Re: steal this message

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 07 2006 - 10:03:09 PST

Phil wroter;

> David, before the usual and tiresome piling on Fred ("fascist", "purist")
> continues

I did not call Fred or anyone else a fascist. Fred has often observed here
the difference between an ad hominem attack (not cool) and a vigorous
disagreement about ideas. I agree with him on that. Now I could complain
that his comments about callous grad students going off to teach at Podunk
U and disrespecting art was clearly aimed at my previous post, but by
keeping my name out of it, Fred was, however snide, usual, mean-spirited
and tired his tone may have been, clearly directing his comment at my
_position_ not at me as a human being. I call that a fair fight. I stand
my claim that the artist-first philosophy is inherently anti-democratic.
You may wish to call forth any number of consrvative aestheticians from
Ortega y Gasset on down to argue that democracy makes bad art. I don't
_entirely_ disagree...

> I would like you to explain how you are supporting a position
> with
> substance by using a word like "fetishize" in the above sentence. It is
> an assertion, a mean-spirited one.

I must disagree. To fetishize is to disconnect, to remove from context, to
see only part abd refuse the whole. It is not an insult in and of itself,
merely a description. The artist-centered position that often appears on
FW strikes me as missing the interactive nature of the aesthetic
experience, the way it always embodies what Gibson evokes by saying "the
street has its own use for things."

> It is also a distortion of the position of those--I am one of
> them--who believe one should "respect" the artist's intent.

Until i would see some sign of respect for a viwer's intent, I don't see
how I've distorted anything. Again, I'm not saying your position is
indefensible. I'd just like to see the defense.

> I'll add, before the epistemology fog gets any thicker, that I think
> there
> are many cases in which the artist's intent is perfectly clear; when, for
> example, he says, "I made this on film and if you show it on video you're
> showing something I didn't make or intend." In cases like this I think
> it
> only common decency to acknowledge the difference between what the artist
> made (yes, I actually think artists are often the makers of art) and
> what's
> being shown.

_I_ happen to agree with this last statement. The difference between
different qualities of reproduction is very important to _me_. Like just
about everyone who teaches Hollywood film, we screen these works from
DVDs, and I constantly apologize to the class for the crappy image
quality, tell them it's not 'the real thing) and urge them to seek out
real film screenings (of, say, _Kane_) when they have a chance. Where we
part ways is probably that I feel the respect is due _the work_, not it's
maker. However, I also realize that most people do not care about these
differences, or even recognize them. They like or dislike stuff for its
'content' which mostly remains constant across reproductive mediums.
That's still a limp penis draped on a shoulder in Flaming Creatures on
16mm, dvd, or vhs viewed on a 19" bw philco. I just thing we ought to very
careful of the arrogance attendant to labeling these interests
unenlightened and/or disrespectful.

I shall repeat for the umpteenth time that i find the particular intent /
work-respect issue you mention -- film versus video -- to be short-sighted
if not disingenuous. Most film artists I've known have an intended form
for their work that goes beyond the use of a celluloid medium. They intend
the work to be seen as a whole, with a clean image, in a darkened room.
The condition of a typical print emanating from FMC deviates a good deal
from the artists platonic conception of the work: in terms of dirt,
scratches, and bad splice-repair jobs loping out several frame to several
seconds of film. Neither 'film' nor 'video' are essences, and I will take
a good video projection (rare as that may be) of a clean source in a nice
screening room over a hacked-up print run on a looper in a museum gallery
full of spill light with people constantly wandering in and out anyday.
(Of course the museums more likely show crappy video projections under the
same lousy loop/gallery circumstances, and I do think this sucks

> It's even possible that a fair contemplation of that
> difference might reduce the piracies this thread began by talking about.

I don't think so. My point was that people pirate out of love of the work,
not disrespect for the maker. Do we denounce this love because we find it
imperfect? because our own love takes a different form or different

Thank you Phil, for what I take to be a sincere attempt to engage my
thoughts, and I hope I have clarified some aspects of my ranting.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.