Re: VJ art

From: bryan mckay (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Dec 18 2008 - 09:12:38 PST

On Dec 18, 2008, at 11:29 AM, Sam Wells wrote:

> I agree this difference is explored by say, Ken Jacobs' nervous
> magic lantern performances.... but in the sense of "questioning
> the medium" that you bring up Jorge, I think it might, for example
> be fair to say Ken's work does do so by engaging a tradition, a
> series of questions, it might be stated as an equation: Eisenstein =
> montage as conflict between shots / Kubelka = conflict between
> frames / Jacobs = conflict 'between the eyes'

I actually think the latter two can be traced back to Eisenstein as
well. When doing a close reading of his theory work, it's apparent
that he was aware of many of these concerns that would later become a
primary domain of avant-garde work even when they weren't readily
apparent in his own montage. His films already function on an
extraordinarily high level, but his thinking about them anticpates
almost every montage exploration of the 20th century.

I do though prefer the sense of engaging a tradition or asking a
series of questions to "questioning the medium," which certainly a
great number of artists do, though it's not central to the notion of
experimental cinema. Eisenstein laid the most important groundwork for
montage theory, but you could spend a lifetime investigating and
exploring each individual claim, which is where a series of unfolding
and deepening questions becomes a more apt way of tracing the
intellectual history of the avant-garde.


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