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After UniquenessA History of Film and Video Art in Circulation$
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Erika Balsom

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231176934

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231176934.001.0001

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8 mm and the “Blessings of Books and Records”

8 mm and the “Blessings of Books and Records”

(p.54) 2 8 mm and the “Blessings of Books and Records”
After Uniqueness

Erika Balsom

Columbia University Press

This chapter unearths an untaken path of experimental film history. In the mid-1960s, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, and Jonas Mekas were deeply invested in the possibility that 16mm experimental films might be made into 8mm reduction prints and made available for sale to home collectors. This chapter relates this little-known historical episode and questions what relevance this prioritization of access over quality might have for us in the contemporary moment, when these terms are once again embroiled in a fierce battle.

Keywords:   8mm, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, home cinema, access, experimental film, censorship, repeat viewing

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