Re: The seeds (was: Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art)

From: Flick Harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 11:45:40 PDT

Hey Myron,

I'm digging your replies... but if you want to stick with the
discussion, it'd be great if you left the subject line as-is instead
of swapping it. That way, on the archives, or in the mailbox, people
can see the discussion threaded (i.e. all the posts in the order they
came) and thus follow the conversation.

If you're doing this deliberately for some reason, i.e. to start a
whole new thread, then I don't mean to cramp your style, but some
people just don't follow discussions that way and so have no idea the
way the subject affects later readers.

Some people who like to speak through subject lines use the form I
used in this email.

Now, re: filmmakers being uninformed / uninspired by painting

Without disagreeing too strongly, I think filmmaking comes from far
too many historical directions for us to place too much emphasis on
one, i.e. painting. For instance, documentary photography through to
documentary film through to newsreel to news video to home video to
documentary aesthetic within dramatic films. This composition in time
and space, frame following the central action, privileging the idea
(i.e. framing for informational purposes, creating workmanlike
relationships between objects and people) the aesthetics of which are
unimportant or irrelevant to the creator. One can read the aesthetics
anyway, especially where they reinforce or undermine the ideological
pretensions of the narrative (bourgeois camera angles etc), but that's
not necessarily anything more than nitpicking.

Painterly considerations occasionally informed documentary
cinematography and vice-versa (Mark Lewis comes to mind as a recent,
blatant example), but short story, poetry, literature, pop fiction,
theatre, dramatic film, etc all dip in and out of the aesthetic well
from which film draws, not to mention music, public relations, print
advertising etc.

Think of Michael Moore as a filmmaker for instance, and I think
"renaissance perspective" is the furthest thing from my mind when
closely analyzing his work, and he's probably least inspired /
informed by painting. He uses the camera much more like a reporter
would use a tape-recorder. Clear and in focus, lit to see the eyes of
the subject, shots cut down to the narrative b-line. Yes, your point
about a human-centred universe is probably something Moore absorbs
from the depths of time and distant origins like Massaccio.

But, I'm not sure how seeding the renaissance counts as overturning
it, except that it can't be overturned until it exists. But I think
the camera would have encountered those same realistic lighting
situations, the "in-the-round" settings, etc, whether the art world
was ready for it or not. In fact, the camera obscura could possibly
have had more influence on perspective than the other way around. And
so a genius like M could have imagined something that later came into
technical reality with the lens, but the lens would have brought it



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