Re: pathology of film

From: Jonathan Walley (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2006 - 11:20:14 PDT

The film/performance was Reel Time (1973) by Annabel Nicolson.
LUXonline - a terrific resource on British experimental film and media
art - has a piece on it with some images (including a quicktime file of
slide documentation of a performance):

Works produced within the Coop during that period got even more
ephemeral - some involved no projector, no screen, and/or no film!
Along those lines, I'd be interested in hearing from anyone on the list
who makes this type of work - films without film (or involving some
substantial reconfiguration of film as we know it). Do you think of it
as film or something else? This is an area of interest for me, and I
think it's gotten even more interesting in the wake of the (supposedly,
and long-delayed) obsolescence of the film medium.

Finally, Paul Sharits's films, installations, and writings are a rich
resource when it comes to the "pathology of film." They are full of
references to a bodily conception of film - to disease, disfigurement,
injury, etc. (Though these ideas tended to be framed out by the
dominant anti-illusionist [and thus anti-referential] readings of his
films in the 60s and 70s).

Jonathan Walley
Professor, Cinema Department
Denison University
Granville, Ohio
email suppressed

On Jun 11, 2006, at 1:14 PM, Tom B Whiteside wrote:

> David's idea below brings to mind an older one, forgive me for not
> having the correct information on this but I'm sure someone can come
> up with the title and artist. At the London Filmmakers Coop many years
> ago a woman ran a long 16mm loop from the projector through a sewing
> machine and back through the projector. (Was it clear leader? I think
> so. That would have made it delightfully inclusive.) Of course the
> sewing machine punched holes in the film, which got caught in the
> gate, which ripped the film, which brought the whole thing to a halt.
> The event could not have lasted very long, but the idea lingers. This
> has recently been a major theme in experimental film and has shown up
> in any number of films and programs the last decade, the degradation
> of emulsion and base, the fragility of film stock over time, etc. The
> ephemeral nature of the medium has long been worked by artists, even
> decades ago when it seemed that it might last forever.
> This is only going to last a while . . . (longer) . . . We are living
> in the era of "a while . . . (longer) . . . "  That's the pathology of
> film.
> The choice of sewing maching was deliberate, as the connection has
> been there since the late 19th century when Louis Lumiere borrowed a
> mechanical movement from a sewing machine to make the Cinematographe.
> I realize that David's idea - to let distribution and exhibition do
> the (destructive) work - is different, but it is interesting how these
> ideas keep surfacing.
>         -Whiteside
> >Now there's a conceptual art /experimental film project: create a
> work in
> >16mm designed to be destroyed over time by bad projection and inept
> >splicing. The work would not be 'finished' until a certain extreme
> degree
> >of random deterioration had occured over a number of years -- also
> __________________________________________________________________ For
> info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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