Thursday, May 7, 2009

I've worked through this project on the basis of the elements given to us in the beginning, fundamental elements; light fire through to electricity and pixel. I took a visual approach to the project exploring motion picture, starting from 8mm film and that being an everyday medium for the average western family to now modern high definition video. I found the tools for 8mm really fun and interesting. The image in 8mm in motion gave a strong feel of how movies are made, which is fresh because with digital video I feel removed from the structure of film and motion picture.
I also think its an odd regurgitation of mediums analogue to digital so it does portray the relationship between the two quite well.
Installing my work has been relatively simple, I think sometimes with a complex presentation it can take away from the content of the work. In my case this digital 8mm DVD is being played on a small TV screen on a plinth, which focuses our attention on the picture in the screen rather the space in which we view the work. Putting the TV on a plinth is a subtle way of making the TV seem grand and important (to a lesser extent) in which a cinema projection would hold the same grand nature.

motion picture elephant

This was a small extract from the digital video I recorded from the digital 8mm film which was screened on the analogue editor.
The image quality isn't quite what I had hoped for, which could have been adjusted by shooting the subject on a higher resolution video camera, or even a fast shooting stills camera. The size of the image could have had more attention with aligning to fit the projector . But I don't want to feel too down on the poor image quality because it wasn't an exercise to fully replicate motion picture film. The project was more about exploring the aesthetic of the motion picture from modern digital video.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Standard 8

The standard 8 mm film format was developed by the Eastman Kodak company during the Great Depression and released on the market in 1932 to create a home movie format that was less expensive than 16 mm. The film spools actually contain a 16 mm film with twice as many perforations along each edge than normal 16 mm film, which is only exposed along half of its width. When the film reaches its end in the takeup spool, the camera is opened and the spools in the camera are flipped and swapped (the design of the spool hole ensures that this happens properly) and the same film is exposed along the side of the film left unexposed on the first loading. During processing, the film is split down the middle, resulting in two lengths of 8 mm film, each with a single row of perforations along one edge, thereby fitting four times as many frames in the same amount of 16 mm film. Because the spool was reversed after filming on one side to allow filming on the other side the format was sometimes called Double 8. The frame size of regular 8 mm is 4.8 mm x 3.5 mm and 1m film contains 264 pictures. Normally Double8 is filmed at 16 frames per second.

Common length film spools allowed filming of about 3 minutes to 4.5 minutes at 12, 15, 16 and 18 frames per second.

Kodak ceased selling standard 8 mm film in the early 1990s, but continued to produce the film, which was sold via independent film stores. Black-and-white 8 mm film is still manufactured in the Czech Republic, and several companies buy bulk quantities of 16 mm film to make regular 8 mm by re-perforating the stock, cutting it into 25 foot (7.6 m) lengths, and collecting it into special standard 8 mm spools which they then sell. Re-perforation requires special equipment. Some specialists also produce super 8 mm film from existing 16 mm, or even 35 mm film stock.

[edit] Super 8

Some Super 8 footage shot in Wellington New Zealand

In 1965, Super-8 film was released and was quickly adopted by the amateur film-maker. It featured a better quality image, and was easier to use mainly due to a cartridge-loading system which did not require re-loading halfway through. Sometimes, the improvement was not as apparent, since the film gate in some cheap Super 8 cameras was plastic as was the pressure plate, which was built in to the cartridge, whereas the standard 8 cameras had a permanent metal film gate which was more reliable in keeping the image in focus.

There was another version of Super-8 film, Single-8, produced by Fuji in Japan. It has the same final film dimensions, but the cassette is different. The Kodak system was by far the most popular. Super-8 was at one point available with a magnetic sound track at the edge of the film but this only made up 5 to 8% of Super-8 sales and was discontinued in the 1990s.

There has been a huge resurgence of Super-8 film in recent years due to advances in film stocks and digital technology. Film can handle far greater variations in contrast than video cameras and thus has become an alternative for acquisition. The idea is to shoot on the low cost Super-8 equipment then transfer the film to video for editing. In recent years, the format itself has been further improved by enlarging the aperture of the camera to expose into the now obsolete sound track region allowing for a wide-screen image. This has been given the title "super-duper-8" or "max-8" and is gradually gaining popularity despite the availability of affordable digital video cameras.[citation needed]

visited on the 7 May 2009

This material explains the basic ideas and descriptions of 8mm film. It describes the differences between Super 8 and standard 8, which I should have realised much earlier in the project because it could have allowed major changes to the image I produced.

