Film or Videomaking

An audience-interactive demonstration of Lev Kuleshov’s famous editing experiment, and a 3D review of loosely related principles of subject/spectator empathy.

Note: should be viewed through 3D glasses. See http://store.yahoo.com/rainbowsymphony/an3dglasreda.html 

This title is also available on Ben Coonley: Trick Pony Trilogy.

Dani Leventhal gathered material for 9 minutes each day, then condensed it down to this 16-minute video montage of impressions which has a cumulative effect, accessed and read differently depending on the mental connections the viewer makes. It is presented as short scenes: documentation of the quotidian, on-camera monologues, and performative or expressive shots that are constructed. The material, while mostly generated as a diary, is heterogeneous enough to include just about any kind of footage.

"Inside a Lithuanian synagogue, young Domas Darguzs regales the filmmaker with a whispered, wide-eyed account of mythical events, while the film cross-cuts to images of farm-life. Kid brother of an Israeli soldier, Domas's stories are part fantasy, part hopeful ruminations of a courageous, young mind interrupted only by an impatient adult."

 — KJ Mohr 

In 1972 Eric Siegel, an early pioneer of video art, set out on an extreme adventure driving from Europe six thousand miles overland to India. He was one of the first people to use the revolutionary new technology from Sony Corporation, the Portapak. This was the first small portable video camera/recorder combo that was the predecessor of today’s camcorders. Together with his friend Anthony they documented the trip. This video is the portion of the trip that took them through Afghanistan, one of the most exotic places along the way.

An early example of video erotica from the Videofreex. A group of naked people lounge around smoking and listening to music. A male and female couple is making love on the floor in a room full of monitors.

In this interview, American filmmaker, teacher, and video artist Peggy Ahwesh (b.1954) delves into the key figures and primary texts that have inspired her work in Super-8 and video since the 1970s.  She discusses her early influences as a member of the underground art scenes in Pittsburgh in the late 70s and Soho’s Kitchen in the 80s. Ahwesh’s experimental hand-processing and controversial subject matter can be traced to feminist theory, and her exposure to underground experimental films, including works by Werner Herzog, George Amaro, Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith and her teacher at Antioch College, Tony Conrad.

A huge isolated rock in the midst of the desert in Australia: Ayers Rock.  I produced two contrasting films around this rock: Moments at the Rock was shot with an amateur video camera, amazing color changes, and time-lapsed compressed sequences; A Rock in the Light, edited with the music of Haruyuki Suzuki, is more visually structured, following the passing of time from the sunrise to the sunset.

--Takahiko iimura

"Takahiko iimura's Air's Rock is an ultimate landscape film."

--Katsuhiro Yamagucki, artist and author

 

Chantal Akerman (1950-2015) gained international recognition with her three-and-a-half hour masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), which portrays a housewife’s dull existence and eventual violent action. She has continued to be one of Europe’s most innovative filmmakers with more than forty film and television projects to her credit. Akerman’s work is minimalist, structuralist, and feminist. Major themes in her films include women at work and at home; women’s relationships to men, other women, and children; food, love, sex, romance, art, and storytelling. In this interview from 1976 Akerman discusses her early films, and the development of her particular vision.

In this interview, Basma Alsharif (b.1983) examines the multiple ways in which her work engages with the notion of nomadism. Beginning with a discussion of how she initially came to video through photography, Alsharif describes how this transformation of her practice required a translation of artistic sensibilities. The artist feels this displacement between media gave her the tools to critically engage with the displacement she felt as a Palestinian-American.

American sculptor and land artist Robert Smithson made art as a meditation on transition and change. Perhaps best known for his Spiral Jetty, an earthen berm that sits, occasionally submerged, in the Great Salt Lake of northern Utah, Smithson understood that his earthworks would be subject to natural and human forces and processes: erosion, rising water tables, and changing land use.

Making art and movies becomes the overall thrust of this foray into hives of humming wanna-bees being all that they can be thanks to the magic of chalk and cinema. Through it all there trudges the arthritic frame of he who samples the honey pot along with gobs of eggplant parmigiana, etc., etc., etc.

Concentrating on abstract shapes and color value, Animation 2 is a record of images manipulated through computer animation. By recording the data screens of the animators and the voices of the controllers, Sonnier discloses the process of making the video.

“This tape is about media, and it seems totally unedited, because we hear him talking over the intercom with the engineer… The engineer interjects, ‘Do you want to save any of this stuff?’ Yes, indeed; Sonnier saves and shows it all, the whole process.”

Ann Arbor, 1992

It stands as a mecca to 16mm film, and weathers the withering breath of a shifting climate. Bundled-up in opulence and optimism, the film festival goes onward and upward while I succumb to a glacial deposit that proves unflushable.

