Introduction: Copy Rites
(1.) Raymond Bellour, La querelle des dispositifs: Cinéma—installations, expositions (Paris: POL, 2012), 14.
(2.) See Francesco Casetti, “The Relocation of Cinema,” NECSUS 2 (Autumn 2012), www.necsus-ejms.org/the-relocation-of-cinema/; and Francesco Casetti, The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015).
(3.) Geoffrey Batchen, “Dissemination,” Still Searching, September 15, 2012, http://blog.fotomuseum.ch/2012/09/1-dissemination/. See also Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility (Second Version),” trans. Edmund Jephcott and Harry Zohn, in Selected Writings: Volume 3, 1935–1938, ed. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002), 101–33; and Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility (Third Version),” trans. Harry Zohn and Edmund Jephcott, in Selected Writings: Volume 4, 1938–1940, ed. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003), 251–83.
(4.) This book was produced in collaboration with Kevin Begos Jr. and Dennis Ashbaugh. It included a poem by Gibson issued on a 3.5-inch floppy disc that used encryption to be readable only once and a physical book treated with chemicals that would cause the ink to fade after exposure to light. For more on the project—including an emulation of the poem from the original floppy disk—see http://agrippa.english.ucsb.edu.
(p.238) (5.) This was Parreno’s second time working with the format. In 2005, for an exhibition at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery in New York City, he placed DVD-Ds of The Boy from Mars (2003) on a bookshelf for viewers to take home.
(6.) See Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, ed. Randall Johnson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), 261.
(7.) See Rosalind Krauss, “Originality as Repetition: Introduction,” October 37 (Summer 1986): 35–40.
(9.) See, e.g., Douglas Crimp, On the Museum’s Ruins (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995).
(10.) See Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (New York: NYU Press, 2013), 2.
(11.) Giorgio Agamben, “What Is an Apparatus?” and Other Essays, trans. David Kishik and Stefan Pedatella (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009), 41 (Agamben’s emphasis).
(13.) “The First Statement of the New American Cinema Group,” The Film Culture Reader, ed. P. Adams Sitney (New York: Praeger, 1970), 81–82. First published in Film Culture, no. 22–23 (Summer 1961).
(14.) Robert Nelson, “Open Letter to Film-Makers,” Canyon Cinemanews, July 1967, n.p.
(15.) Lori Zippay, “Round Table: Distribution After Digitization,” Moving Image Review and Art Journal 3, no. 1 (2014): 77.
(16.) Felicia R. Lee, “Filmmakers’ Co-operative Says Future Is in Doubt,” New York Times, February 17, 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/movies/canyon-cinema-filmmakers-cooperative-sees-grim-future.html.
(17.) For details see Larry Rohter, “Avant-Garde Film Group Gets New Home, Cheap,” New York Times, May 28, 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/movies/28film.html. Cohen initially agreed to a lease term of five years, but this has since been extended.
(18.) See Larry Jordan, “Survival in the Independent–Non-Commercial–Avant-Garde–Experimental–Personal–Expressionistic Film Market of 1979,” in Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor, ed. Scott MacDonald (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 329–38.
(19.) See Jonathan Walley, “Modes of Film Practice in the Avant-Garde,” in Art and the Moving Image: A Critical Reader, ed. Tanya Leighton (London: Afterall and Tate, 2008), 182–99; on the increasingly blurred line between the two see Erika Balsom, “Brakhage’s Sour Grapes, or Notes on Experimental Cinema in the Art World,” Moving Image Review and Art Journal 1, no. 1 (2012): 13–25.
(20.) As curator Chrissie Iles put it, following the embrace of large-scale projection, “the use of the word video as a defining term for a particular area of contemporary art now no longer appears to be either necessary or relevant.” Chrissie Iles, “Issues in the New Cinematic Aesthetic in Video,” Saving the Image: Art After Film, ed. Tanya Leighton and Pavel Büchler (Glasgow: Centre for Contemporary Arts, 2003), 140.
(p.239) (21.) Formed out of the merger of the London Filmmakers’ Co-operative, London Video Arts, and the Lux Centre in 2002, LUX had a strong motivation to adopt a non-medium-specific category from its very foundation. The organization describes itself as “an international arts agency for the support and promotion of artists’ moving image practice and the ideas that surround it” but emphasizes the inclusivity of this category: “The particular focus of LUX is visual arts–based moving image work, a definition which includes experimental film, video art, installation art, performance art, personal documentary, essay films and animation and is inclusive both in terms of context and critical discourse.” See “About LUX,” http://lux.org.uk/about/about-lux.
(22.) Sheryl Mousley, the department’s senior curator, elaborates: “The transition toward moving image away from the specific formats of film and video represents the movement of artists and filmmakers to work across a variety of media. Walker Moving Image is responsive to these developments, and to presenting works across different platforms, in the context of our cinema, in our galleries, and online.” See “Walker Art Center Announces Shift to Moving Image with Launch of Moving Image Commissions and Walker Mediatheque,” press release, May 28, 2015, www.walkerart.org/press/browse/press-releases/2015/walker-art-center-announces-shift-to-moving-i.
(23.) Roger Beebe, “On ‘Artists’ Cinema’ and ‘Moving-Image Art,’” Brooklyn Rail, July 15, 2014, www.brooklynrail.org/2014/07/criticspage/on-artists-cinema-and-moving-image-art.
(24.) Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, foreword to Reaching Audiences: Distribution and Promotion of Alternative Moving Image, by Julia Knight and Peter Thomas (Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2012), 9.
(25.) Ramon Lobato, Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Film Distribution (London: Palgrave/BFI, 2012), 6.
(26.) See, e.g., Scott MacDonald, ed., Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008); Scott MacDonald, ed., Cinema 16: Documents Towards a History of the Film Society (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002); Michael Zryd, “The Academy and the Avant-Garde: A Relationship of Dependence and Resistance,” Cinema Journal 45, no. 2 (2006): 17–42; Julia Knight and Peter Thomas, Reaching Audiences: Distribution and Promotion of Alternative Moving Image (Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2012); and Malte Hagener, Moving Forward, Looking Back: The European Avant-Garde and the Invention of Film Culture, 1919–1939 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007).
(27.) Tess Takahashi, “Experimental Screens in the 1960s and 1970s: The Site of Community,” Cinema Journal 51, no. 2 (2012): 167.
(29.) Peter Decherney, Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), 11.
(30.) Hillel Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles (New York: Zone, 1996), 257.
(1.) Thomas Elsaesser, “Entre savoir et croire: Le dispositif cinématographique après le cinéma,” trans. Franck le Gac, in Ciné-dispositifs: Spectacles, cinéma, télévision, littérature, ed. François Albera and Maria Tortajada (Lausanne: Éditions L’Âge d’Homme, 2011), 43 (translation mine).
(2.) Edward Young, Conjectures on Original Composition (London: A. Millar and R. and J. Dodsley, 1759), 42 (Young’s emphasis).
(3.) Dickens describes Bob Cratchit as “not a man of strong imagination,” and Bartleby is described as “motionless.” After the narrator discovers the clerk sleeps in his office, he exclaims, “His poverty is great; but his solitude, how horrible!” For an extended discussion of the figure of the copyist in nineteenth-century fiction and an inventory of appearances see Rima Shore, “Scrivener Fiction: The Copyist and His Craft in Nineteenth-Century Fiction” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 1980).
(4.) See Lionel Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972).
(5.) Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello, The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott (London: Verso, 2005), 37–38.
(6.) Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility (Second Version),” trans. Edmund Jephcott and Harry Zohn, Selected Writings: Volume 3, 1935–1938, ed. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002), 103 (Benjamin’s emphasis).
(7.) Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity, 100. Boltanski and Chiapello make a similar point concerning the life of the nineteenth-century artist as a wellspring of authenticity: “it was not compartmentalized but succeeded in unifying all the facets of the same existence, and gearing it towards the completion of an oeuvre and the uniqueness of its creator.” Boltanski and Chiapello, New Spirit of Capitalism, 472n5.
(9.) Geoffrey Hartman, Scars of the Spirit: The Struggle Against Inauthenticity (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 25.
(10.) James Elkins, “From Original to Copy and Back Again,” British Journal of Aesthetics 33, no. 2 (1993): 114–15.
(11.) As Rosalind Krauss has written, “avant-garde originality is conceived as a literal origin, a beginning from ground zero, a birth.” Rosalind Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986), 6.
(13.) Charles Baudelaire, “The Salon of 1859: The Modern Public and Photography,” in Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology, ed. Francis Frascina and Charles Harrison (London: Open University, 1982), 20.
(16.) “Protestation émanée des grands artistes contre toute assimilation de la photographie à l’art,” in La photographie en France: Textes et controverses, une anthologie, 1816–1871, ed. André Rouillé (Paris: Éditions Macula, 1989), 399 (translation mine).
(p.241) (17.) Ricciotto Canudo, “The Birth of a Sixth Art,” trans. Ben Gibson, in French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, 1907–1939: Volume One, 1907–1929, ed. Richard Abel (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), 61–62.
(18.) Of course, the longer history of art reveals that such a division of labor in the creation of images was by no means initiated by the cinema. What is important to note here, however, is the extent to which the cinema figures as a rupture with the nineteenth-century ideal of artistic creation, which was far from the workshop model of earlier centuries.
(19.) In The Black Imp, for example, a man at an inn is menaced by the titular creature, who—identified with the magic of cinema itself—uses his abilities to turn one chair into thirteen identical replicas that disappear and reappear at his will, terrorizing the weary traveler.
(20.) Lynda Nead, “The Artist’s Studio: The Affair of Art and Film,” in Film, Art, New Media: Museum Without Walls?, ed. Angela Dalle Vacche (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 24.
(21.) Fredric Jameson, Signature of the Visible (London: Routledge, 1992), 158–59.
(23.) Mary Ann Doane, The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, Archive (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 112.
(24.) Germano Celant, “The Small Utopia,” in The Small Utopia: Ars Multiplicata, ed. Germano Celant (Venice: Fondazione Prada, 2012), 15–29; Maria Gough, “The Art of Production,” in The Small Utopia: Ars Multiplicata, ed. Germano Celant (Venice: Fondazione Prada, 2012), 31.
(26.) Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, “Un attentat contre la reproductibilité de l’œuvre d’art,” in Écrits (Paris: Independencia, 2012), 112. Nicolas Rey has made a similar gesture with his 16 mm film Autrement, la Molussie (2012), which consists of nine reels of film to be played in a random order determined before the start of each projection.
(27.) Miriam Hansen, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), 16.
(28.) Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959–1971 (New York: Macmillan, 1972), 127.
