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.

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