Search View Archive

Critics Page

Guest Critic

FLUX TIME: Moving-Image Art and the Ends of Cinema

Filmmakers have long sought to rewire the grammar and symbolism of classical cinema, interrogated the material of the film strip, and entered and dismantled the mechanisms of the apparatus itself.

Suggestion for an Audiovisual Device

This is a device that transforms the human body into a total recording and projecting machine. This is a device that, to put it better, transforms every cell on the surface of the human body into a recording and projecting apparatus and thus makes the human body a thoroughly sentient camera/screen.

On the “Status and Position of Moving Image Art Today”

When I received an email from the Brooklyn Rail asking me to write on the “status and position of the moving image art today,” the question had already been on my mind, prompted by the recent International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany.

ON AND ON: Thoughts on Artists’ Cinema

The state of cinema is as fluid as its technology. Claims or concerns that artists’ cinema (i.e. experimental, poetic, or personal cinema) is a dying art form tend to be provocation at best, nostalgia at worst, as they are when made in reference to painting, or photography, or whichever medium is the one under fire, but especially so in reference to an art form that is historically young.

THE SKIN I LIVE IN: Notes on Vimeo

On a computer, a vector graphic is the opposite of a raster graphic. A vector is all relative points with no resolution; a raster is all resolution. The raster is resolute, fixed, of this world. It contains the photographic, and if you blow it up, it will appear to degrade.

On “Artists’ Cinema” and “Moving-Image Art”

I was asked to write about the present and future of “artists’ cinema” and “moving-image art.” This language conflates two traditions that I still have a stake in separating: experimental film and (gallery/museum) video art.

Art + Cinema

There’s been something in the air lately about the merging of art and cinema. Film festivals and art fairs have been having “art + film” matchmaking sessions, curators have been making more cinema references in their exhibitions, artists dream of making feature films, feature filmmakers make paintings and drawings. What are these grass-is-greener daydreams a symptom of?

From a Conversation at the 2014 Flaherty Seminar

The fact that I don’t have any formal training either as a filmmaker or as a visual artist means that I was never introduced to moving images within the context of a tradition.

Move It All Around

Both gallery and theatrical viewing situations have advantages and disadvantages when considering audience response. I’m interested in the captive response that a theatrical presentation will provide, and my work does tend to have a trajectory, so it’s good to see it from beginning to end.

Questions for the Frozen Sea

Why have the discussions of the state of “avant-garde/experimental/artists’ cinema” essentially remained the same for 30 years or so?

A Future to Want

I am too young to have ever known an avant-garde with a future. The 10 years during which I have paid serious attention to experimental film have unfolded as an extended funeral procession after the death of cinema.

The Thing Is No More

I like making things. Objects that are distinct, take up space, have weight and texture, can be given as gifts, are occasionally sold, contain the very story of their making in the material of their being.

Black Box in White Cube

People forget so easily. Artist’s cinema had been strong throughout the mid-20th century. We face a Renaissance, the art field discovers Hans Richter and others.

Cheap Seats

As the director of The Nightingale, a microcinema in Chicago, I often find myself standing around talking about the contemporary state of moving image work, and usually just as some concrete progress on the topic is made, somebody asks where the bathroom is and we are back to square one.

After Anthropocinema

Amongst all technologies, the clock and the camera are distinct in providing humans, and more recently machines, two universal metrics for measuring and restructuring the world.

Cinematic Arts’ Attack on Actuality

Since the 18th century, art has set itself emancipatory goals and has been at the forefront of change. The task was to change the world, or at least some part of it, so as to reopen the Real.

Past Possible Futures

Robert Gardner’s recent passing made me think again about how images originate in other images, one’s gestures in another’s gestures, through an incalculable testimonial chain of new encounters. I first saw a sequence of one of Gardner’s films in another director’s film.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2014

All Issues