Cross-fire by Studio*Mrmann


This movie by Scottish artist Geoff Mann of Studio*Mrmann represents an argument between unseen characters as ripples that distort objects across a dining table.

Called Cross-fire, the movie features a soundtrack taken from the film American Beauty directed by Sam Mendes.

Mann has also created a series of tableware and cutlery apparently distorted by these ripples of sound, on show as part of an exhibition called Future Craft Exposition at the University of Dundee.

The project remains on show until 26 April.

Photographs are by Stuart Johnstone.

The following is from Mann:

The focus of the Cross-fire series was to examine the intangible characteristic of the spoken word and investigate the unseen affect of sound upon its inhabited environment.

The project centralises around the context of a domestic argument. In this case the event samples an audio excerpt from the 1999 Sam Mendes Film ‘American Beauty’. The slow building dialogue between the three central characters family dinner climaxes with a sound clash of emotions. The cross-fire of the argument traverses the dinning table but where previously the inanimate everyday objects such as plates, cutlery, teapot etc were unable to express their character, the intensity of the conversation deforms their once static existence into objects of unseen familiarity.

The presented sound artifacts each encapsulate a momentary emotion of the argument.


The Future Craft Exposition is the result of a five year research project, Past, Present & Future Craft Practice (PPFCP), based at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at University of Dundee. The project explores new directions, practices and perspectives in contemporary craft with an ultimate goal of defining a new relevance for craft in the 21st century.


Geoff Mann is a Scottish artist (&) designer whose fascination with transposing the ephemeral nature of time and motion has created a studio practice that challenges the existing divides between art, craft and design. He has exhibited in National and International venues including MoMA New York, International Bombay Sapphire Awards, Jerwood Contemporary Makers exhibition, MAD New York and the European Glass Context in Denmark.

In 2008, Mann was awarded the World Craft Council Prize for Glass and in 2009 won the Jerwood Contemporary Makers Prize. Mann has work included in MoMA New York, Design and Architecture collection and MAD New York, Design and Applied permanent collections.

Posted on Thursday April 1st 2010 at 4:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • tommi

    freshly fire, love it

  • sorn sorthor

    cute! hahaha

  • abdulqadirabas

    it is now make sense to me on how we can analyze data and translate it to design clearly and purely..i always think all this data based thing is a new systematic way of bulshitting. Especially when it comes to architecture.All this generative components and bla..bla..bla.. This movie-supported products clearly explain it. I love it!. and i guess it is a new thing. : )

  • tom

    i like the concept but i think the rippling should’ve been more subtle, and the argument chosen should’ve built up from a more serene conversation. interesting though.

  • For me, there is no aesthetics in that, to showing signs of destruction in every days objects, it’s affectation!

  • What a fantastic concept, This video is fantastic, I agree with tom above though, the warps could have been a bit more subtle. They could have become more obvious the closer the camera gets to the table,

  • alexa

    i think the concept is interesting but has resulted in aesthetically very disappointing objects. i agree, the distortion should have been more subtle. shame, a missed opportunity to use the digital in a less ‘in your face’ manner.