Beyond cinema as we know it.Cinema Expanded Exhibition at the Eye.
The Remebered Film: Noise of the Marketplace
Victor Burgin is an artist, a writer, and a professor of the European Gradutate school.
Burgin compares the inner voice, interior speech within the noise of the media to the noise of an African marketplace -- the souk. It's the virr-varr, to introduce exotic Estonian terminology.
Burgin counts the story of Breton and Vache going to the cinema -- watching only pieces of film. For them, cinema is life's backdrop.
Burgin shows how personal experience is mixed with the fictional. Burgin remember his mother in a bombing. But the images he remembers are not real but creations of his imagination, he thinks, coming from what he has seen in movies. The reality of past happening and the stories told in movies are mixed in memories. In memories there's a lack of distinction between reality and cinema.
Barthes. A sequence-image formed in the memory but without context.
Burgin invokes Focoult's discussion of the heterotopia. From Latin, the "other place". His favorite example is the ship, touching everything yet remaining apart. The heterotopia is invented through the utopia, an ideal place, an imagined space, like that on the cinema screen.
Even the movie itself is a simulacrum to invoke Baudrillard, part of the society of the spectacle. The movie Eyes Wide Shut, is a disjointed series of scenes -- but in the head of the viewer they form a new world. An imagined world.
We can feel familiar with a film we have actually not seen, Through adverts, articles, photos, and commentary, we know pieces of the storyworld without ever seeing the movie itself.
Today cinema is not exclusively identified with movies. It's everwhere. It's the fictious worlds existing like alternate realities to our own. While he does not mention it explicitly, Burgin is describing transmedia storytelling from the point of view of a reader.
Consumer digital video tech allows one to change the order, repetition of images, fixation on a favorite image, or zoom through movies in the same manner as Breton and Vache.
Already in the 18th century the disjunction between activity and movement in painting was understood. The key moment of activity is best captured in a single image, as its that moment -- the peripeteia -- which is crucial to the image. This peripeteia is best isolated also in filmmaking as in painting, as it is this that moves the narrative forward. The narrative is like the air, it's everywhere, present in all human activity.
From Arcade to Cinema
Anne Friedberg. Scholar of Critical Studies at USC, drawing from philosophy.
Friedberg discusses the role of cinema in postmodern culture. For her, film burst open our world tied to architecture. Cinema allows one to travel away from the grey everyday. It's a form of escapism. It's a virtual mobility through time and space.
Friedberg discusses the creation of department stores in 19th century France when Paris was the capital of the world. The shop window is the first version of the cinema screen.
The world expositions in France, UK, US. A cinema of attractions.
The gaze mobilized by the Eiffel tower. The view previously only avaiable to Balloonists. The gaze mobilized by new means of transport, tourism. In the same train of thought the Cinema follows, transporting the gaze to far worlds and events. We are no longer stuck in architecture but freed by cinema. And today, even moreso, YouTube, with videos made by people all over the world and seen all over the world.
Frieberg discusses Bejamin's ideas of the aura of a unique object, lost with reproduction to a mass audience.
Baudrillard. Simulacrum. Simulation of reality symbols. Epstein.
Mitchell Schwarzer. Architecture Historian at the California College of the Arts.
Building sets and the work of architects in building fictional cinemascapes. Cinema of attractions, that spends more time on visuals than the story. Travelogue. Location shooting. neorealism. Scwartcher goes on to discuss the city symphony genre in detail, the first of which was Paul Strand's Manhatta in 1921. Emotional character reflected in architecture. Talkies bring attention to the dialogue, then to the narrative. Cineplastics. Citizen Kane that builds a backstory through the narrative of previous architecture at Xanadu. Speed distance reproduction.
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PS: I just realized the lack of architecture in my work (and documentaries in general) that would create space and grandeur. Architecture is essentially cinematic which is what many documentaries lack.∎ Back to Index