Indie film project whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir by director Eve Sussman and her collaborative team at Rufus Corporation is assembled from thousands of clips of footage, voiceovers and scoring elements, spliced together by a custom-built computer system known as the “serendipity machine.” Edited live in real-time, working from tags assigned by Sussman, the film comes together in a random, ever-changing succession, meaning the final product is different every time it is shown.
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir follows the observations and surveillance of a geophysicist named Holz who is stuck in a 1970’s-looking metropolis operated by the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company. Sussman and lead actor Jeff Wood traveled to the Kazakhstan border of the Caspian Sea for two years of filming. They ended up with 3,000 clips, 80 voiceovers and 150 pieces of music, all given tags so the “serendipity machine” can search for others with the same tag and string them together. As they write on their website:
The unexpected juxtapositions create a sense of suspense alluding to a story that the viewer composes. Driven by key words, the work seamlessly comes together as a movie – that is not a movie.
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir is currently touring the festival circuit, with screenings at Sundance, Berlinale and Site Santa Fe. The below trailer is just one sample of the movie, since it changes with every screening: