Simon Payne studied at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, Maidstone; Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee; and the Royal College of Art, London. As a student, he quickly identified with formal approaches and traditions in experimental film. But he eschewed filmmaking, preferring the immediacy of video, especially when it became a digital medium that facilitated a readily systematic means of dealing with time.
His work has shown in numerous festivals and venues including Anthology Film Archives, New York; Pacific Film Archives, San Francisco; the Ann Arbor, Edinburgh, London and Rotterdam film festivals; the Media City Festival, Windsor, Ontario; the European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück; the Serpentine and Whitechapel Galleries in London; Tate Britain and Tate Modern; and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. He has also written widely on experimental film and video for Millennium Film Journal, Senses of Cinema, Sequence and other publications. He co-edited the book Kurt Kren: Structural Films (2016) with Nicky Hamlyn and A.L. Rees and is currently editing an unfinished book by A.L. Rees, entitled Fields of View: Film Art and Spectatorship for publication. Simon Payne is Reader in Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and lives and works in London.
June 4th, 19h
Systems Cinema: Video Work 1998-2018:
Simon Payne’s commitment to abstract cinema has been unflinching and consistent for twenty years. His videos are predominantly orientated around hard-edged graphic planes and highly structured sequences that produce unexpected colour combinations and conflicts of form. There are sometimes accidental and contingent elements in his work, which correspond with incidental glimpses or indications of the artist’s hand, but any screening of his works principally concerns the perception and position of the viewer rather than the artist as such. They aim for a consciously engaging experience by way of systems that involve the entirety of the screen and often spill over to illuminate the cinema in remarkable ways.
Introduction and Q&A with Simon Payne and Albert Alcoz
- May (1998) 4:3, color, stereo, 1’45”
- Monitor (2002) 4:3, color, silent, 4’
- Colour Bars (2004) 4:3, color, silent, 8’
- New Ratio (2007) 16:9, color, stereo, 1’40”
- Iris Out (2008), 16:9, color, mono, 10’
- Not and or (2014),16:9, b/w & color, silent, 18′
- Primitive Cinema (2015), 16:9, color, silent, 2′
- Intersections (2017), 16:9, color, stereo, 10’
- Set Theory I-IV (2018), 16:9, b/w & color, stereo, 19’
June 6th, 19h
Alternate frames (programmed by Simon Payne):
‘Alternate Frames’ is a programme of experimental video works that are orientated around processes, systems and metrical patterns, sometimes worked out in editing and at other times pre-determined. In a number of respects these videos augment a continuous and live tradition of ‘formal’ filmmaking in their translation of ideas that derive from ‘filmic thinking’, principally in terms of single-frame sequencing. The film frame and the video frame are different entities: the film frame is literally a still image and the video frame is a temporal period in which an image is scanned. But in both instances (film and video) the frame is the principle marker, beat or measure for time-based structures. A reflexive impulse is also something that carries through these videos, though the object of reflection and the medium as such is uniquely configured in each instance, whether electronic, digital, abstract, concrete, observational, handheld or remote etc.
All of the artists included in this programme are, or have been, based in the UK at some point. And there are factors particular to the culture of experimental film and video there – in the uptake of principles and ideas – which have informed the structures, systems and processes that are central to their work. These correspond with the legacy of various collectives, workshops, art college and university courses and influential figures therein. Regardless of the particularities of a UK scene, systematic approaches in experimental film and video are clearly international and inexhaustible.
Introduction by Simon Payne
- The Enlightenment Stephen Littman (1993/2016) color, 4'
- Sea / Variation Gareth Polmeer (2011/2019) color, silent, 4’
- Structure Jamie Jenkinson (2012) color, silent, 2'
- Apple Jamie Jenkinson (2012) color, 1’
- Media Blackout, 1 Deniz Johns (2016) b/n, silent, 4’
- Porquerolles Nicky Hamlyn (2018) b&w & color, silent, 22’
- bild A pos, bild B pos, bild A neg, bild B neg sue k. (2009) b&w & color, 12'
- Point Line Plane Simon Payne (2010) b&w, 8’
- Flicker Savinder Bual (2005) b/n, silent, 2 frames in loop