Luis Macías: "Your Eyes Are Spectral Machines"

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Film and expanded cinema performance
Artist in person

Microscope is very pleased to welcome back to the gallery Spanish artist and filmmaker Luis Macías for a special evening of films and live expanded cinema performance.

In the three works in the program — “The eyes empty and the pupils burning fo rage and desire” (2018), “The Kiss” (2014), and “Spectral Landscape” (2016-2019), which involve in various combinations multiple 16mm and 35mm slide projections — Macías proposes and investigates what he refers to as “spectral cinema,” or something to be revealed and achieved via the manipulations of the projection device, as well as the photochemical processes in the lab, and by re-photographing existing images on film via optical printer, among others.

For Macías, “The properties of the image and its forms and the modification/alteration of the mechanical structure of the projector are combined in new proposals for the exercise of a human eye […]”

Macías aims at heightening the sense of the spectrality of cinema — an art form “ghostly” by design, if considered as the disembodiment of images encapsulated within a celluloid strip into beams of light. Although the connections between specters and cinema run deep — especially when considering the extensive use of ghost imagery in the early optical tricks of magic lanterns and phantasmagoria — the artist with the term “spectral” seems to allude to all that makes manifest the structural possibilities of cinema as an optical, photographic technology resting on the essential elements of light and the act of seeing.

More specifically, Macías seeks to make visible what one does not expect to see, something that may at first be unsettling and seemingly inexplicable such as the sighting of a specter in the darkness of a house corridor.

A Q&A with the artist follows the screening and performance.

General admission $9
Students $7
Members $6

Luis Macías (1976, Barcelona, Spain) is an artist, filmmaker and image composer. His pieces deal with the formal and spectral properties of the moving image, through the exploration of the cinematographic device itself and the photochemical nature of the medium. He is one of the most prominent Spanish filmmakers of the contemporary experimental scene. His films and pieces of expanded cinema have been shown in prestigious film, art and music festivals as well as art centers, museums and alternative spaces around the world. Macías has been part of collective exhibitions as well as individual. Also, he has collaborated with various artists, musicians and filmmakers in the creation of collective works. He is a co-founder and an active member of Crater-Lab, an independent laboratory for analog cinema, and alternates his art work with specialized teaching in experimental cinema and the exploration of analog formats.


“The eyes empty and the pupils burning of rage and desire”
2 x 16mm projectors, silent, color-b&w, 25 minutes

Without image. Without sound.
Without description.

“Expanded cinema performance with two modified 16mm-projectors that reduce the essence of film and projection to the bare minimum: no image, sound or narrative. From frame to frame, the filmmaker balances on the edge in an improvisation comprised of light, dark and focus, with the film emulsion at a constant boiling point.” – International Film Festival Rotterdam

“The Kiss”
35mm (screening in video HD), sound, b/w, 9 minutes

Based on the film THE KISS (T. Edison 1896) in its original 35mm format, this video-film project is based on a structural re-shooting and re-recording of the original film in all the existing formats: analog, electronic and digital, in an evolutive form. The film is a reiteration of the act of kissing. The emphasis on the kiss, repeated and multiplied, while deteriorated in it’s own progress .The history of the evolution of formats through a kiss. An intimate and aesthetic relationship between media and audiovisual formats.

“Spectral Landscape”
3 x 35mm slide projectors, silent, color-b&w, 25 minutes
Sound by Alfredo Costa Monteiro

Expanded Cinema performance // A Landscape. Without color and movement.
Only a Landscape.

“At that beautiful moment between reality and dreaming, an incorporeal animal emerges from the darkness and light. Dark, violent and self-assured, it shares its fears of nature’s despair. But don’t be afraid—it’s an animal just like you. Did you see it? Wake up and open your eyes”



Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 19:30
  • 1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B
    11237   Brooklyn, Nueva York
    Estados Unidos
    Phone: +1 347 925 1433
    40° 42' 22.7304" N, 73° 55' 15.87" W