Academic journal article Millennium Film Journal

"There Will Be Projections in All Dimensions."

Academic journal article Millennium Film Journal

"There Will Be Projections in All Dimensions."

Article excerpt

Private Investigator

"I'm just interested in exploring the apparatus I'm being threaded through..."

-Robert Smithson

The primary motivation for an artist's paracinema is the profound desire to investigate the properties of the medium-by that I mean, the materials, the apparatus and its operation, the technology and its infrastructure-as fully as possible, without taking anything for granted. This urge may come from a need to know the way things work, the chemistry, the optics, and the mechanics. It may come from a deep respect for the physical materials, their source and transformation: the flexibility of plastic, the reflectivity of silver, or the spectrum of color dyes. It may come from wanting to dismantle or deconstruct the devices of illusion. It may come from a mystical belief or a metaphysical conception of the matter involved, and its effect on human consciousness, from the vibrancy of sound waves, the charge of magnetic fields and the transmission of light and shadow.

"Attractions are proportional to destinies."

-Charles Fourier


These private investigations, a kind of philosophical detective work, often originate from questions of being, basic inquiries, of intuitive curiosity, into the function of objects and what they reveal to us. In the field of film, and its truly experimental branch, or rhizome perhaps, of paracinema or expanded cinema, this artisanal exploration of materials and machines, and the challenge to the fixed assumptions of their proper function, opens the parameters of what can be done with, and what can be known about, film. Here we find that certain paths, those abandoned or rarely taken, or certain models, those Utopian, protean, problematic, or simply difficult, are being reexamined, invented anew or discovered for the first time, by irrepressible poet-scientists, mystic-materialists, or tinkering-philosophers.

"Filming a once invisible world with a once only imagined instrument."

-Jean Painlevé

"The cinema would become the perfect instrument for the revelation of the possible worlds which coexist right alongside our own."

-Raúl Ruiz, For a Shamanic Cinema, Poetics of Cinema

"The moods of the octopus are revealed in her changing hues: she will turn red, black, purple, or yellow."

-Jean Painlevé, in The Love Life of the Octopus

"Nikola Tesla claimed that in moments of heightened creativity he was radiating a blue light. Wilhelm Reich explained that all living creatures radiate a blue light. He observed couples making love on the beach, in darkness. He asserted that the blue radiation, which becomes more intense during the sexual act, can be observed by the naked eye."

-Dusan Makavejev

Far, far way, Jules Verne floated in the dark sky, disguised as the Moon, and very lonely.

Parable of a parallel universe

"When a finger points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger."

-Ancient Chinese proverb

Paracinema is the 'invisible ray' that allows us to shift perception by adjusting the lens of conception (or vice versa). By tampering with the mechanism, the mercury switch that maintains the barometric pressure of illusion trips the conscience to illuminate a change of context. We see differently. Paracinema is nothing less than the key to the glass door through which we look, but are rarely brave enough to walk through. Like the uncanny act of peeling the silver backing from a mirror, it overturns the imaginary solutions of life and death. By providing us with a method of peering into the workings of the mind, both dreaming and fully awake, it analyzes the tools and the poetry of concreteness. It does this quite simply by posing questions of ontology and by reflecting the consciousness contained in the expression, 'Existence is elsewhere.' Paracinema knows this, here and now, and admits as much!

"Cinema lives under the sign of relativity. …

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