Watch "Zen for Film" (1965), a film about nothing, and everything

Video artist Nam June Paik's "Zen for Film" (1964) is a projection of clear film leader. The image changes over time as dust and imperfections become visible. From the Bard Graduate Center gallery:

Inherent in the work’s material and conceptual aspects are notions of chance, trace, changeability, boredom, silence, and nothingness. With Zen for Film, the projection of a film leader creates an image of apparent nothingness that oscillates between the immateriality of projected light and the material traces, which slowly obliterate the leader’s transparent surface. Zen for Film shares meaningful aspects of chance, silence, and nothingness with such works as composer John Cage’s 4”33” (1952) and artist Robert Rauschenberg’s White Painting (1951).

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Watch this head-spinning video of interconnected Olympic acrobatics

Donato Sansone "Concatenation 2" film connects a series of acrobatic Olympic athletes' jumps, spins, and dives into "a series of interconnected things or events," which is the definition of "concatenation." This delightfully disorienting video is a sequel to Sansone's original "Concatenation" film here.

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'Super 8: An Illustrated History' Will Scratch That Analog Itch

Both rookie filmmakers and analog die-hards alike will find something to love in Danny Plotnick’s new coffee table book ‘Super 8: An Illustrated History.’ Newcomers will whisper a quiet "thank you" before tucking in their iPhones tonight after they're introduced to the laborious process that their filmmaking ancestors went through, from buying expensive film stock to processing by hand. Experience the dizzying highs and treacherous lows as the author recounts his own decades-long love affair with Super 8 filmmaking (see: Skate Witches). The glorious photos of vintage cameras and projectors that adorn this book will have even the most casual gearhead drooling and interviews with underground filmmakers who cut their teeth on Super 8 including Richard Linklater, Bruce LaBruce, and GB Jones will offer insights into the passion that drove no-budget artists in the pre-digital age.

 

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From 1929, a splendid experimental animation that imagines life's origins

Tusalava (1929) is a splended experimental animation by New Zealand avant-garde filmmaker and kinetic artist Len Lye. The original film featured a piano score by Jack Ellitt that has unfortunately been lost. (The video above has contemporary music by Andrew Pask who uploaded the film to YouTube.) From the Len Lye Foundation:

The film imagines the beginnings of life on earth. Single-cell creatures evolve into more complex forms of life. Evolution leads to conflict, and two species fight for supremacy. The title is a Samoan word which suggests that things go full circle. In this film Lye based his style of animation partly on the ancient Aboriginal art of Australia. Tusalava is unique as a film example of what art critics describe as “modernist primitivism”. In contrast to the Cubist painters (who were influenced by African art), Lye drew upon traditions of indigenous art from his own region of the world (New Zealand, Australia and Samoa).

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Watch the Private Life of a Cat

Back in 1947, decades before cat memes became a way of life, experimental documentary filmmakers Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid gave us a lovely glimpse of the "Private Life of a Cat." From Archive.org:

RECORDS FEMALE CAT & HER 5 KITTENS AS MOTHER CAT APPROACHES LABOR, KITTENS ARE BORN & OBTAIN MILK & MOTHER CAT THEN CARES FOR THEM IN LEARNING & GROWING PROCESS, IN WHICH TOM CAT OCCASIONALLY PARTICIPATES.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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