Re: labels

From: Michael Betancourt (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jun 29 2006 - 16:43:00 PDT

> within known comfort levels
> > > (as in psychological models)
> > > basing judgement of good/bad on
> > > what we have experienced - what we know
> > > leads often to an elitist nature
> > >
> >
> > That's a jump. Without identifying these bases for judgement, we can't
> > make a judgement about them at all. If anything this is a rush to judgement.
> >
> how is it a jump?

Saying judgements are elitist without being able to show that the basis for
these judgements is some form of values that serve/produced by/etc the elite
is a jump.

I think this question is, however, beside the point. Without knowing the
values and what their basis is, and how they are used in interpreting work
as good/bad, we're no where. Just busy judging, but not able to offer
anything as alternative. No coherent critique is possible really, either.

i think it is not a jump

This is the evidence I was asking for. Without that, there's no logic:

that the same works get shown over and over
> that the same types of work get shown over and over

My question is, has been, why is that?
I'm for _not judging_ this situation without first finding out what it is.

ie what we have experienced
> it leads to an elitist nature bcause those who follow say
> in the flicker film tradition or someone makes loops
> it is a known format

So making a film in a known format on an established material, 16mm say,
makes it "good" and makes it successful?

> > I haven't said anything about white, blue orange or other color male,
> > female, transgender, etc identity or otherwise.
> > What makes you think this discussion is automatically about that?
> > Do you think this is where all "values" come from?
> >
> i was talking about recent posts re: the onion city judges statement
> re: how womens is all equals nows
> not something you said


that it is possible - that it is desirable to do so
> that 'authorities' were not utilized -
> 'for once' a more open system was
> If we can't even identify the parameters of what these criteria are, then
> > we cannot be making judgements about them, their appropriateness (or not),
> > or even if they should change--because we _literally_ have no idea what
> > we're talking about.
> >
> hmnn well i think i have been talking and identifying said
> but perhaps you disagree
> i think you identify something here
> which is the premise that we 'can't know' something (or alot)
> about our constructs and processies
> that we can't analyse them

Nope. Didn't say either of those. (Check my email.) I said we need to
identify what we're talking about clearly: what are the criteria for these
values? What makes something "good/bad"? Without that information, we can't
say much because we haven't actually identified what we're talking about.

which is a diversion tactic
> so that we don't try

That's funny. I'm not the one who launched an aside about what is "art"? or
keeps jumping to judge without providing any support or evidence. All I've
been doing is asking "what are we using to make these judgements?"--what
criteria to determine "value"?
That is not a diversion at all.

I just don't think making blanket statements without offering any supporting
evidence means a whole lot.
(Claims of that type tend to fall back on assumptions.)

bcause of what it may uncover cause then we would have to be
> responsible/accountable
> change and the unknown are scary for alot of people but
> for me just staying in the known and stagnation are much more frightening
> Saying the "medium" (film/video) matters is great, but why does it
> > matter? How does it effect the interpretation of the result, and (more
> > important) what difference does that make for the judgement of the film's
> > "value"?
> >
> everything matters

Again, this is like everything is "art".
It doesn't get us anywhere.

why - cause mattering is inherent in existing
> that is my thought but -
> ur talking about the formalism right?

I asked if that was what Sam was talking about and he said "no."

i think alot of the power of film is that it is such a mimic of 'reality'

So, then what about non-objective films (Whitney, Fischinger, Belson)?

within and without our body & psyche
> and that it holds alot of power within that mimicry
> some people that are not exp. film people can get a bit bored w/ exp. film
> because that overpowering mechanism of the experience is sometimes
> put to question - negated - confronted
> (like vito acconci talking to the viewer like a sex object)
> anyway it penetrates less into our heads experientially
> (not like a happy story or a drug)
> it probes perhaps more body parts and soul parts than 'we' want probed
> sometimes alot thru it's formalism
> as in stan's work of painted films
> they were representative of the patternization we experience
> retinally when closing our eyes

I've tried the experiments he proposed in Metaphors, and I don't see what he
"claims" (bad word choice, I know) I should based on his films and the intro
where he talks with Sitney.
Besides, this "claim" has a certain history in itself. Dann's _Bright
Colors, Falsely Seen_ covers it really well.

placing us firmly in our body experience (which can be transcendent)
> well not all of us wanna b in our body right now ok?
> - know what i mean ? - it's not necessarily that comfortable for some at
> some points -
> i think the access point is far greater if the pathway has been previously
> forged
> i think it is scary for new formal qualities to be asking for access
> and they meet resistance
> it's just like making a new path in the woods
> easier to use an already well worn path
> as far as the judgement of a particular films value
> well
> maya derens film meshes... as far as i am concerned is of less value than
> on land

Ok, Why?

If it's simply because it's her "first film" then we don't have much of an

some people pick up some tools in the toolbox others do not
> so to say the criteria is completely and totally set is inaccurate

I still don't know what the criteria are, so I can't say if they're set or
not. Or even if they have changed.
That's the problem

but to recap my ideas
> the criteria is subjective but based in experience

I agree with that.

(not just personal experience but the cultural identities history)

I'm not sure what "cultural identities history" means.

> cultural formal qualities that are preset by previous work
> done by the maker or other artists -

Sol LeWitt says something similar in his Sentences on Conceptual Art.
The issue, though, is what are these "cultural formal qualities"?

maybe you could also answer ur question(s) - in ur way

If I already knew the answers I wouldn't be asking these questions.

Michael Betancourt
Des Moines, IA USA
the avant-garde film & video blog

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