Through this lecture series, we frequently visited the question of medium specificity, namely, what is the materiality of the mediums and media we work with. What are the characteristics of each of these media? What are the textures of these technologies? Throughout this journey, we tease out points and events in history that come together to present a picture of experimental moving image practice. We argue that experimentation is the key to answering these questions and opening up new possibilities.
In this last lecture, we summarise the terrain covered in this subject, and asks, once again: what is the significance of experimental practice today? Specifically, with the power that remains with the moving image? What should screen media be used for? And how should it be used?
Throughout the lecture series, we examined types of screen media technologies: film, video, digital media, by breaking down them into ‘essential’ elements: light, dark, electronic signals, patterns, pixels and so on as basic units that make these media specific and unique. Experimenting with these elements allow their textures to emerge/ appear.
However, we have also moved away from Clement Greenburg’s argument that “It is by virtue of its medium that each art is unique and strictly itself. To restore the identity of an art the opacity of its medium must be emphasised.”
In this lecture, we continue with the proposition that screen has become an intermedia form. Its historical and contemporary practices harbour the potential to expand and create new possibilities and new cinematic forms. We will do so by exploring old media and new media.
In the final part of our lecture series, we speculate on the future of cinema. This lecture takes this inquiry into the concept of ‘the artist’s cinema’ – exploring the intersection between cinema and art. Based on the premise that wider accessibility of media technologies has enabled an intermedial mode of practice, we argue that screen media has the potential to open up conventional cinematic forms and introduces different possibilities. We will examine the return to the cinematic by looking at ‘the place of artist’s cinema’ in contemporary culture. We ask two pivotal questions: how does the moving image shape our experience of the personal? and what kind of power does the image possess?
What is cinema today? With the ubiquity of screens, what is the future of cinema? This lecture starts with a vision of a future cinema and move backward in time to trace the influences and lineages that have extended the cinematic experience to screen art and multiscreen installation forms.
We extend our earlier exploration into the historical development of expanded cinema to expanded form of digital video. We delve deeper into screen art and installation works today, continuing our exposition on the video medium. We examine what new experiences are enabled the digitisation of the medium and development of technologies.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Potentiality for Love, 2018 (Production still)
There is no scheduled classes in week 8 of Autumn 2018 for MEDA201. Instead, we encourage you to take this time to visit the 21st Biennale of Sydney to undertake research for your major project. This is a great opportunity to look at screen-based installations in situ and explores contemproary experimental screen art first hand.
Below are screen-based works that may be of interests:
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Potentiality for Love, 2018 (installed view)
We will preview some of these works in week 7’s lectures. If you are planning a trip, you may also want to discuss your itineraries (works/ exhibitions you wish to see) with your tutor before the mid-session break.
A reminder that your assessment 2: Research Essay is also due this week. Please submit your essay electronic on Moodle via Turnitin.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?