(29.) Jonas Mekas, 1992 lecture at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Quoted in Dan Childs, “The Works of Jonas Mekas: Distillation of Life,” One + One: Filmmakers Journal, January 27, 2011, http://oneplusonefilmmakersjournal.tumblr.com/post/2958446874/the-works-of-jonas-mekas-distillation-of-life.
(30.) It is unclear whether a particular event led Wieland to choose this date for the perfection and demonstration of this machine; the sketch is undated and January 19, 1964, might refer to the date of its composition. Perhaps the most important avant-garde film event happening in New York (where Wieland lived at the time) on this date would have been the premiere run of Andy Warhol’s Sleep, which began two days earlier, on January 17, 1964, at the Gramercy Arts Theater and continued for four nights as a benefit screening for the Film-Makers’ Cooperative. But Warhol’s (p.242) model of authorship is far from the romantic notion of the “old master” that Wieland satirizes here, making him an unlikely inspiration for Wieland’s drawing.
(32.) Paul Valéry, Aesthetics, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Pantheon, 1964), 225.
(33.) Jonas Mekas, “Brief Glimpses of Beauty,” C International Photo Magazine, no. 15 (2010): 15.
(34.) Henry Jenkins, “If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part One): Media Viruses and Memes,” February 11, 2009, http://henryjenkins.org/2009/02/if_it_doesnt_spread_its_dead_p.html.
(35.) Hito Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image,” e-flux journal 10 (November 2009), www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/.
(36.) On this practice, and the impact of photography on it, see Lionel Bentley, “Art and the Making of Modern Copyright Law,” in Dear Images: Art, Culture, and Copyright, ed. Daniel McClean and Karsten Schubert (London: Institute of Contemporary Arts and Ridinghouse, 2002), 331–51. See also Susan Lambert, The Image Multiplied: Five Centuries of Printed Reproductions of Paintings and Drawings (New York: Abaris, 1987), 147–72.
(39.) David Joselit has written that “one of the most insidious aspects of Benjamin’s influence is the enduring assumption that mechanical reproduction constitutes an absolute loss.” While this assumption does indeed endure, to target Benjamin as the source of such attitudes is to engage in a severe misreading of his canonical “Work of Art” essay. See David Joselit, After Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013), 13, 15.
(42.) Rolfe Winkler, “YouTube: 1 Billion Viewers, No Profit,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2015, www.wsj.com/articles/viewers-dont-add-up-to-profit-for-youtube-1424897967.
(44.) Julio García Espinosa, “For an Imperfect Cinema,” trans. Julianne Burton, Jump Cut, no. 20 (1979): 24.
(45.) See, e.g., Francesco Casetti, The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), 121.
(46.) Andrew Potter, The Authenticity Hoax: Why the “Real” Things We Seek Don’t Make Us Happy (New York: Harper Collins, 2010), 126.
(47.) See “Cartoons from the May 25, 2015 Issue,” New Yorker, www.newyorker.com/cartoons/issue-cartoons/cartoons-from-the-may-25-2015-issue.
(48.) James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2007), 1 (Gilmore and Pines’s emphasis).
(50.) See Paul Goldstein, Copyright’s Highway: The Law and Lore of Copyright from Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox (New York: Hill and Wang, 1995).
(51.) Jeremy Rifkin, The Age of Access: How the Shift from Ownership to Access Is Transforming Modern Life (New York: Penguin, 2001).
(p.243) (52.) See Dave Lee, “Vinyl Sales Hit 18-Year High,” BBC News, November 27, 2014, www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30216638; and Ethan Smith, “Music Downloads Plummet in U.S., but Sales of Vinyl Records and Streaming Surge,” Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2015, www.wsj.com/articles/music-downloads-plummet-in-u-s-but-sales-of-vinyl-records-and-streaming-surge-1420092579.
(53.) The Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow Tour’s tagline is “Famous Movies in Famous Places.” This annual summer tour, begun in 2004, organizes special screenings of films in the locations where they are set. For example, in 2006 The Shining (1980) was presented at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, and Escape from Alcatraz (1979) was presented at the San Francisco Bay Area prison.
(54.) As Adorno put it, the concept of genuineness [Echtheit] “is always linked with social legitimism. All ruling strata claim to be the oldest settlers, autochthonous.” Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life, trans. E. F. N. Jephcott (London: Verso, 2005), 155.
(56.) B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre and Every Business a Stage (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1999).
(57.) Claire Bishop, “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics,” October 110 (2004): 52.
2. 8 mm and the “Blessings of Books and Records”
(1.) See Ben Singer, “Early Home Film and the Edison Home Projecting Kinetoscope,” Film History 2, no.1 (1988): 37–69.
(2.) Alexandra Stewart, “Time Travel with Pathé Baby: The Small-Gauge Film Collection as Historical Archive,” Film History 19, no. 4 (2007): 353. Stewart provides a detailed case study of the 9.5 mm home-viewing format Pathé Baby, which was the predominant domestic format in the European context during this period.
(3.) Haidee Wasson, “Electric Homes! Automatic Movies! Efficient Entertainment! 16mm and Cinema’s Domestication in the 1920s,” Cinema Journal 48, no. 4 (2009): 6.
(4.) An interest in these expanded contexts of exhibition has been a key feature of recent scholarship in film studies, as evidenced by the “Other Cinemas” theme of the 2012 International Screen Studies Conference in Glasgow and the 2011 anthology Useful Cinema, ed. Charles R. Acland and Haidee Wasson (Durham, NC: Duke University Press).
(5.) Passing references to 8 mm reduction prints may be found in P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, 1943–2000, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 209; J. Hoberman, “Homemade Movies: Towards a National History of Narrow Gauge,” in Home Made Movies: Twenty Years of 8mm and Super-8 Films, ed. J. Hoberman (New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1981), 3; and Kathy Geritz, “I Came into an 8mm World,” in Big as Life: An American History of 8mm Films, ed. Steve Anker (San Francisco: San Francisco Cinematheque, 1998), 41–42.
(p.244) (6.) Shirley Clarke, Edward Harrison, Bill Kenly, Elodie Osborn, Amos Vogel, and John Adams, “The Expensive Art: A Discussion of Film Distribution and Exhibition in the U.S.,” Film Quarterly 13, no. 4 (1960): 19.
(7.) Ernest Callenbach, “The State of 8,” Film Quarterly 19, no. 4 (1966): 36.
(8.) “8mm Sound Film Picture Industry Boon,” Science News-Letter 79, no. 20 (1961): 315.
(9.) “Eight-mm Magnetic Sound,” Journal of University Film Producers Association 13, no. 2 (1961): 14.
(10.) Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959–1971 (New York: Macmillan, 1972), 135.
(11.) See Film-Makers’ Cooperative Catalogue, no. 2 (1963): 27.
(12.) Jonas Mekas, “A Letter to Film-Makers (More Exactly, to the Members of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative),” May 18, 1966, 3, Archives of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, New York City.
(14.) Jonas Mekas to members of Film-Makers’ Cooperative, May 10, 1967, 3–4, Archives of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, New York City.
(15.) In his text “8 mill.” Brakhage writes, “Mid-60s some 16mm (Viewer, re-winds, etc.) was stolen. Insurance (contracted a decade earlier) wouldn’t replace it, wouldn’t buy more than a week’s groceries for the family. On the way to the grocery store I passed a photo-shop window displaying a used set of Reg. 8mm equipment plus several rolls of film. The price was exactly what I carried in my pocket. … Friends fed us that week, as often before.” Stan Brakhage, “8 mill.,” draft manuscript, 1, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 42, folder 21. Ken Jacobs, too, turned to 8 mm following the theft of his camera. See Michele Pierson, “Introduction: Ken Jacobs—A Half-Century of Cinema,” in Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs, ed. Michele Pierson, David E. James, and Paul Arthur (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 10.
(17.) Initially, Brakhage did rent the Songs through the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, but he decided to cease rentals in 1968 because of high sales and a conviction that the works were best suited for home viewing.
(18.) Despite later working in 8 mm on the Songs, Brakhage wrote in a letter to Mekas that “I have borrowed some equipment, taken some films, etc.; and I have come to the conclusion that … it is still best to shoot in 16mm and reduce to 8mm. The control, in all respects, is better, the final 8mm prints better, etc.” Stan Brakhage to Jonas Mekas, June 20, 1963, 1, Archives of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, New York City.
(19.) David E. James, Allegories of Cinema: American Film in the Sixties (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989), 36.
(20.) Despite this characterization of the audience as a group of strangers, it is necessary to recall the importance of public avant-garde screenings as social spaces in which networks of personal and professional relationships were formed. Though the home (p.245) context might have been valued for small-scale, intimate engagement, it would potentially suffer the loss of this component of theatrical exhibition and resemble more the atomized spectator of television.
(21.) Letter from Stan Brakhage to Edith Zorno, mid-June 1967, 2, Grove Press Records, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.
(22.) Bruce Conner, “1963 Application for a Ford Foundation Grant in Film Making,” 2. Bruce Conner Papers, BANC MSS 2000/50 c, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
(23.) Brakhage to Zorno, 2.
(24.) In 1965 a reporter for The Nation wrote that John Palmer and Gerard Malanga informed him (while Warhol was on the telephone) of some films-in-progress, including 8 mm loops of “Living Portrait Boxes,” a.k.a. the screen tests, “which might sell for $1,000 or $1,500 each.” See Howard Junker, “Andy Warhol, Movie Maker,” Nation, February 22, 1965, 206–7.
(26.) All figures for the sales of 8 mm copies of Brakhage’s films stem from royalty statements issued to him by Grove Press. Grove Press Records, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.
(28.) Alexandre Astruc, “Birth of a New Avant-Garde: La Caméra-Stylo,” in Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader, ed. Timothy Corrigan (New York: Prentice Hall, 1999), 159.
(29.) Chris Anderson, “The Long Tail,” Wired, October 1, 2004, www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html. Anderson later developed this article into a book entitled The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (New York: Hyperion, 2006).
(30.) For a rebuttal of Anderson’s thesis of the long tail that claims that the importance of best sellers is not diminishing but rather increasing, see Anita Elberse, Blockbusters: Why Big Hits—and Big Risks—Are the Future of the Entertainment Business (New York: Faber and Faber, 2014).
(32.) Eric Schaefer, “Plain Brown Wrapper: Adult Films for the Home Market, 1930–1969,” in Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method, ed. Jon Lewis and Eric Smoodin (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 215.
(33.) “Grove Press Films on Sexual Behaviour,” pamphlet, n.d., James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 47, folder 1.
(34.) The phrase “frenzy of the visible” comes from Jean-Louis Comolli by way of Linda Williams’s Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989).
