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The Performed Art - filmed

{Down to START} See also: [(art) concepts] [Art MovementsCoerced performance] -[post post-modernism]- [Performed Text] [The Performed UFO's] (and esp, etc) [Dada] [Dadaism] (an art "ism") [Performance frank: Realism Now!] [Why Bother?] [ "PARTS ONE, TWO, THREE" ] [Performed Art] [Performed Art: Filmed] [The Performed Art Technology] [The Performed Danse] [The Performed Score] [The Performed Text] [Performed UFO's] [The Performed WEB (including programming)] [Fluxus] [Street Art] [Interventionist Art] [T.A.Z.] (Association for Ontological Anarchy) (Hakim Bey, chief janitor) [Frank's stuff]

The Performed Art - Filmed

NOTE: The use of film (video recording/playback, audio, etc) can be from seveal POV's (points of view): As a static object displayed (eg, a looped video) or as an I/A (inter/active) experience. The latter is treated in the WEB performance page: -[
The Performed WEB (including programming)]- Also, film can be used to document the process (ie, record the performance) or to create the performance. On this page: {Intro} {Stuff} {Film Collaged} {Elements} {Film as Film}


There are two levels of which we can speak of the "filmed" art and the art-act: 1) The film as an element in a performance or other work. 2) The film as the art object itself. And then "film" as just another canvas... {
Down below} The first of these is that the film is just another prop. In the same way that as the camera moves into a room, there are possibly pictures on the wall (see, the introduction in the "Wallace and Gromit" films - esp, "The Curse of the WerRabbit") as well as TV playing. Note how many films use the voice-over (on the radio or tv) as the primary jump-of to get thru the initial bit of PLOT EXPOSITION. As to what we create when we make the film as a perfomred work... ? {Film Collaged}


In a sense, the performed art (filmed) is no different than any other prop and as such we can place/reveal/hide/discard/etc it like any other prop. One thing that i think should definitely be investigated IS the use of not just montaged shots (in the way that has become so common that it's used by NEWS programs), but as harsh juxtapositions - calling for collage here! I think that (just like represenational and realistic/naturalistic and symbolic/textual/etc) there is TOO much *certainty* in much of the work being produced. That is, it goes back to the 8-second rule of looking at gallery pieces as one is *inevitably* walking along without pause.... This goes back to (supposedly) a comment that Kubric made about the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" - "If we made a film and people all came out of the theatre saying 'oh this is what it means', then we would have failed." That is, i'm calling for a return to the mysterious. In one of the songs by Black Star (something like "Go to bed" or "Bedtime story") where they tell two little kids a story about a fast-rising rap singer and the temptations to produce $$-quick stuff rather then deeply-searching things that might not just be what the distributors/etc are thinking will sell. And at the end, the two little kids "don't get it" - ie, what was that all about? This goes back to the concept of layering as well. Let us look at the life-stories as we know them from various films and such and how the REVEAL is made here and there. Rarely are things NOT as the seem; almost all work tends to hit us over the head with it - the big RUSH, the big EXPLOSION, and of course ALWAYS A HAPPY ENDING and such. Among films that have *not* taken the easy way out are: "Mimento" "Shaft" "Little Miss Sunshine" "Schultze gets the blues" "The Man Facing SouthWest" "Bubbah Hohtep" "pi" "Z" But, on the other hand there are "happy ending" films that approach the limit of "nice-ness" "Butteryfly Effect" "Girl Six" "Heist" "Fahrenheit 451" "The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (original TV film) "The Magnificent Seven" (and of course "The Seven Samuraii" which i really need to watch again) Regardless, this idea of "telling it like it is" is a hard road to follow without sounding preachy. This is not to say that our film work should be a MESSAGE film or a REALISM (even to the extent of Film Noir, etc) but of course, it (i would insist almost) have at least some element of the surreal or absurdist in it. In one sense, it seems like much of the film work is trying so hard to NOT be genre-ised or to be "like the rest" that they almost twist themselves into some bizare sort of pastiche of reality. I think that the "Romantic COmedy" comees out the worst in the wash with this problem. An example of this occurs in the sequel-pair: "Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn" "Star Trek: The Search for Spock" (i set aside my like for the films as a trekkie and sf fan, etc). If at the end of Wrath they had simply left it at that and explored Mr. Spock's sacrifice more deeply then we would have something along the lines of "Captain Kidd" or even better like "The City on the Edge of Forever” in the Star Trek original TV series) - written by Harlan Ellison - one of the true masters of the SF genre. None-the-less, this idea of juxtaposition and design in-congruities (or even harmonies/synergies/gentle-flows) can be acoomplished with film. To get at the heart of this we must bear in mind what can be accomplished with either coerced performnaces or in *enclosed* particpatory art. In these cases, the idea that one is *bound into* the performance space (thinking here of Jim Dine and company's "Crash Test Dummy" (City Life) here where the small audience is walled in with the performers. Note that that look and feel was a main plot element of "The Shining" (as filmed by Kubric from Stepen King) in setting up the isolation. Note the use of colour in various scenes (early on before the mayhem) setting this up. Similarly in "2001" the sense of isolation. It's interesting to note that with "2001" (because we almost automatically tend to want the "action/adventure" card to be played when it comes to SF) that the feeling of isolation is NOT so nearly (or neatly) accomplished. A very long (and almost painfully slow) tracking in or out shot could have set this up. This now comes down to the elments with which we "paint" our film. If we think about portraying the INNER DIALOG of the various people/sets/plots/elements of a film and how we do that - especially in drama, we have seen so very few of those in film. I would go further to say that with the advent of down-load-able and DVD (buyable - therefore playable and re-playable and re-re-playable, and re-re-re-....) we can not approach levels of complexity that here-to-fore we usually only see in very detailed paintings. Something to think of here are things like "Notes from the Underground" or of course "Waiting for Godot" - and now with those in the PAST of our performance history, we begin (or have begun) to cultivate an audience that MIGHT sit through 3 hours of Warhol filming someone sleeping. And of course we then go back to John Cage's "4-1/2 minutes" of silence (which i am sad to say, that many people today *still* don't get it even when it's explained -- should i get out finger puppets to do this???).

