Slow Action
Date: 20 November - 18 December. 2010
Location: Picture This Studio, Bristol, UK

installation shot of 4 video projections


  • 1Slow Action installed at Picture This, 2010
  • 2Slow Action installed at Picture This, 2010
  • 3Slow Action installed at Picture This, 2010

Slow Action installed at Picture This, 2010


Picture This presents the premiere of Slow Action by Ben Rivers.


Slow Action is a multi-screen installation filmed at four locations around the world: Gunkanjima - an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan - an abandoned city built on a rock that was built to house the families of the colliers who once worked the now depleted mines below; Tuvalu - a country in the middle of the Pacific made up of tiny strips of land just above sea level; Lanzarote - one of the driest climates on earth and a mix of beach resorts, dead volcanoes and curious architecture; and Somerset - a possible future Utopia.

The ideas behind this work stem from Ben Rivers' investigation into the field of island biogeography - the study of how species and climates evolve differently when isolated and surrounded by an unlike ecosystem.

Each screen consists of digitally projected 16mm cinemascope footage of islands. The footage combines with animation and a four-part soundtrack featuring a spoken text that details the imagined societies of each of the islands seen on screen. This text has been developed in collaboration with science fiction novelist Mark von Schlegell.

Slow Action, (2010) has been commissioned by Picture This and Animate Projects. Supported by Bristol City Council, Elephant Trust, Arts Council England, Daiwa Japan Foundation and the British Council.


Opening times

Thursday - Saturday

Related Items:

Ben Rivers

The films of Ben Rivers are rich, cinematic portraits that explore wilderness environments and self-contained worlds.

Islands in the stream

Writing for Sight & Sound, Lucy Reynolds explores the suspense between fact and fiction in Ben Rivers' Slow Action.

Unravel: 16mm workshop
20 November 2010, 12 - 4.30pm, screening at 5pm

Be part of creating the longest hand painted film in Britain.