First in a series of one-day events showing the work of various artists, ‘Vane Shorts 1’ presents works by five artists, each of whom is showing video works that share an interest in repetitive and/or seemingly compulsive actions.

Each artist uses a different medium to realise their work, ranging from the hand drawn (Andrew McDonald) and painted (Miranda Whall) image which is then animated via the computer, painstakingly detailed 3D digital renderings of objects in motion (Pat Flynn), to the re-editing of appropriated mass media and popular culture (Graham Dolphin) and rhythmic editing of footage of a series of performative actions (Dodda Maggý).

Graham Dolphin’s film and audio works form part of an ongoing endeavour to re-imagine sound and image. ESCAPE x 33, OLAY x 33, and ONE x 33 (2003) consist of thirty-three copies of the original TV perfume advertisements. Layered directly on top of one another, each copy starting a tenth of a second apart, the image and soundtrack become distorted and difficult to read with only traces of the original still decipherable. In Kyoaku No Intention Dolphin has taken live footage of Japanese guitarist Munehiro Narita, performing as part of the eponymous duo, and layered and looped it to create a hypnotic guitar riff cycle, without beginning or end.

Pat Flynn’s most recent computer-made films have no beginning or end. He makes loops: lottery balls spin and fall constantly, a mobile of the Ptolemaic universe keeps on rotating, a snake weaves endlessly through the toe of the shoe. Untitled (Coinshower) (2002), an earlier work, does have a beginning and an end. It shows coins falling to the ground and bouncing, spinning and finally settling. It uses a computerised simulation of gravity – one that is imperfect, because gravity is the hardest thing to simulate, and within the world of computers, the easiest thing to avoid.

Dodda Maggý’s work explores the dramas and dilemmas of the desiring gaze. Accompanied by piano music composed and played by her self, Iris (2006) sees the artist play out a persona other than her own, one that veers between an adolescent playfulness and more adult interpretations.

Andrew McDonald’s work seems equally fascinated and disappointed with the world around him. Scratchy animated drawings flicker slowly in black and white, alternating between suspense and boredom. In Finger (2002), a finger hangs down from the top of the screen. It fidgets intermittently, attracting sexual interpretations. It wiggles one way, then the other. It is a Freudian nightmare. It is stupid and limp.

Miranda Whall’s Samuel and I (2006) features a female figure, preoccupied in an autoerotic activity and seemingly unaware of the proximity of a large goldfish that swims around her. The stark white ground, on which the action occurs, dominates the image, and further emphasises a clinical detachment. For all the potential provocation and absurdity of the subject matter, any brief suggestion of arousal is quickly frustrated by the anti-climactic repetition of the action portrayed.