Lis Rhodes

Light Music is an innovative work presented originally as a performance that experiments with celluloid and sound to push the formal, spatial and performative boundaries of cinema. An iconic work of expanded cinema, it creates a more central and participatory role for the viewer within a dynamic, immersive environment.

Formed from two projections facing one another on opposite screens, Light Music is Rhodes’s response to what she perceived as the lack of attention paid to women composers in European music. She composed a ‘score’ comprised of drawings that form abstract patterns of black and white lines onscreen. The drawings are printed onto the optical edge of the filmstrip. As the bands of light and dark pass through the projector they are ‘read’ as audio, creating an intense soundtrack, forming a direct, indexical relationship between the sonic and the visual. What one hears is the aural equivalent to the flickering patterns on the screens.

Light Music is projected into a hazy room – the beams that traverse one another in the space between the two projections become ethereal sculptural forms comprised of light, shadow and theatrical smoke. This format is designed to encourage viewers to move between the screens, directly engaging with the projection beams, forming a set of social relations in which cinema is transformed into a collective event without a single point of focus. Light Music occupies an important threshold in film history, drawing on early experiments in ‘visual music’ from the 1920s by pioneers including Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter and Walther Ruttmann, and subsequently opening cinematic practice up to a host of concerns from gender politics to phenomenological experience.

Lis Rhodes (born 1942, London) is a major figure in the history of artists’ filmmaking in Britain and was a leading member of the influential London Filmmakers’ Co-op. She currently lives and works in London, where a survey exhibition of her career, Lis Rhodes: Dissonance and Disturbance, was held at the ICA from January to March 2012. Her films are distributed by LUX.

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern-tanks/display/lis-rhodes-light-music

Joan Jonas • Vertical Roll

In this well-known early tape, Jonas manipulates the grammar of the camera to create the sense of a grossly disturbed physical space. The space functions as a metaphor for the unstable identity of the costumed and masked female figure roaming the screen, negotiating the rolling barrier of the screen’s bottom edge. “[Making] use of a jarring rhythmic technique to develop a sense of fragmentation, Vertical Roll uses a common television set malfunction of the same name to establish a constantly shifting stage for the actions that relate both to the nature of the image and to the artist’s projected psychological state.”

—David Ross, “Joan Jonas’s Videotapes” in Joan Jonas: Scripts and Descriptions, 1968-1982, ed. Douglas Crimp (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983)

see also disturbances on vdb.org

Stan Brakhage


Stan Brakhage, “Mothlight” (1963)

Stan Brakhage
American filmmaker who brought a unique eye to his craft
Ronald Bergan
Friday 14 March 2003 21.23 EST

Those who consider cinema a narrative art form, and believe that films should have a beginning, a middle and an end – in that order – will have problems with the work of Stan Brakhage, who has died aged 70. His films were difficult also for those not willing to shed the conventionalised illusion, imposed by rules of perspective, compositional logic and “lenses grounded to achieve 19th-century compositional perspective”.

For Brakhage, the goal of cinema was the liberation of the eye itself, the creation of an act of seeing, previously unimagined and undefined by conventions of representation, an eye as natural and unprejudiced as that of a cat, a bee or an infant. There were few filmmakers – film director is too limiting a description – who went so far to train audiences to see differently.

“Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective,” he wrote in Metaphors On Vision, first published in the journal Film Culture in 1963, “an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception.

“How many colours are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of ‘green’? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects, and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of colour. Imagine a world before the ‘beginning was the word’.”

To a large extent, Brakhage realised this innocent world in his films, restrictively labelled avant-garde or experimental, existing in a parallel universe to the multiplex ethos. His signature was as figurative as it was literal – he would scratch his initials directly on the film’s emulsion at the end credits. Like a painter or sculptor, he worked manually on his material, often scratching, dyeing and altering the celluloid itself, making today’s push-button digital technology anathema to him.

He would hand-paint blank frames of 16mm film, and glue objects to them in a collage. In Mothlight (1963), for example, he pasted moth wings on to strips of film and, when projected, the bright light seemed to bring the insects back to life.

Brakhage was born Robert Sanders in a Kansas City orphanage, and adopted two weeks later by Ludwig and Clara Brakhage, who named him James Stanley. He performed on radio as a boy soprano, attended high school in Denver, Colorado, and, at 19, dropped out of Dartmouth College after two months to make films.