(35.) Ara Osterweil, “Flesh Cinema: The Corporeal Avant-Garde, 1959–1979” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2005), 50.
(p.246) (36.) In Film as a Subversive Art Amos Vogel describes Psychomontage as an “attempt to induce erotic response in the audience by carefully chosen visual stimuli and juxtapositions (aimed at both conscious and unconscious). Phallic symbols and open orifices, a tongue licking an orange, an unexpected finger entering the frame: almost any object or act, no matter how innocuous, the Kronhausens show, can be made to appear erotic, and reveals our predisposition towards ‘shaping’ visual evidence for purposes of erotic gratification.” To show this, the Kronhausens make use of scientific footage of insects and flowers, missiles taking off (repeating Bruce Conner’s gag from A MOVIE ), and other such metaphors. See Amos Vogel, Film as a Subversive Art (New York: Random House, 1974), 229–30.
(38.) Loren Glass, Counterculture Colophon: Grove Press, the “Evergreen Review,” and the Incorporation of the Avant-Garde (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013), 196, 142.
(39.) Evergreen Club News 3, no. 5, undated, n.p., Grove Press Records, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.
(40.) The “Grove Press Films on Sexual Behavior” pamphlet describes Everready as “one of the only blue cartoons ever made. A humorous play on the consequences of a recurrent male fantasy coming true. Made circa 1926 by professional animators.”
(42.) Film-Maker’s Cooperative Report 1, no. 3, March 20, 1970, Archives of Film-Makers’ Cooperative, New York City.
(43.) Clipping circulated by Jonas Mekas to the Board Members of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, January 26, 1970, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 25, folder 6. The article in question was Ivan Berger, “Video Tape: This Year Won’t Quite Be ‘Next Year,’” Saturday Review, January 31, 1970, 78, 82.
(44.) Minutes of March 1970 directors’ meeting, Archives of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, New York City.
(45.) Film-Maker’s Cooperative Report 1, no. 3, March 20, 1970; and Film-Maker’s Cooperative Report 1, no. 4, April 13, 1970, Archives of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, New York City.
(46.) Bruce Conner, “From Bruce Conner, 902 Corbett Ave., SF,” Canyon Cinemanews, January 15–February 16, 1968, 2.
(48.) “HOME LIBRARY PRINTS in 8mm,” Canyon Cinemanews, April 15–May 15, 1968, n.p.
(49.) Bruce Conner to Stan Brakhage, March 23, 1972, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 9, folder 1; and Bruce Conner to “Standard Brakhage,” March 18, 1978, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 9, folder 2.
(50.) Bruce Conner, untitled letter dated February 23, 1981, Canyon Cinemanews, 1981, 107.
(52.) “Cops Raid Homo Films Again,” Variety, March 18, 1964, 5.
(53.) Mekas mentions “the current ‘clean up’ of the city for the World’s Fair” in “On Law, Morality, and Censorship.” See Mekas, Movie Journal, 133. Such troubles were (p.247) not, however, restricted to New York; in March 1964 Mike Getz was found guilty of obscenity charges in Los Angeles for screening Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963).
(54.) Janet Staiger, “Finding Community in the Early 1960s: Underground Cinema and Sexual Politics,” in Swinging Single: Representing Sexuality in the 1960s, ed. Hilary Radner and Moya Luckett (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 39.
(55.) Stan Brakhage to William F. Buckley, October 1970, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 41, folder 14; Calvin Tomkins, “All Pockets Open,” New Yorker, January 6, 1973, 31.
(57.) Quoted in Raymond J. Haberski Jr., Freedom to Offend: How New York Remade Movie Culture (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007), 31.
(58.) Richard S. Randall, Censorship of the Movies: The Social and Political Control of a Mass Medium (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1970), 122–23. Randall does not supply an exact date for this data, but the surrounding discussion indicates that the information is likely for the period from 1960 to 1965.
(61.) In 1975 Genet said, “I made [the film] in order to sell copies to particular people, since in parallel I also sold the limited editions of my books.” Jean Genet, quoted in Jane Giles, The Cinema of Jean Genet: “Un chant d’amour” (London: BFI, 1991), 28.
(62.) Albert Goldman, “The Old Smut Peddler,” Life, August 29, 1969, 50.
(64.) On May 19, 1969, Mekas wrote a letter to the Motion Pictures editor at the New York Times requesting a correction: “The screening of Stan Brakhage’s film ‘Love Making’ was cancelled by the Gallery of Modern Art not because there actually was a scene of child molesting in it; it was cancelled only because the Gallery thought that there was such a scene in the film. In actuality, the scene which is in discussion is a simple and beautiful scene of children playing in a room and jumping up and down on a bed.” Jonas Mekas to New York Times Motion Picture Editor, May 19, 1969, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 25, folder 6.
(65.) Dudley Andrew, “Film and Society: Public Rituals and Private Space,” East-West Film Journal 1, no. 1 (1986): 20–21.
(66.) Stan Brakhage to Luis Buñuel, March 26, 1974, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 41, folder 15.
(67.) Barbara Klinger has noted that most films draw a 2 percent repeat audience but that some blockbusters draw up to 20 percent of spectators back for a second viewing, most of whom are teenagers and young adults. See Barbara Klinger, Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 135.
(p.248) (68.) Geoff Dyer vividly evokes this condition in Zona, his book on Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979). Dyer describes desperately wanting to see the film again after his first viewing but being forced to wait until it was next playing in a cinema:
I liked the way that my visits to the Zone were at the mercy of cinema schedules and festival programs. In London or in any other city where I happened to be living I always looked through Time Out or Pariscope or the Village Voice in the hope that Stalker would be playing. If it was showing somewhere, then seeing it became a priority, an event that gave shape to the surrounding week. Like this, the Zone retained its specialness, its removal from the everyday (of which it remained, at the same time, a part). Getting there was always a little expedition, a cinematic pilgrimage. (Geoff Dyer, Zona [Edinburgh: Canongate, 2012], 143)
(69.) Raymond Bellour, “The Unattainable Text,” trans. Ben Brewster, Screen 13, no. 3 (1975): 19–28.
(70.) Vinzenz Hediger, “‘You Haven’t Seen It Until You’ve Seen It Twice’: Film Spectatorship and the Discipline of Repeat Viewing,” Cinema & Cie 5 (Fall 2004): 26.
(71.) Peter Kubelka, Schwechater, New American Cinema Group/Film-Makers’ Coop, http://film-makerscoop.com/rentals-sales/search-results?fmc_filmid=2162.
(72.) See Anthony Slide, Before Video: A History of Non-theatrical Film (New York: Greenwood Press, 1992), 114–15.
(73.) See Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), 55; and Raymond Bellour, “The Pensive Spectator,” trans. Lynne Kirby, Wide Angle 9, no. 1 (1987): 6–10.
(74.) Stan Brakhage, 1968 lecture at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, audio recording in James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder.
(75.) James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 43, folders 6, 14–15; box 44, folders 1–3; box 45, folder 12.
(76.) Somewhat humorously, though perhaps earnestly as well, Jeffrey Sconce has written that it takes precisely four viewings to transform Showgirls (1995) “from one of Hollywood’s most notorious flops to absolute transcendence, four screenings to cross the line from stupid to clever.” Jeffrey Sconce, “I Have Grown Weary of Your Tiresome Cinema,” Film Quarterly 56, no. 3 (2003): 44.
(77.) John Mullarkey, Refractions of Reality: Philosophy and the Moving Image (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 75 (Mullarkey’s emphasis).
(78.) Stan Brakhage to Jonas Mekas, mid-December 1967, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 33, folder 11.
(79.) Kristen Alfaro, “Access and the Experimental Film: New Technologies and Anthology Film Archives’ Institutionalization of the Avant-Garde,” Moving Image 12, no. 1 (2012): 56.
(80.) P. Adams Sitney to Lenny Lipton, December 30, 1968, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 33, folder 11 (Sitney’s emphasis).
(81.) The other twenty to thirty programs were to be devoted to explorations of films that might be added to the Essential Cinema collection. P. Adams Sitney, email correspondence with the author, April 4, 2015.
(p.249) (82.) P. Adams Sitney to “Bruce,” January 2, 1969, James Stanley Brakhage Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, box 33, folder 11.
(83.) The author was presumably unaware of Brakhage’s success with Grove, or perhaps he was falling back on a distinction between “filmmaker” and “visual artist.” See Hunter Drohojowska, “The Visual Music of Bill Viola: A Video Artist’s Work Finally Hits the Home Market,” Los Angeles Herald Examiner, October 2, 1986, B5.
(84.) Women Make Movies, for instance, currently charges $495 for a DVD sale of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s feature-length Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (1989).
(85.) Stan Brakhage to Frances Novgroder, July 2, 1982, Grove Press Records, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.
(87.) One copy is 1.42GB; the other is 422MB.
(89.) Julieta Aranda, “An Exercise in Distribution,” E-Flux Video Rental Catalogue, ed. Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda (New York: E-Flux and Revolver, 2005), 5.
(92.) Anthology Committee, “Anthology Film Archives,” Filmmakers Newsletter, February 1972, quoted in Sky Sitney, “The Search for the Invisible Cinema,” Grey Room 19 (Spring 2005): 103.
(93.) Hito Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image,” e-flux journal 10 (November 2009), www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/.
3. Bootlegging Experimental Film
(1.) Jürgen Habermas, “Modernity: An Unfinished Project,” in Habermas and the Unfinished Project of Modernity: Critical Essays on “The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity,” ed. Maurizio Passerin d’Entrèves and Seyla Benhabib (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), 38–55.
(2.) Josiah McElheny, quoted in Louise Neri and Josiah McElheny, “A Prism,” in Josiah McElheny, ed. Louise Neri and Josiah McElheny (New York: Skira Rizzoli, 2010), 8–9.
(3.) Hal Foster, “An Archival Impulse,” October 110 (Fall 2004): 4–5, 21.
(4.) The remaining three curators were Iain Boyd White, an art historian; Lesley Jackson, a design historian; and Karl Boyd, one-half of the electronic music duo Underworld.
(6.) Kenneth Goldsmith has referred to the site as “an archive of the avant-garde.” Critics and institutions have also used this phrase. See Danny Birchell, “The Avant-Garde Archive Online,” Film Quarterly 63, no. 1 (2009): 12–14; and Canadian Centre for Architecture press release, “The CCA Presents Groundbreaking and Experimental Films in the Exhibition Intermission: Films from a Heroic Future,” November 18, 2009, www.cca.qc.ca/cca.media/files/9234/8219/Intermission_Press_release.pdf.
