To offer the student notions about the cinema that is developed outside the industry and conventional narratives, taking into account historical, technological and aesthetic considerations.
To initiate students in experimentation through different exercises of recognition of artistic identity and the realisation of an audiovisual exercise where they decide on a logic or sense of order in accordance with what they wish to propose.
This subject proposes an “unofficial” history of experimental cinema, outside the industry and articulated with other arts that support its validity. The term avant-garde is useful for this subject because it is unchanging (there is no such thing as post-avant-garde) and also because it refers to any experimental or innovative work at any given time and in any given circumstance in terms of art, culture and politics. Within this framework I can relate many interesting aspects of film and the arts.
But how to assemble so many avant-garde works and authors from the origins of cinema to the present? The answer can be simple if we assume it as a defeat, but also as a starting point that allows us to draw a timeline where we can trace a different way of understanding cinema or of transmitting love for cinema. Something comparable to Histoire(s) du Cinèma by Jean-Luc Godard, the texts of Alexander Kluge and his Histories of Cinema or The Story of Film: An Odyssey by Mark Cousins.
Experimental” is a questionable criterion in this subject. As Jacques Brunius used to say: “Anything that departs from the routine in a film can be considered experimental”. This subject does not attempt to define or categorise experimental cinema as a genre or group or movement (although it is true that we use it casually to refer to a type of cinema). What is important is to underline that experimental is a decision or a strategy to exercise freedom. Experimentation will be the filmic gesture that we will find in all the works we will study.
Aesthetic, artistic movements such as surrealism, Dadaism, situationism, fluxus, etc.
Political, the anticipation and accompaniment of political struggles throughout the 20th century and the present.
Theoretical, currents of thought such as structuralism, feminism, queer theory.
Cultural, generational movements such as beatnik, hippie, punk, DIY, etc.
Technological, the history of cinema is the history of its technology and in this sense the advances in this field have transformed the way we produce and consume images from analogue to digital. Understanding technology as a function of the artist and not the opposite.
This subject gives importance to attendance, as the student must be able to understand all the moments in the history of experimentation that will allow him/her to arrive at the end of classes with sufficient knowledge to be able to position him/herself in relation to everything that has been assimilated and to give something back in return. The artistic identity exercises will be carried out in the classes. Class attendance will count for 50% of the mark and the other 50%, the final work.
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Derek Jarman – The Art of Mirrors (1973) James Williamson – The Big Swallow (1901) G.W. “Billy” Bitzer- Westinghouse Works – Panoramic View Street Car Motor Room (1904); G.W. “Billy” Bitzer Interior NY Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905) Etienne Jules Marey – Main Ouverte et Fermeture (1893) George Albert Smith – Grandma’s Reading Glass (1900) Fernand Léger – Ballet Mecanique (1924) Jean Painlevé – La Pulga de Agua (1929); Man Ray – L’Etoile de Mer (1928)Vikling Eggeling – Sinfonia Diagonal (1924) René Clair – Entr’acte (1924) Oskar Schlemmer – Das Triadische Ballet (1922) Mario Peixoto – Limite (1930) Teinosuke Kinugasa – A Page of Madness (1926) Charles Wheeler & Paul Strand – Manhatta (1921) Robert Florey & Slavko Vorkapic – The Life and Death of 9413, A Hollywood Extra (1928) Dziga Vertov – El Hombre de la Cámara (1929) Germaine Dulac – La Souriante Madame Beudet (1923) Jean Epstein – Finisterrae (1929) Len Lye – Rainbow Dance (1936) Oskar Fischinger – Optical Poem (1938) Gjon Milli – Jamming The Blues (1944) Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid – Meshes in the Afternoon (1943) Kenneth Anger – Puce Moment (1949) Ken Jacobs – Saturday Afternoon Blood Sacrifice (1957) Jonas Mekas – Lost, Lost, Lost (1970) Stan Vanderveek – Science Friction (1959) Robert Frank – Pull My Daisy (1959) Barbara Rubin – Christmas on Earth (1958) Andy warhol – Chelsea Girls (fragmentos ⅞) (1967), Bruce Conner – Breakaway (1967), Caroleee Scheenemann – Fuses (1969), Forough Farokhzad – The House is Black (1963) Kurt Kren- Mama und Papa (1964) Gunter Brus – Self-Mutilation (1965) Valie Export – Mann & Frau & Tiere (1970) Hollis Frampton – Zorn’s Lemma (1970) Peter Kubelka – Arnulf Rainer (1958-60) Malcolm le Grice – Berlin Horse (1970) Ernie Gehr – Serene Velocity (1970) Michael Snow – La Région Centrale (1970) Carolee Schneemann – Fuses (1967) James Whitney – Lapis (1966) James Broughton – The Gardener of Eden (1981) Bill Viola – I Don’t Know What It Is I Am Like (1986) Nam June Paik – Global Groove (1973) Zbigniew Rybczynski – Steps (1987) Guy Sherwin – Man with Mirror (1976) John Smith – The Girl Chewing Gum (1976) Fischili & Weiss – Der Lauf Der Dinge (1984) Shuji Terayama – Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1971) Guy Debord – In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (1978) William Klein – Grands Soirs et Petits Mains (1968) Santiago Álvarez – Now! (1965) Jose Celso y Celso Luccas – 25 (1975) Luis Ospina – Agarrando Pueblo (1977) Derek Jarman – Jubilee (1978) Jose Val del Omar – Fuego en Castilla (1960) Jose Antonio Sistiaga – Impresiones en la alta atmósfera (1989) Pere Portabella – Cuadecuc Vampir (1970) Antoni Padrós – Dafnis y Cloe (1969) Ivan Zulueta – Amalgama (1975) Lluis Escartín – Mohave Cruising (2000) Hito Steyerl – How not to be seen (2013) Steve McQueen – Deadpan (1997) Harun Farocki – Ausdruck der hände (1997) Jean-Gabriel Périot – Video Diaries (2004) Mark Leckey – Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) Ken Jacobs – Canopy (2014) Duncan Campbell – It for Other (2013) Isiah Medina – 88:88 (2015).