169 Seconds: Trimming Time in Breaking Bad

In devising this video, I wanted to lean into the parametric possibilities of the 169 Seconds series, foregrounding temporality and the numeric dimension of 169 seconds and 16:9. Retelling Walter White’s arc in less than 3 minutes could not be done narratively, but rather the aim was to convey both his personal transformations and emotional states by focusing on momentary visual signifiers. The numeric dimension dictated the video’s form: 16 video clips from Breaking Bad, with a new one appearing every 9 seconds. Hopefully between the formal constraints and the resonance of simultaneously seeing him at every stage throughout the series, this video is able to evoke the affective experience of Walter White’s story.

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Special thanks to Ariel Avissar, Ruth Hardy, Christian Keathley, and Mathias Bonde Korsgaard for their feedback on drafts.