MoviesLong Film for Ambient Light by Anthony McCall;
Masstransiscope by Bill Brand;
They Wakened Later, Simultaneously, Much Refreshed by Bruce McClure;
Frozen Film Frame by Paul Sharits;
Contratiempo by Jose Maldonado;
Zen for Film by Nam June Paik;
Tapp und Tast Kino by VALIE EXPORT
BooksThose who read own the world, and those who watch television lose it. (Werner Herzog)
Heroes.. I edited my profile with Thomas Myspace Editor V4.4 (www.strikefile.com/myspace)
- Aug 28, 2008 9:02 PM D-GENERACION
- May 15, 2008 12:40 PM EXPERIMENTAL FILM CLUB // PROGRAMME 2: PLAY AND DESTRUCTION
- Mar 2, 2008 7:30 PM REVIEW ON ZERO DEGREE
- Oct 8, 2007 2:49 PM SPECTRUM 4TH ISSUE: PRESENTATION AT THIS IS NOT A SHOP GALLERY
- Jul 22, 2007 10:23 PM AA WORKSHOP
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S P E C T R U M 4 T H P R E S E N T S:
S P E C U L A T I O N S: O N T H E I N T E R V A L
Perceive not the objects
but the distance between them
not the sounds
but the pauses
they leave unfilled
B E T W E E N F R A M E S
s i m o n d o y l e
The intervals between frames are intrinsic to the reproduction of the moving image. Celluloid film consists of a succession of frames, changing 24 times a second. The flicker fusion threshold for the human eye is around 16 hertz, so we perceive continuous movement. The more flickers we perceive, the smoother the movement seems. Cinema projectors display each frame twice or three times to give a frequency of 48hz or 72hz.
The early engineers of television used the electrical alternating current to drive playback; so in Europe and Asia, with its AC of 50hz, television shows 25 frames per second, in the Americas with an AC of 60hz, just under 30 frames are shown. As in the cinema, each frame is shown at least twice, but on television we are only ever shown one half of the image at a time. A process called interlacing splits each frame into two fields, displayed consecutively; one displaying all the even horizontal lines, the other displaying all the odd ones. The frequency is high enough that we assemble the halves into a whole. Digital video does not need to interlace, but it makes use of gaps in an even more profound way, as digital compression removes as much perceptual information as possible, so that our eyes approximate the intended image, even if, ..r inspection, it is only its barest impression.
Post-structural psychoanalytic film theory posits that this dependence on flickering absences and gaps makes the viewer worryingly passive. The persistence of vision does the work of the hegemonic ideological apparatus, positioning the subject-viewer in the cinema-text at a subliminal physiological level. The implicit solution is the estrangement of the flicker, an emphasis on the unexpected cut, a disruption of the brainwash of conventional cinema; the use of what Deleuze called the irrational interval. But perhaps this is a rash diagnosis. The nineteenth century theory of persistence of vision, with all the passivity that it implies, is now contested in favour of a more active role for the spectator’s consciousness. Here the viewer is not being tricked into making a whole from the parts, but is instead actively engaged in the process of making meaning. In this reading the lacunae between and inside the frames become a mysterious absence charged with overwhelming potential.
This is similar to the Japanese space-time concept of ma. Ma is the space between things, which gives those things their meaning. It is an interstice, a chasm, a pregnant pause, a ruin, a site of potentiality, the interval where meaning is made.
M A: ( I N T E R V A L S )
t a k a h i k o i i m u r a
I had an early interest in the concept of "MA" and produced another film called "MA(Intervals)" during my long stay in New York, 1975-77. It is an abstract film, very different than the Ryoan-Ji garden film. Made only of black and clear leader, and a scratched straight line. All the materials are measured in every second, the length of one, two and three seconds as the basic units, which are scratched as points or a line on the sound track, the film is organized at random by the permutations of all the possible combination of picture and sound. For example, one second of clear leader (white picture) has either two punctuated sounds like "p", "p", which shows one second, or one continual sound like "p~" which also shows one second. This is same to black leader (black picture). So that same one-second has light(white) and darkness(black), and the sound has also two intermittent sounds and one continual sound. My interest in this film is that the same (length) "MA" has four aspects as light and darkness, and intermittence and duration, and has further complicated aspects (even in this extremely minimally composed film) according to the combinations of respective picture and sound. I made a graphical score using the above materials of picture and sound, and produced the film following the score.
