[-empyre-] the depth of projection - architectural logic, shadowplay, vjing

Gabriel Menotti gabriel.menotti at gmail.com
Wed Sep 9 08:33:39 EST 2009

Dear all:

Thanks for your engagement in this first round of debate, especially
to José Carlos and Rosa! This week will introduce a new theme, whose
implications we seem to be naturally getting into: the depth of
projection. I think the “Fixed Viewpoint” piece commented by Pall
Tayer explicits very well that the mechanic gaze of the camera
transforms the space into image according to a certain mathematical
logic – and that is that of orthogonal projection.

Projection could also be considered as the technique that truly
inaugurate and defines cinema.  Even though /kinesis/ comes from the
greek word for movement, moving images were already popular by the
time cinema as we know appeared. What set the iconic Lumières’ device
apart from others was that it produced 1) enlarged images for a 2)
mass audience. Both these characteristics – the 1) formal and the 2)
economic one – result from projection.

But light projection also has some architectural demands, which the
cinematographic apparatus seems to make us conform to unconsciously.
In that sense, to acknowledge projection could raise the audience
awareness to the complex interplay of temporal and spatial regimes
being negotiated during a screening.

Besides, performances with projection seem to rescue the
tri-dimensionality of the place and set the image back to human scale
and proportions – or at least under human control. For instance, we
could think of contemporary VJing practices, or expanded cinema pieces
– such as Malcolm LeGrice’s /Horror Film I/. [1]

Our first guest for this week is:

Duncan White

Duncan White is a writer and academic currently employed as
Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the British Artists’ Film and Video
Study Collection, Central St Martins College of Art and Design,
London.  He is working with David Curtis on the Narrative Exploration
in Expanded Cinema project, as well as with a number of prominent
academics, artists and institutions in the field.    He recently
co-organised international conferences on Expanded Cinema at Tate
Modern, The British Film Institute and Central St Martins and is
working on a book of collected essays entitled Expanded Cinema: Space,
Time and Context with David Curtis, Al Rees and Steven Ball.  A
complete profile of the project can be seen at


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bRddEfxCok

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