(p.250) (7.) For example, Goldsmith writes, “Many people assume that the web—and its riches—will always be there waiting for you. It won’t. Don’t bookmark. Download. Hard drives are cheap. Fill them up with everything you think you might need to consult, watch, read, listen to, or cite in the future.” Kenneth Goldsmith, “Why I Don’t Trust the Cloud,” April 27, 2012, Harriet: A Poetry Blog, www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2012/04/why-i-dont-trust-the-cloud/.
(8.) Wolfgang Ernst, “Discontinuities: Does the Archive Become Metaphorical in Multimedia Space?” in Digital Memory and the Archive, ed. Jussi Parikka (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), 122, 140.
(9.) André Malraux, Le musée imaginaire (Paris: Gallimard, 1965).
(10.) See Bruno Latour and Adam Lowe, “The Migration of the Aura, or How to Explore the Original Through Its Facsimiles,” in Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts, ed. Thomas Bartscherer and Roderick Coover (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 287.
(11.) Christiane Moatti, “Les voix du silence: Notice,” in André Malraux, Écrits sur l’art I (Œuvres complètes, IV), ed. Jean-Yves Tadié (Paris: Gallimard, 2004), 1327 (translation mine).
(12.) These extremely high-definition images allow the user to experience the artwork with a greater proximity than is often possible in real life. Successive double-clicks on Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night (1889) allow the user to zoom close enough to see the tiny cracks in the impasto. The gigapixel image of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884–86) is composed of a mosaic of 702 photographs of the painting, creating an image precise enough to reveal the very grain of the canvas. For more information see Wailin Wong, “Google Art Project Launches Tuesday at Art Institute of Chicago,” Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2012, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-03/entertainment/ct-ent-0403-google-art-project-20120403_1_art-institute-google-art-project-edward-hopper-s-nighthawks.
(13.) Richard Barbrook, “The Hi-Tech Gift Economy” (1998), www.imaginaryfutures.net/2007/04/19/the-hi-tech-gift-economy-by-richard-barbrook/.
(15.) Tiziana Terranova, for example, has rightfully noted that Barbrook overemphasizes the autonomy and radicalism of the online gift economy because he fails to “remember that the gift economy, as part of a larger digital economy, is itself an important force within the reproduction of the labor force in late capitalism as a whole” and overlooks the centrality of free labor “to the creation of value in the digital economies.” Tiziana Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy,” Social Text 63, vol. 18, no. 2 (2000): 36.
(16.) Kenneth Goldsmith, “UbuWeb at 15 Years: An Overview,” Harriet: A Poetry Blog, April 26, 2011, www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2011/04/ubuweb-at-15-years-an-overview/.
(17.) Napster was a peer-to-peer service enabling the sharing of MP3 files that began operation in June 1999 and became immensely popular, boasting eighty million users at its peak. Though online music stores had existed before this—notably (p.251) www.ritmoteca.com, begun in 1998—and though many major record labels attempted to launch their own services during the heyday of Napster, it would not be until the debut of Apple’s iTunes Music Store in April 2003 that authorized downloads became a major channel for the distribution of music. See Michael Gowan, “Requiem for Napster,” PC World, May 18, 2002, www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/22380/requiem_napster/.
(21.) @ubuweb Twitter account, February 9, 2013.
(22.) Jane Gaines, “Early Cinema’s Heyday of Copying: The Too Many Copies of L’arroseur arrosé (The Waterer Watered),” Cultural Studies 20, nos. 2–3 (March–May 2006): 231.
(25.) Habda Rashid, assistant curator at the Whitechapel, wrote that what was exhibited on the prismatic structures was “not a film program as such: they provided the basis for Josiah’s reconfigured projections onto his sculptures. These projections as well as their reception differ considerably from the films they were inspired by. It was important to Josiah to emphasise this difference and acknowledge (and embrace) the very distortions that a process like personal selection and a fragmented view thereof introduces to concepts of history.” Email correspondence with the author, September 24, 2012.
(26.) At www.ubu.com/film/gidal.html, Peter Gidal is thanked for giving the site credit to host his films. The films are accompanied by the note, “This UbuWeb resource is presented in collaboration with Lux.”
(27.) See World Intellectual Property Organization, “Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works,” www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html#P123_20726. The provisions of the Berne Convention are enforced according to the legislation of the country where protection is claimed. The strength of the moral rights tradition varies by country, being strongest in France and weakest in the United States, where copyright tends to be conceived as a transferable commodity. Since 1990, the United States has ensured the right to integrity for artists in the form of the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), but this act expressly excludes moving image works. Peter Decherney has detailed the fight for moral rights protections in Hollywood, specifically surrounding the repackaging of films for television and the loss of directorial control during postproduction, to show that the matter tends to be resolved as many industry copyright disputes were: by in-house, contractual regulation. The case of avant-garde cinema in the United States is particularly interesting in this respect because it is neither protected by VARA, nor is it subject to the kinds of contractual regulation developed by the Hollywood studios. In the United Kingdom the protection of moral rights dates to the 1988 Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act. See Peter Decherney, Hollywood’s (p.252) Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), 108–54.
(28.) Ramon Lobato, Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Economies of Film Distribution (London: Palgrave/BFI, 2012), 79.
(29.) Simon Stokes, “Copyright, Art, and Digitisation: European and U.K. Perspectives,” in Dear Images: Art, Copyright, and Culture, ed. Daniel McClean and Karsten Schubert (London: Ridinghouse and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2002), 137.
(30.) John Perry Barlow, “The Economy of Ideas,” Wired, March 1, 1994, www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.03/economy.ideas.html.
(32.) UbuWeb’s partnership with Electronic Arts Intermix allows the site to host videos by individuals such as Ryan Trecartin and Ken Jacobs with permission. In Goldsmith’s letter to the Frameworks community he conceives of the split between those artists who are interested in making their work available on UbuWeb and those who are not as a generational divide: “a younger generation is starting to see that works must take a variety of forms and distributive methods, which happen at the same time without cancelling each other out.” The pairing, however, of Trecartin and Jacobs—the former born in 1981, the latter in 1933—clearly demonstrates that the issue is not purely generational. See Goldsmith, “An Open Letter.”
(33.) Philip Sherburne has suggested that rather than dematerialization, a more appropriate term to use in relation to digital files would be micromaterialization, since such files do retain a material existence, however invisible to our eyes it may be. See Philip Sherburne, “Digital DJing App That Pulls You In,” Grooves (2003): 46; quoted in Jonathan Sterne, MP3: The Meaning of a Format (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), 194.
(34.) Arild Fetveit, “Convergence by Means of Globalized Remediation,” Northern Lights 5 (2007): 60.
(35.) Mary Ann Doane, “The Indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity,” differences 18, no. 1 (2007): 131.
(37.) See Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, trans. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 1–2.
(38.) On this transformation of the role of the curator see Paul O’Neill, The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s) (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012).
(39.) Martha Buskirk, Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art Between Museum and Marketplace (London: Continuum, 2012), 114.
(40.) Maeve Connolly, “Temporality, Sociality, Publicness: Cinema as Art Project,” Afterall 29 (Spring 2012): 5.
(41.) Bernard Kops, Grandchildren and Other Poems (London: Hearing Eye, 2000); repr. in Josiah McElheny: The Past Was a Mirage I’d Left Far Behind, ed. Daniel F. Hermann (London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2012), 12–13.
(p.253) (43.) It is worth noting that Fandor treats Canyon and the FMC as single artists, leaving the institution to distribute the royalties among its participating filmmakers.
(44.) Of the rental fees, 10 percent goes to the service provider, Vimeo on Demand, while the other 40 percent goes back to LUX.
(45.) Six artists—Uri Aran, Moyra Davey, Shahryar Nashat, Seth Price, James Richards, and Leslie Thornton—have been commissioned to produce work in response to three artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Benson Moving Image Collection: Marcel Broodthaers, Bruce Conner, and Derek Jarman. These works were accessible online from June 1, 2015, to May 31, 2016, but have since been removed from online access.
4. Copyright and the Commons
(1.) David Joselit, After Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013), 103.
(3.) For a thorough discussion of these developments see Siva Vaidhyanathan, Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity, 2nd ed. (New York: NYU Press, 2003). For a text focusing specifically on the moving image see Peter Decherney, Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), esp. 201–42.
(4.) John Perry Barlow, “The Economy of Ideas,” Wired, March 1, 1994, www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.03/economy.ideas.html.
(5.) Martha Buskirk, “Commodification as Censor: Copyrights and Fair Use,” October 60 (Spring 1992): 84.
(7.) One notable exception here is Chris Moukarbel’s World Trade Center 2006 (2006), which was the subject of a lawsuit by Paramount Pictures concerning the use of the screenplay of Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (2006).
(8.) Nicolas Bourriaud, Postproduction—Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World, trans. Jeanine Herman (New York: Lukas and Sternberg, 2002), 35.
(9.) See Jaimie Baron, The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History (New York: Routledge, 2014); and William Wees, Recycled Images: The Art and Politics of Found Footage Films (New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1993).
(10.) Christian Marclay, quoted in Daniel Zalewski, “The Hours,” New Yorker, March 12, 2012, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/03/12/the-hours-daniel-zalewski.
(11.) Richard Misek, “Trespassing Hollywood: Property, Space, and the ‘Appropriation Film,’” October 153 (Summer 2015): 143.
(12.) Eli Horwatt, “A Taxonomy of Digital Remixing: Contemporary Found Footage Practice on the Internet,” in Cultural Borrowings: Appropriation, Reworking, Transformation, ed. Iain Robert Smith (Nottingham: Scope, 2009), 77.
(13.) There are, of course, significant precedents for the appropriation of an entire film, including René Viénet’s Can Dialectics Break Bricks? (La dialectique peut-elle casser des (p.254) briques? ); Ken Jacobs’s Perfect Film (1985); Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho (1993); and William E. Jones’s Tearoom (1962/2007).
(15.) Adnan Madanat, “The First Film and National Identity,” trans. Habib Mousa, http://jordnianfilms.blogspot.com/2007/11/defending-our-pioneers-struggle-in.html. Originally published in al-Rai, November 23, 2007, and available online: http://web.archive.org/web/20101019124929/http://jordnianfilms.blogspot.com/2007/11/defending-our-pioneers-struggle-in.html.
(16.) Giorgio Bertellini and Jacqueline Reich, “DVD Supplements: A Commentary on Commentaries,” Cinema Journal 49, no. 3 (Spring 2009): 103.
(17.) Brookey and Westerfelhaus’s case study is the DVD release of David Fincher’s Fight Club (1999), which the authors demonstrate directs viewers away from the film’s homoerotic subtext by “us[ing] denial, dismissal, and distraction to undermine the validity of a homosexual interpretation.” Robert Alan Brookey and Robert Westerfelhaus, “Hiding Homoeroticism in Plain View: The Fight Club DVD as Digital Closet,” Critical Studies in Media Communication 19, no. 1 (2002): 23, 30.