The production could be compared to a kind of musical one (composition), and looking through the whole it may be seen (and listened) to patterns, rhythms, and variations of light and sound. During the 1970s, my concern of film was the issue of time, and before "MA(Intervals)" I had also made several films using black and clear leaders. Those leaders are put together in the film, "Models, Reel 1 and 2"(1972), which are assembled in series of work (for instance "Timing 1, 2, 3, 4", "Time Length 1, 2, 3, 4" etc.). Through these series I measured time rationally, as much as possible, and made them reducing light and sound into fundamental factors as mentioned previously. In this case, I limit the time within the duration which is possible to experience as real time using the film speed <24 frames per second> as the basic unit. In many cases, the films deal within the duration of one second to one minute. For example, in case of "2 Minutes 46 Seconds 16 Frames (100 Feet)" which in a part of "Models, Reel 1", at first the numbers of 1 to 24 are written in every frame, next the numbers of 1 to 60 in every second, and at last the numbers of every minutes which are only 1 and 2 are seen.
Totally, this film consists of three kinds of 100 feet film. In these films I am interested in the time of duration that is called "duree" by Henry Bergson, and to realize the concept, what he thought in words, into filmic time. I thought Bergson's "duree" is closer to the concept of time in the East, which regards time as duration rather than a divisible unit. If one regards the concept of Japanese "MA" as an in-divisible state of time and space, that is conceivable to have a common ground with Bergson's "duree". When "MA(Intervals)" was made, I had not abandoned the basic unit of <24 frames per second> which had been used in making of "Models". While supporting this measurable unit, I broke off the continuity of "Models", which is predictable to a certain extent, by bringing in the intermittence. Thus, I thought about creating a plural aspect in which continuity and intermittence happens simultaneously.
The abstract composition of black and white using the materials of black and clear leaders does not show the movement of an object. Though time in film usually is shown in the process of movement, "MA(Intervals)" consists of time-intervals with the lack of movement. (When a scratched line on film is projected, one may have an illusion of movement of line as if "running"- even though it is almost staying on the same line).
In making of the film of Ryoan-ji, I thought about "MA" as an indivisible state of time and space, and tried to describe the state in filmic terms. The object of immovable stones in a space, has been shot before in many photographs and movies. I thought of not merely realizing the concept of "MA", but also of experiencing a real "MA" through viewing the film. In other words, not to illustrate the film as an explanation of the text as, a usual art instructional film, but viewing the film becomes as an actual experience of "MA".
While the film was articulated according to the garden, I thought that one should get a total experience through the film as a work of art. I used a tracking shot to create a coherent visual experience. Moreover, through very slow tracking shots. I tried to realize the state of "MA" where time and space is indivisible.
O N E B I G R E S E R V O I R
d a v i d l o s s
They say life it’s hard; well, reality is harder. We try to cut it with thought, we try to melt it with desire; but we are the ones that end up cut or melted if we are caught up in the midst of its streams of power.
Many have tried to escape by land from the battlefield we call world, but there’s not even an island free from the inexorability of events. Others have tried to fly their minds away with dreams, artworks, memory backwaters where they can rejoice over and over their supreme delightful stimuli, but, we all should Know by now: there will be a levee break, water is going to overflow…
I have a tattoo on my chest that says:
LONG INTERVAL NO THRESHOLD
Capital words. Italics.
There are only two ways, to build or to destroy what’s built. If you choose one, try to be good at it, precise, like a Hitchcock movie or a Matta-Clark cut. Of course, you can always choose NOTHING, and then be empty, nothing, silence; but letting yourself off it’s hard too. Try it, at least once, to leave no traces. One day you feel like reading some and then you are fucked up. True spirituality it’s not just about reading a few zen-nish books and eating rice at all times. On the other hand, maybe it’s only about that.
One big reservoir of men and machines. The power of the earth, the dark greenish star burning inside. Water flowing all around countries, cities, villages, houses, bodies. EVERYTHING IS CLEAN. Let ideas be clean too, let ideas be water, flow, stream, POWER. Work against the old virus; do not think about it that much. Consider revision; do not try to be in the place of the revisionist. NEW WEN, I mean WHEN? You were here for the last time, and that was a long time ago. Last time, first time, time, rhyme, holding a line, an eternal rapping of words, like stones falling off and on, getting hot and cold, racing, raving, and the world is changing as a miracle, activated, so you’ll never realize that you are the threshold, and the softer limit, because the softer creatures, the ghosts, will never be real.
