Re: the word is out: experimental film is available for use on dvd by educators

From: Pip Chodorov (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Mar 02 2006 - 17:52:33 PST

>What's more important? The work, or the technical side of how it's
>presented? I realize many FW'ers might consider the two to be
>inseparable, but John Q. Public DOESN'T CARE about the differences

Many works of contemporary art are intimately linked to their
material make-up or their site specificity. This is simply part of
their nature and intentionality, and not a judgement for or against
them. Most museum-goers understand this and respect it, and also
apprehend it intuitively when seeing reproductions. Furthermore, this
usually does not cause a problem.

On the other hand, the majority of the mainstream audience does not
associate film (or music for that matter) with this contextual
approach - a film is a film whether projected on 35 or seen at home
on DVD.

Historically however, experimental film practices have largely been
deeply involved with the material or site-specific aspect. The
material nature of the film is intimately linked with its meaning and
the context for its reception. Again this is not a judgement call
about film being better or worse than video; just recognizing a
fundamental aspect of the conditions of the nature and intention of
experimental film works. This is part of what makes this kind of film
so fascinating and what links it to contemporary art rather than to
mainstream cinema, and also what renders it so fragile and delicate,
being linked to a medium which is threatened by the dominant economy
of the movie business. It is not farfetched to understand how digital
compression can harm some of these works.

I think it is our goal, as keepers of the flame, to do everything we
can to share these works in the most respectful conditions, for films
and for viewers, and wherever possible to respect the nature of the
work. When this is not possible, at least care can be taken to
explain the original context in which the work was to be seen. Beyond
that, I think we all agree that concessions are unfortunately
necessary throughout history. But let's minimize them whenever

-Pip Chodorov

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