Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Soul of an Old Machine

Earlier in the month I had a look at a vintage Apple G4 PowerBook, one of the very last PowerPC-powered models. A 17", late-2005, high-resolution 1.67ghz model now fit for very little, although it was hot stuff in its day. I didn't interrogate its soul; Apple's clever interface design doesn't alter the fact that we cannot communicate with the inanimate world. We have nothing in common.

Apple's design team aimed for something monolithic with the aluminium PowerBooks, something they didn't achieve until the unibody MacBook Pro of 2008. I decided to present this unnatural object in an unusual setting, with music that hopefully illustrates the incomprehensibility of machines.

The PowerBook is in almost every shot, sometimes barely visible. Here it's nestled amongst the trees on the left.

The video was created entirely with a Canon 5D Mk II and a 50mm f/1.4 and some stout boots and Adobe Premiere and me. The image of the PowerBook sitting in the forest with the standby light glowing in the gloom was inspired by a shot near the beginning of Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs Miller, discussed here.