(18.) Hito Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image,” e-flux journal 10 (November 2009), www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/.
(19.) Ben White, interview by the author, November 21, 2012.
(20.) Creative Commons describes this license: “This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to ‘copyleft’ free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.” See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/.
(21.) Ramon Lobato, Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Film Distribution (London: Palgrave/BFI, 2012), 69.
(22.) Barbara Klinger, “Contraband Cinema: Piracy, Titanic, and Central Asia,” Cinema Journal 49, no. 2 (2010): 107.
(23.) Eileen Simpson, interview by the author, November 21, 2012. At the time of this writing one Jordanian dinar was equivalent to $1.41.
(25.) Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity (New York: Penguin, 2004), 24–25.
(27.) Lessig has written that the augmented reach of copyright will result in an intellectual property regime in which “any balance between public and private will thus be lost. The private domain will swallow the public domain. And the cultivation of culture and creativity will then be dictated by those who claim to own it.” Lawrence Lessig, “The Public Domain,” Foreign Policy, October 20, 2009, www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2005/08/30/the_public_domain.
(p.255) (28.) For more on orphaned works see www.copyright.gov/orphan/; and the Duke University Center for the Study of the Public Domain’s orphaned works site: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/orphanworks.html.
(31.) As Andrew Currah notes, the United States has successfully included such provisions in bilateral free trade agreements with not only Jordan but also Singapore, Chile, Morocco, Australia, CAFTA, Bahrain, and Oman. See Andrew Currah, “Hollywood, the Internet, and the World: A Geography of Disruptive Innovation,” Industry and Innovation 14, no. 4 (2007): 367. The United States has included copyright term extension provisions in free trade agreements with Australia and South Korea.
(32.) Elizabeth al-Dajani, “Comment: Post Saddam Restructuring of Intellectual Property Rights in Iraq Through a Case Study of Current Intellectual Property Practices in Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan,” John Marshall Law School Review of Intellectual Property Law 6, no. 2 (2007): 266.
(34.) Bill Nichols, Introduction to Documentary (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 1.
(35.) Rosalind Galt, The New European Cinema: Redrawing the Map (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 27.
(36.) Catherine Russell, Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999), 241.
(37.) Catherine Russell, quoted in “Round Table: Documentary, Ethnography, and the Avant-Garde,” Moving Image Review and Art Journal 2, no. 1 (2013): 87.
(38.) Bruno Latour and Adam Lowe, “The Migration of the Aura, or How to Explore the Original Through Its Facsimiles,” in Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts, ed. Thomas Bartscherer and Roderick Coover (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 286.
(40.) Theodor Adorno, The Jargon of Authenticity, trans. Knut Tarnowski and Frederic Will (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1973), 9–10.
(41.) Martin Jay, “Taking on the Stigma of Inauthenticity: Adorno’s Critique of Genuineness,” New German Critique 97 (Winter 2006): 26.
(42.) Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor (London: Continuum, 2004), 29.
5. The Limited Edition
(1.) Julien Levy, Memoir of an Art Gallery (Boston: MFA, 2003), 68.
(3.) A letter from Joella Levy, Julien’s wife, to Paul Vanderbilt, dated April 18, 1932, reads, “We do give performances of short Avant-garde Amateur movies in the Gallery, they are all on 16mm film, and we do rent them and sell copies.” Joella Levy lists Ballet (p.256) mécanique (1923–24), L’étoile de mer (1928), Le château d’If by Man Ray (which one presumes is Les mystères du Château de Dé ), Spirale by Marcel Duchamp (presumably Anemic Cinema ), and Sportfilm by V. Albrecht Blum (presumably Albrecht V. Blum, possibly Querdurch den Sport ). She quotes a rental fee of $10 for Ballet mécanique but writes that “for the others we have to arrange a price as we’ve never rented before.” According to Marie Difilippantonio of the Jean and Julien Levy Foundation, this is the sole extant reference to the sale of films as art objects.
(4.) Steven Watson, “Julien Levy: Exhibitionist and Harvard Modernist,” in Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery, ed. Ingrid Schaffner and Lisa Jacobs (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), 86.
(5.) See Ingrid Schaffner, “Alchemy of the Gallery,” in Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery, ed. Ingrid Schaffner and Lisa Jacobs (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), 22–23.
(7.) For a discussion of the sale of uneditioned film prints see Paolo Cherchi Usai, “La cineteca di Babele,” in Storia del cinema mondiale: Teorie, strumenti, memorie, vol. 5, ed. Gian Piero Brunetta (Bologna: Einaudi, 2001), 967–69.
(8.) The artist’s proof—often abbreviated “AP”—is a term that comes from printmaking. It originally designated a print made to test quality but has since come to refer to copies retained by the artist that exist outside of the numbered edition and are generally not for sale. They do, however, sometimes appear on the secondary market, where they can attract higher prices than the numbered edition.
(9.) Edward Lewine, “Art That Has to Sleep in the Garage,” New York Times, June 26, 2005, www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/arts/design/26lewi.html.
(10.) For example, when Matthew Barney’s Cremaster2 (1999) was sold on November 14, 2007, at Sotheby’s, New York, for $571,000, the DVD came inside a case made of leather and acrylic, with a custom vitrine for display. It is also important to note that even when no ancillary materials are included as a part of the edition, they are often produced. Some artists sell video stills, while others produce photographic series in conjunction with a moving image work. In many cases these works may generate more income than the videos themselves. As Noah Horowitz has remarked, “it is widely acknowledged that artists and galleries often use installations (video or otherwise) as loss-leaders, not unlike the fashion business, which undertakes similarly loss-making but ultimately brand-elevating exercises.” See Noah Horowitz, Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 57.
(11.) Isabelle Graw, High Price: Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture, trans. Nicholas Grindell (Berlin: Sternberg, 2009), 9.
(12.) Exceptions include Graw’s High Price and Horowitz’s Art of the Deal. In the domain of cinema studies the body of scholarship that would fall under such a heading is far too large and diverse to cite here. Of particular relevance, however, are Lucas Hilderbrand’s Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009); and Haidee Wasson’s Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth (p.257) of Art Cinema (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005). Many discussions of the economics of circulation in experimental film take place in informal channels—such as the Frameworks email listserv, which has been a site of lively debate over the issue of the limited edition in recent years—but even here, the issue remains underexplored.
(13.) Edwin Panofsky, The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 44.
(14.) Michel Melot, The Impressionist Print, trans. Caroline Beamish (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996), 85.
(15.) Élisabeth Lebon, Dictionnaire des fondeurs de bronze d’art: France, 1890–1950 (Perth, Australia: Marjon, 2003), 56 (translation mine).
(17.) Rosalind Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1985), 153.
(21.) Michel Melot, “La notion de l’originalité et son importance dans la définition des objets d’art,” Sociologie de l’art, colloque international, Marseille 13–14 juin 1985, ed. Raymonde Moulin (Paris: Documentation française, 1986), 195 (translation mine).
(22.) Phillip Dennis Cate, “Prints Abound: Paris in the 1890s,” in Prints Abound: Paris in the 1890s, ed. Phillip Dennis Cate, Gale B. Murray, and Richard Thomson (London: Lund Humphries and National Gallery of Art, 2000), 18.
(24.) Jean Chatelain, “An Original in Sculpture,” in Rodin Rediscovered, ed. Albert E. Elsen (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1981), 278.
(26.) Bruce Conner to Charles Alan, April 1957, in Alan Gallery Records at the Archives of American Art; repr. in Kevin Hatch, Looking for Bruce Conner (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 118. I have rendered titles of Conner’s films in all capitals and without italics, as the artist wished. In an undated memo Conner states this preference: “Full Capital Letters … are like signage on walls, monuments, objects and are like objects in themselves. … They have an architectural structure. Similar to newspaper headlines, true titles, imperative or direct phrasing such as HELP, STOP, FREE: TAKE ONE.” See “PLATES ‘Etc.’: Some Notes to the Reader,” in Bruce Conner: It’s All True, ed. Rudolf Frieling and Gary Garrels (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016), 13.
(27.) Bruce Conner, “1963 Application for a Ford Foundation Grant in Film Making,” 2. Bruce Conner Papers, BANC MSS 2000/50 c, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
(28.) In 2006–7, the last year of data available in Scott MacDonald’s Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of An Independent Film Distributor, Canyon made $11,225 from film sales, $6,860 from video sales, and $112,395 from rentals. See Scott MacDonald, “Appendix 2: Canyon Cinema’s Gross Rentals and Sales, from 1966 until 2006–2007,” (p.258) in Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor, ed. Scott MacDonald (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 433.
(29.) Currently, the New York Film-Makers Cooperative returns 60 percent of rental income to the artist; Canyon Cinema and LUX return 50 percent.
(31.) Raymonde Moulin, “La genèse de la rareté artistique,” Ethnologie française 8 (1978): 248.
(32.) Benjamin Buchloh, “Conceptual Art 1962–1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions,” October 55 (Winter 1990): 117.
(33.) See Martha Buskirk, “Certifiable,” in In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art, ed. Susan Hapgood and Cornelia Lauf (Amsterdam: Roma, 2011), 99.
(34.) “Interview with David Claerbout,” Independent Media Arts Preservation Resource Guide, www.eai.org/resourceguide/preservation/installation/interview_claerbout.html.
(35.) Gregory Markopoulos to Alice Burkhardt, August 20, 1968, Cerberus, vol. 8. All volumes of Cerberus are unpaginated and located at the Temenos Archive, Uster, Switzerland.
(36.) Gregory Markopoulos to Stan Brakhage, October 2, 1969, Cerberus, vol. 9.
(37.) Wilhelm Hein and Birgit Hein, W + B Hein: Dokumente 1967–1985, Fotos, Briefe, Texte (Frankfurt: Deutsche Filmmuseum, 1985), 35.
(38.) “Films for Sale,” ICA Eventsheet, September 1969, n.p., Tate Archives, London.
(40.) Nigel Gosling, “The Mingling of the Media,” Observer, February 2, 1969, 26.
(41.) Currency conversion using the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/inflation/calculator/flash/default.aspx.
(42.) Gregory Markopoulos, “Proposals Towards a Mutual Agreement of Sale,” March 3, 1969, Cerberus, vol. 9.
(43.) Grace Glueck, “Does Marlborough Tell Gimpel?” New York Times, March 23, 1969, D28.
(44.) Birgit Hein, email correspondence with the author, June 18, 2015.
(45.) René Gimpel, interview by the author, March 11, 2014.
