[-empyre-] On camerawork and montage transformed by ETC video processing

Timothy Conway Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sun Sep 27 01:37:36 AEST 2015

Thanks for your post, Maureen.  So sorry for the delay.  We have been in
New York meeting with the ETC artists in the Hunter College exhibition,
and enjoyed a very successful opening.  We'll be sharing photos of the
opening on the -empyre- Facebook page over the next few days.

Your question is so interesting, and the wealth of videos on display in
the exhibition (over 40 titles) make clear what you call a para-cinematic
comparison. Of course it's little coincidence that ETC was founded by
Ralph Hocking when he was teaching in the SUNY Binghamton film program,
which included some of the great experimenters of cinematic form, such as
Ken Jacobs. For the show, Jason Bernagozzi developed a color prototype of
the Wobbulator, the tool develped at ETC that achieved the live motion
contorted raster and whirling effects.  At the exhibition at Hunter
College, this is connected to a live video feed that catalyzes the imagery
on the small wobbulator screen.

Also of interest, in this context of form and aesthetics shared by
experimental film and video, is the statement framing the exhibition,
composed by Sarah Watson, that now links the form of the archive with that
of video art (and, in which, we can hear the resonance of experimental
film): "The nature of the archive seems to mirror the inherent material
and immaterial qualities of the early medium, which the ETC has worked so
diligently to preserve: the lost frame, the glitch, the erasure.  These
limitations of the early technology were embraced by the artists for their
poetic potential  and have now become aesthetics that gesture toward the
liminal and tactile beginnings of video."

I might mention as well that this emphasis on "erasure" also reflects the
pressure placed by our guest, John Conomos and his collaborator, Brad
Buckley, in their fascinating recent collection of essays, Erasure: The
Spectre of Cultural Memory (Libri, 2015).

Renate and I are looking forward to today to enjoying some other NY
exhibitions that dialogue with this month's theme.  We wish you, and our
many Jewish participants, all the best for the holidays.



Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Taylor Family Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
A D White House
Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York 14853

On 9/23/15 8:36 PM, "Turim,Maureen Cheryn" <mturim at ufl.edu> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>I have been following the past weeks of discussion with great interest,
>notably on the issues of preservation and on the theorization implied in
>the inventive analog technologies of the ETC.   To continue on this later
>notion, in light of my teaching an senior honors seminar this semester on
>cinematography, I want to raise the question of the camera in the ETC
>works.  Some artists brought externally shot material to the ETC to
>process (for example Shalom Gorewitz) while many others tended to set up
>one or multiple cameras at the ETC as studio, working with themselves or
>others as models/actors, or setting up still lives. In both cases the
>status of the camera image was reworked, but differently in the studio
>set-ups in which the immediacy of the transformation of the image was
>performed.  In other words, what in cinema constitutes post-production
>could be integral to the recording process itself.  I have long been
>fascinated by what that meant, and would like to hear more from others
>about the status of the camera image in these works. Some of my favorite
>images from the early days were those that reduced representational
>imagery to some ephemeral outlining (Barbara Buckner) that could
>fluctuate dynamically.  Its been so long since I¹ve seen this work, but
>for example, those transforming outlines remain etched in memory. Perhaps
>we can talk more about the camerawork + processing in both semiotic and
>perceptual terms. 
>The sequencing aspect of ETC works also brings up a comparison to filmic
>montage, and particularly theories of intervallic structure.  Peer Bode¹s
>Video Locomotion (man performing forward hand leap), 1978, made explicit
>a para-cinematic comparison, while contrasting the stillness and
>rectilinear structure of Muybridge¹s photo sheets with a contorted raster
>and whirling motion.   So signal transforms signifier into a
>meta-commentary on sequenced imagery.  We were all aware of the
>cubo-futurist components of the multiple cameras linked through a
>sequencer, but now, is there more to think about this process in
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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