Friday June 26, 7:30pm
Projection Instructions: An Evening of Expanded Cinema
Presented with The Film-Makers’ Cooperative / Curated by Josh Guilford
Works by Malcolm Le Grice, Rose Lowder, Jennifer Reeves, Paul Sharits, Guy Sherwin
admission $10


Projection Instructions by Paul Sharits for “Shutter Interface” (1975)

Microscope presents with the Filmmakers’ Cooperative “Projection Instructions: An Evening of Expanded Cinema” curated by Josh Guilford and featuring works by Paul Sharits and contemporary artists Malcolm Le Grice, Rose Lowder, Jennifer Reeves and Guy Sherwin. The works in Projection Instructions each involve special instructions to the projectionist that reconfigure the traditional architecture between projector, spectator, and screen, incorporating multiple projections, specially designed equipment, and live audio-visual manipulation.

The program includes the double-projection 16mm films Light Work Mood Disorder (2007) by Reeves, Shutter Interface (1975) by Sharits, and Lowder’s 1979 Retour D’un Repère (Recurrence). Malcolm Le Grice’s Castle One (The Light Bulb Film) (1966), the earliest work in program, involves a flickering light bulb hung in the room. Guy Sherwin’s Railings, a silent speed optical sound film designed to be screened with the projector lying on its side, closes out the evening.

“The instructions that accompany these films are highly varied, ranging from carefully ordered performance scripts and visual diagrams to statements emphasizing flexibility, contingency, and improvisation. Yet each film approaches projection as a malleable form, an area of artistic work that is radically open to creative intervention.” Josh Guilford

The works in Projection Instructions are distributed by the Film-Makers’ Cooperative.


Light Work Mood Disorder
Jennifer Reeves, 2007, dual 16mm projection, color, sound, 26 minutes

“LIGHT WORK MOOD DISORDER mixes and subverts symbols of science, industry, medicine and illness, as it meditates on the deteriorating celluloid and physicality of the pre-digital age. Two screens and pulsating, layered music immerse the audience in colorful rhythmic molecular forms, morphing frequencies and visual textures. Reeves sewed together 20th century educational films and affixed dissolved pharmaceuticals directly to the film. The projector acts as a microscope enlarging thread, crystallized antibiotic, heart, and mood medications, forming a concentrated fusion with Burr’s composition of sine-waves, organ and multi-tonal bass clarinet. The animated abstractions rupture and echo the images of brain dendrites, synapses, human x-rays, scientific experiments and factory machine. The rhythmic and visceral imagery is reflected in the movement of Burr’s austere and hypnotic soundtrack as it envelops the audience.” – JR

Shutter Interface
Paul Sharits, 1975, dual 16mm projection, color, sound, 25 minutes

“What you see are pastel colors interlocking, flickering, whizzing by on a 30-foot wide wall — like countryside seen from a speeding train.” – The Village Voice

“The experience of the work is literally dazzling…. In a simple, elegant and convincing way, SHUTTER INTERFACE realizes an ancient dream — a dream we know Eisenstein shared — of removing the barriers between sight and sound to create compound synesthetic sensations that become the basic psychic materials for a continual and perfect sensual ravishment.” – Stuart Liebman

Retour D’un Repère (Recurrence)
Rose Lowder, 1979, dual 16mm projection, color, silent, 17 minutes 30 seconds

“In this film procedures similar to those used in the two previously mentioned works are developed in a particular way. While the filmic operations are structured in relation to a limited space (a branch over a 19th Century duck pond), poetic measures pertaining to rhythm taken from literary rhetorics are introduced as part of the organizational orientation. Thus the film rests on a visual transposition of a ‘pantoun,’ a verse form which characteristically transforms itself gradually and continuously in a precise manner.” – RL

Castle One (The Light Bulb Film)
Malcolm Le Grice, 1966, black and white, sound, 17 minutes 15 seconds

“The most evident feature of this movie is that it is projected alongside a bare flashing lightbulb which has itself been filmed and appears within the movie. The major portion of the film, however, is composed of second-hand images which are largely drawn from T. V. documentary of an unspectacular kind, but which thematically are concerned with the ‘surface’ of the industrial institution and political world. The sound is a ‘scramble’ of the various commentaries, music and dialogue of the collaged film which gradually becomes identified with their respective images during the course of the film. The awareness of the audience is returned to their actual situation (viewing a film) by reference to the bulb and the perceptual problems which its flashing creates.” – MLG

