However, what this speculation on the “birth of electronic space” is trying to show is quite the opposite, or at least something that takes the opposite direction, a direction against what one might call “medium progress”. In Michael Snow’s two works I’m referring one can find an (aesthetical) anticipation, by the intrinsic means of cinema, of the kind of electronic space that only a new and different media would allow to exist in its normal and efficient form (video). Perhaps this genealogic hypothesis would allow speculating further on the dimensions of technological determinism and medium specificity related issues.
The historical coincidence of two of Michael Snow’s greatest films with the advent of video might be taken, precisely, as just a coincidence. But one discovers in BACK & FORTH and LA RÉGION CENTRALE, respectively from 1969 and 1971, strong characteristics that could be associated with other features from early artistic experiments with video technology. Both those Snow films produce, by means of accelerated camera movements (repetitions along an horizontal and vertical axis, in the first one; continuous flow with an attempt at no axis at all, in the second), powerful abstractions of space itself, clearly made dependent of increased velocity and iteration. These procedures will later become common use in the electronic arts, since sometimes in order to produce a distinguishable artistic sensation, it required the exercise of violence to our audiovisual perception.
Although BACK & FORTH already provided us with the feeling of this new abstract space, it’s the fastest of the camera movements in the longest of durations of LA RÉGION CENTRALE that, while scanning the naked landscape’s surface, elevated it to another level, somewhat analogous to the very different electronic space that was being anticipated elsewhere. So, one might say that the intuition, or even the construction sketch of the new electronic space was already present in these Snow’s works still made in film. Of course, the most important is not the specificity of the material format employed, but to focus on the sketch of a common formal composition. Nevertheless, it is imposing evidence of the amazing ability of cinema to welcome within itself elements from the outside world, be it technological, social or cultural.
[to be continued]
|Ainda não começámos a pensar
We have yet to start thinking
Arquivo / Archive
- ► 2012 (76)
- ► 2011 (109)
- Aclamação (Giorgio Agamben + Charles Chaplin)
- The problem of scale (Birth of electronic space #1...
- Nem é preciso chorar
- Inner expansion (Birth of electronic space #9)
- Ao pé da letra #113 (António Guerreiro)
- The Vasulkas (Birth of electronic space #8)
- Ao pé da letra #112 (António Guerreiro)
- Michael Snow (Birth of electronic space #7)
- Ao pé da letra #111 (António Guerreiro)
- The external hypothesis (Birth of electronic space...
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