The UMW Media Wall artists for the month of February are Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder.
In our installation work, we use projected light to articulate space and time. Film projectors and celluloid are the material base of our constructions in light and shadow, the elemental properties of cinema. These things are deeply imbued with a history of viewership in the dark of the theater. To remove it from darkness is to flood this history and cast a certain illumination upon it. A certain exposure. Light spills in the shifting of film from its native darkness in enclosed chambers (camera obscura) to the uncanny openness and defamiliarized illumination of installation. We are exploring the shift, elaborating the displacement, recasting the light mechanics of a peculiar estrangement of the medium. The art of cinema, yes. But more timely: the becoming cinema of art. That is the coming attraction for us. (Gibson + Recoder)
Dark Chamber Disclosure
Gibson / Recoder in their live projection work Dark Chamber Disclosure, showcase an inversion of supreme materiality. Gibson and Recoder seem to get rid of film material all together, casting on the cinema’s walls the shimmering colored lights of pre-camera/projector early cinema or the shadowplay of Plato’s cave. The light work resembles unfurling smoke and lapping waterfalls in a fluid, satiny effect that in no way seems filmic: no frame rate, no grain, no scratches or reels, and certainly no representation. Nothing seems like film. And yet the work is entirely based in projection and films, with two 35mm projectors used and two films, one of clear leader and one of an actual film projected upside down and out of focus and refracted through crystals, lenses and gels and further manipulated with their hands. So much cinema and yet totally suggestive of something beyond cinema (beyond meaning both before and after), and while nominally narrativized and timed to a recorded musical piece of field recordings, the work’s unrestrained movements (expanding beyond even the cinema screen into the theater space itself) seem to suppress the 20th century’s finite cinematic technology to evoke an ephemeral play of light unbounded by beginnings and ends. Because all the possibilities in the world seem at the hands of these filmmakers and they no longer need to seek the infinite, it is no longer the focus of their works, but rather the attitude of a working method, where what was once the end (if unending) for a story to pursue has now become the means with which to pursue other stories. (Daniel Kasman, MUBI)
Stations of Light
A project for DCP (Digital Cinema Package) projection and file distribution, “Stations of Light” was made in response to the limitations of current theatrical standardization of digital cinema. The full title “Stations of Light: Installation for Two Movie Theaters, One Audience, and Musician” premiered at the International Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen in 2014. For this commissioned work, the artists extended the collaborative nature of their project by inviting their festival host Mika Taanila to select the films to be reworked live via a special refracting apparatus placed directly in the path of the projected lights of two adjacent screening rooms. Instructions to the curator as follows: Selection of two feature-length films of near identical duration; selection based on further consideration of the festival’s thematic program Film Without Film with film; do not reveal the source material either to the artists or public. The films soundtracks were replaced by an original composition by Douglas J. Cuomo and performed by cellist Dirk Wietheger who doubled as the audience’s escort between screening rooms. The expanded cinema potential the artists pried open in the era of DCP facilitated, according to Erika Balsom’s Artforumreview of the event, an interrogation of “what philosopher Nelson Goodman called the allographic nature of cinema: it is a two-stage art that requires a performative enactment in order to be realized, something that necessarily opens the work to difference, fluctuation, and modification even as it remains itself.”