Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: Fred Camper (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 20:12:57 PDT

Quoting Beverly O'Neill <email suppressed>:

> For those of us who taught experimental film classes from the 1960's
> -thru the 1980's without the luxury of a screening booth, we became
> habituated to the found object noise track of a 16mm projector that
> accompanied Brakhage's films...

Brakhage also looked at his own films with the projector in the room.
Further, and I think this was at a screening where the projector sound
was not audible in the room, he once speculated that since he had made
his films with the projector sound accompanying them, perhaps he
hadn't quite calculated them correctly for complete silence.

To Mr. Seery, I don't know who Brakhage's "Boswells" are. Could you
let me know who those people might be? Nor am I aware that Brakhage
was "sacrosanct" on FrameWorks. As you can see, Marilyn Brakhage, in a
most welcome and fine post, defended the idea of music inspired by
Brakhage's films.

Now for a general comment about the initial exchange. It seems to me
entirely kosher to criticize an academic research project that makes
some pretense to objectivity. Art works, even art works that have an
academic defense or premise behind them, are something else. If we
should have learned anything from the art -- and by art I mean to
include visual art, architecture music, literature, theater,
performance -- of the last century, it is that there are NO rules,
that you CANNOT judge an art work from a description of it, that you
CANNOT tell what might emerge from an advance description of it, and
that ANYTHING might make a great work of art. And if someone finds a
proposal "misbegotten," then it just might be worth trying.

Brakhage himself knew this better than many here. He hated the idea of
people playing music with his silent films. He probably though of such
events as completely misbegotten. He wanted it to be made clear to the
audience at any such event that it was NOT a showing of a Brakhage
film. But he didn't try to stop such things. Not only that, he even
allowed that, though he probably wouldn't want to be at one, someone
might make something of value by pairing sound with one of his films.
See for more.

Fred Camper

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