“[Sergei] Eisenstein, we recall, championed the use of ‘montage’ theory in film. Here film communicated by a succession of juxtaposed images that did not need to have a linear, narrative or consequential relationship between them. Shot ‘A’ followed by shot ‘B’ created a new meaning ‘C’ in the mind of the viewer. Eisenstein likened this to ‘haiku’ – a traditional Japanese poetic form in which a short succession of separate images combines in the mind of the reader to create a total meaning which is greater than the sum of its component parts. In this way, meaning is suggested rather than stated. Eisenstein hoped to communicate specific meanings, but in the haiku… the implication is far more abstract.” (Richard Howells, Visual Culture)
“Maya Deren had attempted to find a filmic equivalent to the haiku shortly before her death. She left the project incomplete. [Stan] Brakhage too used the analogy to the haiku in discussing his 8mm Songs. By including the two haiku series in Lost, Lost, Lost [Jonas] Mekas contextualized them as steps in the development of his poetic incarnation as a film-maker.” (P. Adams Sitney, Eyes Upside Down: Visionary Filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson)
“In the tradition of Stan Brakhage, Len Lye and contemporary video artists such as Gillian Wearing this selection of works seeks to develop a new language uncompromised by mainstream cinema and orthodox narrative constructions. This programme of experimental film and video art provides a snapshot of artistic activity around the moving image.” (The Physics Room, read more)
“Dick Whyte is definitively the most prolific of the Aro Valley digital filmmakers. Since the late 90s he’s produced a dizzying amount of experimental film work, much of which remains unseen – although his most recent work is usually produced for and released online.” (Campbell Walker, Ghost Movies programme notes)
Reconstruction of John Cage’s 4’33” using 68 YouTube videos of people performing the piece on a variety of instruments. Part of the ongoing RECON project. Many thanks to Rhizome.org andC-Monster for featuring this work recently.
“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.” (John Cage, Experimental Music)
Inspired by the Tao Wells video “A View To A Kill,” which consisted of a split screen video recording of Wells playing a two player first person shooter. In the top screen stands Player 1, unmoving. In the bottom screen Player 2, controlled by Tao, begins searching for Player 1. When Player 2 finds Player 1 he shoots him in the head. Cut. Repeat. Player 1 is still motionless in the top half of the screen, while Player 2 starts the hunt again. Finding Player 1, he slits their throat. Cut. Repeat ad nauseam. In Tao’s film there is a detailed exploration of our love of killing others. Here, we have the natural conclusion – we kill ourselves over and over again.
“Of course, capitalism was and remains a formidable desiring machine. The monary flux, the means of production, of manpower, of new markets, all that is the flow of desire. It’s enough to consider the sum of contingencies at the origin of capitalism to see to what degree it has been a crossroads of desires, and that its infrastructure, even its economy, was inseparable from the phenomena of desire. And fascism too — one must say that it has “assumed the social desires,” including the desires of repression and death. People got hard-ons for Hitler, for the beautiful fascist machine. But if your question means: was capitalism revolutionary in its beginnings, has the industrial revolution ever coincided with a social revolution? No, I don’t thing so. Capitalism has been tied from its birth to a savage repressiveness; it had it’s organization of power and its state apparatus from the start. Did capitalism imply a dissolution of the previous social codes and powers? Certainly. But it had already established its wheels of power, including its power of state, in the fissures of previous regimes. It is always like that: things are not so progressive; even before a social formation is established, its instruments of exploitation and repression are already there, still turning in the vacuum, but ready to work at full capacity. The first capitalists are like waiting birds of prey. They wait for their meeting with the worker, the one who drops through the cracks of the preceding system.” (Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium)
This is a sketch for a much longer video work exploring the fragmentation of traditional narratives into repetitive/poetic texts, stitching together the “previously” segments from the TV show Angel.
“On FRAGMENTATION: This is indispensable if one does not want to fall into REPRESENTATION. To see beings and things in their separate parts. Render them independent in order to give them a new dependence.” (Robert Bresson, Notes on Cinematography)
Video mashup of Walk Disney’s speech at the opening of Disneyland, one of Hitler’s speeches and Star Wars. All footage sourced from YouTube.
“Werner von Braun entered the consciousness of America as its prophet of space travel on a Sunday evening in 1955. He had been hired by Walt Disney to develop a series of stories for his Disneyland television program With his smooth German accent, von Braun came across as foreign as outer-space; yet with Disney as his patron, he became familiar as Mickey Mouse and he seemed as squeaky clean as Snow White. We eventually learned – if we did not know already – that von Braun had designed the V-2 missile that had rained terror on London during World War 2 According to his story, von Braun had little choice but to let his genius be exploited by the Nazis. Now, in the mid-1950s, he was working for the United States Army to build rockets that would defend us from the Communists. About a decade ago, as many government documents from the end of World War II were declassified, von Braun’s true story began to emerge. The documents told of the Nazi activities of von Braun and other German scientists who came to the US after the war. It was no longer credible for them to say that they were not dedicated Nazis and only did what they did to protect their jobs They belonged to the Nazi party, the SS, and other Nazi organizations. They were honored by the Nazi party and by Hitler specifically. They were indirectly – and in some cases directly – responsible for the deaths of thousands of concentration camp slave laborers.” (Dennis Piszkiewicz, The Nazi Rocketeers: Dreams of Space and Crimes of War)
In 1933, the German American Bund was founded by Fritz Kuhn. An association of German immigrants to America, the Bund had a definite pro-Nazi slant. Disney animator Art Babbitt claimed his boss had a strong interest in, if not outright sympathy for, the Bund; “In the immediate years before we entered the War there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party… There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one occasion I observed Walt Disney and [Disney’s lawyer] Gunther Lessing there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to meetings all the time. The German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, whose documentaries in the mid-30s had helped to glorify the Nazis, claimed that “after Kristallnacht , she approached every studio in Hollywood looking for work. No studio head would even screen her movies except Walt Disney. He told her he admired her work but if it became known that he was considering hiring her, it would damage his reputation.” (Marc Eliot, Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince)