The Grot by Pat Grant

Pat Grant is a graphic novel artist based in Wollongong. He may have taught/ given guest lectures to some of you. His project is called The Grot and he is launching the series in Newtown for anyone interested in independent comic arts.

Pat says:

Come help me launch these comics. Drink yeasty ferment made by Young Henrys. Have a gossip with some nerds. Stare intently at 130 pages of original comics pages drawn by Pat and hand-painted by Fionn. Marvel at 5 years of an adult life spent in futile toil. 

FRIDAY MARCH 23 – 6pm, Alpha Gallery, 226 Union Street Newtown, Sydney.

Lecture 05: Structural Film and Expanded Screen

[Anthony McCall, Line Describing a Cone, 1973]

Beginning in this week’s lecture, we expand our exploration of the film medium into the cinematic experience. Once again exploring the rich history of alternative cinemas, our investigation takes us on journey through from structural film experiments, structuralist materialism practices, expanded cinema, television, video art to multiscreen installations. This trajectory shows the influences and lineages of these alternative practices, specifically in how they pave a way towards the multiscreen immersive experience we have today. We also ask: what are the implications the ubiquitous screen today on the future of cinema?

We begin this enquiry in this lecture with structural films and expanded cinema, and will continue to explore the video medium, installation and performances in the succeeding weeks.

Lecture04: Surrealist Cinema

[Man Ray, Emak-Bakia, 1926]

This lecture provides an overview of Surrealist Cinema. It focuses on how this significant art movement in the 20th century utilised cinema as an art form. Specifically, the lecture explores the central concerns of Surrealist films in their aims to break with conventional cinema. Through this survey, we examine its predecessors, historical contexts and legacy, analysing its relevance to contemporary media arts practice.

We ask: what constitutes Surrealist Cinema? What is their relevance to contemporary media arts practice today?

Download MEDA201_2018_Lecture04 slides.

Lecture 03: Found Footage Film

[Bill Morrison, Just Ancient Loops, 2012]

This lecture discusses various practices that make use of found footage as their primary materials. Central to these experiments is the principle of montage. We briefly revise the basics of editing techniques and montage styles before examining how editing is used to create new forms of screen practices. The quality of the filmic image – the physicality of film and its decay – is also explored as a critical material in the works of Bill Morrison. We ask: what significance does the filmic image carries in these experiments?

Download MEDA201_2018_Lecture03 slides.

Lecture 02: Abstract Film

[Len Lye, frames from Trade Tattoo, 1957]

This lecture examines early modernists’ approaches to film as a medium. Specifically, it discusses the conceptual areas tackled by abstract films and animation. The lecture tentatively follows Greenberg’s ‘medium specificity argument’ to explore these experiments in identifying the characteristics of film as a physical material. Looking through these examples, we ask: what are the material characteristics of film explored? How do abstract films and animation play on the medium specificities? How do they compel practitioners and audience question the film medium? What is their legacy today?

Download MEDA201_2018_Lecture02 slides.

Workshop 03: Editing techniques

[Renee Lear, Every shot from Dziga Vertov’s film Man with a Movie Camera (1929), 2015]

In this workshop, we explore different editing techniques and styles, specifically focusing on the mechanism of montage. We look at a number of examples that illustrate the historical development of editing as well as some contemporary works that play with this conventional language. The focus is on the processes of editing and compiling your footage for your Experimental Film Project. Discussing and applying what we looked at about editing as a cinematic language as well as experimental device to organise screen time and space.

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Workshop 02: Working with Different Media | media Transfer

[Harry Smith, No. 3 (Interwoven), 1949]

In week 2, we continue our exploration of 16mm film medium and experimentation of cameraless film techniques. We look at a range of examples that make use of different film media. We begin the process of transferring film footage to digital video.

Watch and discuss: narrative cameraless film works

[Paul Bush’s The Albatross, 1998]

[Caroline Leaf, The Two Sisters, 1991]

  1. Discuss how these films use different film materials to denote different qualities.
  2. What are these qualities? And how do they convey meanings?
  3. How do the techniques used related to concept?
  4. In your own research, what other films/ works use this technique of direct manipulation of film materials? Why do you think they chose to use this technique?

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Lecture 01: History of Alternative Cinema and Contemporary Experimental Screen

[Tacita Dean: Film. The Unilever Series, Tate Modern, London]

This introductory lecture provides essential information on how the subject’s aims and learning outcomes are achieved through its lecture series, workshops, and assessment tasks. It provides an overview of experimental practices in screen. Specifically, we ask: what is experimental practice? Why experimental practice? We approach these questions by exploring the role of experimentation in the context of avant-garde cinema and contemporary screen practices, and in particular, we will examine the idea of medium materiality.

Download lecture slides: MEDA201_2018_Lecture01 (please note that this contains some slides missing in the original presentation).