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Xcèntric 2020

Retracted Cinema


This programme of “Retracted Cinema” poses a contrast with the expansionist, annexational logic of the Expanded Cinema by presenting works that fold found or archival footage back on itself in the manner of a conceptual origami. The artists use algorithms to perform these re-edits that embody a politics and aesthetics of the non-orientable surface.

This one-hour programme presents ten experimental shorts that focus on recontextualising found or archival footage via algorithmic intervention. These works of “Retracted Cinema” depart from the well-established practices of “Expanded Cinema” in which film materials are recontextualised via the supplementation of and collision with additional materials and extrinsic media, such as live performance. By contrast, the works presented in the Retracted Cinema programme use the appropriated film material itself as the site and means of self-recontextualisation. The results are achieved by applying a set of rules or constraints (an algorithm) that governs a repeatable (iterative) array of transformations. In this way, the artistic conception forges a bridge linking the algorithmic impulses within the traditions of avant-garde cinema, literature and visual art — more specifically, the détournement of found footage (recycled cinema) and an “inverted” expanded cinema, OuLiPo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and conceptual art (from Duchamp to Sol Lewitt, Hanne Darboven and beyond).

17-17, Gonzalo Egurza, Argentina, 2017, 5:10, Home Movie Holes, Albert Alcoz, Spain, 2009, 3:00; Psycho 60/98, Blanca Rego, Spain, 2016, 6:30; Happy Again, Gregg Biermann, USA, 2006, 5:10; Naturalezas muertas (en seis movimientos), Vitor Magalhães, Portugal, 2019-20, (2nd version), 8:39; ¿Qué es lo que ves, YOLO9000?, Estampa, Spain, 3:00; Optical De-dramatization Engine, Barbara Lattanzi, USA, 2015, 5:00; Floating Point, Peter Freund, USA, 2020, 6:00; Torvix, Eloi Puig, Spain, 2011-Present, 5:00; Lost Footage, Kuku Sabzi, USA, 2020, 2 min 11 s.

Digital projection. Copies and software courtesy of the artists.

A programme by Peter Freund.

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