Hand In Date Online 4th April 2014

The system (solar) has the hand in date set at 4th April 2014.

On that day you need to hand in your blog address as well as the links to all your exercise videos and your final piece.

I am around on the 6th of March for tutorials and practical help. On the 20th March I am booking out ETG05 from 10am to 1pm for people to experiment with and project their pieces within the space.


Sessions 27th Feb 6th March

Video Mapping:

Speed of Light / aka / The World’s Tiniest Police Chase from The Theory on Vimeo.

These two sessions will focus on your own production of your experimental piece.

For Feb 27th Group 2 will be first in the basement room for me to speak with them and comment on their progress. From 10am until 11.30am.
Group 1 will see me from 11.40 until 1.10pm

On the 6th of March you will present your work so far beginning with Group 1 in the basement from 9.30am until 11.30am.
Group two from 11.40am to 1.40pm

I will be asking you to show me progress on your moving image piece and your blog documenting its development. I will give you feedback over the next two sessions so that you are clear before submitting the range mark you will achieve.

Some of you are considering doing a projected, interactive piece, that will work in a defined space. These pieces can be shown in ETGO5 on 20th of March from 10am until 1.

Recent Experimental Hybrid Forms


About the film:

How did you decide on the title of the film? It hints at themes and a socio-historical context beyond the documentary itself.
Leviathan was just our provisional, working title. Somehow it stuck. We’re both wary of over-explaining the film or the title. Both because, as Alain Cavalier once said, ‘it’s next to impossible to make a film that’s equal to the intelligence of its spectators,’ also because it’s precisely the intelligences of its spectators that make a film.

You used innovative methods to capture the images and sound. Was there a lot of risk involved in this approach? Did you expect the final results?
The biggest risk is slavishly, formulaically repeating what one has done before. Cinema, like all art, only advances by overthrowing received conventions, in order to reveal the world anew. We tried to do this with both image and sound. In this case, we were after, in the image track, a new coupling of objectivity and subjectivity that had not occurred before in cinema. And we wanted the sound to be as immersive and intense, as acoustically untamed and monstrous as the image, and as the sea, boat, and elements are themselves in reality.

You both have backgrounds as anthropologists yet people feature only occasionally in Leviathan – was that a deliberate decision?
Yes. Anthropologists suffer from various maladies, including an excessive attachment to humanity, and also a terribly debilitating respect for meaningful propositionality.

Do you find contradictions in working in the area where observational documentary and experimental film meet?
Plenty, otherwise we wouldn’t be working there. The challenge is not to solve the contradictions, but to create new ones.

Q&A at Edinburgh Film Festival:

Directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Sensory Ethnography Lab provides an academic and institutional context for the development of creative work and research that is itself constitutively visual or acoustic — conducted through audiovisual media rather than purely verbal sign systems — and which may thus complement the human sciences’ and humanities’ almost exclusive reliance on the written word and quantification. It opposes the traditions of art that are not deeply infused with the real, those of documentary that are derived from broadcast journalism, and those of visual anthropology that mimic the discursive inclinations of their mother discipline.

Thursday 13th Session


Dear Class of 263mc the photo above shows me stuck on the A9 in the Highlands. As you can see it is a whiteout and the snow gates closed meaning I had to turn around.
The Lecture I was going to give, which I am sure you will all be sad that I can’t, will be online for tomorrow morning.

Use the day to firm up your ideas for your 1 minute piece so that you can talk to me in detail about it next week. In the workshop sessions I will be helping people unfamiliar with editing and will also spend time showing, those interested, how to begin using Isadora.

If I get back home will be off to the garage to fit a snow plough for next week.

Interactive Possibilities with Moving Image

I want to devote this session to exploring some of the more recent interactive possibilities for moving image artefacts.

There is a whole range of software now available that deals with this new area and that dovetails with considerations of experimental narrative forms.

Interactive Documentary: New Form new tools: Html5 based 3WDOC Zeega

Interactive Documentary Blog

Web Resource iDocs

Mozilla PopCorn Maker

The production of multimedia specials has a lot in common with the artisanal process. Apart from the narrative work, one has to put the pieces together, which involves web programming. The lack of editors and content managers which can adapt to the needs of each project has obliged people to use a made-to-measure programming method for each job. The necessity demands it, and the effervescence of multimedia producers and of creators of interactive documentaries is bringing about the appearance of specialised tools


Penguin We Tell Stories

We Tell Stories 21 Steps

BBH Labs The Next Chapter in Interactive Storytelling

Penguin and Interactive Narrative Experiments

Bill Viola

Hidden Park iPhone App

Isadora Interactive Software:

Isadora is the award winning, interactive media presentation tool that allows you to follow your artistic impulse. Whether you are an artist, designer, performer, or VJ, you can quickly and easily harness the limitless potential of digital media and real-time interactivity with Isadora.

Isadora Tutorials:

The Basics

Simple Interactivity

You can download Isadora and experiment with it the only limitation is being able to save your patch. If you want to do some interesting work with it for your own piece tell me and I will make it possible for you to use a dongle to be able to save your patch.