L I F E & D E A T H O F P O L Y F R A M E
a n d r e s s a r d a & r i c c a r d o s i n i s t r a
«The cinema[tograph] is our drug The polyframe (in) + cinematographic notation is for us the ultimate stuff to get high.
Our epiphany responds to the following scheme:
s//t 35mm/4 · Film 0 [MANIFESTO]
This work intends to examine, once again, the essence of the cinematograph. Nonetheless, this time we want to focus our work on a historical perspective suitable to our times. The intention is to bring up to date an analysis of space, time, and light as perceptual matters in regard of the cinema.
This manifesto is an invitation to the emergence of the Forth Avant-garde: WELCOME TO fragment // arist AGE.»
This is the 12 eagermen manifesto principle, which will frame the beginning and the end of a new cinematograph period. It augurs a step forward the space-time interval in cinema, but also the higher degree on a scale that leads to the void, colliding with a wall at the end of the alley.
The notion of Polyframe emerges under the influence of S. M. Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Peter Kubelka and Hollis Frampton among other filmmakers that considered frames as minimum units of time in cinema . Other filmmakers have highlighted this temporal fragmentation by filming different images on each frame, as for example Robert Breer, whose best known film, REcreation (1956-57), consists of Noël Burch’s voice over reading one of his own writings.
Werner Nekes introduced the term kine, which he described as the linkage of two juxtaposed frames that occurs on the spectator’s brain while perceiving cinema. Nekes’ term reinforces -as theories by Eisenstein, Kubelka, Breer, Sharits, and Conrad among others previously demonstrated-, that cinema is an optical illusion created with still frames, while movement is created through the shutter due to a mechanical aspect of the cinema apparatus. In contrast to Peter Kubelka, Tony Conrad and Paul Sharits, Nekes does not use frames –or photogrammar- to emphasize frame changes and contrasts by means of both the collision of different still images –Robert Breer- and the simple alternation of light and its absence with clear and opaque frames –Peter Kubelka and Tony Conrad-. Nekes intention is to highlight frame units, the temporal intervals between frames, from successive figurative images marked with light change beats or luminous flickers. An example of this can be found in his feature film Diwan (1973). Another filmmaker that had already exploded interval possibilities, though in a somewhat hesitant way that incorporated a whole range of filmic effects, was José Val del Omar, a filmmaker from Granada (Spain). An example of this technique can be found on his film Tríptico elemental de España, and above all, on his Aguaespejo granadino (1953-1955) y Fuego en Castilla (1958-1960).
Nonetheless, and by some means stretching this associational line, the best film in regard of using light changes –through manipulation of diaphragm and shutter speed- by means of spatial latency of time transmission onto the celluloid, is undoubtedly Wait (1967), Ernie Gehr’s second film, at the peak of his work.
Diving into a more concrete consideration of the cinematographic celluloid surface as image-time container, we should focus our deliberation on the physical confines that separate two images. This barrier limits the starting and ending points of two frames, a space technically named “union rib”. Frequently, it is metaphorically said (by militant experimental filmmakers) that the important aspect of cinema is found between frames. By means of our statement regarding Polyframe (a theoretical and practical statement), we have made that between visible, and far beyond a mere demonstration of the rib that links frames, we have cut it into pieces, destroyed it. It is not a simple “out of frame”, an unfitted projection setting or a shutter malfunction matter what we are referring to; we do have dynamited the frame by dividing it into parts in chorus with the structure of 35mm film celluloid: 4 sprocket-holes that conform each spatial unit on the screen.
We utilize this disjointing to deconstruct the images contained within frames. This way we can create new images. We, therefore, denominate ourselves as scientists // architects of light.
Concluding note: the described fragmented frame (de)construction has been realized following cinematographic notation principles: writing on a classical music score that has been performed by MMNB filmmakers quartet.
This film-manifesto announces that active cinematographic celluloid is dead.
