Re: Reception in Experimental Film and Video

From: Adam Hyman (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2008 - 12:37:11 PST


I never received Regina's second response to which Bernard refers, and which calls for a better response from me. Bernard or Regina, could you please resend to me?

Best regards,


-----Original Message-----
>From: Bernard Roddy <email suppressed>
>Sent: Feb 6, 2008 1:23 PM
>To: email suppressed
>Subject: Reception in Experimental Film and Video
>The exchange between Adam Hyman and Regina Muff lifts
>out several valuable themes. These bear on the
>reception of experimental film and video (its lack of
>theorization), varieties of criticism of experimental
>film and video (where these two constitute our model
>critics), and the importance of reflection on audience
>as an artist working in experimental film and video.
>Regina expresses her response to No Lies with affect,
>Adam steps in to . . (there's so much to say!). Adam,
>I wonder why "fucked up" isn't as good as the way you
>characterize the film. But perhaps what is worrisome
>is that you take the mocking of documentary to be
>sufficient to deflect what is objectionable in it - to
>"unfuck" it.
>The exchange is wonderful for the way it highlights
>issues of reception. I recall showing Couple in a
>Cage, the video of the performance by Fusco and
>Gomez-Pena, to a class of black Chicago
>community-college students. Just watching the video
>myself in their presence had a transforming impact on
>how I understood it. But it was particularly after
>trying to discuss the video that I realized just how
>much it seemed to speak to a white upper-middle class
>audience. And this was not just a problem with my
>students' education.
>By temperament I sympathize with Regina. I want to
>see her language developed, but even more - I want to
>see her passion expressed. The criticism that might
>prove satisfying in this respect is, for me, very
>difficult to find.
>Finally, the exchange raises questions about the
>construction of audience(s) as artists - that is, the
>way we as makers envision our own audience, whether
>this conception changes as we grow, and how that
>affects our capacity to continue working if, for
>example, the audience we construct and find more
>valuable narrows the actual audience members we are
>likely to have. How much of our self-esteem depends
>on our understanding of who we make work for, on the
>very existence of such an audience, and on the
>discrepancy between our vision of an audience and the
>actual responses we feel we can expect. In fact,
>isn't it true that you become your audience? You have
>to take up the subject position, so to speak, of
>someone likely to appreciate your work. Either you
>become less and less accessible to existing viewers
>who could make your work personally profitable, or
>else you re-evaluate yourself in order to appreciate
>and be appreciated, to value the same things that, as
>far as you can see, will be valued but are less
>valuable. But could this involve adopting an outlook
>you have little respect for?
>What will you do to get shown?
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>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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