Blind Carbon Copy
by Matthew Noel-Tod

Life model standing on plinth as students draw


  • 13 minute extract from Blind Carbon Copy
  • 2Matthew Noel-Tod discusses Blind Carbon Copy

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  • 1Video still from Blind Carbon Copy
  • 2Video still from Blind Carbon Copy
  • 3Blind Carbon Copy installed at Picture This, 2008
  • 4Production image: Matthew Noel-Tod with the actors
  • 5Production image
  • 6Production image: actors

Video still from Blind Carbon Copy


Blind Carbon Copy is based on an evocative script collaged from the artist's personal email correspondence. The emails are interpreted via a combination of spoken, physical and musical performances, taking its central focus from the language and emotions of the correspondence. The title of the film refers to the process of sending a blind copy of an email or letter to a hidden third-person recipient. Perhaps the viewer of the film is the blind carbon copy recipient?

Matthew Noel-Tod's film rethinks 1970s examples of artists' performance addressing technology and disembodiment. In Blind Carbon Copy there is an attempt to reverse the cold, impersonal state of technological communication through the primacy of human speech and performance. Words and phrases become incongruous and weighty as they are lifted from their natural context and reinterpreted both by actors and by the audience. The work draws parallels between traditional artistic expressions - such as life drawing, dance and music; and technology - such as cars, computers and discos, to comment on the contemporary human condition.

The complex shoot for Blind Carbon Copy took place in Bristol in the same space in which it was first exhibited and features a cast of actors, life models, children, and dancer Saju Hari with musicians Corey Orbison and Katapulto. The dramatic imagery in the film uses light from car headlights, lasers and smoke machines.

Blind Carbon Copy was commissioned as part of the Bristol Mean Time residency, a collaborative project between FLAMIN (Film London Artists' Moving Image Network) and Picture This. The annual residency gives a London based artist the opportunity to undertake a three month moving-image residency in Bristol.


Year 2008
Duration 55 minutes
Medium Single screen video projection
Original format DVCAM
Screening format Uncompressed DV Quicktime
Aspect ratio 16:9 FHA
Audio Yes
Colour / B&W Colour
Screens 1


A Picture This and Film London Artists' Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) co-production supported by the Arts Council of England

Screening history:

04 October - 15 November 2008
Picture This Atelier

06 October 2008
'Nought to Sixty'
ICA, London

Related Items:

Matthew Noel-Tod

Matthew Noel-Tod’s work combines an interest in technologies with references from conceptual art, cinema, philosophy and literature.

Bristol Mean Time
2007 - 2009

Bristol Mean Time was an opportunity for a London based artist to spend three months in Bristol developing a new film and video work.

Blind Carbon Copy

William Fowler - Curator of Artists' Moving Image at the BFI National Archive - explores the many sources used in Blind Carbon Copy.