* * *
s//t 35mm/4 · Film 0 [MANIFESTO]
Scientists // Architects of Light Andrés Sardà // Riccardo Sinistra
Performed by MMNB Filmmakers’s Quartet
Beware Macduff // Nikon FM2, Nikon FM10, Fujica Half 1.9 Hannah McKenzie // scissors, 35 mm and 16 mm, 9’5 mm and super 8 splicers Dr. Nessuno // Polaroid SX-70, lomography action sampler and supersampler Trevor Baltimore // Super 8 Canon 310 XL, found footage
This film-manifesto will premiere at “13è Biennale du Cinéma Espagnol” of Annecy (France), March 22nd - Abril 1st 2008. www.annecinespagnol.fr
L : U : M : I : E : R : E & T H E D E S I R I N G M A C H I N E
e s p e r a n z a c o l l a d o
None of the arts reflects the flux of vital breathing in such complexity and thoroughness as cinema. (Hollis Frampton, 1973)
But between two systems or two orders, between two movements, there is necessarily the variable interval. (Gilles Deleuze, 1986)
But between two systems or two orders, between two movements, there is necessarily the variable interval. (Gilles Deleuze, 1986)
This bionic correspondence between the material of film and vital breathing is precisely the element that articulates the flux of motion in cinema: the frame-interval-frame progression. Even though this progression generates movement in cinema, the intervals between frames are gaps or tears within the moving-image text with the potential to move cinema further away from this fundamental illusion (movement). If cinema is articulation rather than movement, emphasizing the presence of the intervals presents a dialectical approach of the medium that operates in the cut between two separate moving-images. This cut, not motivated by action or movement, is what French philosopher Gilles Deleuze called irrational interval, a type of interval through which the brain might pass into the arena of the not-yet-thought.
Irrational or variable intervals are the interstices where multiple passages and transformations can emerge, and allow the spectator to take possession of perception, to construct meanings or an order within a transition. This way we are not confronted with the train careering towards the screen, nor the shock of the edit and of seeing two separate depictions of time spliced together (dialectical montage), but rather the open Whole of time, objective duration undistracted from motion.
* * *
Recently, while watching Lumiere (1995), a beautiful short film by David Lynch, I realized that Freud’s notion of desire is not completely opposite to Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the term as described on Anti-Oedipus. While Freud and Lacan described desire as an urge that comes from lack, Deleuze and Guattari’s critic of psychoanalysis understands desire as a productive impulse, the Desiring Machine. What if, then, desire was a lack that generates a productive impulse? That is precisely the role of the interval in cinema, as it is possible to see in Lynch’s Lumiere. Originally titled Premonition Following an Evil Deed, Lumiere was shot with a restored Lumiere Brothers camera, the first motion picture camera ever made, which can only hold fifty-five seconds, the length of one reel of film for this camera.
There is no editing work in Lumiere, which makes it even more interesting, as Lynch ingenuously constructed several sets side-by-side to articulate different imaginative location changes in the film. The moving from one scene to the next is dominated by the presence of “irrational intervals”. At times, the interval emerges as a black screen generated by simply blocking the lens shortly, whereas covering the frame view with bolts of lightning flashes produced by explosions of fire and dust served as transition between sets two times, probably the two most impressive and disquieting sections of the film. Since images and sets are so powerful and outrageous, the interval periods serve in Lumiere as a kind of visual rinse to prepare the spectator for what it is coming next.
Those intriguing short images will effectively stay with you during the intervals, producing the desire to discern the connection between sequences, and, therefore, to watch them again in order to explore their complexity in detail. Enough reason to watch the film again and again. Their permanence operates undoubtedly as a deleuzian Desiring Machine.
Perhaps the interval is a territory completely committed to thinking. Or perhaps the interval is exactly what Slavoj Zizek understands for philosophy when he postulates that philosophy tries to “fill in the holes” presenting a totalizing view of the universe, covering up all the gaps and ruptures opened up by “pathological” displacements in the social edifice.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Spectrum wants to express its gratitude to all participants (Simon, David, Takahiko, Riccardo and Andres). Especial thanks to Jessamyn Fiore.
This issue was presented at This is Not a Shop gallery, Dublin, followed by a film-programme in October 2007.
Spectrum Forth Edition Speculations on the Interval Autumn 2007 Rancho Relaxo (Viva Marino) & Verguld Tumult Co. Produced and edited in Dublin (Ireland)
Spectrum Fanzine Experimental Film, Avant-Garde Practices Art & Moving-Image, Paracinema
Cover art: Isabel Cortes & Esperanza Collado 2007 Back cover: extract from Lumiere (David Lynch)
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