Indefinite Visions

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This two-day event brings together academics, film-makers and artists for presentations, conversations, and screenings to explore the indefinite and the illegible in experimental film, artists’ film and video, and commercial cinema.

Light, motion, definition, compression: the conditions of recording, storing and screening moving image are subject to constant variations that pull them away from perfect visibility. Film-makers and artists often seek out and work with the resulting visual uncertainty, from the warping of space to the melding of senses; speed to slowness; darkness to glare; and blur to glitch. Indefinite Visions explores the possibility that an important function of moving image is not to show but to obscure, and that – like the photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up – the closer and deeper we look at an image, the less clear it becomes.

Each day includes a variety of screenings on 35mm, 16mm, and digital, and is complemented by an evening programme at Close Up Film Centre. The evening screenings will bring together recent examples of indefinite vision in experimental film, with a selection of films discussed during each day and works by participating artists.

The event is curated by film-maker and theorist Richard Misek and film scholar Allan Cameron, and supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. An edited anthology entitled Indefinite Visions (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron and Arild Fetveit) will be published by Edinburgh University Press in late 2016.


£25/£20 concs for both days
£15/£12.50 concs per day

Programme: Friday 24 June

11.30am: Motion
Introduction, followed by presentations by D.N. Rodowick (University of Chicago) on movement, force and time in experimental film and video, and Kriss Ravetto (University of California, Davis) on the uncanny effects of slow motion in the work of Bill Viola.

12.45pm: Sensation
Catherine Fowler (University of Otago) discusses the power of uncertain imagery in artists’ film and video, and Emmanuelle André (Université Paris VII Didérot) explores new relations between vision and touch in digital media.

1.30pm: Break

2.30pm: Transformation
A conversation on reworking footage from Hollywood movies with legendary experimental film-maker Martin Arnold, featuring screenings of his recent works.

3.30pm: Digression
Two parallel break-out conversations that look beyond the moving image: the first with Holly Rogers (Goldsmiths, University of London) on indefinite sound, and the second with Paul Thomas (University of New South Wales) and pioneering scientist and artist Frederik de Wilde on nanoart.

4pm: Break

4.30pm: Glitch
Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Allan Cameron (University of Auckland) provide two perspectives on glitch, followed by a conversation with artist and theorist Rosa Menkman, featuring screenings of her works.

Programme: Saturday 25 June

11.30am-1pm: Blackness
Richard Misek gives a lecture-performance based around his video Black Screen, and Frederik de Wilde discusses his experiments with nanoblack. Followed by a conversation with Ars Electronica prize-winning media artist Anouk de Clercq, featuring screenings of her works.

1pm: Break

2pm-2.30pm: Materiality I
A compendium of short works exploring the materiality of film, programmed by Kim Knowles, curator of the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s ‘Black Box’ experimental theme.

2.30pm-3.30pm: Materiality II
Emmanuel Lefrant, director of French experimental film co-operative Light Cone, presents some films from their collection and talks with artist Jacques Perconte, whose film Ettrick screened earlier this year at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight.

3.30pm-4.00pm: Break

4pm-5pm: Definition
Martine Beugnet (Université Paris VII Didérot) explores the uses and effects of blur, Christa Blümlinger discusses the work of Peter Tscherkassky, and Erika Balsom (King’s College, London) traces low definition from early cinema to digital compression.

5pm-5.45pm: Discussion
Sean Cubitt leads a concluding round table discussion with guests including D.N. Rodowick and artist Susan Collins (Slade School of Fine Art).


Whitechapel Gallery - London, United Kingdom


Friday, June 24, 2016 (All day) to Saturday, June 25, 2016 (All day)



Friday, June 24, 2016 (All day) to Saturday, June 25, 2016 (All day)
  • 77-82 Whitechapel High Streetº
    E1 7QX   London
    United Kingdom
    51° 30' 57.5424" N, 0° 4' 13.7424" W