Lecture07: Video Art

Gary Hill, Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place, 1990

This lecture explores the development of another medium – video. The emergent of the video medium as an artistic platform in the 1970s was made possible for the increasing availability of affordable camcorders and other consumer electronic products. The move from the relatively more costly materials and processes of film to the video platform underlines the impact of technological shift can have on art and expression.

In this lecture, we will draw a line from the historical development of structural films, structural materialist films, and expanded cinema to video art and installation works. Focusing on the use of analogue and later digital video from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. In this period, we see artists’ and practitioners’ investigation of the medium’s boundaries as well as their use of the technological platform to explore ideas and experiences.

Download MEDA201_2018_Lecture07.pdf

Guest Lecture: E x p a n d e d C i n e m a

REMINDER: Please meet in the DMC Gallery at 12.30pm.

Teaching and Learning Cinema guest lecture

In the 1960s and 70s, artists began re-imagining cinematic form by expanding its experience beyond the bounds of the filmstrip, which up to that point had been one of cinemas’ defining elements. Further experimenting with the conditions of presentation as well as interrogation of the technological apparatus (of projection, for example) saw the field merge with sculpture, theatre and performance art as part of this trope. In many cases the filmmaker and/or spectator became part of this cinematic experience who actively intervene and interact with the apparatus. The works then were more about the live ‘here and now’ experience and hence much more ephemeral than traditional cinematic presentation.

This week we will be welcoming Louise Curham and Dr. Lucas Ihlein to present an iconic work of Expanded Cinema canon. Louise and Lucas are engaged in an ongoing project of re-enactments from Expanded Cinema, carried out under Teaching and Learning Cinema (TLC), where they research and document each work, including primary source interviews with original artists.

Louise and Lucas will be discussing the work of TLC whose re-enactments are making an invaluable contribution to a contemporary understanding of Expanded Cinema and cinematic arts on the whole. Please familiarise yourself with their work and processes on website in preparation of this guest lecture.


Lucas Ihlein performing (Wo)man with Mirror.


Last Days of Lisa Reihana’s Cinemania at Campbelltown Art Centre

Lisa Reihana’s Cinemania at the Campbelltown Art Centre

This exhibition is well worth a visit for all Media Arts students! It closes on Thursday 29 March 2018. From Wollongong the Campbelltown Art Centre is only a 40 mins drive – drop in on its last days!

Lisa Reihana’s Cinemania at the Campbelltown Art Centre

From the Press Release:

Exhibition: Friday 12 January – Thursday 29 March

Lisa Reihana is an artist of Māori (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tu) and British descent who has helped forge the development of time-based and media art in Aotearoa New Zealand. A multimedia artist, Reihana’s practice is driven by collaborative work with communities, described as kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face).

Campbelltown Arts Centre presents Lisa Reihana’s first ever Australian survey showcasing three decades of video and photographic works. Cinemania will feature in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015—17, following its premiere at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017. Almost ten years in the making, this work is a cinematic reimagining of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, 1804—1805, or The Voyages of Captain Cook, and includes scenes featuring Campbelltown’s local Dharawal community. Reihana has used twenty-first century audio-visual technology to animate the wallpaper with real and invented narratives.

This exhibition reveals the spectrum of Lisa’s practice – from early experimental works in digital video such as Wog Features, 1990 and Native Portraits n.19897, 1998, to futuristic films, dystopian photography and immersive environments, such as Fantastic Egg, 2002, PELT, 2009 and Tai Whetuki – House of Death Redux, 2015 – 16.

Lisa Reihana Cinemania appears as part of the 2018 Sydney Festival program.

Lisa Reihana’s Cinemania the Campbelltown Art Centre

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.

Download MEDA201_2018_Lecture05 slides.

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 07: Screen and performance

In this week’s workshop, we continue with the practice of re-enactment focusing on performances that work with image and screen. These re-enactment projects require researching on concepts of the works, performative procedures, equipment set-ups, and audience experience. As in week 7’s exercise (re-creating video installations), you do not have to replicate the work exactly. You may want to re-interpret these works in their re-making/ re-staging in reference to the central concept of the work. Is the work interrogating an element of the cinematic experience? How is this achieved? Continue reading

Workshop 06: Video Installations

Isaac Julien, Stones Against Diamonds, 2015

In this workshop, we will examine the contexts for screen installation works: expanded cinema, video art, and video installations. We focus on how space is used to stage screen works, and how techniques and formats of installation are employed to expand the medium into space and time. Specifically, we will be investigating screen-based installations by re-creating existing works.

Continue reading