EYE on Art 2016 - Initial drafts

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This page is for collecting information and thoughts on the EYE On Art 2016 programme.

Eye floorplan (red area)

Topic Draft

Boundaries, 1st version

The PZI ResearchLab will focus on the boundaries of the archive. The EYE Collection is internationally recognised for its outstanding historical breadth and quality, particularly in relation to Dutch cinematic culture. As media practitioners studying the structures and cultural impacts of our media technologies, we will concentrate on the intricate and usually hidden aspects of this extensive archive. Any limitations, fractures and little noticed quirks in the archival system serve as poetic inspiration. The exhibition will have a twofold approach, including on one hand a selection and works that explore the semantic poetics of the vast collection database. On the other hand, the occasion of the moving of the EYE Collection to new premises provides a starting point to present work focusing on the materiality of both digital and analogue films, and the process of cataloguing them.


Boundaries, suggestions 1 - R

[... still wondering where we can put 'vulnerable' in there... ] The PZI ResearchLab will focus on the boundaries of the archive. The EYE Collection is internationally recognised for its outstanding historical breadth and quality, particularly in relation to Dutch cinema culture. As media practitioners studying the structures and cultural impacts of our media technologies, we will concentrate on the intricate and usually hidden aspects of this extensive archive. Any limitations, frictions [not sure about this one - R] and little noticed quirks in the archival system serve as poetic inspiration. The timing of this exhibition coincides with the moving of the EYE Collection to new premises. It provides a starting point to explore the materiality[or, vulnerability??] of both digital and analogue films, the poetics of cataloguing them, and the fragile semantics of a vast collection database. [maybe we'd better present it as one exhibition instead of a twofold.. curious what others think of this - R]


Boundaries, suggestions 2 - Lucas

I think Ruben's suggestions are good, especially not writing about "twofold approach", as it's better to keep it simple and straightforward for now :) Frictions is better than fractures, which sounds out of place. I like vulnerability but I think than emphasizing materiality or physicality may be more important...?


So a clean edit will be:

The PZI ResearchLab will focus on the boundaries of the archive. The EYE Collection is internationally recognised for its outstanding historical breadth and quality, particularly in relation to Dutch cinema culture. As media practitioners studying the structures and cultural impacts of our media technologies, we will concentrate on the intricate and usually hidden aspects of this extensive archive. Any limitations, frictions and little noticed quirks in the archival system serve as poetic inspiration. The timing of this exhibition coincides with the moving of the EYE Collection to new premises. It provides a starting point to explore the materiality of both digital and analogue films, the poetics of cataloguing them, and the fragile semantics of a vast collection database.

Team

Please add your name to the list if you're not there yet!

  • Julie
  • Christina
  • Cihad
  • Ally
  • Solange
  • Ruben
  • Sarah
  • Joana
  • Lucas
  • Thomas
  • Arantxa (?)
  • Samira
  • Julia
  • Natalie
  • Benjamin (?)
  • Yuzhen
  • Stone

Stage 1: Themes/Questions/Topics/...

The idea is to first come to a collective theme/question/topic/description/... to form an umbrella for our works.

Please prepare for our next meeting by putting your ideas in the following list:

  • Questions: What practices lie in the boundaries between cinema, art and digital technologies? What can be said about their interaction today? (lucas)
  • Theme: Colour
  • Theme: Time and space in cinema history , Future Prediction and/or view on the past true cinema.
  • Question: what are the specifics that constitute film/cinema? What happens if we apply these to other things. (Ie. if film is about moving people, that what happens if a game emotes people?) Or what happens if we apply these specifics in an algorithmic manner?
  • Cinematic emotions. Investigate how cinema (and maybe other media expressions) triggers emotions or set moods. See ie. Ed Atkins


Let's not over-analyse things:


Allyson (little Arantxa)

Objectification of the subject in cinema
Gore and obscenity
Propaganda
Degradation
Digitization
Self exploitation via technology
What is the role of exploitation in cinema / what is the propaganda value of self exploitation in cinema?


Lucas Proposal 1 ("The legacy of Expanded Cinema in the Age of ditigal networks" blah blah highbrow blah etc)

As we will be dealing with a (historical) archive in some ways, I think it may be useful to tap into some of the history of experimental cinema, especially on expanded cinema.

Proposal:

“The legacy of expanded cinema in digital culture.”

I propose to explore practices and works that lie at the boundaries of “traditional” cinema, art and (today’s) network culture.

This could be approached as “the legacy of expanded cinema” today.

