There are numerous contexts in which artists’ film and video is discussed, from salon-style screenings to seminar series, and no.w.here has hosted many such events, in addition to running film workshops and outreach projects with institutions and other artists’ run spaces. The Light Reading events that Karen Mirza and Brad Butler initiated at the 291 Gallery, in 2001, were the first incarnation of their interests in fostering an atmosphere for critical reflection. The purpose of this publication is to provide another platform with which to disseminate ideas and promote debate. The articles relate to current discussions regarding the aesthetics of artists’ film and video, tides of influence, and theoretical ideas or pressing issues stemming from practice. They also invite consideration as to what might be stated, evoked or implied via the particularity of text and image. Working through thoughts on the page takes a different kind of commitment to that which is required in the heat of the moment of a Q&A.
The focus of the publication concerns new work, especially through the writing and contributions of artists. It presents a variety of approaches, and divergent positions, reflecting the vibrancy of the field. The range of articles also encompasses different types of writing and ways of representing ideas, from illustrated essays to artists’ pages. They all relate to recent, or upcoming, events: some refer to specific screenings and performances; others refer to films and videos presently in production.
In The Haptic Optic Rob Mullender explains his interest in esoteric metaphysical propositions in relation to ‘cinematic’ ideas regarding the translation of light into sound, and a series of rubbings that he has made of the film equipment at no.w.here.
In Vienna Report Simon Payne discusses the advanced digital aesthetics of a number of works by three contemporary Austrian video artists, which reference the heritage of visual music and the Viennese formal film. This essay comes in advance of a screening of their work later in the year.
Sandra Schäfer’s photo-essay reflects, and expands on, the concerns that she dealt with in her video installation to act in history, regarding the representation of women in Afghanistan. The essay also refers to Passing the Rainbow (2007), a film made with Elfe Brandenburger that will be showing at no.w.here in May.
Film Live is an artists’ statement by Helga Fanderl, outlining the three stages of her practice that relate to shooting, programming and projecting. In May, Fanderl is screening her work at the Goethe Institute and no.w.here, where she will also be leading a workshop. Film Live is followed by Nicky Hamlyn’s Layers and Lattices, which draws out some of underlying structures at play in Fanderl’s films, through keen description.
Peter Gidal’s Notes from Performance of Sorts with Brecht was originally a poster that was produced to accompany an event at the Chisenhale Gallery, in April 2009, in which Gidal was prompted to respond to statements by the ‘ghost’ of Bertolt Brecht. Reprinting it in a new form allows for a closer reading of the text.
The two images by Takahiko Iimura relate to seminal pieces made in the 1970s, and will serve as a basis for the workshop that he will be leading at no.w.here, later in the year, entitled How to Make Time Visible in Film (without Photography).
Ice Cold in Moscow by Adam Kossoff is a diaristic account of a trip that retraced the steps of Walter Benjamin. Its wry observations match the illustrations, which are frame grabs from footage that he is presently working through for a new film. Kossoff will soon be leading a seminar series on Benjamin and film at no.w.here.
Sarah Pucill and Margherita Sprio’s discussion mirrors the talk that they conducted in the context of a Light Reading event in March. This is a new conversation though, covering a work in progress Phantom Rhapsody. The process of editing and honing their discussion has thrown further light on aspects of Pucill’s films.
The filmstrips that William Raban has laid out in his artists’ pages are from a work in progress entitled About Now MMX. The footage for this film, which relates to ideas explored in an earlier photographic work, After Mercator (1979), was shot from the Balfron Tower in East London. The intertitles refer to contemporary news reports.
What Will The Next Revolution Look Like? is part of a body of work called The Museum of Non Participation by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler. The script published here relates to a performance in the context of the exhibition ‘All That Remains ... The Teenagers of Socialism’, which involved narration, texts and multiple projection.
In the detailed and illuminating essay Four Film and Video Makers A.L. Rees discusses the work of Neil Henderson, Jennifer Nightingale, Simon Payne and Samantha Rebello (who have all taken part in Light Reading events) contextualising their individual concerns in relation to the history of experimental film and video.
Maxa Zoller’s no.w.here, a grass-roots radicant is a short essay that encompasses an impassioned account of the no.w.here project and a theoretical take on the value of debate. It also offers a neat description of how this publication might work to open up a discursive platform that will be carried beyond the four walls of no.w.here at 316-318 Bethnal Green Road.
Sequence is a product of recurrent discussions at no.w.here over the last few years. But rather than representing a premeditated curatorial (or editorial) strategy it has developed organically, as an artists run project and as something of an experiment. It has come together through the process of production. Expressions of interest and proposals regarding subsequent issues, and associated events, are openly encouraged.