Hand In Date Last Workshop Session

The last workshop session is Thursday March 6th. This is the last session where I will be able to practically help you with your piece and give you constructive feedback.

The hand in date is a week later on Thursday 13th of March before 5pm. All you need do is give your video address online, vimeo or Youtube, and your blog address for 263mc through “Turn it In”.

Session 5 Structuralist Film (Anti Narrative)

In this session I want to look at a range of different filmmakers and their approaches to experimental narrrative. A focus on the structural elements of film, colour, shape, repetition, screen space, soundscapes.

I want to follow how some of these approaches have been taken up by more contemporary filmmakers who you may be more familiar with.

Structuralist Film:

Part one of Peter Gidal’s introductory essay to the Structural Film Anthology, Published by the BFi in 1976.

Structural/ Materialist film attempts to be non-illusionist. The process of the film’s making deals with devices that result in demystification or attempted demystification of the film process. But by ‘deals with’ I do not mean ‘represents’. In other words, such films do not document various film procedures, which would place them in the same category as films which transparently document a narrative, a set of actions, etc.

What might this mean in terms of visual language?

Len Lye


Len Lye was one of the few filmmakers working in inter-war Britain to have established an international reputation in experimental filmmaking. Though his British oeuvre was by no means limited to the making of abstract films, this was the area that most interested Lye and he has sometimes been viewed as the only genuine avant-garde filmmaker of this period.

Colour Box

Free Radicals

Malcolm Le Grice

Berlin Horse 1970

Two fragments of 8mm home-movie footage shot by the artist near Berlin weave together in repeating cycles of action, temporal manipulation, and colour distortion, heightening the viewer’s awareness of film-time and the film-image, and perception of colour in motion.

Stan Brakhage

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.


Dog Star Man 1962

Filmmakers that used some of the techniques of these filmmakers but in a more conventional narrative context:

Derek Jarman Screen ONLINE

Derek Jarman was the maverick radical of the British cinema during the late 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s. His highly idiosyncratic form of avant-garde art cinema managed to sustain itself due to his personal reputation as an auteur, as an enfant terrible, and to his more or less public private life.


Last of England

Experimental Film and Music

Michel Gondry

White Stripes:

The Making of

Science of Sleep

Gill Scott Heron

The Revolution will not be Televised

New York Is Killing Me

Christian Marclay, The Clock

You have to settle into The Clock, and go into the extraordinary trance-like state that it induces. When I first arrived, I found myself giving a little amused laugh at each appearance of the time. Then the novelty wore off and I became silent. Some other people, arriving after me, went through the same process. I arrived just after 11 in the morning and left before 1pm, so I went through the midday climax of emotions: I expected, and got, Gary Cooper in High Noon.


Exercise 30 Second Selfie (Avoiding Cliche)


As a short exercise at trying to avoid cliche in preparation for your 1 minute experimental piece I want you to create a “selfie”, a term I have grown to quickly loathe, that avoids the obvious cliche of this form by subverting it.

This exercise, I hope, will inform your approach for your own one minute piece. Make sure your 30 second piece is posted online ready to view on the 6th of February.

So far I have been pleased with the exercises that you have produced as many of them have been thoughtful and innovative.

Research Week Thursday 30th January

I want you to use this week to begin to think about the structure of your own 1 minute Experimental piece. (There will be no formal session until the following week)

As set out in session 3 there are two themes that you can chose from:

Time | Memory

During this week I want you to document your initial research for the theme that you will choose. On Thursday 6th February I want you to present your initial ideas these should include:


The short presentation will show your starting points. The remaining weeks of the module will be devoted to the development and changes that you make to your 1 minute piece.

Session 3 Revisiting Things for the Second Time

I have made a pdf of the text and images form last weeks session. Take time to read back through it as the idea of media makers engaged in “Revisiting things for the Second Time” is important for understanding the approach to the experimental in this module.

Session 3 PDF

I refer during the session to a number of examples of work form key filmmakers and other visual artists.

The links to these works are in order below:

Audio by Martha Rossler talking about her Bowery work. She talks interestingly about the forms of Documentary Photography and the inadequate nature of snap shots of people who are portrayed in a way that try’s to extract humanist empathy. Martha Rossler’s work is an attack on Humanist Documentary. It explores that lack of entitlement of the people portrayed by people doing the portraying and looking in a gallery space who are entitled.

Jean Rouch in his work also takes account of the role of the looker and the lookers impact on the looked at. His film collaboration with Edgar Morin and the participants of Chronicle of a Summer was very influential on a range of experimental makers.

Clips from Chronicle of a Summer 1961 Paris.

Filmmakers heavily influenced and who worked and discussed working approaches with Jean Rouch were, amongst many others; Chris Marker, Jean Luc Godard

Clip from Chris Marker’s La Jette and Sunless:

La Jette (Uses mostly still images and montage for narrative)


Jean Luc Godard:

“Dans le Noir du Temps”

Histoire(s) Du Cinema