Cloud and Coal is an audiovisual performance. It is composed by juxtaposing audiovisual archive images with a spoken fictional narrative and music. The selected films are mainly issued from the Centre des Archives Industrielles et Techniques de la Moselle (CAITM) located in Saint-Avold.
These films are part of documentations and archives from the coalmines of the Lorraine Basin, from the major industries and unions of the region. These films alternate between short educational films addressed to miners, documentation of sites under construction and other filmed scientific experiments. All this material buried in confidential and classified films, shows us the glorious, the confident and omnipotent modernity of the 70's at its climax. Thus, today's environmental concerns resound like distant, muffled and grotesque echoes of this modernity petrified on film.
Dozens of hours of these digitized archival films have been split and cut up shot by shot. No sound, no original music was kept. The images have been rendered mute and orphaned. They are now ready for all kinds of plastic and linguistic manipulations. In diptychs on the screen, they arrange themselves and confront each other randomly. They produce accidental narrative relations that never manage to last more than a few seconds. And disappear. In this hypnotic visual flow, each image validates or invalidates, without judgment and without comment, the adjacent image.
Each image becomes the ephemeral center of gravity of the whole captive scene, then fades away for free. For the witnesses of this circus, each batch of images restarts the dice and the machine. And leaves to each one the care to oscillate between the irresolute wait that something happens which has sense on the screen and the desire unceasingly disappointed to be the witness of this event. The whole offers a hybrid narrative mixing documentary and fiction. It deals with mining extractivism, land appropriation, and industrial productivism, through the lens of popular beliefs and the distorting prism of science fiction. The musical work is composed of sound prints captured in certain places of the region, assemblies of layers, drones and low frequencies. All this summons up a closely disturbing dimension to the whole.
This project, resulting from several months of field research, was experimented under several formats of diffusion: multi-screen presentation and parallel diffusion in streaming, or installation-live, in the form of a cine-concert.