Synopsis of texts

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Synopsis of texts:

Structural Films: Meditation through Simple Forms, Yoel Meranda

This text mainly focuses on the viewing experiences of structural film through its simple forms. It firstly introduces features of structural film and its differences with representation films: structural film’s non-illusionist and non-representation features.

It analyzes three structural films: Hollis Frampton’s <Hapax Legomena>, Paul Sharits’s <T,O,U,C,H,N,G>, Andy Warhol’s <Blowjob>. To analyze these three films, the writer aims to describe the the participation/ predetermined shape from the viewer through simple forms. The writer also claims that finding the idea is the most important part of the process of structural film since the execution is relatively not complex to do. In the following paragraphs, the writer analyzes another three films from the same filmmaker- Ernie Gehr: <Glider>, <Serene Velocity>, <In Shift>. The writer thinks that Ernie Gehr’s films are perfect examples of how the medium can both make us think even though the viewers are aware what the films are. The three examples also show that they cope with human brain reacts to images without applying complex technical knowledge on the making of film.

To conclude, in order to achieve either kind of meditation, on cinema or on perception, the simple forms are essential.

Theory and Definition of Structural/Materialist Film (Part 1), Peter Gidal

There’re 10 small chapters in this paper. The introduction describes the general description and definition of structural film.

1. Devices – This film devices within duration one is forced to attempt to decipher both the film’s material and the construct. The attempt is primary to any specific shape.
2. Production – Each film is a record (not a representation, not a reproduction) of its own making. viewing such a film is at once viewing a film and viewing the 'coming into presence' of the film, i.e. the system of consciousness that produces the work, that is produced by and in it.
3. Represented Content – The Structural/ Materialist film must minimize the content in its overpowering, imagistically seductive sense, in an attempt to get through this miasmic area of 'experience' and proceed with film as film.
4. Film as material – It is predicated upon representation.
5. The viewer—The mental activation of the viewer is necessary for the procedure of the film’s existence.
6. Dominant cinema – In dominant cinema, it demands a passive audience, viewer. The viewer is not getting involved, instead, getting swept along through persuasive emotive devices employed by the film director.
7. Dialectic—The distinct difference between what can be termed the ambiguousness of an identification process and a dialectic functioning.
8. Identification— Identification is inseparable from the procedures of narrative, though not totally covered by it.
9. Narrative and deconstruction— A further point on narrative: while the deconstruction of narrative as an academic exercise is not of vital import, it would be in any case a useful function towards expropriating the ownership of the codes of narrativity.
10. Art movements— This chapter describes two art movements that had special effects on the current avant-garde, structural film: The aesthetics of Abstract – Expressionism and Minimalism.

Picture of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock, P1: Why Abstract Art, Krik Varnedoe

This part of the audio isn’t very long compared to his book <Picture of Nothing:>, yet inspiring. It gives an introduction on the development of minimalism from 50s to 60s, from being in a cube to the scale and body. The influence to abstract from minimalism. Moreover, what abstract art gives us as a viewer? Can there be a philosophy of abstract art as compelling as Gombrich's argument for illusionism? What is abstract art good for? And finally, what do we get out of abstract art?

Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art, Gabrielle Jennings

This is a thick and inspiring book about abstract video, it definitely takes much time to finish it. There’re 3 parts and 15 chapters in this book. Gabrielle Jennings collected and invited 14 researchers, writers to write different topics about abstract video in the contemporary art scene.

Part 1-- Transmission
The writers in the “Transmission” section take on the hard questions: What does it mean when notions of the abstract change over time? And what does the abstract say when it appears as an embedded system and not necessarily as a visual sign?

Part 2 – Interference
In this part, it discusses abstract art videos in internet art, abstract moving images generated or shaped by means of real-time audience interaction. It considers artworks characterized by a pulsing mandala; tearing, scratching, screeching visual noise; chance encounters; a breaking apart of the image; and code, hacking, hypertext, and interactivity. Two essays in this part consider glitch art.

Part 3 – Reception
The very properties of video (light, sound, movement) can produce not only a wavering and questionable sense of time but also, a permeability that allows for an unfolding, malleable multiplicity.

For the priority, I’m currently reading the introduction: On the Horizon and chapter 12 – The Spreadability of Video. I found this chapter is related to my practice closely, how can a video be spread into other forms or space. How does an abstract video abstract the space.