Re: FRAMEWORKS Digest - 2 Mar 2006 - Special issue (#2006-127)

From: jarrod whaley. (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Mar 02 2006 - 18:59:45 PST

"Many works of contemporary art are intimately linked to their material
make-up or their site specificity."

Yes, and many of them aren't. That point aside, I agree that it's easier
for many people to see the difference between a photograph of a piece of
site-specific art and the piece of work itself than it is to see the
difference between a video reproduction and a film print. That's because
the difference in the former case is glaringly obvious, and very subtle
(to most sensibilities, arguably) in the latter.

Why not simply do a better job of demonstrating that video reproductions
are just that, and not definitive art objects in some cases? Why not
print "video is inferior to film, you unfortunate little provincial
plebe" all over a DVD, or (on a slightly less sarcastic note) run a
textual notice at the head of a video transfer explaining that the work
is only properly experienced when projected on film? If video is
already a reproduction and not the thing itself (though I still contend
that this distinction is likely only applicable in a few cases), then
how do such disclaimers compromise the work? What's the problem?

Video reproductions of avant-garde films can and/or should, in my
opinion, be used as a means of making new audiences aware of the
existence of avant-garde works. They quite simply make the work in
question accessible to a much larger number of people. Said people may
not be privy to the "full experience," but at least they do get a chance
at having an experience at all.

The point has been made on this list numerous times that those of us
"out in the sticks" have almost no chance in hell of ever seeing a
Brakhage film projected the proper way, short of coughing up hundreds or
even thousands of dollars to rent a print of our own (and buy a
projector and maintain it etc.), or go to one of three large cities
where such things are possible in this country. The response to this
point from too many members of this list is usually something along the
lines of "tough titty." Then when charges of elitism are made, the
whining and holier-than-thou rhetoric is ratcheted up to a fever pitch.

To such whining, my response is "tough titty."

-->jarrod whaley.
filmmaker. videographer.
web designer. educator.

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