FILM: LIGHT, REAL FLARES AND FLICKERS (AND SOUND)

Electromagnetic radiation in the range of the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye is called visible light or simply light. There are no exact bounds to the visible spectrum; a typical human eye will respond to wavelengths from approximately 400 to 700 nm.
Naturally the omnipresent light is sunlight: the main source of energy, the undisputed source of life. Artists like Jim Davis and Stan Brakhage spent their life capturing this solar energy, this light, in their films, in the celluloid. This spiritual light can be seen as creation in its purest form, ultimately resembling the human mind.
The artists in this program all work with this luminous flux. Either in particles or in waves, refracted or reflected, they spoil our eyes with an evening of films and performances on light. Fiat Lux!

LIGHT TOUCH – DARK LIGHT
Luis Recoder + Sandra Gibson, 16mm filmperformance, 45.00 min.

“The hand absorbs the light. Obscures, darkens. An opaque appearance in the field of light ‘materializes’ the light. Discloses its light-ness. For light itself is not enough to show this. For light to show this it must be obscured, covered-over, withheld. It must be stopped, stopped-up, stopped-down in order to achieve the point of clearest resolution. It is only then that the light, absorbed by the hand, returns the gesture as if reaching out to greet the latter. The cut-out dark figure in the field of light throws into relief the dialectic: light-and-shadow. Shadow points to light, and not the other way around. The one holds the key to the other and are by no means self-contained containers of metaphysical essences. If the hand in the light is a sign that the mind perceives the light, it is not the purity of light itself that issues forth this knowledge but the cut-out figure of an opacity articulating its powers of resolution.” (Recoder + Gibson)
Luis Recoder + Sandra Gibson have shown their collaborative film performances and installations at many film festivals, museums, galleries, and alternative venues since 2001. Their work touches upon the material-physical properties of the film medium - its sculptural, painterly, and tactile potential. In addressing the materials and processes of their medium via performance and installation, Gibson and Recoder play with and against the illusory currents of cinema.

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NETHERGATE
Bruce McClure, 16mm filmperformance, 60.00 min.

New York based artist and architect Bruce McClure works with multiple 16mm film projectors re-envisioning the tradition of ‘expanded cinema’. Intervening in the trajectory of light from the source to the spectator, he creates on-screen cinematic projections that really only exist in the uniqueness of each individual performance.
‘Nethergate’ is all about this trajectory of light. Each of the three specially adjusted projectors contains a 16mm filmloop with just black and white frames, all slightly different. These loops form a different flicker for each running projector. McClure uses metal plate inserts in the film shoe which assembly the succession of portals as light moves from the lamp to the screen. The work proposes that focus becomes more mobile once you add foreign objects into the light path. The spatial intervals or scenics created inside the machine become a gateway for the lowly projector to enter the citadel as a major participant.
McClure: “a few words about ‘Nethergate’ ... well, Caspar David Friedrich - symbolic landscape, it's a painting I remember seeing of a gate opening on to a pasture all glowingly in the late afternoon light. The gateway romance. The Romantics of projected and intervalled light. Its there but you can't get to it. Open gate closed gate. Introducing the gate makes us aware of the gateway.”

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#3
Joost Rekveld
the Netherlands, 1994, 16mm, 04.00 min.

‘#3’ is a 16mm film with pure light, in which the images were created by recording the movements of a tiny light-source with extremely long exposures, so that it draws traces on the emulsion.
It was made according to an extensive score covering colour, exposure, camera position, width of the light-trail and the direction and speed of movement of the mechanical system. The light that draws the traces was fastened to a double pendulum. This system is known from chaos-theory and shows unpredictable behavior in a certain range of speeds.
Artist site: http://www.lumen.nu/rekveld

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ENERGIES
Jim Davis
USA, 1957, 16mm, 10.00 min.

The films of Jim Davis are not well known and therefore rarely shown. Originally a painter he turned to creating curved plastic sculptures and mobiles before finally switching to film in 1946. Between 1946 and 1972 Jim Davis made lots of films depicting the primal ´flow of energy´ made visible in refracted light. He only used sunlight for creating his fragile light sculptures on film. ´Energies´ is made over a long period of time using this sunlight refracted while passing through glass and plastic. The original electronic soundtrack is made by Norman de Marco.

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COMMINGLED CONTAINERS
Stan Brakhage
USA, 1996, 16mm, 03.00 min.

While testing a new camera Brakhage couldn't resist putting the lens under the surface while passing this little stream. The result is stunning. Like in his masterpiece ´Text of light´ he dives deep into the refracting medium for very close-up pictures of specks of light beautifully transformed into polyhedral formations. In Brakhage´s own words: ´A photography of the essence of life itself as the interaction of pulsating and commingling containers´.

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KOSMOS
Thorsten Fleisch
Germany, 2004, 16mm, 05.11 min.

‘Kosmos’ is a study of translucent crystals. With a typically tactile approach the artist grew the crystals directly onto the 16mm filmstrip.
At times, images of the crystals rush past us, changing on every frame. At times, the images are slowed down to one or two per second, and they are allowed to ‘bloom’ into focus. Some look like turquoise chunks embedded in glass, others like bubbling black water. The shimmering, glassy electronic noise score complements the images well. In the film's exciting conclusion, the crystals seem somehow to be rushing towards the viewer, and to be transformed into pure energy, as fiery points of lights dance chaotically all over the frame. In its modest way, this short film lives up to its title, and gives us a glimpse into the hidden structure of a universe.
Artist site: http://www.fleischfilm.com

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STRAIGHT AND NARROW
Beverly & Tony Conrad
USA, 1970, 16mm, 10.00 min.

´Straight and narrow´ is a study of subjective colour and visual rhythm. Although it is printed on black and white film, the hypnotic pacing of the images will cause most viewers to experience a programmed gamut of hallucinatory colour effects. Through the intermediary of rhythm, the maximal impact is drawn from the simplest of universal human images: straight horizontal and vertical lines. Set to a score of John Cale and Terry Riley it is hard not to become hypnotized by this flicker phenomenon.

 

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