During this class we looked at some examples of video artists working with loops:
Martin Arnold is best known for Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998), a frenetic remix of film from old Andy Hardy movies in which a few frames of film are sampled, replayed and stretched into extended sequences. There are some clips of this project on YouTube: 1 (above), 2, 3. Passage À L’Acte uses a similar technique.
In works such as La Ronde and Momentum, Montreal artist Bettina Hoffman creates video loops where a camera continuously arcs around a group of people who are perfectly still. This mechanism allows the viewer to examine these awkwardly frozen social situations in minute detail, working out relationships between the characters in each scene and imagining what has happened or is about to happen.
Think about how both of these video artists use loops and repetition to focus our attention on otherwise ordinary moments, creating a sense of tension and unease, and drawing attention to the conventions and constraints of cinema.
We also looked at Marco Brambilla’s Civilization and Continue. Many of Brambilla’s video projects make use of loops. Brambilla directed the 1993 Hollywood blockbuster Demolition Man before turning his attention to video and installation art.
“The cinema of Hollywood is a cinema of exclusion, reduction and denial, a cinema of repression. In consequence we should not only consider what is shown, but also that which is not shown. There is always something behind that which is being represented, which was not represented. And it is exactly that which is most interesting to consider.” – Martin Arnold