Re: [Frameworks] "Code" for Arnulf Rainer

From: Fred Camper (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jul 05 2010 - 12:32:09 PDT

Quoting Andrew V Peterson <email suppressed>:

> When I saw Kubelka present this film, he used the word "score," not
> "code," and it seems to me the former term is more apt...

I agree. Kubelka's films do not in general have static "formulas" that
generate them. There are rules at work, to be sure, in the
construction of the three "metric films," of which "Arnulf Rainer" is
one, but they are the kind of rules one might find in early Western
classical music, that is, music pre-1750, which create structures and
make restrictions but are not fully "generative."

> ...One interesting thing: when Kubelka's film is projected we actually
> get true black when it's black (i.e. darkness), something that our
> contemporary digital projectors can't give us!..

I don't agree with this, however, nor do I agree with Kubelka's old
claim that "Arnulf Rainer" is the only film (he didn't seem to want to
acknowledge "The Flicker" back then) that will "survive film history,"
as he used to say circa 1972.

The black that you get when you print on any print stock I know of is
not completely opaque. It lets some light from the projector through.
To see this, splice the black from a print in with the ND stock used
in A&B rolling, and you will see the screen go from very dark but with
a retangle of light to no light, assuming you are projecting in a dark

Of course Andrew is right that this black is blacker than that of many
video projectors, but that could change, and maybe it already has; do
DLP projectors have a true black?

My point is that "Arnulf Rainer" depends, at least in the form in
which we know it, on the availability of both movie projectors and
celluloid. Some equivalent could doubtless be constructed for the
digital video machines of the future, but the white will not be the
same as projector light, the dust not the same as celluoid dust
(presumably there will be no dust unless there are marks on the
screen), and the black not the same as celluloid black.

Fred Camper

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