AD HOC #54: Philip Hoffman: Collaborations & Meditations (1995-2024)

By on


No votes yet

"The short films in this program reflect a mix of formal experiments and collaborations that often feed into and fuel some of my longer poetic narratives, essay and autobiographical films, spanning my 45 year practice. Formally, the first half of the program are mid-career works which experiment with techniques of fragmentation through shooting, editing optical printing and through photo-chemical processes. The second part of the program consists of more recent works, where the worlds of plants and animals, both domesticated and wild, rub up against a filmmaking ecology derived primarily from various hand-made filmmaking processes: photogram-making, flower-processing/tinting as well as biodegradation/decay techniques of celluloid. Ultimately, some of these works are further treated through digital manipulation." –Philip Hoffman

Program Notes:1. Kokoro is for Heart (7 mins, 16mm, sd., 1999), Hoffman w/ Gerry Shikatani"Kokoro is for Heart features poet Gerry Shikatani and explores the relationships surrounding language, image and sound, set to the backdrop of a gravel pit down the road from the Film Farm. "...introducing a glitch into the material that can either be rejected as a mistake or accepted as part of the process. As Hoffman describes: When I got the footage back from the lab I was disappointed because of the periodic flipping of the image. I soon realised that the malfunctioning camera rendered the filmed-nature, unnatural...what is nature? What is natural?" – Kim Knowles, Experimental Film and Photochemical Practices, 2020

2. Chimera (15 mins., S8-to-16mm, sd., 1995), Hoffman w/ Tucker Zimmerman"The film consists of collected, diaristic images amassed through Hoffman's travels. Uluru... Russian shoppers, a Cairo market, and day to day images from home and away... make floating appearances. These have been gathered on the run, and then reconstituted with an uncanny ephemeral floating rhythm, a dance of light, and replaying, with commendable control, the idea of visual music, visual jazz. Though the method of collection may have had an air of arbitrariness about it, the meticulous construction and focus on rhythm in the finished piece suggest an artist who has learnt to master technique so as to let it speak for him about 'other' things." - Dirk de Bruyn, Melbourne Film Festival Catalogue 1996"In 1989 I finished the film Kitchener-Berlin and put a close to a cycle of work which dealt directly with myself, and how self is expressed/constructed cinematically. At the same time I took my old super-8 camera out of the closet, and began collecting images, using the single-frame-zoom. Cubist in its visual delivery, the single-frame-zoom builds a splayed reality that brings together disparate vantage points simultaneously, and serves as the glue that blends and bonds peoples, places and spaces in Chimera. The film was shot during a time when I had the opportunity to travel, a time of tremendous change when the Berlin Wall was coming down and the Internet was going up, between 1989 and 1992 in Leningrad, London, Cairo, Helsinki, Sydney and Uluru. It was optically printed and edited in Helsinki in 1992; completed in Mount Forest in 1995." -P. Hoffman

3. By the Time We Got to Expo (9 mins, S8 & 16mm to HDV, sd., 2015), Hoffman w/ Eva KolczeA meditative journey through Expo 67, re-visiting a significant moment in Canadian history using manipulated imagery taken from educational and documentary films. Footage has been re-worked using tints, toners and photochemical techniques to create a vibrant collision of colours, textures and forms. The exhibition returns new, in a startling display of beauty and loss.By the Time We Got to Expo's present-day meditation on a past event — one specifically designed to showcase technological progress — suggests a nostalgia not just for the event itself, but also for the novelty it stood for. The film's repetition of the same footage over and over implies a longing to dwell within this novelty, suggesting that the film's nostalgia is, at least partly, for the feeling of the "new." - The "New" Nostalgia of Montreal's 44th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma by Olivia Heaney – Los Angeles Review of Books

4. endings (9 mins, 16mm to HDV, sil. and sd., 2023), Hoffman w/ Isiah Medina'Trees, farm fields with animal livestock, ponds and plants, and natural artefacts disappear in the flicker effect of landscape compositions where sweeping branches carve moving structures into the viewer's memory, and the transformations of living image threads remind us of the inexhaustible visual exuberance of meadows and grain.' - Fascinations, Jihlava Film Festival.

5. Flowers #3 (Kissed by the Sun) (10 mins, 35mm photogram to HDV, sil., 2024) Hoffman w/ Alexander Granger and Jason O'HaraThese motion picture photograms were initiated through a five hour plunge into the darkroom; remembering the Galician celebration of flowers on the road in Baiona, near Vigo in 2019, here too we made a floral carpet of photograms. –P.HoffmanA Procession of herbs "emerge in all their structures, colors and epidermis. The motion picture itself becomes a plant which delicately stretches petioles and petals." – Séance #3-Sentir Comme une Plante, Muséum National d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.

6. Deep 1 (15 mins, 35mm or 16mm to HDV, sd. & sil., 2023), Hoffman w/ an Opening Recitation by Rup Chand from the Gayatri Mantra (Rigveda 10:11:3)The film has been hand-processed and decayed with Hyacinth and Lichen plants. Sound only in 1st minute of filmIn Deep 1 winged and four legged animals, both wild and domestic, traverse the frame marked by a hand-made practice.Filmed from 2020 - 2022, processed and decayed with hyacinth & lichen extract, the film is built on a sustainable practice: images and the imaging making process evolve out of "a complex material engagement with an eco-system that draws out the expressive possibilities of living things beyond conventional forms of representation". -Kim Knowles on Hoffman's practice from "Experimental Film and Photochemical Practices", 2020.

AD HOC aims to rethink what an experience of cinema can be. We seek to reposition historical landmarks and buried treasures within the on-going tradition of experimental and other non- commercial modes of filmmaking, drawing on work from Toronto, throughout Canada, and internationally. Within these parameters, we aspire to diversity in programming, as well as to multimedia and interdisciplinary screening events that bring together varied communities.

AD HOC = Stephen Broomer, Madi Piller, Jim Shedden, Tess Takahashi, Bart Testa.AD HOC is made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Innis College and the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. AD HOC would like to thank James Cahill, Denise Ing, Charlie Keil, and the staff of Innis College and the Cinema Studies Institute. See less


Innis Town Hall - Toronto, Canadá


Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 19:00



Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 19:00


  • 2 Sussex Avenue
    M5S 1J5   Toronto, Ontario
    43° 39' 56.052" N, 79° 23' 58.578" W