Re: views on Views from the Avant-Garde Part 3

From: Sam Wells (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 23 2006 - 08:44:12 PDT

Thanks for posting this - I'd meant to write on a few things, from
the two shows I saw: Ernie Gehr (I'll do that later) and "Mind &

So no excuse I'll add my comments.

> Helga Fanderl: Reel 4.... Beautiful blowups from 8mm, each short
> film apparently made with a single camera roll. Playful, colorful,
> inventive photography, and all edited in-camera. A favorite
> sequence had her pointing her camera upwards, tracing the paths of
> airplanes through the overhanging leaves of a small forest.

This was my favorite sequence from her films as well; Lyrical but
with an edge & tension (as aircraft seem to evoke these days).
The carpets were perfect, reminiscent of the somewhat forgotten Barry

> Luther Price: Turbulant Blue. Price's 16mm choice center cut of a
> 35mm narrative print shows off his deftly subversive editing and
> some amazing visual phenomena.

This was the first Luther Price film I've seen, and want to see more
now. *Amazing* energy, which it earned, formally. If this film had
been made 10 years ago I might have described it as "a bit
paranoid." ..I'm not so sure I'd say that in 2006 ! :(

> Ben Russell: Black and White Trypps #2. Beautiful, sharp-edged
> black & white 16mm film with a kind of "mirroring" you can only do
> with a film camera and prismatic lens, no FCP button-pushing here.
> Abstracted images of trees and other natural forms intertwined with
> themselves.

Interesting as after the last Fred Worden film I saw at views I had
an extended conversation w/ Fred on --- symmetry !

> Kerry Laitala: Orbit. Stunningly colorful night images of neon and
> other carnival de-lights, lovingly extracted from good old
> Kodachrome original. The editing is assured and idiosyncratic,
> moving between flickering abstraction to glittering corners of
> large-than-the-frame signage to whirling blurring balls of bursting
> color. An equally abstracted and playful optical track ("hand-
> painted on the film" she noted in the introduction) dances along
> with the lush imagery.

This was eye opening to say the least plus I was a little bit jealous
as she mined some turf (blur exposures of carnival rides) I'd
explored a little in a film in the past (tho in my case it wasn't
central to the film necessarily). A fantastic angled shot of a
Ferris wheel reminded me of a projector feed reel - suggesting a
referential motif not explored... I hope I can say this: I thought
there was a more interesting film imbedded in this one.

> Jennifer Reeves: Light Work 1. Another HD presentation, featuring
> what looked like film imagery intercut with crystal-sharp video.
> Beautiful and abstract, pushing itself gently toward the intangible.

This was my major motivation in picking Sunday and that show to go to
"Views" -- Jennifer has an innate sense of materials in all her work
so I was more than curious to see what she was doing here in this
hybrid form I'm currently working in myself (if a variation on it).
Again I'll repeat that "Digital" isn't even going to *work* on the
most serious & interesting levels except through the interventions of
artists in the field who understand that its basic tools are -
despite a veneer of sophistication - three primary colors with all
the charm of cheap acrylic paints -- almost everything it, seems to
me is in the layering, finessing, sampling -- so a film original in
itself biases digital, makes it a medium to be sampled (which then
does not need to be synthesized).

The HD video itself in this piece was beautiful in it's way, but -
like most HD - *too* sharp - it's this impossible & non-organic tool
which in itself is a base coat of sensibility (to torture a
metaphor); again additive primaries and "resolution" are interesting
as science but not as art yet (aside from media-referentiality; the
idea of signal and transmission - explored rather thoroughly over
the past three decades; and the expanded possibilities of the time-
based - moving beyond aesthetics based on the indices of the film and
television frame rates). THAT said, "Light Work 1" did in fact
achieve a thematic blend here, with the HD originated footage working
in a way that Courtney Hoskins & Carl Fuermann's "Polymer" (what some
Views From The AG 'films' will look like in 2020) did a couple years

Anyway, as I told her afterwards I think Jennifer is the 21st
century ;-)

-Sam (sorry my comments are piggybacked like this but at least I got
around to making them)

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