Re: [Frameworks] Quo Vadis Celluloid?

From: Jake B. <>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 22:31:42 -0700 (PDT)

   Message flagged Saturday, August 20, 2011 12:27 AM Message body "Fred is not merely saying "What draws you to film?"  Fred's question: What is there about your   >particular practice that depends only on celluloid and could not be   >accomplished with video? How major would the loss be for you, and what   >kind of loss is it, and why would it be so major? exactly fits with the food metaphor. He is specifically talking about "loss," and asking practitioners to defend their choices against other choices. He suggests through these questions and through his statement: "I don't think we should have mystical, or fetishistic, attachments to any particular media," that people who insist on working with film are closed-minded luddites. I have been hearing these sorts of pointed questions for more than twenty years leveled at people who work with film. I would never demand of any practitioner of art to justify their choice of medium, or tell them what they should or shouldn't fetishize." I'm sorry, but you'll have to clarify what in his questions is specifically adaptable to the process of cooking food. I cook a lot of food and my process of choosing spices and veggies is much different than the process I go through when making art. I rarely stand next to a boiling kettle and think "I could add paprika... But what does it mean?" I kid. But really, you all lost me on this food talk... Also, forgive me for saying so, but you seem a bit defensive about Fred's question. Could it be that your 20 years of hearing these "pointed questions" has made you more sensitive to them? I almost fall out of my chair with enthusiasm whenever someone asks me why I choose to work with video over film, as there are many more reasons besides the economic (in fact you yourself outline a fair deal of them). I'm always thrilled to tell people why what I make videos about is perfectly suited to video and would be less so to film. It's because I feel so strongly about these differences that I never grow tired of talking about it (admittedly, I might grow tired of it after 20 years...) I think it's less about justifying my work than it is about verbalizing it (or articulating it), which is an incredibly important part of my own process (and something I enjoy hearing from other artists). Obviously it might be less so to others. I've met artists who don't like speaking about their work and that's fine. But I think it's at least fair question (maybe one we should ask ourselves more often, in fact) and hardly the aggressive "defend your work to me right now!" that you're making it out to be. I guess my question to you and others who feel that Fred's question is pointed is that if you feel so strongly about what you do, what's the huge issue in talking about why you do it? Rather, why you do the things in the way you do them? Of course, you don't have to tell anyone. But you also don't have to act so defensive about such questions, especially when you've (and others who have responded, certainly) already gone into such wonderful detail about why you like working with film. Just my two cents. "On a personal note the first film I ever shot was on video..." If Fred's question is good for nothing else, it's good for helping people to stop transposing the terms "film" and "video." If they are as different as you and I and everyone on this list knows they are, we should end this habit and soon.

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Received on Fri Aug 19 2011 - 22:31:51 CDT