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Motion(less) PicturesThe Cinema of Stasis$
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Justin Remes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169639

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169639.001.0001

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Stasis in Fluxus

Stasis in Fluxus

Disappearing Music for Face and Protracted Cinema

(p.59) 3 Stasis in Fluxus
Motion(less) Pictures

Justin Remes

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines protracted films—works that use extreme slow motion to create the impression of stasis—focusing on George Maciunas's film version of Mieko Shiomi's “action poem” Disappearing Music for Face (1966). Disappearing Music is best understood as a protracted film, since it finds stasis in flux, taking movement as its starting point and then slowing it down drastically to create a sense of immobility. The technology process used to create Disappearing Music results in an extreme slow motion—a hyperstasis. As such, the film offers a glimpse into microtime, the infinitesimal intervals of duration that form the backdrop of every experience. Thus, the chapter argues that by manufacturing alternate temporalities, protracted films foreground the plasticity and contingency of time itself.

Keywords:   protracted films, slow motion, Disappearing Music, George Maciunas, Meiko Shiomi, hyperstasis, microtime, alternate temporalities

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