Six Short Films (2016) is steeped in Manning’s research at the Len Lye Foundation Collection and Archive. Lye was a New Zealand artist who pioneered experimental film and kinetic sculpture and is well known for his hand-coloured film emulsions and experimental animations. As in Lye’s work Colour Box (1936), Six Short Films mixes and overlay pure states of colour.
Six Short Films reconfigures the static state of overhead projectors with conveyer belts playing a never-ending reel to draw on functions associated with cinema. Manning’s experimental film real is manually constructed—theatre gels are cut, spliced, layered, and taped together. Although image-less in construction chance visual elements from the artists hand seep into vision—highlighting what some might consider flaws like artefact, hairs, ripples of tape, and fingerprints. The motorised conveyer belt loops the collaged gels across the projector surface, throwing saturated coloured lights across the gallery to comingle. Each reel is set on a timer to ensure that specific colour mixes are unrepeatable in this infinite loop.