Steven Ball and Philip Sanderson, 2nd April 2013


I am very grateful to them for doing a highly engaging and accessible presentation on their work, which can be described as artists’ film and video or Structuralist/Materialist Film. They enabled us to have an evening of films very different from the work we normally show and to broaden the idea of what we think of as animation.

Steven and Philip first collaborated in 1978 as members of the band Storm Bugs. Steven’s current practice includes exploration of landscape and spatial representation; Philip takes source material for his videos from the web’s pool of images, movies and sounds. He then applies a variety of digital processes to animate and and remodel the found material so much of his work could be described as animation.

They very helpfully gave us a definition of what Structuralist or Materialist Film actually is:

“Clement Greenberg, the critic, had the idea that, post Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe, Art moves inevitably towards Abstraction and the focus moves away from representation. The focus is on support, colour, pigment, those kinds of things: Abstract Expressionism. And in some way Structuralist/Materialist Film, although it never acknowledges the equivalent movement, is the same thing. It continuously questions the notion of images actually representing what you see… It calls into question the nature of the medium itself.”

You can see them talking about their work here:


Thank you to Stuart Pound for filming them.

Philip Sanderson presented a selection of his short animated films (you can see a recording of him doing so here):

1. A Rocco Din (2004)

2. Jiggery Pokery

3. Flesh Tones

4. Kisser (2007)

5. Bournville (2007)

6. Product Recall

7. Pretend My Pen Is A Stylus

8. Clouds (2008)

On his website, he explains: 
“The videos take their source material from the web’s pool of images, movies and sounds. A variety of digital processes are then used to animate and and remodel the found material. In these new amalgams there is more than a hint of synthaesthesia with sound and image often being either directly linked or with one being digitally transformed into the other and vice versa. For example in A Rocco Din an accordion performs a self dissection scored to its own accompaniment, whilst in Fleshtones, pornography is turned into piano music.”

Steven Ball then screened a specially-edited assemblage of short films from his Direct Language videoblog (2005-2008).

In this section Steven talked about “glitch” and video artefacts in his most recent work. Sadly most of these films are not available online and were untitled at the screening, but more information and links about the project can be found here:

and one of the films, Over The Borough Island, can be seen on its own here:

On his blog Steven describes Direct Language as


“…constructed from a collection of short pieces made originally for the Direct Language videoblog ( Variously provisional, opportunistic, experimental sketches, observational studies, spatial explorations, situations and abstractions, they were made in serial and this version could be considered to be a kind of abstracted journal, miscellany or compendium.”


You can find out more about Steven, Philip and Storm Bugs here:


We then had a short screening of other work.

1. Crowing Ox, Crowing Rooster (Mandarin version, 2006).
This is an old film I made with my sister Adela for the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Although Cantonese is actually the language spoken in Hong Kong, where we had an event in May, I decided to show it anyway.

2. Apodemy by Katerina Athanasopoulou
Newcomer Katerina showed this beautiful CG film-poem which she had actually screened at the site of Plato’s Academy in Athens.

We then adjourned for drinks.

Thank you to everyone who took part.

Love from Martin