In the holidays I dove into buying two 8mm editors, one super and one standard, not having a clue about either. I figured i'd just have a go seeing as though its an analogue process the materials are all laid out infront of me, so I had a more physical relationship with the medium (as apposed to digital).

My digital 8mm

my 8mm prints

Top two images: Inkjet prints onto laser mylar didn't work at all, but made for a nice mono print because the ink was so wet.
bottom image: my A3 image of 8mm film strips.

35mm slides- film reel

Slides given to me from Pam, They were doubles from the theory department of old NZ art works. I sliced them in 8mm strips and cello-taped together to make a film reel. The end result was a total mash up of colour and form. There was the odd flash of recognition but the majority of the experience consisted in the colour. the flashing shutter added a more viewable nature to the experiment due to the individualising of each opening of the shutter, also adding to the fundamental elements of motion picture.

8mm digital test #1

35mm found slide experiment

len lye experiment

Friday, May 1, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gordon Douglas

The work of Douglas I think is interesting from a cinematic perspective. The physicality of the work opens new-ish way of presenting a motion picture in multiple screens. It has a strong representation to real life with the subject (a 4 year old Indian elephant) filmed inside the gallery space it was to be exhibited. it creates this sub-conscious question of how the elephant got into the space, is it computer generated.

Stylistically its interesting with the play on time being real playback time yet it feels in slow motion, and the colours feel black and white....but are not.

From an animal right perspective the work is quite shocking, but what I got from reading a couple of internet articles nobody was to concerned. In juxtaposition to the African Circus in Dunedin in April, there was huge debarcle regarding this exotic elephant and the council's rule to disallow exotic animals in the City. It brings the issues of cruelty and un-natural habitats for creatures in captivity.

Daniel Crooks

this link is to a short description and of the work and conceptual thinking.

len lye

"One of my art teachers put me onto trying to find my own art theory. After many morning idea hit me that seemed like a complete revelation. It was to compose motion, just as musicians compose sound. [ The idea ] was to lead me far, far away from wanting to excel in...traditional art."

when dealing with film I see Len lye as one key figure to be considered. There are strong fundamental relationships to motion and picture.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


This image was bought to my attention and found the idea quite inviting. This would be quite amazing for everyday film makers to bring back an analogue quality. also a fun experiment.

standard DV video clip

This is an extract from my video of Jumbo the elephant, residing at th Mosgiel A and P show grounds for the duration of the African circus' visit to Dunedin.

elephant clips

Today was spent playing on Photoshop, experimenting in automating batches of photographs to be at the exact same resolution and size.
done by sampling an image and using the 'actions' tool to record the changes to the image and what to apply. Then I used the 'automate-batch' tool which open a new window where I selected the folder of files which were to be adjusted the same.

Lessons in keeping files and folders neat and tidy and very essential tools to use when dealing with multiple images of the same format and scale, resolution etc.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Edison 1903

I'll be honest i didn't realise this incredible link between the work I was dealing with, subject and content, with the early film work of edison,
These images are off youtube depicting his electrocution of an elephant.

editor test

(analogue 8mm reproduced in digital)

frame test

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ulf Langheinrich

work "From the Spark to the Pixel'

The work has motion which I like, rotation, rhythm. A fundamental example of early motion picture.

My material

( Here is a statement of my current material and subject. )

The material I have been using for my subject has consisted of an old 8mm film called 'Murder Inc.'
I have also been interested in adopting youtube footage. This was my initial material I had readily available to experiment with and a great starter for creating a motion picture and adapting the two juxtaposing mediums- Digital and analogue.
Pam kindly delivered some old 35mm slides from the old art theory projection collection. To start with I got a hold of some New Zealand related images which I thought would be a starting point of some relevance to me.
Another area of subject I am experimenting with is video of Jumbo the elephant from the African circus that is currently in town. An exotic animal in a mundane NZ setting.

Robert Boyd- found footage

Xanadu / U.S.A is a rapid-fire montage that condenses archival footage of Doomsday cults, iconic political figures, and global fundamentalist movements into seconds-long image bites, representing a history of apocalyptic thought as a series of MTV-style music videos.

