David Ryan




































"Chemical Free(?)"


A video in three parts by David Ryan


Essentially, the video component for "Chemical Free(?)" takes its cue from the music by Nicola Sani, as well as the short texts provided by Nicola Sani and Giulio Peruzzi, and discussions with, and materials provided by Professors Laura Orian and Giacomo Saielli. It is not narrative or didactic in any way but attempts to work with the scientific subject matter in a free and 'aesthetic' manner. Rather than straightforward narrative, each part presents its own image sequences. These sequences are fragmented, consisting of sometimes singular images at other times multiple and simultaneous. Structurally the whole follows the tri-parte structure of the music, with the first part C'è tanto spazio là in fondo implying the infinite space of scientific investigation and focusing on the apparatus of scientific control, measurement and research. The imagery, here, draws on the research environment of the Chemistry Department of the University of Padova. The second part, No Landscape, by contrast, presents an image sequence of abstract structures derived from the molecular structures of materials such as water, graphite, diamonds etc. We move from the environment of science to the invisible worlds of materiality and its motion. Finally, More is Different, explores an almost alien world, a 'chemical' landscape of volcanic terrain near Naples. This strange, smoking, charred and archaic landscape reminds us of the volatile chemical make-up of the earth itself. Intertwined with the sounds of the hyper-bass flute these images conjure a rawness, a 'difference' in relation to our normal associations with science and chemistry.


Video conception, camera, editing: David Ryan
General assistant (and camera assistant in part 1): Alex Cline
Molecular animations: Julian Hughes Watts
Additional molecular material: Professor Giacomo Saielli, Professor Laura Orian (Dipartimento di Science Chimice dell'Universitario di Padova)
Texts selected by: Giulio Peruzzi/Nicola Sani


Commissioned by SaMPL, Conservatorio "Cesare Pollini", Padova. Produced by SaMPL, with additional support from Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge; with thanks to Alvise Vidolin, Luca Richelli, Nicola Sani and the Dipartimento di Science Chimiche dell'Università di Padova.