Expanded cinema refers to a wide practice of moving-image art/films from the 1960s onwards (the term was first popularized by Gene Youngblood’s 1970 influential study on film and media art “Expanded Cinema”). Mainly refers to cinematic and film-based works that go beyond the two-dimensional single screen convention. The central motto for artists and filmmakers associated with expanded cinema is to have “an expanded concept of art”, where art does not have to conform to traditional categories.

Is "Expanded cinema" still a useful category today though? Does it refer to a "medium", in the sense usually understood? With the ubiquity of moving-image installations, and the inclusion of moving image components within larger and complex works, does it make sense to speak of expanded cinema today?

For this reason (these questions), works from the archive can be presented as historical precursors to current practices that go beyond traditional cinema and act in the intersection of digital, network culture, film and art.

questions: How to bring something new to the conversation of cinema / art / media / networked technology, etc?

A synesthetic cinematic spectacle, where the notions of conventional film language (narrative, structure, etc) are extended outside the single-screen space, and into:

  • multiple projections,
  • mixed media,
  • complex film projects,
  • live action / performance films,
  • intermedia techniques
  • audience participation


Things that can be included apart from moving-image based works:

  • Printed ephemera
  • Publications
  • Flip-books

Lucas Proposal 2: Colour

Colour in moving-image

Moving Colour

The treatment of colour in art cinema.

The history of cinema is, of course, closely related with the advances in its technology. And perhaps this is most obvious in the use of colour in film art. It could be interesting to contrasts different approaches to colour in different times and technologies:

  • film (16mm, etc. the practice of painting directly onto the filmstock)
  • video (analogue tape and video signals)
  • digital (digital film/animation, internet-based)
  • moving-image installations (i.e. Olafur Eliasson, etc)

Since the advent of abstract painting within the historical avant-gardes, artists have experimented with abstraction and non-representational cinema. But only with colour techniques the use of abstraction was brought into a new level to a pair with experiments in painting at the time.

Approaches to colour in film have been very varied, from romantic, sublime considerations and themes (Stan Brakhage), to clinical and structuralist strategies (Malcom Le Grice, etc).

There might be plenty in the EYE archive to play with the range of these approaches. Though experiments in colour tend to take the form of abstract works and installations (it is probably easier then to tackle “pure” colour), we could also underscore the power of colour beyond abstract films works: examples in which a particular palette choice gives meaning to an image…

(any “four seasons” film come to mind?....)

We could use distinct areas of the gallery to have works with mainly different colours, like a predominantly blue area, etc.

(Although I’d rather concentrate on experimental film, video art, arthouse cinema and mixed works that disregard the division of traditional cinema and art, it could be useful to see the changes in cinematographic choices in narrative feature films – I mean, in “traditional” cinema. This might include consideration of the photographic palette in, for example, Kiewslovki’s Three Colours trilogy, Dereck Jarman’s Blue, Almodovar’s red settings, Peter Greenaway colours, etc … that is, films in which the colour plays an important part in the movie, in the narrative or by its meaning, or whatever. (yes I know, these examples are the usual suspects in modern/contemporary film … have to dig up more into the archive, although I’d rather this be a side thing…)



Some more keywords/etc by Lucas

  • The EYE archive has a collection of film fragments, and we can use this, etc.
  • But what is it about fragments? Can we say that an archive (an a history) is always fragmentary?
  • Films of fragments / A fragmented film.
  • How is the EYE archive organized? Maybe the EYE Institute has a classificatory system, with keywords, etc...
  • We can look into the way te EYE archive is constructed, pick their keywords and present a programme based on their' classification....

Some keywords from Sol

Non-human, human, s-f, space, outer space, alien, imaginary, unimaginary, perception, hyperreality, believe, desire


Imaginary Archive of the EYE (Julia)


Cihad

  • Some of us were part of Thematic Seminar with Florian last year. We investigated media as an object.
  • Maybe we can use some subjects from these notes or we can use this subject(object). Archive as an object? Film as an object?
  • What kind of relation we have with film? with archive?
  • film is non-human made by human
  • What is the relation between human and film(non-human)
  • What are the components of film? time, space, darkness, sound? How do they effect us? What is the future cinema? hyperreality?


