Digital Remix, Multiple Screens and Gallery Spaces

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We currently live in a time where our present culture is saturated in media literacy, more so than any other generation. New technologies have provided us with access to countless amounts of archival and present visual and sound media.

The movement of film from the cinemas to the galleries and museums presents visual media as going beyond the image. Gallery media uses immediacy where the involvement of the space and the screen is played with. Hyper-mediacys further encourages awareness and experience of the medium.

Christian Marclay is an artist that collects found objects, images and sounds and combines them to create something new. He makes the works his own though manipulation and juxtaposition.

Digital remix is a practice of techno-texuality. Using already existing footage and or sounds to make new works positioned with new meanings. Contemporary music producers such as Girl-Talk remix famous songs and presents his music to audiences in music sets at clubs and festivals. It can be argued that through his unique mixing of these songs he is redefining them as something new as do a lot of gallery video works.

Found Footage Film-Making – Return, Remake, Revive, Cut and/or Collage

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Found Footage film making reconfigures narratives to make a conceptual point. Created through use of pre-existing footage the focus on the film-making is in post-production. It is a type of film-making that builds upon what is already available. Sound and music are crucial to found footage film-making.

It’s style is based upon fragmentation, elliptical narration, temporal collisions and visual disorientation. The film-maker of a found footage film re-contexualizes already existing footage to create a new meaning/ conceptual point. This type of film-making challenges audiences in a way that it may use footage that is familiar within a dominant popular culture context and then flips it on its head to give audiences a new perspective.

In found-footage film maker Peter Tscherkassy’s film Outer Space he reconfigures the footage of a woman walking into and around a house into what could be understood as a psychological horror film. The film begins with her at a distance to the camera and then by the end her existence is being being dissolved through use of manipulation of film footage.

 

 

My artefact uses a mash up from different failure compilations on youtube which are originally situated to be laughed at however, I hope by mixing it with a sad soundtrack I reconfigure the video to convey a different emotional response.

Contemporary Experimental Animation Touch, Texture and Sound as Working Materials

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Haptic Visuality is the notion of the sense of touch in film making. This type of film-making  depicts a tactile kind of looking. It appeals to the senses of touch and creates a relationship of contact between audience and the work, with a focus on texture, the body and surface of objects depicted through up-close filming.

The body is used as a way to engaged audiences through a connection of movement and to feel different textures and surfaces particularly in performance art.

Jan Svankmayer was a Czech animator who was interested int he surreal, magic and alchemy. In his animation he depicted inanimate objects to come to life, turning the still into the moving. He appealed to haptic visuality through his use of tactile materials. He seeks physical reaction from a sense of touch through materials.

The Brothers Quay were influenced by Svankmeyer and depicted organic decrepit or decaying environments to convey an atmosphere instead of a dialogue driven narrative. The environments they created were often covered in detailed textures with materials such as dust and dirt and indicated a passing of time.

 

The Art of the Audio-Visual Essay – Past and Digital Present

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The Audio-Visual essay is a experimental film that describes the film-makers perspective on a public experience.

The film is foregrounded with the presence of the film-maker and their narration, observation and interpretation of an experience.  This is can be depicted in techniques of voice-over and inter-titles. This type of film-making is characterised by a clear opinion or voice. It is also characterised by its unconventional form, using fiction and non-fiction footage and moving back and fourth through time. Film essays auteurs will often have a instinct and reoccurring thematic concern which gives the films they crate a distinctive hallmark.

The poetic and allusive nature of film essays allows audiences to be involved in an atmosphere created by the film-maker. The single perspective and presence of film-maker’s and their observation gives their pieces a intimate conversational mood.

Audio-Visual Essays highlight the concept of the camera being the pen to the film-maker, rather than written words the film-makers uses sound and visuals to describe the world and human experiences.

Pop, Punk and the Underground

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The underground movement in American cinema was about danger, secrecy, subversiarig, resistance, liberation, perversity, alienation and madness.

Pop Art in film-making privileged consumerism, describes as being surrealist in the way in related to society rather than the surrealist tradition of relating to the individual.

