Surface Noise 2000, Film (16mm), 18 min, b/w and color, sound.
Part 1 of How the World Works

Conceived, Directed, Edited and with some additional contemporary footage shot by Abigail Child Sound montage created by A. Child with additional music by Zeena Parkins (synthesizer), Christian Marclay (turntables), Shelley Hirsch (vocals), and Jim Black (drums). Recording at Harvest Works with recording engineer Paul Geluso; Print by Cinema Arts, Pennsylvania.

In Surface Noise, sound and original footage are woven into a sonata form to explore public and private arenas. Child centers the film around work and issues of class: the divisions between home and public spaces, owners and workers, saturation and flow, structure and improvisation.

"Surface Noise, cobbled from found footage that Child describes as "outtakes of outtakes", is a dense collage of images with a John Zorn-like soundtrack. Sometimes the images sync with the noise; the flailings of a salmon swimming upstream is coupled with a rimshot, and home movie footage of a man laughing is paired with a female opera singer. In most of SURFACE NOISE, however, sound and image follow their own dialectical paths, creating a density which is Child's tribute (as a dedication at the end of the film makes clear) to the equally complex films of Warren Sonbert." -LUX

"endearingly scrappy" - Ed Halter, New York Press, October 2000

"both disorienting and seductive..." - Shelley Bancroft, South End News, 2000

SCREENINGS: New York Film Festival 2000,”Lightspill Program”; Rotterdam Film Festival, “Mapping The World” program; Black Maria Award and Tour; Pandaemonium at Lux Centre, UK; Eastman House; Pacific Film Archive, IMAGES Toronto; Rhode Island University; Media City, Art Site, Windsor Ontario; Mt. Holyoke College “Multicultural Festival.” World Premiere: Visions du Reel, Nyon Switzerland, April 1999; BAM Rose Theatre, New York Premiere; Director's Choice Black Maria Film and Video Festival 1999; The Freud Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Harvard Archive, Cambridge; Donnell Library, NYC.

Distribution: Canyon Cinema, Film-Makers' Coop, Lux