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The film 'Syncopation' will show two lindy hoppers dancing from below a glass floor.
The film 'Syncopation' will show two lindy hoppers dancing from below a glass floor.
166 backers pledged $5,548 to help bring this project to life.

Syncopation Project Revised - Refunds Offered

Dear Backers,

I'm sorry not to have been in touch earlier about the Syncopation project. I have some good news and some disappointing news.

Good news first: I won a competition to exhibit Syncopation along with other collaborative swing-themed artworks in May 2014 in a show entitled Out of Step at Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects Space in East London, to which all backers are naturally invited!

Now the disappointing news:

While I've continued to pursue funding opportunities to meet earlier estimates of the £20,000 minimum budget production costs for Syncopation, building the glass floor has resulted in a logistical/insurance nightmare and that estimate has risen even further. After repeated rejections for sufficiently large grants (Arts Council England ACE, Jerwood Foundation, Elephant Trust), I've taken advice that it's unlikely I'll be able to raise the kind of funds needed to complete the project as initially planned until I have more of a track record with UK funders. I am attaching my most recent ACE application, which met with very positive feedback on all funding criteria and yet still went unfunded (it was submitted the week in 2013 during which ACE's budget was slashed by 15%).

This is a disappointment, obviously, however I now intend to use a smaller, pre-existing glass floor (vastly reducing production/insurance costs) and continue to pursue the choreographic and film components of the project. Because of this change in the scope of the production - I would like to offer a full refund to any backer who is not happy with this change. 

I still intend to collaborate on choreography with Ryan François using the budget remaining from this and other funding sources. While it will be unfeasible to build the glass floor ourselves, and achieve the full aesthetic results, we are currently talking to the owners of a pre-built glass floor with a different visual outcome. For those of you who wish to continue to honour your pledge, all rewards at different pledge levels will be transferable to this revised project.  

To get a taste for what will be at the exhibition in May, I am attaching the rough cut to a surrealist dance intro New Souls, Old Soles, which I shot this December with the amazing Sarah Breck:

Thank you again for all of your contributions, for your continued enthusiasm, trust and generosity!

If you wish to get in touch about a refund, please do it quickly so I know how much of the budget I still have to work with. You can contact me via the Kickstarter website or at my e-mail address 

Selene States

Syncopation Shoot September 2013 / Exhibition December 2013 Ruskin Gallery Cambridge

By now you know that Syncopation did not win the Turner Prize. Turns out you have to finish making the film before it's even considered. It's a bigger job than we imagined, but there is progress.


We raised an additional €5,000 in funding in October from a German arts funding body making our total current cash budget for the entire project £10,000.

Once we had the engineering experts from Physical Pixels on board, however, we had to reevaluate the cost of the glass floor, doubling our initial estimate of the cost. We now believe the glass floor installation will amount to £10,000.

Great! So we got it covered. But, then there was that other thing . . .

 Production Costs  

When you're doing a project like this, you want to do it properly. Our production costs for the shoot and rehearsal amount to another £10,00: So that we can hone that routine to perfection before the shoot, we plan to do a one week rehearsal with Ryan, Remy and Moe . . . and dancers have to eat , too. Coordinating the installation of the floor is complicated, and involves renting a pretty specialised venue for the shoot, where we also have to account for the installation time. The film shoot itself involves a ten man crew, including two sound designers, a four man camera team, a costume and a production team. Plus, we are shooting the final film on analogue film, not video! To capture those beautiful glass floor and aerial shots, Tim Sidell's camera crew will be shooting on 16mm film and will have to hire some pretty specialised equipment, like a jib or camera crane. We also hope that we can stretch our budget to have someone documenting all of those behind the scene moments in digital photography and video. One way or another, this is a big production and we want to ensure all the details are just right. 

So didn't we have it covered for September?

We had a big setback in September when our expected funding to cover these production costs through a £10,000 Arts Council England grant fell through. The Arts Council was very encouraging and has welcomed us to reapply, but require a pre-scheduled public exhibition with an established arts venue in the UK. Of course, such a venue wants to see the finished work first, so it's kind of been a catch-22.

Exhibition Venue

Since September, I have put together around 20 applications with exhibition proposals for Syncopation. And now finally SUCCESS! Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge are hosting a solo exhibition for Syncopation in December 2013! 

Feel free to check out the virtual tour of the gallery, where we will be showing the dual projector installation on the ground floor. The exhibition featured in these images is by Alex Hahn.

What's up next?

 I will be resubmitting the Arts Council England proposal in the next few days. There is a ten week application process, so we should find out about funding in late June. I'd be glad to publish the proposal here, if there is enough interest.

I am currently coordinating a shoot schedule for September with the other artists and crew: Ryan, Remy, Moe and Tim Sidell. Should for whatever reason funding from Arts Council England fall through, we will still go ahead with the construction of the floor, but make a budgetary compromise, resorting to shooting on video instead of film. So no matter what, there'll be dancing feet projected in the Ruskin Gallery walls at the turn of the year.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions they would like to contribute to the project, please get in touch through Kickstarter. You can also e-mail me personally at:


Selene States

Floor's Initial Design Plan

Hi Everyone! Fans, friends & backers alike!


Thanks so much for all of your support! Whether it was pledging just a few dollars or a generous sum, sharing the link on facebook or twitter, forwarding the press release e-mails, giving advice on the glass floor design and production, or just generally cheerleading the cause (an especially big thanks goes out to David States and Sigrid Reinsch on this count!), without YOU, we couldn't have done it. 

We're already moving forward in the design process of the glass floor and will keep you updated on the amazing construction job by Physical Pixels. And of course, we'lll keep you informed about our new shoot date!



  • Image 158318 original
  • Image 158319 original

Shoot Postponement & Physical Pixels

First I would like to thank all of our backers for the amazing support I have been seeing on this project! It's not a clear-cut production, which cannot really be pigeon-holed in any of the Kickstarter categories 'dance', 'film', or 'fine art'. I am so appreciative at the enthusiasm of strangers and friends alike! Thank you so much!

I have a little update on our shoot: we have had to postpone next week's shoot for cash flow reasons till the end of the year. One of our grants is still pending, so we are slightly postponing the production! Anyone who has or intends to pledge at the £200 - use-the-floor-yourselves - level and was planning on being in London on Sep 13th, please make alternative plans. We will notify you of the alternate shoot date and try to accommodate you when we confirm later in the year!

Good news!! Simon Bond and Tom Siddall from Physical Pixels have enthusiastically committed to building the floor at cost! These guys really know what they're doing, and have built exhibitions for the artist Shezad Dawood who works with our cinematographer Tim Sidell (coincidence of names, right), as well as my friend and artist Conrad Shawcross, whose amazing workTrophy at the National Gallery consists of a robotic arm, which they helped to engineer.

So go Team Syncopation: It gets better as it gets bigger! And thanks to everyone for being a part of our project!



Engineering Update 'Syncopation'

The Glass Plate

The lovely Simon Wood, Director of Glazeguard, the company behind Blackpool Tower's viewing platform, is kindly sponsoring Syncopation  by manufacturing the plate glass for our floor, starting now. Hurray!

The Frame

Today, I am going to NASA Ames Research Center in California to get some advice from a structural engineer about the construction of the glass floor's steel frame. If you thought Mars Rover Landing defied gravity, wait till you see Moe and Remy!