Chen Chieh-Jen – Lingchi – Echoes of a Historical Photograph (2002)

The title Lingchi refers to a photograph taken by an unidentified western anthropologist according to some, and by a French soldier at the beginning of the 20th century, according to others by others. It shows the execution of a condemned man by Lingchi, a slow torture involving more than a thousand cuts made on the body of the condemned person before death. If he died earlier the executioner was himself put to death. This punishment was practiced in China for thousands of years and was not finally abolished until 1905. A large crowd would gather for the execution, not only to witness the extraordinary spectacle but also to collect blood and strips of flesh from the body, to be used for medical purposes. The photo immediately started to be circulated, especially amongst westerners passing through China and in particular in a set of postcards Les supplices chinois. It was later published in France in Louis Carpeaux’s Pekin qui s’en va in 1913, and then by Georges Dumas in his Traité ! de psychologie in 1923. It was, however, Georges Bataille, who came into possession of a copy in 1925 and for whom, according to his own statement, it was of decisive importance in his life, who introduced it with greater authority into the imagery of western culture when he used it at the conclusion of his last study of eroticism, Les larmes d’eros, published a year before his death in 1961, to demonstrate the identical nature of contraries and in particular of religious ecstasy and extreme horror. Continue reading

Harun Farocki – Parallel I (2012)

Parallel I opens up a history of styles in computer graphics. The first games of the 1980s consisted of only horizontal and vertical lines. This abstraction was seen as a failing, and today representations are oriented towards photo‐realism.

“For over one hundred years photography and film were the leading media. From the start, they served not only to inform and entertain, but were also media of scientific research and documentation. That’s also why these reproduction techniques were associated with notions of objectivity and contemporaneity — whereas images created by drawing and painting indicated subjectivity and the transrational. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – Puissance de la parole aka The Power of Speech [uncut] (1988)

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Puissance de la parole is a 25 minutes film made by J-L Godard in 1988. Was financed by France Telecom as a commercial but the company never used for advertising… The film was never officially distributed nor broadcast.

The title is ispired by a Edgar Poe short story (in New extraordinary stories). Godard take some lines from the dialog of Agathos and Oinos and turns it into a classical Godard couple dialog… Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – Numéro deux (1975)

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On the movie :
(Wikipedia !)

Numéro Deux, by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, is a 1975 experimental film about a young family in a social housing complex in France. The film’s distinct style involves presenting two images on screen simultaneously, leading to multiple interpretations of the story and to comments on the film-making and editing process.

The film is divided into two parts. For the first third of the movie, Godard discusses what it takes to make a film (money) and describes how he got the money. In the second part, the remaining two thirds, each character in the story discusses their quotidian experiences through dialogue which is primarily poetic, and secondarily political. Continue reading

Eric Baudelaire – Letters to Max (2014)

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“Abkhazia is a paradox: it’s a country in the physical sense of the term, with borders, a government, a flag and a language, but it’s a state that doesn’t legally exist as, for almost twenty years, no other nation has recognized it. So Abkhazia exists without existing, in a liminal void, a limited space between realities. As such, my letter to Max was a bit like a bottle in the sea, a nod to Alfred Jarry and the world of Ubu Roi which Maxim seems to inhabit. Then fiction overtook reality.” Thus Eric Baudelaire launched a letter writing campaign, sending 74 letters in 74 days: a script for the voice- over of a film in which Max is the narrator. This exchange was to become the structure of the film: letters that should not have been received by Max, the recording of his replies, and footage of Abkhazia shot by Eric Baudelaire when the correspondence ceased. Continue reading

Jeff Frost – Circle of Abstract Ritual (2014)

Quote:
This film took 300,000 photos, riots, wildfires, paintings in abandoned houses, two years and zero graphics to make. It changed my entire life.

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Circle of Abstract Ritual began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing. The destruction end of that thought began in earnest when riots broke out in my neighborhood in Anaheim, California, 2012. I immediately climbed onto my landlord’s roof without asking and began recording the unfolding events. The news agencies I contacted had no idea what to do with time lapse footage of riots, which was okay with me because I had been thinking about recontextualizing news as art for some time. After that I got the bug. I chased down wildfires, walked down storm drains on the L.A. River and found abandoned houses where I could set up elaborate optical illusion paintings. The illusion part of the paintings are not an end in themselves in my work. They’re an intimation of things we can’t physically detect; a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable. Continue reading