(46.) Paolo Cardazzo to Gregory Markopoulos, August 13, 1971, Temenos Archive, Uster, Switzerland.
(47.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Beavers, December 12, 1971, Cerberus, vol. 17; Gregory Markopoulos to editorial department of Das Kunstwerk, December 17, 1971, Cerberus, vol. 17.
(48.) Gerry Schum, “Introduction to the Broadcast: Fernsehgalerie Berlin Gerry Schum,” in Ready to Shoot: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, videogalerie Schum, ed. Ulrike Groos, Barbara Hess, and Ursula Wevers (Ghent and Düsseldorf: Snoeck and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2004), 67.
(49.) Ursula Wevers, “Love Work Fernsehgalerie,” in Ready to Shoot: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, videogalerie Schum, ed. Ulrike Groos, Barbara Hess, and Ursula Wevers (Ghent and Düsseldorf: Snoeck and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2004), 31.
(p.259) (50.) “Video Tappa Gerry Schum: Interview with Gerry Schum in the magazine Data (Milan), March 1972,” in Ready to Shoot: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, videogalerie Schum, ed. Ulrike Groos, Barbara Hess, and Ursula Wevers (Ghent and Düsseldorf: Snoeck and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2004), 297.
(51.) Converted to 1971 U.S. Dollars, the unlimited editions would be priced between $144 and $230.40, the Beuys at $2,822.40, and the Gilbert and George at $1,382.40. Conversion calculated at a rate of 0.288 marks to the dollar as per the 1971 average interbank exchange rate given at www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates. This price list is reprinted in Ulrike Groos, Barbara Hess, and Ursula Wevers, eds., Ready to Shoot: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, videogalerie Schum (Ghent and Düsseldorf: Snoeck and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2004), 288.
(52.) Ian White, “Who Is Not the Author? Gerry Schum and the Established Order,” in Afterthought: New Writing on Conceptual Art, ed. Mike Sperlinger (London: Rachmaninoff’s, 2005), 69.
(53.) “Castelli-Sonnabend Tapes and Films, Inc.” Art-Rite 7 (Autumn 1974): 21.
(54.) Castelli-Sonnabend numbered its copies by assigning each a letter of the alphabet. While most tapes didn’t make it past D, Serra’s Television Delivers People goes up to copy UU, his Hand Catching Lead (1968) to EE, Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) to FF, Jonas’s Vertical Roll to AAA, and William Wegman’s Selected Works: Reel #4 (1972–73) to PP. These listings include all copies sold, available for rental, lost, and destroyed as a result of wear. All information on Castelli-Sonnabend is courtesy of Leo Castelli Gallery records, Archives of American Art, Washington, DC.
(55.) Volume 1, number 1 of the Castelli-Sonnabend catalogue shows nine videos offered as limited editions of twenty: Vito Acconci’s Full Circle (1973), Stages (1973), Theme Song (1973), and Walk-Over (1973); Christian Boltanski’s Life Is Gay, Life Is Sad (1974) and (Some) Memories of Youth (1974); Joan Jonas’s Merlo (1974); Richard Landry’s Terri Split (1974); and Charlemagne Palestine’s Body Music (1973–74). Simone Forti’s Untitled was offered as an edition of one hundred, priced at $470.
(56.) In 2015 dollars this would equate to $56,765.13 in outstanding bills and $116,322.24 owed to artists.
(57.) Some film prints went to Anthology Film Archives and the Film-Makers’ Cooperative; some films and videos were returned to the artists; and works by artists represented by the Leo Castelli Gallery continued to be available for sale and rent from Castelli.
(58.) David Curtis, A History of Artists’ Film and Video in Britain (London: BFI, 2007), 20.
(59.) These include Senators in Bondage (edition of thirteen, 1976) and Matelots et Menottes (edition of twelve, 1977). The buyers were apparently collectors of limited-edition books, mostly erotica. There is some doubt about whether these films were ever made; for further details see Erika Balsom, “Searching for Senators and Sailors: The Limited Editions of Kenneth Anger,” Little Joe 5 (2015): 63–71. For Anger’s account of these films see Acéphale, “Kenneth Anger—Welcome to the Pleasure Dome,” Necronomicon 4 (2001): 55–58.
(60.) Larry Jordan, “Survival in the Independent–Non-Commercial–Avant-Garde–Experimental–Personal–Expressionistic Film Market of 1979,” originally published in Cinemanews 79, no. 2/3/4 (1979); repr. (p.260) in Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor, ed. Scott MacDonald (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 337.
(63.) These works were Heaven and Earth, Threshold, and What Is Not That Which Is (all 1992). Viola had previously issued some works in large editions, such as Hatsu Yume (First Dream) (1981), which was offered in a signed and stamped edition of 350.
(65.) Jack Valenti, quoted in Amy Harmon, “Black Hawk Download: Moving Beyond Music, Pirates Use New Tools to Turn the Net into an Illicit Video Club,” New York Times, January 17, 2002, www.nytimes.com/2002/01/17/technology/black-hawk-download-moving-beyond-music-pirates-use-new-tools-turn-net-into.html.
(66.) Rose Lord, quoted in Paul Young, “Black Box White Cube,” Art + Auction, February 2008, www.artinfo.com/news/story/26655/black-box-white-cube/.
(67.) See Deborah Sontag and Robin Pogrebin, “Some Object as Museum Shows Its Trustee’s Art,” New York Times, November 10, 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/arts/design/11museum.html.
(68.) See Peter C. Jones, “High Times and Misdemeanors,” Aperture 124 (Summer 1991): 68–70.
(69.) The Treasures of Tutankhamen exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1976 is frequently cited as the beginning of a trend in museum exhibition to favor the guaranteed box office revenues provided by accessible material and a well-stocked gift shop.
(70.) Dominique Païni posits 1990 as the year that signals a change in the conception of cinema from one tied to mass culture to something that possesses a patrimonial value. The transformation is, he writes, “one from industry to art.” It is also a time that sees a generalized waning of direct political investment on the part of many video artists. See Dominique Païni, Le temps exposé: Le cinéma de la salle au musée (Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 2002), 26.
(71.) David Galloway, “Documenta 9: The Bottom Line,” Art in America, September 1993, 55.
(72.) Dan Cameron, “The Hassle in Kassel,” Artforum, September 1992, 86.
(74.) Eamon sees the market crash account as too New York–centric, especially given that the key figures in early 1990s video are not “New York painters turned video artists” but come from other parts of the world, such as Canada (Stan Douglas), Scotland (Douglas Gordon), and Switzerland (Pipilotti Rist). Christopher Eamon, interview with the author, March 8, 2011.
(75.) On Rosler’s opposition to the limited edition on the grounds that it reduces access, see Ilana Stanger, “Interviews with Visual Artists: Martha Rosler,” New York Foundation for the Arts Business of Art Articles, https://web.archive.org/web/20131007101402/http://www.nyfa.org/level4.asp?id=120&fid=1&sid=51&tid=167.
(p.261) (76.) As Cynthia Chris has noted, the advancement of this art historical narrative conflates both media art and media activism—overlapping but distinct areas of practice—and neglects to consider the real persistence of activist video into the present. See Cynthia Chris, “Video Art: Stayin’ Alive,” Afterimage 25, no. 7 (2000): 10.
(77.) Pierre Huyghe, quoted in Greg Allen, “When Fans of Pricey Video Art Can Get It for Free,” New York Times, August 17, 2003, www.nytimes.com/2003/08/17/arts/art-architecture-when-fans-of-pricey-video-art-can-get-it-free.html.
(78.) Dieter Daniels, “Video/Art/Market,” in 40yearsvideoart.de, Part 1. Digital Heritage: Video Art in Germany from 1963 Until the Present, ed. Rudolf Frieling and Wulf Herzogenrath (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2006), 46.
(79.) Matthias Müller, quoted in Scott MacDonald and Matthias Müller, “A Conversation,” in The Memo Book: The Films and Videos of Matthias Müller, ed. Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (Berlin: Verlag Vorwerk 8, 2005), 255.
(80.) “Round Table: The Projected Image in Contemporary Art,” October 103 (Spring 2006): 95.
(81.) For an account of the relationship between the 1926 and 2012 versions of Raumlichtkunst see Gregory Zinman, “Man Out of Time: Oskar Fischinger and the Renewed Relevance of Raumlichtkunst,” Moving Image Source, August 22, 2012, www.movingimagesource.us/articles/man-out-of-time-20120822.
(82.) The films are Respectable Creates (1950–66), Overstimulated (1959–63), Scotch Tape (1959–62), Flaming Creatures (1962–63), Normal Love (1963–65), Yellow Sequence (1963–65), Jungle Island (1967), No President (1967–70), I Was a Male Yvonne DeCarlo (1967–70s), Song for Rent (1969), and Hot Air Specialist (1980).
(83.) This piece was marketed as a reconstruction of a version shown at the Brussels World Fair and the Palais de Chaillot in Paris in 1958 but includes a soundtrack consisting of Electric Light Orchestra’s Eldorado (1974), which Anger had used in the film’s 1978 version. For Anger’s account of the 1958 screenings see Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema 5: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 33–34.
(85.) The 2002 DVD 2000 B.C.: Eight 16mm Films by Bruce Conner, 1964–1981 includes MEA CULPA (1981), BREAKAWAY (1966), VIVIAN (1964), THE WHITE ROSE (1967), MARILYN TIMES FIVE (1968–73), REPORT (1967), TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND (1976), and VALSE TRISTE (1977). The 2003 DVD Two Films by Bruce Conner includes CROSSROADS (1976) and both versions of LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS (1959–67).
(86.) For an account of the CROSSROADS restoration see Ross Lipman, “Conservation at a Crossroads,” Artforum, October 2013, https://artforum.com/inprint/issue=201308&id=43121.
(87.) Michelle Silva, interview with the author, August 19, 2015.
(88.) The restoration and digitization processes involved in many retroactively editioned works also pose important questions of historicity and authenticity in a very different register, but given that these questions are raised by restoration in general and are not specifically tied to the practice of editioning, they are beyond (p.262) the scope of this chapter. For a discussion of such issues see Enrico Camporesi, “Bill Brand: Archive Instinct,” Moving Image Review and Art Journal 3, no. 1 (2014): 83–93.
(89.) For an extensive account of the photography market’s hierarchy of print categories see Nathalie Moureau and Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux, “La construction du marché des tirages photographiques,” Études photographiques, no. 22 (September 2008): http://etudesphotographiques.revues.org/1005.