Encyclopedia Media Object.JPG

Benjamin

  • "light" topic vs topic connected to our/the course
  1. Do we want to attract an audience that understand easily what our exibition will be about?
  • We should have a clear look at their archive, maybe as soon as possible to get an idea what it is and what it means and can mean to us. Maybe we should have a clear look at it before we decide what the topic of our show will be.
  • Expanded Cinema/ out of the box-presentation / Video and screens as installations
  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJhgIcbSEeM
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a56RPZ_cbdc
  3. Projections to the ceilling

Ruben

Lacking a strong knowledge of film history, I believe we should be careful in approaching the EYE film archive from such a perspective. On the other hand, what distinguishes PZI is that it can investigate/interrogate the fundamentals and structures, the fabric, of the archive -- both technically and 'ethically' -- and use that as a starting point for works.

Possible questions could then be:

  • How is the database annotated?
    • Ie. How are genres determined/attributed
    • What about other 'tags'?
    • Is there another system?
  • How is chosen what is in the archive? Ie. who currates it, based on what/based on which assumptions?
  • What is absent from the archive? Ar the proposals that are rejected not as much part of the Dutch film history as those that were accepted and produced?
  • What are ways to order the archive? Utilise algorithms (see ie. the project from Michael)
  • ......

Or in short: What story is in the archive?

Possible Reads

Foucault - The history as archaeology text Some database aesthetics ...?


Cristina

  • the non-aesthetization of film: film as self defense (phone cameras). film as observational tool (CCTV). film as documentation
  • anti-narrative: ways to rearrange the available films
  • referentiality: annotation tool to intervene upon the film and link it to different materials that it links to

-what is available in the archive?


Thomas

Why are the clips in the archive in public domain? Do they know where the are from? Are they in public domain because the own never as fully found?

  • Clips of unknown origin
  • Spaces they did exist, but no more..
  • Part of clips that where discard because of (damage, unfocused …..
  • Explore the metatags, are there any clips that is #unkown , #missing …...
  • Or how many tags are there? How many clips are tagged as #amsterdam or #unknown.. ??

Jules

Familiar places we have never been to

-> How do we build a relationship with mediated spaces
-> How we record spaces that have been only mediated to us
-> Perception and Trust
-> Zeuxis and Parrahsius
-> Are there any points of conflict? (places have changed in star wars from a year to another, places filmed somewhere else)

"Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Thomas the Apostle

Our experience of reality is established through trusting moving images because they mimic aspects of reality.

-> Walking on the moon
-> Terrorism in general
-> Natural phenomenons
-> Imaginary places filmed in real locations

Without any narrative content, can we feel some sort of uncanny relationship to these places which would then become scenes or "empty containers"

Following on Ruben's ideas

Taking the Eye as a subject for inquiry.
Indeed exploring the organisation of the Eye's archive, some questions may rise. How are they organised, accessible, etc. What story of "experimental cinema" and others can appear out of the collection and its organization. Maybe the speech we had about "how tricky it would be to access it" etc can be an interesting thing to re implement.

It is redundant, looking at the materiality of the video, what's quite invisible yet impacting the life of the video

Video has relations to what's depicted but cannot translate things such as : Smell, weight, temperature. Video scales, frames, composes, expels. Video gets exchanged, distributed, subtitled.

Meeting Monday 28th

Eyemeeting280915.JPG

  • Cinema art - Technology, Distribution, Circulation
  • Time/Cinema History (Time and Space)
  • Future Predictions (Society-People-Technology
  • What Constitutes Cinema?
  • Objectification of Subject (Gore,Propaganda,Self Exposure )
  • Digital Decay
  • Cinematography Change Over time
  • Metadata, tackling archive , bias.. Failures of tagging, errors
  • Record keeping of the Archive
  • Misleading Cinema
  • Catagories

Links

Eye on the Pad

https://www.eyefilm.nl/collectie/selectie/bits-and-pieces Bits and Pieces

https://www.eyefilm.nl/en/activities/library

http://bibliotheek.eyefilm.nl/opc_internet/index.html

Eye Museum Collection Policy 2014-2017

Links from EYE presentation:

Experimental film in the Netherlands

Korte Film Poule (short film pool)

Film Bank

The Archive

(from EYE presentation)

  • The EYE archive and collection are moving in 2016 to a new building in Amsterdam North and for this reason the access to the material will be limited. Contact Simona Monizza ASAP, but at the latest 2 months before the program.
  • The collection of Bits & Pieces (fragments from the early cinema in public domain suitable for remixes) can be accessed at any time but, except in a few cases, it is mostly in SD resolution.
  • The collection of the Korte Film Poule (http://kortefilmpoule.eyefilm.nl) will be always available for curated screenings.