Archive for December, 2007

Webcomicsnation

| December 21, 2007

Are iconic, are underground, are free. What more can you ask for?

I guess they’re too do goody for my standard, but I like their storyboards and their use of color. If you want to read them, please visit webcomicnation website

Film spectatorship

| December 21, 2007

Yesterday my copy of Projecting Illusion by Richard Allen arrived at my home. The critic disscusses the concept of “illusion” (obviously!) and the aesthetic experience of visual representation. His books touches on fundamental issues in cinema theory, it borrows many concepts from Husserl and Althusser , and invokes Deridda’s theory, while the general tendency of film theory seeks instead to exemplify Lacanian theory and embrace Althusser’s ideological pparatus theory. The logical incoherencies of contemporary film theorists clearly emerge frome the pages of this book. Allen concurs with Noel Carrol’s conclusion that contemporary film theorists’s characterization of the impression of reality in cinema is wrong, but while Noel Carroll rejects the applicability of the concept of illusion to the cinema, Allen, on the other hand, gives the concept of illusion renewed significance through a detailed investigation of the ways in which illusion may be experienced and the kinds of beliefs that illusion entails.

Bits and pieces (2007)

| December 21, 2007

The first pixilation I watched after Neighbours by Norman McLaren

Towards a universal theory of color?

| December 21, 2007

Is it possible to accept a universal theory of color?

In the early 20’s some Bauhaus painters faced the following problem: was it possible to generate a value scale of equal perceptual steps between black and white? Itten answered in the affirmative. He proposed a scale of seven steps. In the same period the German theorist Wilhelm Ostwald and the American theorist Albert Munsell proposed their color system, which became the most widely used in twenty century color. I ‘d have liked to ask them: what do you think about De diversibus artibus?

De diversibus is a book of twelfth century, in which the German monk Theophilus introduces his scale of color with a discussion on painting the rainbow.

“Neither man nor nature could afford to use a mechanism that would provide a special kind of receptor or generator for each color shade” (Rudolph Arnheim).

“A semiotic theory of color universals must take for significance exactly what colors do mean in humans society. They do not mean Munsell color chips” (Berlin and Kay)

Slapstick comedy

| December 21, 2007

If in early avant-garde cinema, one of the tendencies was abstract film, the other was slapstick comedy. It may seem a bit of strange, but Maya Deren herself admitted that her cinematic style was influenced by the Keystone Cops comedies. The use of slapstick comedy allowed film-makers to use stop-frame motion and opened the route to an irrational comic style.

Is it possible to screen film art today?

| December 21, 2007

Such films have had just one screening. Diagonal Simphony by Viking Eggeling was screened for the first time in 1925 and then more than twenty years went by before anyone could see it again. The same thing happened to Tusalava by Len Lye : it was screened for the first time in 1929 followed by thirty years of silence.

I don’t think it’s any easier today to watch film art as it was in 20’s, unless we illegally download these films by using emule!
I believe in film art. Today journalism must be as energetic as it was in 20’s, if we want continue to watch film art. Hence the importance of film clubs and film blogs, too.

Studying color theory

| December 21, 2007

How many theories of color exist? I believe there is one for each style of art. In fact, if you’re a student of art history you can distinguish one work of art from another merely on the basis of its colors. It isn’t a simple task. In his long essays, John Cage, a master of color, offers some guidelines on how to study color. I learned a great deal from his books. I think I will study them once again. But I also need to see art through the eyes of the color masters, to apply their theories and to work with them. A book is merely a book as good as it may be.

Colour and abstract art

| December 21, 2007

I prefer abstract art for its use of colour. I think colour has a primary role in abstraction, surely more than in representational art. In this I agree with Karl Scheffler: “our time, which, more than any other, depends on the past for its form, has produced a kind of painting in which colour is independent”. I really think the early ‘900 artworks opened up a new era of visual freedom. Will we have another revoultion in art?

Abstract films: the first experiment

| December 21, 2007

For a long time I thought the first films were made by Len Lye. Recently I found out that the first experiments in abstract film-making were made by Italian film-makers Arnaldo Ginna and Bruno Corra. I looked for information on the web, I searched for their film, I made hundreds of enquires, I even begged a movies newsgroup for info. Nothing happened.

Last month I discovered that their film “Chromatic music” didn’t survive, only written notes exist. I’d kill to watch it! I must be satisfied with just these notes: green color; a red star appears, its tentacles cover the screen, then the green begines to absorb the red. I guess we really lost a masterpiece!

American elf supersite

| December 21, 2007
James Kochalka upgrades his website. Now everyone can read his “American Elf”diary archives: you don’t have to pay for them any more!

You can visit his website.