Professor Genevieve Yue, media and cultural studies, did an experiment in her course, Experimental Film and Video. They screened the film Line Describing a Cone (1973) by Anthony McCall. McCall describes the piece as a "solid light film." A fog machine is placed in the room and runs alongside the projection. Over the course of 30 minutes, a line draws a white circle onscreen. Because the fog catches the light of the beam, it illuminates a cone shape that stretches throughout the room, and in doing so illustrates the sculptural properties of the projection apparatus.
What's the Course About?
The course addresses the range of practices that make up experimental media in two chief ways. The first explores experimental film in its cultural contexts, examining the ways issues of industry, art, and institutional power are routed differently in relation to Hollywood and visual art. The second addresses a historic and contemporary avant-garde impulse to locate, in film, video, and digital media, a space of aesthetic possibility, personal expression, and political resistance. To both ends, the course surveys a broad range of experimental and often non-narrative media, including artist films, activist cinema, experimental documentary, diary or first-person film, found footage compilations, hand-painted film, expanded cinema, video art, and moving image installation.