Artists such as Andy Warhol played upon techniques of time, repetition and duration to create significance out of mundane. In his film of screen tests he deconstructed notions of celebrity and star factor. Warhol depicted private moments in his films, which made them public.

Pop art was about breaking taboos and challenging notions of what is ‘art’ and “good taste”.

In Joda Haynes film superstar he makes a low-fi film using barbie dolls as his actors and doll houses as he sets to depict the story of Karen Carpenter. This unconventional film making techniques break the notions of how a film should be made. At first the film is confronting in its unconventionality but by the end of the film it tells a story in a powerful way, giving audiences a new way of perceiving the story of Karen Carpenter.

Pop art, punk and underground films were interested in themes of the grotesque, tasteless, queer and monstrous as way to rebel against authoritative conventions of what is film and what should and shouldn’t be shown to the public.

 

Lyricism or Realism?

Stan Brakhage

“Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perception…] How many colours are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of ‘Green’? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye?”

Stan-Brakhage

Brakhage believed that some things could not be articulated through language. He was an American film-maker in the 1970s. He experimented with different mediums  and explored formal qualities of film as a means to find new ways of expressing himself and recording life. Often portraying the reality of his own life, he would use subjects such as his family members and depiction’s of his own life through montage, light and physically drawing words and symbols on film-stripes.

Brakhage was interested in inner experiences as well as the outer world. He films such as Cats Cradle depict an atmosphere reflective of a sense of anticipation from the inner experience of himself and his wife.

Interested in the micro aspects of life, Brakhage also experimented with taping insects, dirt, leaves and specifically moth wings onto film tape, which was projected at a fast speed in his film Moth Wings. 

Towards the end of his life, Brakhage started to make films about light. He said that if you close your eyes you will still see light. He was interested in the inner experience of a blind man and how to depict it on film.

Brakhage made over 400 experimental films, with the filming of his family he challenged the myth of the lone tortured artist. Depicting the inner and outer experience Brakhage made films that were poetry.

 

James Benning

In my films, I’m very aware of recording place over time and the way that makes you understand place […]

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Benning is an American film-maker who creates documentaries, photography and structuralist film-making. Inspired by Hollywood long-take he transforms them into a more experimental medium.

With the long takes, Benning is able to make audiences believe the extraordinary out of the ordinary. When an audience member watches Bennings work at first it can be challenging because one expects there to be action or a clear story however benign immerses his audience into a new place allowing for contemplation. Through video we are able to see the small transitions of life. We begin to try and fill in the story for ourselves, placing significance on particular details in the scene whether he intended for it or not.

Benning doesn’t depict psychological narratives but instead the narratives of spaces and places.

 

 

 

American Avant Garde

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European Avant-Garde started dying out in the 1930s. A lot of the founders of Avant Garde were either passing away or were escaping fascism and moving to America.

These circumstances  caused an new movement in America called American Avant Garde. There were new waves of film-makers, which had different ideas and concepts about creating avant grade cinema. Some of these ideas were the use of strong autobiographical elements, favouring of artisanal modes of production, connections with poetry, writing and film theoretical writing, popularity of small scale film societies a real community, a critical embrace of themes of personal an direct authorship, concept driven choices and the presence of the poetic and moments of poetic appear in the story.

One film-maker in particular who was interested in the poetic was Maya Deren. She worked in poetry, dance, photography, literature, film theory and film. She was very much influenced with ideas of myth, magic, tribal, the body and movement. Deren shares similarities with surrealism but also differences. Her films share a dream-like atmosphere but also convey narrative through the use of continuity with images. She achieves this continuity with images in her film “A Study In Choreography For Camera” were she cuts the action in one scene with the dancer but continues the dancer’s movements into a different scene.

She created a new art form of “Choreo-Cinema” where camera movements combined with dance. Through repetition and montage she celebrated movement in cinema.

Deren allows believed that cinema had two different directions. Horizontal where the logic is a logic or actions, these could be elements such as narrative conventions, characters, caustic actions and goals. The second direction was vertical where it is a logic of a central emotion or idea, focusing on things such as movement, emotion and body.

 

PRODUCTION TASK #2

Trance film: Inspired by the American Avant-Garde movement and in particular the work of Maya Deren I created a short film in the style of Trance films.

