Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation's new film, whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir presents a nebulous narrative about a code- writing geophysicist who goes on a job interview at an oil company in a futuristic city. Set in post-Soviet Central Asia, the "story" is knit together from thousands of clips that are continuously remixed by custom software to create an ever-changing, never-ending story.
Sussman says that the film is inspired by Kazimir Malevich's quest for transcendence in his stark Suprematist works. But whiteonwhite seems to draw more on film than art history, unlike her two best-known works-89 Seconds at Alcazar (2004), a short piece that brought to life an imagined scene around the making of Veliizquez's Las Meninas, and Rape of the Sabine Women (2006-07), a feature-length film based on the violent event depicted by Poussin and David.
Like Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, the over- reaching Brad Pitt-Sean Penn vehicle that won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Sussman's piece alternates between color and black-and-white, using snatches of narrative and slippery chro- nology to tease and thwart viewers' attempts at comprehension.
Whiteonwhife appears at Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York, Sept. 8-Oct. 22, and the Toronto lnternational Film Festival beginning Sept. 8.