(90.) At the time of this writing, the ®™ark website has been taken offline. As of August 4, 2015, the site for “liberated videos,” located at www.rtmark.com/2995repository.html, stated “this page is continuously updated with new ‘liberated’ art videos made available for download or streaming,” but the only two listed were Barney’s Cremaster 5, with a price listed of $25,000, and Lucy Gunning’s Climbing Around in My Room (1993), with a price listed of $4,000. The links to both videos were broken.
(93.) Marina Isola, “An Uncertain Market for Video Art,” New York Times, February 15, 1998, www.nytimes.com/1998/02/15/arts/an-uncertain-market-for-video-art.html.
(94.) Benjamin Cook, interview with the author, November 29, 2010.
(96.) Larry Jordan, interview with the author, December 10, 2010.
(97.) This practice of raising the price of the edition as it sells out is an established convention.
(98.) This project was initiated in 2003 as a collaboration among the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the New Art Trust; and the Tate Modern. For more information, see www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/majorprojects/mediamatters/.
6. The Event of Projection
(1.) Daniel Pennac, Monsieur Malaussène (Paris: Gallimard, 1997), 80 (Pennac’s emphasis; translation mine).
(2.) Sehgal’s insistence that his work have no printed supplement extends even to documents regarding its sale; his editioned performances are sold via oral contract in the presence of a notary. For the canonical account of performance as grounded in an ontology of disappearance see Peggy Phelan, “The Ontology of Performance: Representation Without Reproduction,” in Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London: Routledge, 1993), 146–66.
(3.) Of course, it certainly happens that such works are sometimes exhibited without fulfilling such conditions. The films of Frampton’s unfinished Magellan cycle (1972–84), for example, have often been shown but never according to the calendar that the filmmaker set out for them.
(4.) Passio pressbook, 5.
(p.263) (5.) The following is a list of locations of the seven prints: Hong Kong Film Archive; National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Canberra; Cinemateca Brasileira, São Paulo, Brazil; Cineteca del Friuli, Gemona del Friuli, Italy; Svenska Filminstitutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the sixth was acquired by Martin Scorsese for his personal collection and is now at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; the seventh will remain in Cherchi Usai’s possession during his lifetime, after which it will be donated to a museum. My research is based on a consultation of the minium print at George Eastman House.
(6.) Paolo Cherchi Usai, interview by the author, June 17, 2013.
(7.) For an account of this tendency see Tess Takahashi, “After the Death of Film: Writing the Natural World in the Digital Age,” Visible Language 42, no. 1 (2008): 44–69.
(8.) Cherchi Usai, interview.
(9.) Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility (Second Version),” trans. Edmund Jephcott and Harry Zohn, in Selected Writings: Volume 3, 1935–1938, ed. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002), 106.
(10.) Siegfried Kracauer, The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays, ed. and trans. Thomas Y. Levin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 58.
(11.) W. J. T. Mitchell, “Realism and the Digital Image,” in Travels in Intermedia(lity): ReBlurring the Boundaries, ed. Bernd Herzogenrath (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2012), 57.
(12.) Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility (Third Version),” trans. Harry Zohn and Edmund Jephcott, in Selected Writings: Volume 4, 1938–1940, ed. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003), 271.
(13.) Paolo Cherchi Usai, quoted in Jake Coyle, “No Theaters, No DVD Release for Passio,” USA Today, April 27, 2007, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/music/2007-04-27-3172645775_x.htm.
(14.) Auslander’s argument rests on an equation of symbolic capital with that which occupies the position of cultural dominant at a given time. This position overlooks the fact that in many cases it is precisely that which is not dominant—that which is rare or unusual—that is endowed with increased symbolic value. See Philip Auslander, Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (New York: Routledge, 1999), 187.
(15.) See Francesco Casetti, “Back to the Motherland: The Film Theater in the Postmedia Age,” Screen 51, no. 1 (2011): 6.
(16.) Barbara Klinger, Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 187.
(19.) Peggy Phelan, Mourning Sex: Performing Public Memories (New York: Routledge, 2013), 3.
(21.) Nelson Goodman, Languages of Art: An Approach to the Theory of Symbols (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1976), 117. The relationship of cinema to Goodman’s terminology (p.264) becomes substantially more complicated if one questions the status of the multiple prints produced from a negative or internegative understood as an “original.” For the sake of the present discussion I will use Goodman’s terminology only to discuss the relationship between the film print as notation and the projection as performance.
(23.) Ed Halter, quoted in Dennis Lim, “Choosing Cinematheque over Cineplex,” New York Times, September 2, 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/movies/microcinemas-pack-a-special-mission-in-a-small-space.html.
(24.) Ben Russell, “2013 World Poll—Part 3,” Senses of Cinema 69 (December 2013): http://sensesofcinema.com/2014/issue-69-december-2013/2013-world-poll-part-3-2/#25.
(25.) Rick Altman, “General Introduction: Cinema as Event,” in Sound Theory, Sound Practice, ed. Rick Altman (New York: Routledge, 1992), 4.
(26.) “Film and Video Makers Travel Sheet,” Film Section, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute (March 1977). Thank you to Amanda Donnan at the Carnegie Museum of Art for making this document available to me. For the first few years the Travel Sheet was published every two or three months, but thereafter it became monthly.
(27.) The Independent Film Community: A Report on the Status of Independent Film in the United States, published in November 1977, specifies personal appearances as one of the three income streams for avant-garde filmmakers, alongside film rentals and the sale of uneditioned prints. The report states that at that time a filmmaker could expect to be paid anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for appearing with his or her work, with fees being higher on the East Coast than on the West Coast. See Peter Feinstein, ed., The Independent Film Community: A Report on the Status of Independent Film in the United States (New York: Committee on Film and Television Resources and Services, 1977), 39.
(29.) David Denby, “Big Pictures,” New Yorker, January 8, 2007, www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2007/01/08/070108crat_atlarge_denby.
(30.) Jacques Attali, Noise: The Political Economy of Music, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 85.
(32.) André Habib, “Ruin, Archive, and the Time of Cinema: Peter Delpeut’s Lyrical Nitrate,” SubStance 35, no. 2 (2006): 121, 122. See also André Habib, L’attrait de la ruine (Brussels: Éditions Yellow Now, 2011).
(33.) Paolo Cherchi Usai, The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory and the Digital Dark Age (London, BFI, 2001), 67.
(36.) See Walter Benjamin, “Surrealism: The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia,” trans. Edmund Jephcott, in Selected Writings: Volume Two, Part One: 1927–1930, ed. Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999), 207–21.
(p.265) (37.) As Martin Jay notes, Eigenlichkeit is used more frequently in German than Authentizität and carries with it a very different yet equally relevant etymology from the word “authenticity,” since eigen translates as “to own” or “to possess.” Eigenlichkeit also differs from Echtheit, the word Benjamin uses in his discussions of authenticity in “The Work of Art.” Echtheit comes from a niederdeutsch term, echact, which means “to follow the law,” signaling a link between echt and recht. See Martin Jay, “Taking on the Stigma of Inauthenticity: Adorno’s Critique of Genuineness,” New German Critique 97 (Winter 2006): 17.
(38.) As noted in chapter one, in Minima Moralia Adorno makes clear the connection between the notion of authenticity as it is deployed in the work of a philosopher like Heidegger and ideas of racial or ethnic purity: the concept “dwells [on] the notion of the supremacy of the original over the derived. This notion, however, is always linked with social legitimism. All ruling strata claim to be the oldest settlers, autochthonous.” Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life (London: Verso, 2005), 155.
(39.) Theodor Adorno, The Jargon of Authenticity, trans. Knut Tarnowski and Frederic Will (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1973), 6. For Adorno this marshaling of theological language enabled a form of domination conducive to fascism. Though he finds the roots of this jargon in the Weimar era, it proliferates after the Second World War, when National Socialist ideology became unfashionable. He scathingly and sarcastically writes, “One can trust anyone who babbles this jargon; people wear it in their buttonholes, in place of the currently disreputable party badge” (19–20).
(42.) Irving Goh, “Prolegomenon to a Right to Disappear,” Cultural Politics 2, no. 1 (2006): 99–100.
(43.) Alexander Galloway, “Black Box, Black Bloc,” in Communization and Its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles, ed. Benjamin Noys (Wivenhoe, UK: Minor Compositions, 2011), 246–47.
(44.) Zach Blas, “Contra-Internet Aesthetics,” in You Are Here: Art After the Internet, ed. Omar Kholeif (Manchester: Cornerhouse and SPACE, 2014), 90, 96.
7. A Cinematic Bayreuth
(1.) Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West: Form and Actuality, trans. Charles Francis Atkinson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1927), 337.
(2.) Gregory Markopoulos, “S.O.S. for the Friends of Markopoulos Everywhere,” May 17, 1975, Cerberus, vol. 24.
(3.) Gregory Markopoulos to Edith Zornow, November 13, 1968, Cerberus, vol. 9.
(4.) Gregory Markopoulos to Alice Burkhardt, August 7, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 19. In a conversation with me on March 11, 2014, René Gimpel recalled Markopoulos refusing (p.266) to allow his work to be shown on the same program as certain other filmmakers at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1969.
(6.) Gregory Markopoulos, “Gregory Markopoulos Dissociates Himself from Film Archives,” Variety, June 5, 1974, 7.
(7.) Gregory Markopoulos to Leslie Trumbull, January 8, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 17.
(8.) Gregory Markopoulos, “Sto Palikari,” Supervisuell 3 (1968), n.p.; repr. in Mark Webber, ed., Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos (London: Visible Press, 2014), 50–52.
(9.) Gregory Markopoulos to Aristotle Onassis, July 22, 1971, Cerberus, vol. 16.
(11.) Gregory Markopoulos to Alicia, May 10, 1971, Cerberus, vol. 15.
(12.) These prints continue to be managed under the same agreement: they cannot be shown off the premises of the Austrian Film Museum without written permission from Robert Beavers.
(13.) Between 1972 and Markopoulos’s death in 1992, the Austrian Film Museum showed his films on five occasions in his presence. In 1972 and 1973 films by Beavers and Markopoulos appeared on the same program; in 1977, 1980, and 1983 Markopoulos received monographic screenings, with Beavers showing his films on a consecutive evening. Three further events including Markopoulos’s work took place without him at the Austrian Film Museum during his lifetime: in February 1974 Ming Green (1966) was shown in the institution’s tenth-anniversary marathon of films from the collection; in May 1974 he received five monographic screenings and a sixth shared with Robert Beavers in the series “Hauptwerke des American Independent Cinema”; and in 1989 the institution’s twenty-fifth anniversary program included a program shared with Beavers. In March 1993 the museum mounted a major memorial retrospective in which it showed all eighteen films by Markopoulos in its collection.
(14.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, March 12, 1975, Cerberus, vol. 24. The Centre Pompidou did go on to acquire two films in 1977: Gammelion (1968) and The Illiac Passion (1964–67).
