EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA IN THE AGE OF BINARY DATA: THE DIGITAL ALTERNATIVE TO THE CELLULOID IMAGE.
This dissertation establishes the experimental filmmaker’s current and future position in a digital environment that continues to grow exponentially. It examines the digital video medium and its encroachment into the terrain of celluloid based cinema. The project questions the validity of experimental filmmakers’ continuing use of traditional technology and explores modern alternatives to the avant-garde’s established and stagnating methods of content creation, manipulation, delivery, and presentation. Perhaps the most important and controversial of these alternatives to be addressed is DVD video and its repercussions. Experimental cinema is advancing using the most cost effective, and efficient means to express that tradition, whether it is celluloid, digital video, digital cinema, or some obscure format. There is no doubt that digital technology is encompassing all forms of image capture, as did the photochemical medium more than a century before. Just as that ushered in a new avant-garde, so too will today’s electronic and computer-based cinema. This new toolset will arguably modify traditional aesthetics in countless and unforeseeable ways, despite its current infancy. Building on a rich history of innovation, yet remaining in obscurity, experimental cinema can now through media such as the DVD, streaming video, and Blu-ray, evangelize as never before. At this point in time, the available options presented by digital video are so vast that one can almost be consumed by the technology. Despite the overwhelming breadth of the medium, the advantages and territory it exposes far outweigh any reasonable dissent. For experimental cinema the digital video revolution is its saving grace, unencumbered by celluloid’s slow demise and third party relationships, makers are finally un-tethered.
Dissertation Abstract: Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) / Leonardo Abstract Services (LABS), 2011.