The Archive of the Movements of Inanimate Objects (1 minute clip)

Chris Pearce, 2015, 13:10 minutes, digital collage animation, color and sound


“This is really fine, thought-provoking work – beautifully realized and deeply disturbing. Thank you for doing it! ” – Alex Cox


The filmmaker’s notes:

“…It’s about empathy, objectification, and otherness. It’s about seeing through to the soul versus the attempt to define it. It’s a film about the spirit and the meat and their precarious balancing acts. What are the relative weights of analysis and compassion in our choices to see what we want to see?” 

– C.Pearce


Press & responses

Writing and anecdotes

Film Summary

A scientist exploring the clutter, discovers a curious life form. Intent on adding it to the archive, he investigates it’s true nature. Limited by his observational techniques, he needs to dig deeper, but at what cost?

Why do we respond to some objects as though they have a spirit? And, conversely, why do we respond to some spirits as though they are empty objects?

“The Archive…” is an essay film responding to the 18th century poet Anna Laetitia Barbauld. The film is inspired by the circumstances surrounding the writing of her poem, “The Mouse’s Petition”. It’s a poem that pleads for the life of a mouse who is awaiting a fateful turn through a lethal scientific experiment.

An homage to the life of scientists, and the sacrifice the search for truth takes on the agency of the spirit.

This short film follows the choices of a scientist investigating an unknown animal in an effort to discern it’s true nature. Shedding light casts shadows. All surfaces become like a mirror, simultaneous reflection and entryway. Organic and geometric patterns describe an uncanny world of silhouettes in this uneasy film about the struggle between compassion and analysis.