Other People’s Memories. The humanism of Peter Delpeut, by Matthew Cole Levine
Discussions about the work of Peter Delpeut are dominated by the same subject which tends to overshadow discussions regarding cinema, memory, even human experience: time. This unstoppable force, which hovers in the background of our daily lives, exerting its endless influence on all things, could be considered Delpeut’s professional forte. This same force is the implicit subject of all found footage cinema: time, the agent that leads to organic decay and the buffer that allows us to see the past through some kind of (pseudo-)objective distance. Delpeut, in his films and his writings, shows a refusal to operate under preconceived notions. Archivist or artist, formalist or humanist, he prefers the more complex approach, preserving “the disorder that characterizes our lives”. The human being will always be an enthralling subject for study, never fully knowable in our own time, much less generations in the past. Delpeut sustains that sense of mystery, embracing the lives that may someday exist only as other people’s memories.
Embracing the imperfection of the film heritage: Peter Delpeut’s legacy at Eye Filmmuseum, by Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi
Bits and Pieces: A visionary new approach to film fragments, archival re-use, and film archival practice, by Giovanna Fossati
Menno Boerema 1958 – 2019, by Peter Delpeut
- The Dancers in the Machine: Notes on Can’t Get You Out of My Head, by Catherine Russell
The most difficult aspect of Adam Curtis’s unique filmmaking style is his relentless voice-over. His distinct vocal patterns are those of the BBC: a white man with a proper British accent whose clipped intonation rises and falls in regulated rhythms. Curtis prefers to be called a journalist rather than a documentarian or an artist, and I am happy to leave him in that category, despite the essayistic flavor of sound and image in his work. His narration leaves little space for doubt, let alone fact-checking, given the pace and volume of details that are piled up in a palimpsest of stories that are rhetorically blended into one story that is almost always about networks of conspiratorial forces propped up by media industries and capital. In the six-part Can’t Get You Out of My Head (2021), he uses hours and hours of footage collected from BBC archives to craft a tale about power, individuals, and the failures of political dissidence, beginning with the collapse of the British Empire and ending in 2021, just before the pandemic let us all out of our boxes.
- Archives of Intimacy: Gay pornography and queer archiveography as labors of love, by Hugo Ljungbäck
Queer filmmakers and video artists cull love letters, home movies, sex tapes, selfies, and pornography to build ephemeral archives of alternative, forgotten, and overlooked histories of queer love. In this paper, I posit archiveography as a particularly apt and generative descriptor for these recent trends in queer found footage filmmaking. I will show how pornography in particular, as a popular form of queer ephemera, becomes a productive site of queer history-making, embedded within personal histories of desire and intimacy and public histories of discrimination. Looking at recent video work by Ryan White, Sam Gurry, and myself, I will try to demonstrate how archiveography allows artists to interrupt mainstream representation, excavate forgotten queer histories, and reimagine alternative queer-media futures.
- Found Footage Travelogue: Travel in situ accompanied by the personal voiceover, by Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė
Thinking about personal travelogue filmmaking in the context of found footage films offers new insight into both practices. As an experimental filmmaker, researcher, and a PhD student with an interest in personal and experimental travelogue filmmaking, my attentiveness to the subject lies in how it is possible to travel without travelling, how found footage in particular conjures this experience, and how found footage, even orphaned or anonymously sourced material, can be or be framed to feel personal. I wish to draw on the expressive, self-reflective qualities of the found footage travelogue form, which allows us to look beyond the purely historiographical aspects of these documents to reveal their emotional potential. In looking at how speculation and first-person voice works in this mode, I will discuss the film Terra Femme by Courtney Stephens (2021); but, before that, let me list the issues I wish to explore and that remain open questions for me: can found footage travelogue cinema carry the flavor of human history and the genesis of the travelogue genre but be intimate at the same time? How does the director succeed in creating a sensitive narrative that verbalizes ideas about bigger things, such as gender, mobility, perception, history and more? Is it possible to travel without moving? Can filmmakers create autoethnographic travel films from archival or found footage? I will answer these and other questions by trying to understand how Terra Femme builds a distinct voice through a performance of the self.
- Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son Through the Lens of a 16mm Projector: Thoughts on technology and experimental pedagogy, by André Habib
What 16mm projector did Ken Jacobs use to make Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son, his famous 1969 (revised in 1971) film? And why is this question even important? This paper will focus on a very mundane detail within this larger excavation: what 16mm projector did Ken Jacobs use to make Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son? This question is important because it illustrates essential aspects of Jacobs (but not only his) experimental pedagogy, but also the bridge he is able to create, starting with this film, between film analysis and performance—film analysis understood as performance; performance understood as a mode of analysis. Such investigation opens an inquiry into the many types of projectors that were used in his teachings and performances up until the early 2000’s. These specific projectors, I will try to argue, are not superficial accessories but are fundamental agents if we want to consider the role technology played in shaping specific aesthetic experiences and radical visual-optic insights into the past.
- Between a Hard Place and a Hard Drive: The legacies and futures of found footage film and video in the digital era, by Dave Rodriguez
This essay examines key questions related to the legacies and futures of found footage film and video making through the lens of curating an exhibition of found footage works at Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2022 and 2023. It addresses questions related to how found footage filmmaking has evolved and expanded in-step with technological advancement in the era of Web 2.0. Through an analysis of works featured in the exhibition, it explores the various ways artists working across the 20th and 21st centuries have used the technique of found footage filmmaking to critically examine the ever-diversifying media landscape of moving images in an increasingly digitized, networked world.
ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
- A Meta-Cinematic Do-Si-Do: Selections from an interview with Chloé Galibert-Laîné about Forensickness, her video essay about Chris Kennedy’s Watching the Detectives; and an interview with Chris Kennedy about Watching the Detectives, and about Galibert-Laîné’s Forensickness, by Scott MacDonald
- Dwelling in the Dissolve, by Holly Willis
- Bree and Jorge, by Mike Hoolboom
- Untitled Fragments of an Online Conversation: An interview with Doplenger, by Greg de Cuir Jr
- Strange Objects: Conversations around four films by Miranda Pennell, by Kamila Kuc and Jananne Al-Ani
· Hollis Frampton: Navigating the infinite cinema, by Arindam Sen
· Craig Baldwin: Avant to live!, by Clint Enns
DÉMONTAGE: THE BATHERS, by Johannes Hammel
by Matt Soar, Josh Weissbach, Abigail He, Joshua Gen Solondz, Janis Crystal Lipzin, and Kristin Reeves.