Film as "Just another canvas"

Film as Canvas - Part 1: Traditional Film-making

In the same way that early photography (photog for short) was picked up by artists and then in turn affected their compositions - as if the painter had captured a "snap shot". And of course the camera as pure tool to record a scene. Something that prelimanry sketches had done for many centuries... And of course then it becomes the primary tool as to *document* the process of creativity itself. Thus, if i make a film about an art exhibit - but, let's back up a bit. The "art museum" experience is in itself an artificial construct. We first see art in books or on tv or in (rare, but less rarely now-adays) in film. So, the *sojourne* (journey of enlightenment) to the museum to see "the actual art" is specious as well. For example, in the museum Musee' d'Orsay ??sp?? everyone goes to have themselves photog'd in front of *the* self portait of Van Gogh (and of course like 80% use their flashes on their camera - i tell you every camera should force you to manually turn on the flash instead of having "fill in" be the default!)... So, i film the art exhibit (say for a pod/broadcast) then this can be a "news item" -- here it is, come see it. It can as well be documentary: Who was, indeed who IS this artist Blonkowitz?? It can be .... But as "just another canvas", we see the games that people play with it (one of my fav's shows a traveling businessman photog'ing his daughter's stuffed monkey in all kind of "mise en scene" episodes. And exactly that was (is) done by many artists today as well. Note we take it as read that "artist" mean those that aspire to art - no matter at what level - yes, Virginia, even "Pop Art".... So, then what are we left with? First off when you think about it much of actual art is really quite boring (we take it as read that any erotic, shocking, and of course "controvesial" art is in a class by itself). Just exactly what are we supposed to "get" out of a statue poised facing a miror? Or a bunch of silver metal boxes stacked on the wall? I mean at least that florecsent light tube in the corner has at least some audacity (read that as "pretension") to "spart it up a bit". Thus, we go back to the film as canvas. As we practice art more and more we (like Pollock and his 3-year coerced (by Krasner) exercises in developing an exact caligraphy of the drip as mark) begin to be able to "lay down" a line almost without thinking. And if painting we can of course "wipe it out" if it doesn't suit us - or even worse if our mood changes and we become angry/frustrated (twins in the human cabinet of emotional self-drugs) and "take it out" on the painting. Take as "read" painting=drawing=sculpture=... So, how do we go about developing this practiced caligraphy with film. Take as read: FILM = Pod recording, Aud ONLY recoring, digital, analog (b/w, colour, high-contrast, even Muybridge's trip wires)... As film'ers (film makers in PC-speek) we are trained in the cannon; ie, the art history of film. We are (if we take a course if film making - actually in filming as such) then trained in "laying in thelines". Lighting, Sound (if such we include - almost a given, but note the recent re-surgence of letting music or even "mere" silence tell the story w/out sound). And of course camera angles, the set, the ENV, etc.... How then do we progress? As Gore Vidal reminds us (in as i recall "Myra Breckinridge") -- fiction is ended. In the same way, film is ended. Not that there won't be vastly new ways of filming yet to come (discovered - mainly thru chanse/risk taking). But: If "repetiion is the death of art" (so Picasso among others reminds us. Then, once Warhol films someone just sleeping hour after hour then it has *all* been done. And of course in the "slick productions" of even ad's these days the "tricks" of film are perfomred (as art-act filming with a purpose and of course a very important INTENT; after all, no line is laid down on works by Thomas Kincaid without much the same intent to make money. I believe that i speak without fear of contridticion that if the world wasn't so obsessed with the actual/realistic that works by Judd or Flavin would bring prices as great as those by Monet and of course van Gogh. Not that the price in any way reads (or even begins to re-read/interpret or translate) the COST of the art work. And this does bring us to the idea of transformation possible with film. If the progression goes like this: marble - one oops and David is now Davisse ink on paper - a mark is a mark and the only way to "lift" it is to hide it with cross-hatching. pastel - vacuum cleaners are the perfect UN-DO here. pencil - may be erased but still leaves the "embossment" (la gaufrage if i remember the French correctly) acrylic paint - layering shows, and scrapping?? where'd the canvas go? oil pastel / cattle markers - almost as fluid as oil paint - it can be flowed in various states of wetness, it can be scraped (imagine that i'll be dying or going mad from all of that heavy-metal dust... comnputer versions of the above - undo; the ultimate eraser. So: Film. In filmaking of course is often controlled by budget and time. And as Terry Gilliam learned in "Baron Munchausen" - quarantened horses aren't allowed across the border and of course when your star dies during the "production/financing" struggles..... Thus, the finiteness of film-making's ability to "re-work" the surface IS for the most part limited. But, then we go to somethng like printmaking and the concept of editioning. And that translates often to the "alternate endings" of films. Viz two excellent examples, "Little Miss Sunshine" and "National Treasure" - there are sometimes "endings" that just aren't "our film's ending". And then there is the over-all mood/genre of the film. If it's a "hard-biting" documentary (gritty, hyper-real, hyper-medial) then we get one set of aesthetics, and of course with "dream" sequences quite another; viz, the dream sequences of things like "PeeWee Herman's Big Adventure" (parallelling those of such films as "Spellbound"). Then dream as the "plot exposition" use of such things; from one POV, ALL of "Mimento" is simply a collage of dream sequences. And of course then there's the prob/solution of "suspension of disbelief" that sooooo many movies depend on. So, where do we come in????

