In doing the Expanded works in late 2003-4, my motivation was to see actually experience these pieces as reading on page, hard to really understand. Also motivated to do them to continue with performance aspect to SMIC events. I was thinking a lot about interactivity at the time â€“ mostly because the buzz at COFA was around the interactive cinema research centre.
In finding out more about this, I came across Jeffrey Shawâ€™s early Expanded works and saw that he had well and truly passed before over territory that interested me. At the time, I was engaged with an artwork that ended up with the title Moving Still Life. I was interested in cinema outside the black room and cinema not anticipated by its audience (an audience who would not seek out this kind of work – avoiding preaching to the converted). Elements in that work were â€˜poorâ€™ materials (obsolete media, plastic milk bottles), public environment. Only worked in an unselfconscious public environment integral eg UNSW campus, Centennial Park where its audience was dog walkers, engineering students. Problem of unrobust machines â€“ used super 8 film projectors, too fragile for this kind of public space. So to take this piece any further requires more resilient machines.
My available tech for my re-engagement with film in 1998 was super 8 (prior to this I aimed at â€˜film makingâ€™. In this re-engagement it was quite clear that it was about image experimentation, the how tos of image construction from the very, very beginning, response to feeling that I learnt nothing in film school and that film making is primarily concerned with the image (still think thatâ€™s true even now that we award the mobile phone piece the Squatfest prize partly for its sheer illegibility and imbecility – no offence to Emily). So I went to painting school to learn something about image construction. Still find the visual education of film makers really woeful but thatâ€™s me). But over the period 1998-2007 these machines have ceased to be public domain, low common denominator. They have become very, very specialised and niche. So this undercuts my original impulse. So in a sense what I am trying to do is bone myself up on ways in which I might have more robust, realistic technology.
In the interim 2004-2007, I have had these realisations: cinema of participation â€“ not all participants are welcome. The way in which some people wish to participate is not the way in which it was intended. It makes it an unusable space for me. This exposed to me how my own ability and sense of professionalism has developed meaning that I am not really able to authentically occupy that space of encouraging everyone and being a platform for others. In a sense, I was only interested in creating a platform for myself. Self interest is very motivating and not necessarily bad. So the major public address of these events went too far. But something about them inviting participation is still important. Open reel and segments very important. Limited duration to open reel.
So through the MSL comes Expanded through SMIC is forum for Expanded.
Other element for me is increased engagement with the performed film. So this is Mike Cooper, Loop Orchestra and now Trio (Stewart, Anderson, Curham). Business of the performed film significant for a film maker because of the aspects of the direct address to the audience which is there in Expanded Cinema from outset. Performed film increasingly pictorial and drawing oriented for me in the â€˜living water colourâ€™ â€“ this engages with Expanded Cinema.
History made flesh in so far as we actually embody these works in re-enactment. We are not simply playing classical works, we are exploring them from the inside out. Activation in this form is giving us access to the original not possible in other media. So how does this whole process differ from painting a Vermeer using his techniques? Because the process of the painting is not interesting in itself? Really, says who?
10-3-07 Actions List
1. Load projector stands in Peterâ€™s car
2. Meet at P Space 1.10pm
3. Tea Ihlein, Curham, Shaw
4. Make audio disc for 55â€
5. Set up firlm for 55â€, watch film, adjust camera position. Watch 9/3/07 footage.
6. Do 10/3/07 55â€ with Peter present
7. Unload film
8. Set up for 6 Minutes with Peter. Do 6 Minutes. Transfer media 55â€ audio to CD, 6 Minutes to DVD.
9. Develop film
10. Locate Raban articles and other Ihlein files