(15.) John Hanhardt, “A Temperate Vision: The Films of Gregory J. Markopoulos,” in Gregory Markopoulos: Mythic Themes, Portraiture, and Films of Place (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1996), 10.
(16.) At present, the materials collected in Cerberus are the only part of Markopoulos’s correspondence open to researchers in the Temenos Archive. Incoming correspondence is included with the filmmaker’s diaries in the fifty-two volumes of Ein Eidelweiss, which remain private, leading to a situation in which scholars are largely left to reconstruct the events of the filmmaker’s life and career primarily according to his own account of them.
(17.) See, e.g., Gregory Markopoulos to Leslie Trumbull, October 2, 1974, Cerberus, vol. 23; Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Beavers, July 4, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 19; and Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, April 29, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 18.
(19.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, December 2, 1970, Cerberus, vol. 14.
(20.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, October 5, 1973, Cerberus, vol. 21.
(21.) Gregory Markopoulos to Carter H. Manny Jr., trustee of the Graham Foundation, August 6, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 19.
(22.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, August 8, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 19.
(23.) Matthew Wilson Smith, The Total Work of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace (New York: Routledge, 2007), 25.
(24.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, May 1, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 18; Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, August 8, 1972, Cerberus, vol. 19.
(25.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, July 3, 1969, Cerberus, vol. 11.
(26.) Gregory Markopoulos to Leslie Trumbull, January 15, 1971, Cerberus, vol. 14.
(27.) Gregory Markopoulos to Crédit Suisse, April 11, 1980, Cerberus, vol. 26.
(28.) Gregory Markopoulos to International Herald Tribune, October 5, 1979, Cerberus, vol. 25.
(29.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Beavers, November 30, 1979, Cerberus, vol. 25.
(30.) See, e.g., Rebekah Rutkoff, “Chaos Phaos: Markopoulos and Cinematic Withholding,” World Picture 10 (Spring 2015), www.worldpicturejournal.com/WP_10/Rutkoff_10.html; and Mark Webber, introduction to Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos (London: Visible Press, 2014), 11.
(31.) Gregory Markopoulos to Nigel Gosling, March 27, 1980, Cerberus, vol. 26.
(32.) Gregory Markopoulos to Demetrios G. Ninias, Greek Minister of Culture, October 9, 1979, Cerberus, vol. 25; Gregory Markopoulos to Anna, February 7, 1980, Cerberus, vol. 25.
(33.) Gregory Markopoulos to Patrick, April 27, 1980, Cerberus, vol. 25.
(34.) Gregory Markopoulos, “Plan of Work,” undated (circa October 1979), Cerberus, vol. 25.
(35.) Gregory Markopoulos, “Plan of Work—Temenos Presentations 1981,” May 1981, Cerberus, vol. 26; Robert Beavers, email to the author, May 19, 2015; Yorgos Zikogiannis, email to the author, June 22, 2015.
(36.) Robert Beavers, “Lyssaraia: Filme in mythologischer Landschaft,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, December 19, 1980, 65 (translation mine).
(37.) Gregory Markopoulos, press release to Athens News, September 6, 1982, Cerberus, vol. 27.
(38.) Gregory Markopoulos to George Spentzas, November 18, 1980, Cerberus, vol. 26.
(39.) Gregory Markopoulos, Temenos 1984 press release, undated (circa summer 1984), Cerberus, vol. 28.
(40.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, May 7, 1978, Cerberus, vol. 25. Markopoulos also added that Rayi Spartias is rumored to be a site of buried treasure and was used as a secret headquarters by Theodoros Kolokotronis during his fight for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century.
(41.) See P. Adams Sitney, The Cinema of Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 221.
(42.) See Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press, 2003), 39.
(43.) Gregory Markopoulos, Temenos 1986 press release, August 6, 1986, Cerberus, vol. 29.
(p.268) (44.) Gregory Markopoulos, “Proposal to the Architect of the Temenos,” March 17, 1984, Cerberus, vol. 28.
(45.) Gregory Markopoulos to Dakis Joannou, January 7, 1987, Cerberus, vol. 29.
(46.) Gregory Markopoulos to Constantine A. Antonopoulos, June 23, 1987, Cerberus, vol. 29.
(48.) Tony Pipolo, “An Interview with Robert Beavers,” Millennium Film Journal 32–33 (Fall 1998): 33.
(49.) David Ehrenstein, “The Markopoulos Affair,” Film Comment 29, no. 4 (1993): 59, 62.
(51.) For detailed textual analyses of Eniaios, see Sitney, The Cinema of Poetry, 215–49; and Richard Suchenski, “Utopian Romanticism and the Poetics of Scale: Modernist Explorations of the Cinematic Long Form” (PhD diss., Yale University, 2012), 134–88. In line with the subject of this book my focus here will be largely restricted to questions of circulation and the cycle’s position in relation to the concept of the Temenos.
(52.) Gregory Markopoulos to Robert Freeman, August 7, 1974, Cerberus, vol. 23.
(53.) Gregory Markopoulos, “For the Purpose,” September 23, 1989, Cerberus, vol. 23.
(54.) Vilém Flusser, “Images in the New Media,” in Writings, ed. Andreas Ströhl, trans. Erik Eisel (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), 70.
(55.) Francesco Casetti, The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words of the Cinema to Come (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), 11.
(56.) Despite this intention the confinement of Eniaios to the Temenos is not absolute; Beavers has authorized a handful of screenings of sections of the work in other institutional locations, including the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of the Moving Image, both located in New York.
(57.) This assumes that roughly ten hours will be screened over the course of the three days, as has been the case at the post-2004 screenings thus far.
(58.) Lucy Reynolds, “Wayward Canyons and Sacred Spaces: New Forms of Cinephilia in Artists’ Moving Image,” Millennium Film Journal 59 (Spring 2014): 75.
8. Transmission, from the Movie-Drome to Vdrome
(1.) Stan VanDerBeek, “‘Culture: Intercom’ and Expanded Cinema: A Proposal and Manifesto,” Film Culture 40 (Spring 1966): 16.
(2.) On this concept see Miriam Hansen, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), 76–79.
(p.269) (4.) Bertolt Brecht, “The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication,” trans. John Willet, in Video Culture: A Critical Investigation, ed. John Hanhardt (Rochester, NY: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1986), 53–55.
(5.) For an overview of American artists’ engagements with television from the late 1960s to the 1980s see Kathy Rae Huffman, “Video Art: What’s TV Got to Do with It?” in Illuminating Video: An Essential Guide to Video Art, ed. David Hall and Sally Jo Fifer (New York and San Francisco: Aperture and Bay Area Video Coalition, 1990), 81–90.
(6.) Val Adams, “Where Old TV Films Come From: Prices for Yesterday’s Pictures Cover Wide Range,” New York Times, June 11, 1950, 105.
(7.) Harald Szeemann, “Zur Ausstellung,” in Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (Berne: Kunsthalle Berne, 1969), n.p.
(8.) David Antin, “Video: The Distinctive Features of the Medium,” in Video Culture: A Critical Investigation, ed. John Hanhardt (Rochester, NY: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1986), 149. Antin’s text was first published in Artforum in December 1975 as “Television: Video’s Frightful Parent.”
(9.) Gerry Schum, “TV Project Fernsehgalerie, Television Exhibition II: ARTSCAPES,” Ready to Shoot: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, videogalerie schum, ed. Ulrike Groos, Barbara Hess, and Ursula Wevers (Ghent and Düsseldorf: Snoeck and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2004), 149.
(10.) Scott MacDonald, American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary: The Cambridge Turn (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), 87.
(11.) For a thorough examination of The Eleventh Hour see Hannah Andrews, “On the Grey Box: Broadcasting Experimental Film and Video on Channel 4’s The Eleventh Hour,” Visual Culture in Britain 12, no. 2 (2011): 203–18.
(12.) Rod Stoneman, “Sins of Commission,” Screen 33, no. 2 (Summer 1992): 140.
(14.) “Midnight Underground Film Club,” July 7, 1993, internal planning document. Midnight Underground file, British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection, Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.
(15.) Ursula Wevers, “The Television Gallery and How It Failed,” in Gerry Schum (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1979), 78.
(16.) David Curtis, “Midnight Underground: Notes Toward a Rationale,” n.p., Midnight Underground file, British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection, Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.
(17.) It is worth noting that 99.4 percent of the UK population had access to Channel 4 by 1988. United Kingdom Independent Television Commission notes, “Channel 4,” June 2003, www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/itc/itc_publications/itc_notes/view_note79.html.
(18.) Rachel Keene, “Welcome to the Dark Side of the Screen: Midnight Underground and Channel 4’s Funding of Experimental Film and Video in The 1990s,” paper presented at a meeting of the Southern Broadcasting History Group, University of Portsmouth, April 2012, http://media.bufvc.ac.uk/c4pp/extras/conferences_papers/papers_pdf/SBHG_Keene.pdf.
(p.270) (19.) Michael Zryd, “Avant-Garde Films: Teaching Wavelength,” Cinema Journal 47, no. 1 (2007): 110.
(20.) Les Brown, “Are the Networks Dinosaurs?” Channels, June-July 1982, 26–29.
(21.) Prior to this time Channel 4’s advertising was sold by ITV. Channel 4 received a fixed amount of revenue from this sale, reducing the network’s dependence on large audience numbers.
(22.) John Wyver, “TV Against TV: Video Art on Television,” in Film and Video Art, ed. Stuart Comer (London: Tate, 2009), 124.
(23.) The 1997 season featured all new work rather than the historical selections of 1993.
(24.) Maeve Connolly, TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television (Bristol: Intellect, 2014), 16–17.
(25.) Filipa Ramos, interview by the author, August 1, 2014.
(26.) Andrea Lissoni, interview by the author, August 1, 2014.
(27.) Ramos, interview.
(28.) Ben Rivers, email correspondence with the author, August 12, 2014.
(29.) Between February 16, 2013, and June 10, 2015, there were 45,883 US-based visitors to the site and 21,219 US-based plays. Statistic courtesy of Filipa Ramos.
(30.) Steve Carroll, email correspondence with the author, June 28, 2015.
(32.) Land Art was included in Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (1969) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and in Information (1970) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Identifications was shown as an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1973. Both broadcasts were included in Sonsbeek ’71 (1971) and the seventh Paris Biennial (1971).
(33.) These were withdrawn from sale in 1971 since video versions had not been authorized by the artists and gallerists involved.
(34.) For instance, Gilbert and George’s The Nature of Our Looking (1970) and Joseph Beuys’s Filz–TV (1970) were issued as limited editions.