[Frameworks] Anthony McCall at Light Industry Tomorrow

From: Thomas Beard (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Oct 29 2010 - 05:46:25 PDT

Light Industry
177 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York

Line Describing a Cone and Related Films
Saturday, October 30 at 9pm

Introduced by Anthony McCall

October marks the final month that Light Industry and its roommates Triple
Canopy and The Public School will be at our space on 177 Livingston Street
in downtown Brooklyn. On Saturday the 30th, the 5,000-square-foot room will
be nearly emptied out, the surface upon which we used to show films quite
literally demolished. For our final program at the venue, then, we’ve
decided to present works that do a...way with the screen completely, turning
the audience’s attention instead to the event of projection: Anthony
McCall’s landmark work of expanded cinema Line Describing a Cone and three
related permutations, Partial Cone, Cone of Variable Volume, and Conical
Solid. This screening marks the first time in decades that all four works
will be seen together.

And though we’re leaving our current storefront, not to worry—Light Industry
will continue unabated. The consciously minimal design of our setup means
that the project can be reconstituted almost anywhere; in November and
December we’ll be couch-surfing a bit, organizing a series of one-off shows
at a number of like-minded venues around town. Following this brief window
of itinerancy, we plan to open up shop at new digs in early 2011, ideally
with Triple Canopy and The Public School again. (Our search for a new space
has proven fruitful thus far, but we’re still looking; any leads would be
appreciated, and we can be reached at (address suppressed))

So come check out the final event at 177 Livingston and hang out afterward
as all three groups finish off the last of our beer and plan for what’s

Line Describing a Cone, Anthony McCall, 16mm, 1973, 30 mins
Line Describing a Cone is what I term a solid light film. It deals with the
projected light beam itself, rather than treating the light beam as a mere
carrier of coded information, which is decoded when it strikes a flat
The viewer watches the film by standing with his or her back toward what
would normally be the screen, and looking along the beam toward the
projector itself. The film begins as a coherent pencil of light, like a
laser beam, and develops through thirty minutes into a complete, hollow
Line Describing a Cone deals with one of the irreducible, necessary
conditions of film: projected light. It deals with this phenomenon directly,
independently of any other consideration. It is the first film to exist in
real, three-dimensional space.
This film exists only in the present: the moment of projection. It refers to
nothing beyond this real time. It contains no illusion. It is a primary
experience, not secondary: i.e., the space is real, not referential; the
time is real, not referential.
No longer is one viewing position as good as any other. For this film, every
viewing position presents a different aspect. The viewer therefore has a
participatory role in apprehending the event: he or she can, indeed needs,
to move around relative to the slowly emerging light form. - AM
Partial Cone, 16mm, 1974, 15 mins
Cone of Variable Volume, 16mm, 1974, 10 mins
Conical Solid, Anthony McCall, 16mm, 1974, 10 mins
The year after making Line Describing a Cone, I made three additional films.
These were short, either ten- or fifteen-minute works. Partial Cone explored
the modulation of the surface of a projected beam of light, creating a range
of surface qualities from solid, through glimmering, flickering, and
blinking, to flashing. These were created by subtracting a certain number of
image frames per second in a series of timed steps. Cone of Variable Volume
was a conical form, which expanded and contracted in volume, like a lung.
The rhythmic movement is imperceptible at first, and progressively
accelerates in speed. Conical Solid sets up a flat blade of light rotating
from a fixed central axis. - AM
Tickets - $7, available at door.

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