Experimental Cinema in the Age of Binary Data: The Digital Alternative to the Celluloid Image

Experimental Cinema in the Age of Binary Data: The Digital Alternative to the Celluloid Image

Robert Daniel Flowers

Language: English

Pages: 175

ISBN: 2:00200536

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This dissertation establishes the experimental filmmaker’s currentand future position in a digital environment that continues to grow exponentially. It examines the digital video medium and its encroachment into the terrain of celluloid based cinema. The project questions the validity of experimental filmmakers’ continuing use of traditional technology and explores modern alternatives to the avant-garde’s established and stagnating methods of content creation, manipulation, delivery, and presentation. Perhaps the most importantand controversial of these alternatives to be addressed is DVD video and its repercussions. Experimental cinema is advancing using the most cost effective, and efficient means to express that tradition, whether it is celluloid, digital video, digital cinema, or some obscure format. There is no doubt that digital technology is encompassing all forms of image capture, as did the photochemical medium more than a century before. Just as that ushered in a new avant-garde, so too will today’s electronic and computer-based cinema. This new toolset will arguably modify traditional aesthetics countless and unforeseeable ways, despite its current infancy. Building on a rich history of innovation, yet remaining in obscurity, experimental cinema can now through media such as the
DVD, streaming video, and Blu-ray, evangelize asnever before. At this point in time, the
available options presented by digital video are sovast that one can almost be consumed by the technology. Despite the overwhelming breadth of the medium, the advantages and territory it exposes far outweigh any reasonable dissent. For experimentalcinema the digital video revolution is its saving grace, unencumbered by celluloid’s slow demise and third party relationships, makers are finally un-tethered.











above, while not distinctly devices, are technological applications using discrete items such as various chemicals, blades, brushes, etcetera. Their use has become a staple of experimental film. As this shift in technologies takes place it is important to look into those that are fading away and consider whether it is time to replace them and welcome new tools that can expand the cinematic language further. However technological extinction may eventually make the decision outright. It is

using new and old technology together to create a fresh hybrid form (Baldwin 2008). It is possible that this amalgamation of mediums will produce the next truly time-based innovative work. Regardless, a richer cinematic language will emerge as experimental cinema continues to evolve in new ways. Those who are experienced in traditional methodologies are migrating to the new digital toolset, carrying with them celluloid aesthetics which are reinterpreted for the video medium: “… their aesthetics

in the mail with some frequency without those calls. That didn’t happen before because it was too expensive for someone to send out [release prints] ….but now with disk makers you can have the semi-professional looking product that 78 you can send out in mass….If I were to give it a ratio, I’d say now we’re up to about 90 percent of the work that we receive and exhibit is digital, and 10 percent is still on film…. most of the filmmakers that we show are bringing us DVD or mini-DV copies as the

established to insure, at the very least, its formal qualities can be transferred or adapted to digital video. This dissertation provides pertinent information in hopes that it can influence the future of the medium in positive ways so it can evolve and avoid its otherwise inevitable collapse. Experimental filmmakers hold tightly to the aesthetic and physical elements of celluloidbased cinema, arguing for its purity of form, structure and higher resolving power. However migration to the digital

mouse-clicking of digital video? 16. Can you explain your belief why the formal aspects of experimental film can or cannot be applied to digital video? 17. What are the consequences of instantaneous results or real-time features and how do they affect aesthetic decision making? What would you say to the statement that patience, visualization, and conceptualization are altered by these real-time features and are symptomatic of an instant gratification society? 18. Why could it be said that digital

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