Apeshit, 1999

Employing footage from an obscure 8mm film trailer for Battle for the Planet of the Apes to highlight the unstable relationship between the real, historical past and the distant, imaginary future, this project revolves around a central question: Is alien-ness indeed the metaphor for the 20th Century as power relationships have been embodied within our subconscious? Is there a relationship between these forgotten formats and the discontinued political ideologies that they depict?

This video features California artists: drawer and painter Deanne Belinoff, sculptor and poet Sana Krusoe, wood relief carver and painter Palema Holmes, and New York-based video artist Shirley Clark.

The Artists: Part 1 was produced in concert with the exhibition Four Solo Exhibitions at the Long Beach Museum of Art in 1988. The artists are introduced by LBMA’s senior curator Josine Ianco-Starrels. The video presents and contrasts the diverse styles, media, and personalities of these four women artists.

Backwards Birth of a Nation is a re-editing of D.W. Griffith's 187-minute film, Birth of a Nation (1915), into a pulsating 13-minute black and white phantasm. By means of structural strategies of condensation, the frame by frame inversion of black and white, and playing the resulting work from end to beginning, an apparition is brought forth where images of racism float to the surface and are contextualised as a part of the flow of United States history.

Bataille, 2003

In Bataille, fragments from the Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon are subject to a mirror effect. A scene in which two samurai fight each other becomes a cosmic field of monsters where horror and pain evoke beauty and joy.

Big_Sleep™ explores problems in our archival urges. Via a single-channel desktop screencast, informatic elements ebb and flow—creating and relating interface absences. These gaps suggest that no amount of hard drive space can defy mortality. The only way to fully prepare our media for the future is to prepare ourselves for a future apart. The piece presents material from the late William Birch, one of the most important Fox Movietone cinematographers. Examining his now-decaying body of work—we find an argument for access in the present, not cold storage for a potential future.

In 1964, Steina Vasulka (then Steinunn Bjarnadottir) married Woody Vasulka, a Czech engineer with a background in film. They later moved to New York where, with Andreas Mannik, they founded the Kitchen, a performance space dedicated to new media. The Vasulkas collaborated on a series of video works whose imagery arose primarily through the manipulation of the video signal at the level of the electron beam itself.

"I don't put myself into my movies because that would be too much--my pictures reflect my own feelings.  So hopefully it's entertaining.  Otherwise I can't bear looking at them, ha ha!"
--Mike Kuchar

In this dream-portrait of Mike Kuchar, he floats through his memories as the sea, space and sky drift past. Wrapped in odd costumes, he frolics with the imaginary creatures surrounding him, and recalls the creatures of his own imagination.

A major figure among underground filmmakers, Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) boasted a prolific career that spanned more than 50 years and 300 films. His personal, independent films range in length from nine seconds to several hours, and contemplate such fundamental issues as form, life, and death—most famously in Window Water Baby Moving (1959), Dog Star Man (1961-65), and The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (1971). His early writings and journals about filmmaking are collected in Metaphors on Vision (1976).

In this interview video and performance artist Nancy Buchanan discusses her feminist and political work. Buchanan comments upon the advantages of video over performance in terms of accessibility—the ability for her videos to circulate and reach audiences she physically cannot, and their brevity and completed form—and her strategies to create an atmosphere for change. This Video Portrait features two of Buchanan’s videos in their entireties: the anti-nuclear weapons work An End to All Our Dreams (1982) and the more straightforwardly feminist Webs (1983).

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT/SUMMARY: This film centers around one performance, when Holland-based musicians, The Ex, visited New York to play a concert. This performance is intercut with city scenes, first from Amsterdam and then New York, of construction sites, street life, and protests against the Iraq war and the Bush administration. The construction site scenes relate to the band's dedication to music as a realm for collaborative building and creative destruction.

"...a rumination, a series of borrowed 'dialogues' out of an ongoing argument with myself. It meanders, mentally and physically, reflecting on the conditions of being human; on transience, consciousness and desire. It uses landscapes as provocations, as sites of contemplation. And between the landscape and the thought, i.e. between the radical presence of the physical world and the idea, there is, more often than not, a distance, disbelief or irony."

--Ken Kobland

Rudy Burckhardt (1914-1999) was best known as a photographer and filmmaker.  He moved to New York from his native Basel in 1935 at age 21. He shot portraits of many artists for Art News during the 1950s and early ’60s, capturing their work methods in candid and intimate photos. His films, frequently portraying cityscapes and urban life, include The Pursuit of Happiness (1940), Under the Brooklyn Bridge (1953), What Mozart Saw on Mulberry Street (1956), Square Times (1967), and Inside Dope (1971).