Adhering to six rules of our manifesto I depicted close up of facial features to tell the story rather than dialogue and I used the natural sounds of birds and nature in the environment where I filmed. I did not have a conclusive ending, my actor looked into the camera once, I used yellow filters to incorporate shades of yellow and I shot the film all in one day.

Inspired by Mayas concept of choreo-cinema and vertical cinema direction I experimented with body movement, camera movement and an unconventional narrative. I wanted the person I depicted in the film to be moving and for the camera to mimic the movements. I did this by filming the running scene with the camera also in motion and point of view shots. In the style of creating a vertical film direction I wanted the logic of my film to be of a emotion and idea. For this reason I chose not use a conventional narrative or any dialogue and instead allow the face, body movement to depict emotion and ideas. Because a lot of Maya Deren’s work is influenced by the ideas of tribal I wanted to incorporate African tribal drums to give the film a trance-like atmosphere, also because I felt that this particular style of percussion music worked well with a body running.

Seeing Sound

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Sound for Avant-Garde film makers such as Dulac was a way to liberate from narrative. She describes sound and their pattern formation as exclusive. Conveying the power of sound in film to be incredibly powerful but also something that can go unnoticed.

One film-maker who really experimented with new ways of visualising sound and particularly rhythm was Len Lye. A New Zealander film maker who pioneered direct animation. His work from 1901-1980 conveyed new ways of seeing sound. He was fascinating by kinetic. This fascination is evident in his work of Flip and Two Twisters singing sculptors and Free Radicals. Free Radicals was created when Len Lye pin scratch and draw on film negatives as he listened to world music. The music became a guide for the image. This process contradicted  the traditional ways of the image being the guide for the sound.

Film makers such as Philippe Grandrieux are an example of modern film-makers emphasising sound in films. In his film Un Lac (2008) which was  adapted from the Noweigen Novel, the opening scenes of the film depict a strong sound-scape with distorted camera angles. The sound conveys more of the narrative, the world of the story and the emotions of the characters then the imagery. Emphasising on the ‘natural’ sounds such as chewing, biting and swallowing during the dinner scene condors up the audience’s other senses than just seeing.

PRODUCTION TASK  #1

Using the manifesto we created I recorded the natural sounds within the car during filming. I did not present a conclusive ending, I edited the film using shades of yellow, I made sure I used images of the sky and I shot the film all in one day.

For the advertisement I created I was inspired by Len Lye’s work with sound and images. I came up with the concept for this advertisement by listening to a track of music I had found online, using the music as a guide for the visuals. I imagined what I saw when I heard the sounds and then began filming a street scene with the music playing through the car speakers. I then used the music to dictate what I chose the film. To me I interpreted the sounds as being distorted and mechanical. I hope to convert this is my filming and editing. I used the DHL delivery company to create the advertisement for because I thought their representation was pretty bland and generic so I thought I had a lot of opportunity to be abstract with it.

Surrealism

 

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“I Don’t know people expect art to make sense they except life doesn’t make sense”
David Lynch

“Opening the crack in reality that allows the surreal to occur”

Surrealism in film is about bringing out the inexplicable, the absurd in everyday situations. It is a movement that causes a collision of reality and the unreal.

Often inspired by dreams, surrealist film makers such as Dali attempt to create films that make the audience feel as if they are in a dream. It was important for the surrealist film makers to convey a sense of reality as well as surreal. They rejected the absurdity of Dada because they believed it was too chaotic to be believed. Instead the surrealist were interested in particular Hollywood films such a King Kong where there was a surrealist idea within a real world.

Surrealist film makers were interested in the concept of the “Marvellous” a concept first originating from the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924. In the manifesto André Breton explains how the marvellous is beautiful. Other film makers explain the “Marvellous” such as in Louis Aragon’s Paris Peasant as “The marvellous is the eruption of contradiction within the real”. For surrealist film-makers the marvellous was a shock and an exciting disorientation sensation that occurred when the film worlds normality slipped away. David Lynch is a contemporary film-maker who creates surrealist films which contain various examples of the “Marvellous”. Often depicting scenes of normality that become shockingly unreal and create a dream-like atmosphere.