Film as Canvas - Part 2: Enter the Artist

At this point, the "bridge" (das Brucke - v. important art movement //'s this as well) between film as film-making and film as an artist's canvas IS via the art-director and the director-of-photography. We see this most clearly in films using some sort of purely (almost right out of "History of Art in 3 volumes") classial compoitional styles. In fact (since style is simply a repeated gesture; please take that as read, otherwise, email: fleeding@hotmail.com) the "NEW" styles that have been developed are simply new "colours for the palet" of film as canvas. And this (how nicely some things work out) goes back to -[
Will Insley]- who reminds us: "much that can be further-investigated" -- not an exact quote or as John Cage put it for music: "There are many possible patterns, few are tried" -- not an exact quote. Thus, we (as artists) "read" the art history of film -- that we "fall into" a particular artist and try to "get it"; eg, i spent six solid months emersed in Pollock's work - and of course, i know little more than i did before. And then "... and the rest" i still have yet to fully explore Krasner, and not even mention Thomas Hart Benton, and then the parallels in the sculptures that are "string like" (eg) Eva Hesse or even Morris Louis, or ..... So, in the same way, i would have to say that now -- with the advent of the miniature digital camera we are FINALLY where Degas and the rest were when the Dagurre introduced his curious "camera obscura"). And from that range Dagurre (about 1820) .... the Kodak "Brownie" (1900) $1 and you too can be a photorapher We are now Degas. Where shall we go from here? damned if i jknowxyz...... -- frank

Film Collaged

So strong is the need for a flow, story, continuity and of course "beginning, middle and end", that we are almost unable to show a film that does NOT have a "story line". In the short film "n-ligh" there is a story, and at times i feel that it is far too strong. This was less true in the first version of the film. That is, i think that (so far) i haven't been able to capture much of my drawing work other than to have the films be THEMATIC. Which is fine, since it's a nice way of viewing the world; ie, as an entertainment, an idea generator, or at very lease as "popcorn for the eye" (ie: "eye candy"). Another idea, that we can try is to take traditional DESIGN ELEMENTS and use them in creating films. This works very well in (eg) "Ballet Robotique" by Bob Rogers -[
imdb here]- - industrial car assembly robots are filmed and then set to classical (ballet) music. Thus we might think of the generating equation as: Repeated movement (ballet, danse, the gesture in general) light and such (welding, etc) - paralled and extractd from ligthing of ballet danseurs as they perform music into the mix and of course the TRANSLATION is into the realm of industrial manufacturing. Going back to: There's music in the sighing of a reed; There's music in the gushing of a rill; There's music in all things, if men had ears: Their earth is but an echo of the spheres. ~Lord Byron (i have also heard the last line as: Tis' but THE music of the spheres. (refering to Johannes Kepler's work, etc)


See also: -[
Film elements (traditional)]

Film as Film

In this section: {
Persistence of the Medium}

Persistence of the Medium

Since film is so powerful - mainly because we are so used to it, that we hardly notice it; eg, commercials as mini films or even as mini-series, film as backdrop to film, etc. Since this is true, then we are tempted to relie on it too much. And i would say that *many* prefer it to all other forms; mostly. Thus, many viewer/participants in a performance work will be "glued to the tube". There are