Friday, October 2, 2009

the universities have completely imploded. they're places to go if you believe that the media discourse of french philosophy is the only viable approach to film, and that the empirical relationship of the viewer to the work of art is utterly passé. a generation of followers of foucault, lacan, and derrida has made the universities as hermetically sealed against the presence of this art (avant-garde film) as the universities in the fifties were.

interview with p. adams sitney found in scott macdonald's a critical cinema 4 - university of california press - 2005

8 comments:

Daniel Kasman said...

seconded

the art of memory said...

indeed

socalled somebody said...

but a bit funny innit that the quote is itself published by uc press ... ; )

the art of memory said...

the most guilty

socalled somebody said...

Just depends what you're looking for I guess. I hear they have a great sound art class over @ UCB. ; ) Don't know much about film departments in Universities, but however fucked up Universities might be, I still think they're *potentially* more interesting than the world of commerce. Don't know what your experience has been of late, with the cd, etc., but I'm definitely finding that non-commercial no-strings attached art-capital is harder to come by. Ideals are getting harder to eat by the minute. And then there's the academy. But, of course, it's getting harder and harder to eat on what they pay lecturers, too. So hopefully starving isn't going to be all that bad. Hope you guys are doing well. cheers, chris kubick

the art of memory said...

hey chris,
the sitney quote comes after him saying that the avant-garde film-makers of today are not publishing anything really (compared to the old days) on this kind of film, that there are few or no magazines and sites dealing with experimental film. i would say this is not true with "sound art" where there are many folks now documenting it, and classes like yours and charles boone's at the art institute, although he was just fired... i think this is one of the reason sound art is so interesting now.
also not true with narrative film, where there are so many great online journals and blogs and dvds galore with extra features.
my impression of many universities teaching film is you end up reading all that nonsense instead of actually watching film (and gaining a closeness to works that comes from repeated viewings). but yes, there is potential i hope? i had great experiences studying film, and had great teachers....

grasprelease said...

I wish the films in question were easier to see, even in less-than-optimal circumstances. Sound artists have provided the public with a large quantity of audiovisual material, long before there was much writing easily available on the subject; installations may be more interesting than uncontrolled dissemination via cd/dvd-a (much less via compressed and de-contextualized content, i.e. mp3 etc, treated "as music", even even as that...), but it's so much easier to strap on headphones and at the very least get the idea of what a sound artist might be up to, than to get one's hands on so much of the important work from the (recent) history of experimental film/video, including work being done now. I am, I hope, simply out of touch; I don't formally teach or study the subject. But of course French theory has disseminated faster and further than the material (i.e. avant-garde cinema) in question. Where is the infrastructure for the work being shown and seen? Is it not the case that there just aren't affordable DVDs, and labels for such, that make this material easier to experience?

the art of memory said...

if you attend a school that has an experimental film program, or live in new york city, you can get to know this work.
maybe a few other cities, paris?

otherwise, forget about it.

my dream with the invisible birds label is to issue classic avant'garde films, but that would mean getting grants and all that stuff, maybe in the future.