From: Danni Zuvela (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Jun 24 2006 - 17:24:51 PDT
'Inflatables' seem to recur in experimental film history, though
there's a big concentration around the 'psychedelic moment' (a literal
manifestation of 'expanding consciousness'? doesn't de Quincey
describe the hallucinogenic experience as 'space swelled and
In the US, Ant Farm's inflatables were part of 'happenings' but also a
kind of counter-architecture to the austerity of 'brutalism'
aesthetics - this spirit also animated the art/architecture Utopie
group around the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, who designed all sorts
of pneumatic structures, some for projection.
In the UK, I think it was Boyle and Hill from the Sensual Laboratory
who were most involved with inflatables (at the UFO Club and later the
Arts Lab), but I'm not entirely sure about this.
Here in Australia, inflatables were most associated with the
avant-performance group The Human Body and their 1968 art commune
whose whole top floor was 'Bucky Fuller World' with a geodesic dome,
audience-responsive lights and inflatables that regularly swelled and
'monstered' visitors (pretty much all of the 60s/70s inflatables seems
to be subtended by Bucky Fuller in some way). (As contemporary group
with an inordinate passion for history, we're naturally inspired by
these folks, but unfortunately the accounts we've got are a bit short
on detail, hence comrade Joel's question to this list). It seems most
succesful inflatables involved simple but specific pneumatics; I think
the OtherFilm one planned in August will involve a vaccum cleaner on
reverse cycle, and large pieces of latex sewn together which I think
is standard. Be really interested to hear if anyone's been involved
with constructing one of these, or can relate the experience of seeing
one 'in the flesh'...
It might be drawing a bit of a long bow, but I wonder if you couldn't
see a kind of expanded cinema lineage from Grimoin-Sanson's Cineorama
(the ill-fated 360 degree aerial view of from a balloon from the late
1890s) through to inflatables?
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.