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MFJ 56 Screening: Program Notes

Millennium Film Journal No. 56:
“Material Practice: From Sprockets to Binaries”

Screening November 9th 2012
119 West 22nd Street
New York City
 

Along with the commitment to personal expression, there has always been a powerful current of subversion in the sea of experimental cinema. [Editors’ Introduction]

PROGRAM: works featured in the pages of MFJ 56.

Bradley Eros: Arcane Arctic w/ erosion rite (2012 version 10 min)

There’s a material aspect of cinema, celluloid film, that makes it resonate as an experience of live media, ephemeral, parallel to the physical theater, oral poetry & musical vibration of acoustic instruments. Light passing through translucent plastic threaded through a lubricated device of sprockets and gears with its moment by moment flickering, imperfections, tension & the supreme possibility of failure. [Bradley Eros ‘more captivating than phosphorus’]

Katherine Bauer: 39.8280, 76.0121 (2012 about 2 1/2 min 100′ silent)

“Film is able to free itself to become something new now that the entertainment industry is abandoning it. It’s like what happened to painting when photography came around … it freed up the medium to explore the true nature of its materialism.” (Katherine Bauer, personal communication). [Editors’ Introduction]

Gregg Biermann: Labyrinthine (2010 15 min)

Here, the tidal relentlessness of endlessly advancing frames of appropriated images, jump cuts and fluid transformations lend the aural and visual qualities of a seascape to an urban landscape where space and time are distorted from linearity toward parallel infinities. Such a place, as a prison officer in Chicago once told me, is easier to get into than out of.
[Martin Rumsby “Photographic Memory: Diary of a Viewer”]

Janis Crystal Lipzin DE LUCE 1: Vegetare (2009 5 min)
Micro-Celluloid Incidents in 3 Santas (2012 10 min)

De Luce 1: Vegetare blends my enduring interest in nature’s volatile events with my sympathy with film’s unpredictable response to light. I learned that exposing the film to quick bursts of light, during the first developer sequence, unleashed volatile color shifts, that, while still grounded in the real world, vastly expanded the Kodak palette of color.
[Janis Crystal Lipzin “A Materialist Film Practice in the Digital Age”]

 

Evan Meaney Ceibas – Epilogue – The Well of Representation (2011 7 min)

The glitch, as Meaney has described in artist statements, is a way to make visible the underlying code of digital technology – the zeros and ones that create an image or a sound. The glitches Meaney incorporates into his work share the reflexive nature of past materialist practices, this time working on computational processes rather than the physical properties of chemistry and light.
[Chris Kennedy “Evan Meaney: the well of representation”]

Laure Prouvost The Artist (2010 10 min)

The purpose of Prouvost’s tour here, as with many of her films, is revealed as a form of solicitous disorientation. Like a lost tourist being given the wrong directions by a helpful local, her fragmented directions and explanations send us off up other unsuspected avenues and lines of thought, diverting us from her central role in creating this confusion, while at the same time opening up unexpected adventures. [Lucy Reynolds “Laure Prouvost: Incorrect Syntax”]

Richard Tuohy Centre Spot (2008 7 min)

In the act of filming, Tuohy’s perception is focused into an experience that is somehow more real than an unmediated vision. His is the simple joy of encountering a landscape that he loves and heightening that experience by concentrating it through a lens and photochemical process. Although the intensity that Tuohy evokes is more akin to documentary than Brakhagian lyricism, it is still visionary and intensely personal.
[Martin Rumsby “Photographic Memory: Diary of a Viewer”]

Steven Woloshen The Homestead Act (2009 8 min)
The title is based on a nineteenth century American law that gave homesteaders freehold
title to 160 acres of undeveloped land. Their zeal and inexperience, however, lead to unsound farming practices, which resulted in erosion. Woloshen believes the history of film is now similarly eroding before our eyes as poorly stored prints and negatives deteriorate. Ironically, in the process of its own organic decay the film gives rise to startling biomorphic abstractions — shrouding images in living matter and chemical imbalance.
[Martin Rumsby “Photographic Memory: Diary of a Viewer”]
All works courtesy the artists, except The Artist by Laure Prouvost courtesy the artist and MOT International.


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