do that by trying out different options. Here is Fold’s very first test and the audio is just something that was playing while I was folding the laundry.

Song: Adir Adrimi by Balkan Beat Box

So after a number of tests and editing I first decided on 13mins as the final length of the video but eventually settled with 7mins and 30secs. But before I reached the magical number of 7mins I recorded myself at least 20-25 time folding different sets of clothes, until I found the perfect combination of the colors, geometry, size, gestures, feel and overall  flow and dynamics of the video. Below are some of the ideas I was thinking while shooting the videos.

Unlike cooking as in Peel while folding clothes I had a much wider range of gestures from a very small movement of folding a sock to the elaborate movement of folding a sheet, became a fascinating way of bringing the dynamics into the composition. Apart from the visual grid and the patterns that were laid on the top, the inherent geometrical shapes of the clothes them-selves added another dimension to layers. Finally, the color, size and the texture of the different clothes delineating  the flow of the composition.

I look at these videos from a choreographic lens and designing sequences of rhythmic movements and accents becomes an integral part of my process.  I create visual scores defining the flow, the pattern and the structure of these compositions. After  several iterations the final score looked something like this:

As I look back at this experience, I feel in the first half of the video I was zooming in, creating a multifaceted view of a single day’s solitary activity and in the latter half, zooming out and looking at this routine over multiple days. With Fold, I have tried to create layers of structures and overlaying patterns, patterns that a always evolving. For example, at the lowest layer each individual video has its own pattern; in the second layer, the sequenced movements creates another layer of rhythmic patterns of the videos as a group and the final layer is the overall flow and dynamics of the composition.