Phil Solomon/Views From The Avantgarde 2007

From: Sam Wells (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Oct 26 2007 - 19:17:36 PDT

I'll need another viewing - or many - of this trilogy "Untitled For
David Gatten" / "Rehearsals For Retirement" / "Stuck In A lonely
Place" -- but I was, to be direct, blown away by this -- beyond any
expectation - I mean like expecting some kind formal de/re
pixelization of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Instead, a dreamspace I didn't even know cinema was capable of ---
the lack of what we call 'definition' , the non-lens image (quick:
what focal length do you dream in ?) the absence of the pictorial
i.e. things we might think of as constituting cinema - in this case
function I think as assets. And narrative morphology tied to the
ephemeral of digital with it's *secret* boundaries as opposed to
film's more blatant indices - these works confounded 30 years of
cinema thinking for me and in the end seemed to give me a glimpse
into cinema's possibilities with as much astonishment as I felt when
seeing "October" for the first time, or "The Text Of Light in 1974"

For me, at the very least, Phil Solomon is the Melies of Digital
Cinema if not it's Cocteau -- and I'm saying that (& will no doubt
embarrass him !) from my view that the medium - as it becomes
untethered from video and film alike - is in so much in a kind of
infancy that really, I regard the present, "high tech" as it may be,
as more like 1907 than 2007. I don't think we CAN quite know what the
future of this branch will yield (who could have imagined Potemkin in
1907 ?)

Although resonating with the personal and spatiotemporal shift
tradition of psychodrama - flight, escapes thwarted, boundaries both
restrictive and 'magically' overcome, Phil seems to have re-imaged
the field with this canny choice of game-based structure - and made a
personal work formally at one with the architecture of desire
emerging from and subsumed by hidden instruction set.

And in that specific sense, here in the AG/Experimental world, it
will not be surprising if this series is as divisive as "Anticipation
Of The Night" was as it broke down the door of of a certain notion of
pictorial geometry and even dramatic causality (albeit rewired) that
was a given in the psychdramatic experimental cinema that preceded it.

As divisive as "Anticipation Of The Night" maybe, but equally prescient.

-Sam Wells

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