Academic journal article Millennium Film Journal

Tony Conrad (1940 - 2016)

Academic journal article Millennium Film Journal

Tony Conrad (1940 - 2016)

Article excerpt

woke up at dawn today and thought about Tony Conrad. Just heard he died. So sad about this. Wrote earlier this week:

Dearest Tony,

Wish you were well and here.

Below are some memories:

I must have seen Flicker Film by the time I met you in person. I connected it to Kubelka's Adebar, enjoyed it (as I don't have epilepsy). When we first met it was the mid/late 70s and you were at the San Francisco Art Institute. You talked about the Sukiyaki film where you sauté pieces of l6mm and throw it at the screen, but I don't think you did that one then/there. You showed pickled film though; I remember the big jar. So very funny! Then you screened the film developed with military technology, that was sensitive enough to capture starlight. You had unrolled it on your lawn in Buffalo upstate. A conceptual gesture that ended up looking like an ab ex painting, the sprocket holes printed every which way, in shades of grey and black, a Brakhagian surprise! The other film: a self developing shot of a candle with repeated slippages, due to the fact you had threaded it into the camera and out the magazine hole [? perhaps] in darkness so that it could be developed in a bucket in the next room over and then be led to return to the camera. The slippages, the double exposures, were the result. How you made the film a loop, I do not know. Perhaps splicing it in darkness as it came out of the developing tank that first pass through? Amazing. I remember buckets of developer and trailing dripping film through the classrooms and projection room. What was the camera you used? You must have brought it with you as it had to have been ruined! A crazy idea and a wonderfully nutty, pointed and provocative performance.

I remember back in Buffalo, early 80s, the humorous dire recreations of military units. …

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