June 15th – Steven Cossman: Direct-er’s Cuts at NMASS

June 15th, 2012
Savage Vanguard Theater (map)

Experimental Response Cinema and NMASS present:

Direct-er’s Cuts, presented by Steve Cossman, is a program of films made using various direct film making techniques. Direct film making encompasses various camera-less methods (such as scratching, painting and masking) through which a film maker produces and alters images by directly manipulating the surface of the film frame. The program will include a rare print (courtesy of film historian Cecil Starr) of one of the germinal works of direct film making: Len Lye’s 1958 animation Free Radicals. The program will conclude in a question and answer session with artist Steve Cossman.


Ancestors, 2012
16mm, silent 4 min 20 sec
Hand-painted Leader with Adhered Overlays
Douglas Urbank
“ This 16 mm film is made from scans of old photographs of unidentified ancestors of mine from a box that came into my sister’s possession after our mother died. I have adhered their images to leader film, cutting and blending their features together by hand and adding color, patterns and bits of text from old letters. “ D.U.

40,mov, 2012
16mm, sound, 0 min 40 sec
Photocopied rubbings and clear tape.
Devon Damonte
“Rubbings of the historic Moviola editing machine from Portland, OR, NW Film Center’s School of Film are animated by camera-less methods using only photocopies and adhesive tape onto 16mm film leader. Inspired by NWFC’s 40 second movies project, this is exactly 40 seconds long, 960 frames of picture. The variations in grid square size is the result of the Moviola’s metal foot pedal being worn down in the editing of countless movies. This evidence of millions of miles of film footage, lovingly cut by scores of editors is recast upon wings of light via crotchety projection contraptions in wishing NWFC all the best for the next 40 years, and beyond . . .” D.D.

Fe, 2010
16mm, silent 3 min 00 sec
High contrast photo-grams, hand-processed and solarized
Eric Stewart
Photo-grams of magnets in a magnetic field.

Pillager, 2011
16mm sound, 7 min 00 sec
Hand-processed and bleached.
Joshua Lewis
A document of aggressive and proximate manipulations of competing photographic reactions.

A Joy
16mm sound 6 min 00 sec
Colored acetate, patterned contact paper and ink.
Jodie Mack
A collaboration with Four Tet for Everything Ecstatic (Domino, 2005).

Free Radicals, 1958/1979
16mm sound 4 min 30 sec
16mm black leader, scratched.
Len Lye
Begun in 1958 and completed in 1979, Lye made the film by directly scratching the film stock. The resulting “figures of motion” are set to music by the Bagirmi tribe of Africa.

GUMS, 2012
16mm sound 3 min 00 seconds
Digital laser printer with optical sound.
Aaron Vinton
A crunch of digital imagery married to the analog surface, GUMS creates its own optical track in high-con graphics.

16mm sound 5 min 14 sec
16mm 7,000 Viewmaster stereoscopic stills and splicing tape.
Steve Cossman
The work presented is a reflection on humanity’s ecological relationship and the ritual of restoration. Jacob Long of Earthen Sea created the score.