Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Filming Outside the Cinema"

I have to admit that I'd not given much thought to film outside the cinema, web film or live video, or anything like that, but I've spent lots of time here hanging out with Peter Horvath and I'm impressed.

Peter Horvath, Tenderly YoursPeter makes very beautiful films for the web, and you can check them all out online. Today he showed us The Presence of Absence, which was comissioned for the Whitney Museum's Artport in 2003, and then Tenderly Yours from 2005, which "resituates the personal, casual and ambiguous approach of French new wave cinema in a net art narrative that explores love, loss and memory. The story is recited by a striking and illustrious persona, who moves through the city with her lover. Her willful independence is intoxicating, though her sense of self is ambiguous..." Gorgeous.

Mia Makela (SOLU) described her work as videoprocessing, or moving stills, and as play or montage. Her videos are also online, and she showed us UKIYO-E and FIELD REPORTS, which she said was indicative of her style and love of experimental electronic music. Both were very dirty and noisy - I totally loved them - and I can't wait to see SOLU in action tomorrow night. She closed by saying how much possibility there is in live or expanded cinema, a field she intriguingly describes as "spoken language without written grammar."

Randy Knott then showed us some of IAMSTATIC's shorts, including Cloud Nine and Healthy Boy. He also showed some commercial work they did for CNIB's Lake Joseph Centre, where blind people can have fun and even waterski. (I was actually really impressed by this - the idea of trying to communicate what that experience might be like. Personally, it never occurred to me that blind people waterski. That's wicked.) The final short he showed was his pretty (and) unsettling Institutional Mechanisms.

Multimedia performance artist Julia Heyward rounded out the panel by showing us some of her work, although I wasn't able to find any examples online. Miracles in Reverse (2001) is "an interactive hybrid family/music album that tells various versions of the artistís life story from the point of view of Jesus, Mom and an alien." I found it rather disturbing but I liked it. The Gabriel Frequency was also impressive, but a bit heavy for me in the middle of the afternoon.

Daniel Canty moderated the panel and mentioned how Randy's films are kind of lonely, or about loneliness, or something - and I found myself thinking that many of the films we saw made me feel lonely. Some in the same way that Radiohead's Just video does, and some like my favourite Lars von Trier's films: lonely and traumatised too. Good stuff.


Blogger institute.of.zombie.studies said...

Krishnamurti says loneliness is isolation and seperateness. Does the loneliness of these films create isolation and seperateness despite its being viewed in (i'm assuming here) a room filled with other people? Or does it create an aloneness in which desires are purged and you can reflect on the immeasurable? Or, maybe this just doesn't apply.

Blogger Geist said...

Wow, that's a deeply annoying site build through which Horvath wants to present his films. As wonderful as the films look, asking users to enable pop-ups is counter-intuitive to web usage these days. :)


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