Experimental Cinema in the Age of Binary Data: The Digital Alternative to the Celluloid Image

Experimental Cinema in the Age of Binary Data: The Digital Alternative to the Celluloid Image

Robert Daniel Flowers

Language: English

Pages: 175

ISBN: 2:00200536

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This dissertation establishes the experimental filmmaker’s currentand future position in a digital environment that continues to grow exponentially. It examines the digital video medium and its encroachment into the terrain of celluloid based cinema. The project questions the validity of experimental filmmakers’ continuing use of traditional technology and explores modern alternatives to the avant-garde’s established and stagnating methods of content creation, manipulation, delivery, and presentation. Perhaps the most importantand controversial of these alternatives to be addressed is DVD video and its repercussions. Experimental cinema is advancing using the most cost effective, and efficient means to express that tradition, whether it is celluloid, digital video, digital cinema, or some obscure format. There is no doubt that digital technology is encompassing all forms of image capture, as did the photochemical medium more than a century before. Just as that ushered in a new avant-garde, so too will today’s electronic and computer-based cinema. This new toolset will arguably modify traditional aesthetics countless and unforeseeable ways, despite its current infancy. Building on a rich history of innovation, yet remaining in obscurity, experimental cinema can now through media such as the
DVD, streaming video, and Blu-ray, evangelize asnever before. At this point in time, the
available options presented by digital video are sovast that one can almost be consumed by the technology. Despite the overwhelming breadth of the medium, the advantages and territory it exposes far outweigh any reasonable dissent. For experimentalcinema the digital video revolution is its saving grace, unencumbered by celluloid’s slow demise and third party relationships, makers are finally un-tethered.

Foucault on Politics, Security and War




















light from a different way. So yeah, I think it’s very different…(Berger 2007). The methodologies of digital video which include such components as the camera, and nonlinear editing software have caused artists such as Leighton Pierce to reevaluate how one approaches a new work. This “reevaluation” for some, has affected the aesthetic outcome: Well certainly it’s changed mine. I can say personally because of the plastic nature of digital video it’s changed it in a huge way. I used to hardly ever

the digitized image and there is very little danger of losing synchronization between the two. When a digital video clip is imported into a non-linear editing program its sound can be seen as a visual wave form. The sound quality is generally the 6 16mm cameras which are an exception to this were generally used by television news crews or documentary filmmakers. These cameras had an internal sound head which recorded audio on a magnetic striped film stock synchronized with the image. This type

Janis Lipzin, MM Serra, David Gatten, Heather McAdams, Tom Palazzolo, Tony Conrad, Brian Frye, Peter Rose, Robert Flowers, Jim Seibert, Stan Brakhage, Steve Bartoo, Mark Wilson, Ulrike Reichhold, and Alfonzo Alvarez, as well as my own. The screenings were a strong presence in Chicago in the mid-1990’s and received critical acclaim in the local press including a back page story in the Chicago Sun Times and a feature story in the Chicago Reader. I worked in 16mm film almost exclusively until 1996

on the art I am now showing, digital prints of multiple photographs, since 2002. By my mid-teens, I was interested in math, physics, poetry, classical music, and cinema, mostly American avant-garde film (Brakhage, Markopoulos, Rice) and classical Hollywood (Hitchcock, Hawks). By 17, I was trying to make my own films, and was writing my earliest film criticism. By my early 20s I had completed five 16mm films, and by 1984 had made a version of SN. By then my film ideas had grown impossibly

psychodramas and pop cultural parodies that are charged with perverse humor. In the mid-1980s, Kuchar acquired an 8-mm camcorder and began producing an extraordinary series of video diaries, chronicling a singular, ongoing personal history. Exhibiting the rawness of video verite and the theatricality of fiction, his self-narrated tapes record close-up observations of the personal routines and social interactions of Kuchar's daily life. Infused with humor and melancholy, these documents of the

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