Animation Deviation (part 2)


Simon Payne, Neil Henderson and Jennifer Nightingale are all lecturers at ARU in Cambridge, and their work is tremendous, each in different ways. Simon Payne’s paper was called ‘Smooth movement, Frenetic Motion and Flicker’, and I would have thought his talk was exciting even if we didn’t enjoy marital relations. He showed clips from ‘Radio Dynamics’ by Oscar Fischinger (1942), ‘C-Trend‘ by Woody Vasulka (1974), ‘Peace, Mandala/End War’ by Paul Sharits (1993) and David Larcher’s ‘Ich Tank’ (1983/97), in the context of those 3 different ways in which experimental 
film
 and 
video makers 
have
 worked 
with
 frame‐by‐frame
 structures. Then Neil Henderson showed his 16mm film ‘Candle’ in which movement is created by a chemical process; the 3 minute film is the record of a polaroid photograph appearing from nothing, presented in reverse. It’s clever of course, but it’s extremely exciting to see the projector projecting the image of a light source that is denied the movement that is expected, I didn’t even blink because I didn’t want to miss the incremental change when it came, so different to those that Simon mentioned, and I could see that other people felt the same. Neil’s made other clever things, one of which is 
Black 
and 
Light
 Movie, 
a 
film 
installation 
of 
sixty
 five super
 8

projectors from 2002. I think I saw this at the 297 Gallery in 2002. Each 
projector 
played a 
50ft
 roll
 of
 black
leader
 until 
it 
ran 
out
 and
 revealed 
the
 illuminated 
frame. Each projector played at it’s own speed so there’s a great deal of suspense, the light finally arrived but then it signaled the end of the film. Anyway, there’s no website for Neil, nothing, so you just have to see if you can catch him showing something sometime. Jennifer Nightingale’s work is also thoughtful and thought provoking because the movement in her films is not just or even mechanical but often created by a gesture. In her film ‘Pinhole Film No. 1’ Jennifer has made a pinhole for the supereight cartridge itself and advanced the film by using a hairgrip, so there is a regular flare of light that is the extended exposure created when Jennifer’s hand turns back to revolve the hairgrip again. In her ‘Knitting Films’ the frames are created from stitches, either the movement of her hand pulling the wool to create a new stitch, or her use of a pattern for a fairisle jersey to dictate the content of each frame. Jenny spoke so well and had some lovely slides to make her process clear, I’m afraid I havn’t.

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