Monday April 8, 7PM
Dirty Handed Cinema
16mm films by Richard Tuohy
admission $6 – artist in attendance

© Image courtesy of Richard Tuohy

Microscope presents a rare screening of new and recent hand-made 16mm films by Richard Tuohy on tour in the US from his native Australia. The six films in the program were hand processed and printed by the artist on a salvaged 16mm contact printer using techniques developed through his experimentation with the salvaged film lab equipment. Tuohy is part a burgeoning artist-run film lab movement, which utilizes recovered technological left-overs from film industry as it sheds much of its traditional machinery. Tuohy says he sees the change is an opportunity a kind of liberation for the filmmaker – allowing experimentation in areas that previously were too often a costly mystery kept in the hands of professional.

“…While often originating with images from nature, my films are at base about form, structure, time and pattern, rather than about content in any direct sense. Ultimately, they are more about ‘looking’ than ‘thinking’.” RT

Approximately 70 minutes

16mm film, 7 minutes, 2009
Iron-wood is an abstract visual exploration of the deeply fissured ‘cog-like’ bark of the Australian tree Eucalyptus Sideroxylon – Red Ironbark.

Tasmanian Splintering
16mm, 14 minutes, 2011
Bones of a dead Tasmanian forest colourfully ‘ re-animated’ in a film printer.

Dot Matrix
16mm x 2, 22 minutes, 2013
Working from the original photogram ’dot’  material from Richard’s film Screen Tone (2012), Dot Matrix is an expanded cinema performance involving two almost completely overlapping projected images.  The ‘dots’ were produced by photogramming sheets of half-tone ‘dot’ paper intended for use as shadings comic illustrations directly onto raw 16mm film stock.  These dots were then contacted printed with ‘flicker’ (alternating black frames). The ‘drama’ of the film happens in the overlap of the two images.  The product they make is greater than the parts.  As in Screen Tone, the sounds heard are those that the dots themselves produce as they pass the optical sound head of the 16mm projector.

Etienne’s Hand 
16mm, 13 minutes, 2011
A movement study of a restless hand.  Made from one five second shot.  Sound constructed from an old French folk tune played on a hand cranked music box.

16mm, 8 minutes, 2010
Flyscreen is a camera-less ‘rayogram’ film, made by layering fly-screen material onto raw 16mm film stock and then exposing to light.  The sound heard is the optical sound of the images passing the 16mm optical sound head.

Seoul Electric
16mm, 7 minutes, 2012
A North Asian metropolis.  Electricity wires draped like thick webs adorn the streetscape. Expolsive sparks of colour electrify the frame. Filmed in Seoul in black and white.  Colourised during processing using coloured torch light.

– –
Richard Tuohy is one of the most active experimental film artists currently working on celluloid in Australia. His film ‘Iron-Wood’ won first prize (ex aequo) at ‘Abstracta 2009’ experimental film festival in Rome. He runs Nanolab in Australia – the specialist small gauge film processing laboratory. He actively encourages other artists to work with cine film through his Artist Film Workshop initiative (see He is also a founding director of the Australian International Experimental Film Festival.  Tuohy’s films have screened at fRotterdam International  Film Festival, Ann Arbour Film Festival, Media City Film Festival, European Media Art Festival, FLEXFest , Onion City Film Festival, Abstracta, EXiS (Seol) and KLEX festival among others.

© All images are courtesy of Richard Tuohy


  • join our mailing list

    F T V instagram