Carte blanche to Kim Knowles (Black Box, Edinburgh International Film Festival)
In a post-screening discussion at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2013, veteran experimental filmmaker Michael Snow referred to the contemporary technological moment in terms of ‘mediums eating mediums’. The current state of analogue obsolescence might indeed be conceived in the context of consumption – one medium rendered obsolete by another, and framed by the wider drive towards (capitalist) progress and commodity culture. But thinking about the relationship between different mediums does not necessarily mean replacement (a negative formulation) but coexistence. In this sense, exploring the field of hybrid practice allows us to reflect on notions of medium-specificity, looking at ways in which different media may enter into a dialogue with each other. It offers a way out of the either/or polarisation that often surrounds the debate about analogue and digital technologies, and shows how the merging or alternating of mediums and formats widens the cinematic palette. This programme brings together films that approach the theme of hybridisation or coexistence in different ways, often explicitly staging the question of obsolescence in creative terms, and foregrounding cinema as a constantly shifting mode of perception.