Guy Sherwin, 1977, b&w 16mm film, sound, 9 minutes

“One of a series of films that investigates qualities of sound that can be generated directly from the image track. The images that you see are simultaneously scanned by the optical sound reader in the projector, which converts the into sound. This particular film makes use of the aural effect of visual perspective; the steeper the perspective on the railings, the closer the intervals of black and white, and the higher the frequency of sound. I also wanted to find out what freeze frames and visual strobe would ‘sound’ like. Visual strobe is created both in the camera (camera shutter v. railings) and in the printer (printer shutter v. slipping frames). Note: this film is for vertical projection, with the projector lying on its left side.” – GS
Running time: c.a. 95 minutes

Sharits - Shutter003 LeGrice - Castle One006

16mm film strips from “Shutter Interface” (Paul Sharits) and “Castle One (The Light Bulb Film)” (Malcolm Le Grice)

JENNIFER REEVES (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker working primarily on 16mm film. Reeves was named one of the “Best 50 Filmmakers Under 50” in the film journal Cinema Scope in the spring of 2012. Her films have shown extensively, from the Berlin, New York, Vancouver, London, Sundance, and Hong Kong Film Festivals to many micro-cinemas in the US and Canada, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, and the Museum of Modern Art. Full multiple-screening retrospectives of her work have been held in recent years at Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, Anthology Film Archives in New York, and San Francisco Cinematheque. Her most recent film COLOR NEUTRAL premiered at the New York Film Festival in October 2014.

PAUL SHARITS was born in Denver, Colorado and earned a BFA in painting at the University of Denver’s School of Art where he was a protege of Stan Brakhage. Sharits is recognized internationally as a pioneering experimental filmmaker; however, he was trained as a painter and adapted strategies from both disciplines in his work. Beginning in the 1960s, Sharits utilized structuralist theory and painting strategy to create non-narrative, non-objective works he called “flicker films” that were about the elements of film itself. He later integrated individual words, polemic texts, soundtracks, and surreal meaning into his films and paintings, concurrent with his association with the Fluxus movement. His multiple projector installations during the 1970s in museums in New York City, Buffalo, and throughout Europe changed how the public perceived film.

Trained as a painter and sculptor in Lima, Peru, and London, ROSE LOWDER turned to filmmaking in 1977 after studying with Jean Rouch. Grounded in her interest in radical agriculture, color theory and the landscapes of her adoptive home in the south of France, Lowder is committed to filmmaking as an ecological practice inseparable from her lifelong collecting and championing of non-commercial cinema. Lowder lives and works in Avignon, France.

MALCOLM LE GRICE (b. 1940, UK) studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art but began to make film, video and computer works in the mid 1960’s. His work has been exhibited among others at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Louvre Museum, Paris, and Tate Modern in London and is in the permanent collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Royal Belgian Film Archive, and the National Film Library of Australia. Le Grice has written critical and theoretical work including a history of experimental cinema ‘Abstract Film and Beyond’ (1977, Studio Vista and MIT). For three years in the 1970’s he wrote a regular column for the art monthly Studio International and has published numerous other articles on film, video and digital media. Many of these have been collected and recently published under the title ‘Experimental Cinema in the Digital Age’ by the British Film Institute (2001). In 2015 Les Presses du réel published an extensive  book on his works “Le Temps des images”.

GUY SHERWIN studied painting at Chelsea School of Art in the late 1960s and taught film printing and processing at the London Film-Makers’ Co-op (now LUX) during the mid-70s. His films work with fundamental qualities of cinema such as light and time, and often use serial forms and live elements. They are exhibited in a variety of contexts: galleries, film festivals, cinemas. His works have been included in Film as Film Hayward Gallery 1979, Live in Your Head Whitechapel Gallery 2000, Shoot Shoot Shoot Tate Modern 2002, A Century of Artists’ Film & Video Tate Britain 2003/4, among others. Sherwin’s works are in the collections of the Cinematheque Francaise, Tate Gallery, British Council, BFI, and distributed by LUX (London), Lightcone (Paris), Film-Makers Co-op (New York) and Canyon (San Francisco).

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Film strip from Guy Sherwin’s “Railings” (1977)

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