Among his early influences were Jean Cocteau and the Italian neo-realists but, after arriving in New York in 1954, he joined the flourishing avant-garde scene, drawing inspiration from artists and filmmakers like Maya Deren, Marie Menken and Joseph Cornell. He admired Ezra Pound, and was a close associate of poets like Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan, and abstract expressionist painters such as Willem de Kooning, with whom much of his work has an affinity.

In 1957, he married Jane Collom, and the details of their lives together figured prominently in his work. In Window Water Baby Moving (1959), he unflinchingly and poetically documented the birth of the first of their five children.

In 23rd Psalm (1966), he contrasted scenes of his tranquil life in rural Colorado with footage of the second world war. The quick cuts of the first part, depicting a world menaced by chaos, give way to the contemplative passages of the second, suggestive of a quest for the roots of war – particularly the Vietnam war, then at its height.

Brakhage’s most famous film, Dog Star Man (1964), one of the key works of the 1960s American avant-garde, experimented with the use of colour, painting on film and distorting lenses, while depicting the creation of the universe. It ends with superimpositions of solar flares and chains of mountains over his wife, as she gives birth to their child.

During five decades, Brakhage made nearly 380 films, most of them shot in 8mm or 16mm, and ranging in length from nine seconds to four hours. With a few exceptions, they were made without sound, which he felt might spoil the intensity of the visual experience. He preferred to think of his films as metaphorical, abstract and highly subjective – a kind of poetry written with light.

Brakhage taught film history at the University of Colorado from 1981 until last year, when he retired to Canada with his second wife and two sons, who survive him along with the five children of his first mariage. It is a tragic irony that he seems to have been killed by the art he loved. According to his widow, doctors believed that the coal-tar dyes he used in his filmmaking may have contributed to his bladder cancer, which was diagnosed in 1996.

· James Stanley Brakhage, filmmaker, born January 14 1933; died March 9 2003

Alejandro G., A Shared Silence

Alejandro G., A Shared Silence, 2013, Digital Video, 5:58 Final Project, ARTV-320 Film + Video Art, Spring 2013

“A man looks directly at the camera and proceeds to apply another reality to his face, revealing a desert landscape. Using greenscreen compositing techniques, this video depicts the performative action of applying a mask and then removing it laboriously and thoroughly—the mask being a projection, desire, memory and/or psychological state.” — Alejandro G.

Wild Wild Waves -‘Silence’

Wild Wild Waves – expression
Definition : live electronic band from Lyon (France) with double bass, vibraphone, electronically modified drums and machines.
Vocation : to paint some sound pictures with hybrid frequencies and textures. To make people dance.

This video was filmed basing on the theme of rotation and perpetual movement, by using numerous techniques such as timelapse, hyperlapse and infinite zoom. This psychedelic music video shows the will of the director to stay in the pre-digital era with an craft preparation : from the cutting to the drawings, through subjects filmed on a green screen.

Director : Thomas Blanchard
Lighting Technician : Maud Regnault
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wildwildwaves.fr/
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thomas-blanchard.com
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archipelmusic.com/
‘Silence’ is the first single by Wild Wild Waves, available now on Archipel. 

Announcing the upcoming debut album to be released in 2016.


Produced by Wild Wild Waves & Benoît Bel
Track mixed by Benoît Bel & Wild Wild Waves
Music and vocals by Wild Wild Waves 

Directed, filmed and edited by Thomas Blanchard
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iTunes here: http://goo.gl/O4rEGj

Amazon here: http://goo.gl/vE8IwV
Bandcamp here: http://goo.gl/5Qf0oO
Deezer here: http://goo.gl/EfyBga
Spotify here: http://goo.gl/NoLIuu
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Wild Wild Waves Official Site: wildwildwaves.fr/

Facebook: facebook.com/wildwildwaves/

Twitter: @wildwildwaves
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-FUBIZ-
fubiz.net/en/tv/wild-wild-waves-silence/

-JOURNAL DU DESIGN-
journal-du-design.fr/art/clip-wild-wild-waves-silence-par-thomas-blanchard-67149/

-LES INROCKUPTIBLES-
lesinrocks.com/lesinrockslab/news/2015/12/7-clips-ont-marque-semaine/