Cinema Expanded - Avant-Garde Film in the Age of Intermedia


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Expanded cinema: avant-garde moving image works that claim new territory for the cinematic, beyond the bounds of familiar filmmaking practices and the traditional theatrical exhibition space. First emerging in the 1960s amidst seismic shifts in the arts, multi-screen films, live cinematic performance, light art, kinetic art, video, and computer-generated imagery - all placed under expanded cinema's umbrella - re-emerged at the dawn of the 2000s, opening a vast new horizon of possibility for the moving image, and perhaps even heralding the end of cinema as we know it.

Cinema Expanded: Avant-Garde Film in the Age of Intermedia offers a bold new account of its subject, breaking from previous studies and from larger trends in film and art scholarship. Author Jonathan Walley argues that expanded cinema's apparent departure from the traditions and forms of cinema as we know it actually radically asserts cinema's nature and artistic autonomy. Walley also resituates expanded cinema within the context of avant-garde film history, linking it to a mode of filmmaking that has historically investigated and challenged the nature and limits of cinematic form. As an outgrowth of this tradition, expanded cinema offered a means for filmmakers within the avant-garde, regardless of their differing styles, formal concerns, and politics, to stake out cinema's unique aesthetic terrain - its ontology, its independence, its identity.

In addition to reconsidering the better-known expanded cinema works of the 1960s and 70s by artists like Andy Warhol, Robert Whitman, and Nam June Paik, Cinema Expanded also provides the first scholarly accounts of scores of lesser-known works across more than 50 years. Making new arguments about avant-garde cinema in general and its complex meditations on the nature of cinema, it urgently addresses current and crucial debates about the fate of the moving image amidst a digital age of near-constant technological change.

Table of contents:

Introduction: The Persistence of Cinema

Chapter 1: The Two Expanded Cinemas
Chapter 2: Expanded Cinema Revis(it)ed
Chapter 3: Cinema as Performance
Chapter 4: Cinema as Object I
Chapter 5: Cinema as Object II
Chapter 6: Cinema as Idea
Conclusion: Reframing Expanded Cinema


Jonathan Walley is Associate Professor of Cinema at Denison University. His writing has appeared in October, Millenium Film Journal, Moving Image Review and Art Journal, and in numerous collections of scholarship on avant-garde film and art.

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