Guest programmed by Michael Zryd, this month’s Early Monthly Segments will feature three films rooted in real and resonant spaces that magnify the transformative process of aesthetic contact between eye/ear/body and the matter/wave forms of the world.
A student film from David Bienstock’s masters studies at New York University, Brummer’s takes its young couple through a whirlwind of Godard, Technicolor, and breakfast.
Peggy’s Blue Skylight is a loose and lovely romp through Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow’s loft in New York, shot originally on 8mm and transferred to 16mm colour stock in 1985. The title comes from a jazz piece by Charles Mingus and Paul Bley performs the soundtrack.
The fifth film in Hollis Frampton’s 7-part Hapax Legomena, Ordinary Matter was also the last film of the series to be completed, partly due to Frampton’s ambitious original plan to have the sound track consist of verbal descriptions by three women and three men of Marcel Duchamp’s Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas. The current soundtrack is a non-sync recording of Frampton reading what he called the “Wade-Giles syllabary of the Chinese language,” an attempt to translate ideograms (idea-pictures) to phonemes (units of sound). Frampton’s description of the film gets us started: “A vision of a journey, during which the eye of the mind drives headlong through Salisbury Cloister (a monument to enclosure), Brooklyn Bridge (a monument to connection), Stonehenge (a monument to the intercourse between consciousness and LIGHT)… visiting along the way diverse meadows, barns, waters where I now live; and ending in the remembered cornfields of my childhood.” Like Duchamp’s posthumous installation, Ordinary Matter is less about what we see (or think we see) than the work of perception and consciousness as it swings between matter and energy. As Frampton says in A Lecture: “This is where we came in.”
Brummer’s, David Bienstock, 1967, USA, 16mm, 10 min
Peggy’s Blue Skylight, Joyce Wieland, 1965, USA/Canada, Super-8 on 16mm, 12 min
Ordinary Matter, Hollis Frampton, 1972, USA, 16mm, 36 min. sound on tape
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