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“Nothing to See Here”: a Film by Paul H Williams

By • Jan 14th, 2018 •

Category: Abu Dhabi, airports, alternate worlds, CCTV, Dubai, film, flying, hyperreality, Lead Story, memory, non-place, perception, surveillance

In 2010, ballardian.com published a series of short films made by Paul H Williams on location when he was working in Abu Dhabi. He was working on surveillance systems there, some kind of government contract. Micro-movement fascinated him. He filmed the Abu Dhabi cityscape at night, the million pinpricks of light across its multitude of construction sites and half-formed buildings. In the morning, he filmed the clouds from the top of his mega-hotel as they slowly swathed the highest skyscrapers, and then again as they evaporated in the Gulf’s nuclear heat. At ground level, he filmed the red-orange sand blowing over the highway, which covered the road so completely that the tarmac was no longer visible. Then he filmed the sand drifting away, slowing down the footage as if the tarmac was being revealed in an archaeological dig thousands of years in the future. Now, Paul returns with the one shocking film he couldn’t bring himself to make public back then. It is the final conclusion to his Abu Dhabi mission. PROJECT CANCELLED.