The works that form Xanadu probe society's self-destructive impulse while parodying various elements of popular culture such as documentaries, news media, cartoons and pop music. Culled from hundreds of hours of archival footage including that of Doomsday cults, iconic political figures, and global fundamentalist movements, Xanadu tweaks, condenses and re-frames modern events into seconds-long image bites, representing a history of apocalyptic thought as a series of MTV-style music videos within a setting reminiscent of a discotheque. Do sweet dreams of suicide cults, mass annihilation, genocide and the Apocalypse all become part of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Set to saccharin dance tracks, the Xanadu videos suggest that humanity is not apathetic about its own demise, but on the contrary - it secretly desires it!

extract from :>

Len lye,
kinetic film/ scratching on film to make a groovy image

Tamás Waliczky


In the first version of "The forest", made as a computer animation, the image of the forest creates the impression of a three-dimensional space constructed from elements which themselves are only two-dimensional. The basis for the image is a black-and-white drawing of a bare tree. "The forest" can also be viewed as a long vertical composition running in an infinite sequence. This is the first of several lines of movement in the animation. Waliczky copied the two-dimensional drawing onto the surface of a number of transparent cylinders. When the cylinders begin to revolve, the camera appears to pan to the right or left. This is the second line of movements. The virtual camera is also mobile: it can move forwards or backwards along a circular path within the forest, thereby forming the third line of movement. The combination of the three lines makes it possible to produce movements running in every direction. With this structure, Waliczky alters the whole system of coordinates on which the representation of space depends. Whereas the three directions (x, y and z) normally correspond to straight vectors, Waliczky's system of coordinates employs curved lines that loop back on themselves. This evokes a sense of limitless space: the viewer feels that there is no way out of the forest extends in every direction. The resulting illusion is complete and deeply alarming: the infinity of gaze leads to a total loss of perspective.

Anna Szepesi, 1995



back into it with a week extension which is good, very good. I had vague plans and ambitions for this week which I will aim for but have the luxury of next week to hone in on specific elements such as presentation, getting a more finished product with more time to really understand what this project was rather than a rushed blur.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So the voltage into my editor was not the problem, more that the bulb was too old and just got a bit too excited too soon. i've been to a few places to get replacement bulbs but are very hard to track down. apparently auto electricians are the go.
just annoying to have to chase around for it.


Finally tested my second 8mm film editor, which is probably the better suited for presentation and ergonomic comfort but lacking in grunt and size of the image. Any way I get an adaptor for the power chord and the light blew, so whether the voltage was too much i don't know. I'd prob better talk to someone about it

just an option

When struggling away thinking about spark, pixel, fire, electricity blah blah I honed in on pixel and the meaning picture element which was the piece of interest. I began to think of ways in constructing images in elements in a more analogue sense. This is while still thinking about projections and large scale imagery. So the prism sprung to mind and these are the images I got before abandoning the idea. maybe I'll pick it up again but probably not.

thinking about projections

When I am in a blank space I draw to keep some form of momentum. In these pictures I started to draw in large scale, the Port Otago web cam image I was using a lot in my last 'systems' project. The subject of the image itself I find semi-irrelevant, I am quite interested in concepts of found or appropriated imagery, with this shot copied from the port otago website.
The projection was a starting block to thinking about fundamental displaying in a more cinematic term. Thinking towards cinema in a glamorous, elevated image. yeah

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

more doug

“Speed is a means to celebrate the perfection
of stillness.1 Speed is at the core of the
Bombay filmmaking machine.”2 —Doug Aitken

i've been reading about his work 'Into the sun' 1999 which is a video projection of appropriated or found footage. The video is a mixed together but what I find more interesting is his use of his subject in a regurgitated manner very directly.
He also talks a lot about speed and motion in relation to cinema.

The editor in action


Here is a small sample from the Humphrey Boggart 8mm film reel.
I think I scanned them in at a low resolution. Now it gives a clearer view to the nature of how small 8mm really is, the picture itself being only 5mm.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

doug aitken


I bought some old 8mm gear off the guy on trademe and i've had a play. Its pretty interesting working with film, its so fundamental and I get such a good feeling about the concept of motion pictures.
So now I have a way of creating an image from a film reel, my vague plan consists of playing with the film itself on photoshop, recording the moving image on digital film, playing with projections, and attempting to built a reel from mylar.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009