The film that's projected from the toy 'Beam Bus' onto the lid of a tin of fish. ( 2 min. 42sec's)
There are a lot of seagulls at Scheveningen. When they die, they tend to fall into the sea and sometimes wash up on the beach where they rot or get eaten by other animals.
I remember seeing a television news item a few years ago about the traditional way of disposing of the deceased after a funeral service in Tibet called 'sky burial'. Due to the lack of suitable ground for digging, in parts of Tibet the body is cut up and offered to the vultures. In a sense the body disappears into the sky.
I kept a dead seagull in the container at Badgast for about a week while I tried to come up with a fitting and respectful use for it. After a week or so I reverted to working with living seagulls. Eventually I thought I could start to smell my dead seagull so I threw it in the garbage.
Dead seagull , toy caravan.
Seagull at Scheveningen
From the beginning, this piece was doomed to failure because it was far too elaborate. The plan was to entice the gulls to follow a toy van full of fish along the beach. The van was to be pulled along the beach on a string that was being reeled in by a windmill. The windmill was made from plastic bottles that I had found washed up on the beach.
Dead seagull with toy outboard motor attached to it.
I needed the birds to start a feeding frenzy for this to happen. To my ongoing irritation I discovered that the birds only do this once and then they became disinterested or wary and it becomes impossible to get them excited again. I could not keep them interested long enough to start the windmill and threw almost an entire loaf of bread across the beach trying to entice them. Just at the point when I thought they were starting to become interested again a family and their dog came over; frightened them all away and they never came back.
Not only was this probably too technically ambitious (I was also trying to film on my own to) but there was also a problem with the narrative- the toy van didn’t go anywhere. If it had worked it would have just travelled along the beach and eventually and un-dramatically 'stopped', not 'disappeared'.
Toy van, pico projector and tin of herring in sauce. The film projected from out of the back of the the toy van onto the lid of the tin. The projector is in the tin and comes from the van via two mirrors.