Thursday, January 26, 2012


In this 21st century we have seen a great and renewed interest in the spatial  moving image, 
propelled most famously by the INTO THE LIGHT exhibition curated by Chrissie Iles for the Whitney Museum of American Art in the year 2000, and from which we will be taking many cues in terms of our own re-creations in this course.
We will also be looking at festivals which concentrate on live cinematic performance, or what has variously been called Expanded Cinema, Paracinema, Live Cinema, Lightshows, Intermedia, projection performance, and film/video installation,  such as KILL YOUR TIMID NOTION out of Scotland, and MONO NO AWARE in Brooklyn.

AT our first meeting we also discussed the seeing the  MCA Denver show WEST OF CENTER, about countercultural art/life experiments in the West, 
and looked at works by artists Joel Schlemowitz and Kerry Laitala, 
as well as documentation of Bill Brand's MASSTRANSISCOPE.

+reading: Tom Gunning, The Long and Short of It: Centuries of Projecting Shadows, from Natural Magic to the Avant-Garde, from THE ART OF PROJECTION, Stan Douglas & Christopher Eamon, eds.

We continued with a brief overview of magic lantern shows, seances, and phantasmagoria, beginning with this little magic lantern scene from Ingmar Bergman's film Fanny and Alexander (1982), and learning about the illusion known as Pepper's Ghost (see below).  Some fun clips we watched in class illustrating this effect can be found on youtube HERE and HERE,  and may be taking place right now at a seance near you.

There are many examples of contemporary artists utilizing these and other centuries-old projection techniques in their work. For example Australian artist Sally Golding's live performance projections of skeleton -on-body  HERE and HEREKerry Laitala's spinning strobing  kinetic work RETROSPECTROSCOPE (1996) and this amazing exhibition called Phantasmagoria: Spectres of Absence,  featuring the work seen below by Brazilian artist Rosangela Renno called Experiencing Cinema (2004) in which she projects family films onto smoke which acts as a screen to catch the fleeting images.

Our featured artists of the first week were Zoe Beloff and Ken Jacobs who "coined the term paracinema in the early 1970's referring to cinema experiences provided by means outside of the standard cinema technology" according to wikipedia. Read about his Nervous Magic Lantern performance in the L.A Weekly.

 Zoe Beloff's web project based on her sculptural 3D film installation The Somnambulists, is a series of 5 'hysterical dramas' that take place within miniature theatres--her modern interpretation of the Pepper's Ghost illusion can be seen particularly well in the drama entitled Comique Idiote.

+reading: Expanded Cinema and the Installation Film, from ART Cinema, Paul YOung Paul Duncan, eds.