Michael Stevenson is pleased to present a film by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid as part of the FOREX series. Kino-Glaz ('Cinema Eye') is an audiovisual remix/rescoring of Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov's 1924 film of the same name. With this project, DJ Spooky goes back to the 'roots of the roots' of cinema by looking at films that Vertov made prior to his classic Man with a Movie Camera. Spooky writes:
During the 1920s [Vertov] pioneered a style of collage-based cinema that documented the everyday world of the Soviet Union in a way that was meant to destabilise the norms of what he felt were a kind of prison of story telling. To Vertov film was a way of showing the Russian people that they needed new ideas and new ways of perceiving the world as a dynamic and completely flux-oriented milieu ... To be able to appreciate the dynamic young revolution that had just occurred, Vertov felt that the Russian people needed a new cinema that did not obey the old bourgeois rules of 'beginning, middle and end' or even have normal actors, stage setting and design - all of that would be taken care of by conditions in the 'real world'. ... To me, DJ culture has inherited that same impulse - the impulse towards 'realism' is part and parcel of many of the musics of the urban landscape. If there's anything that resembles Vertov's obsession with realism, it's the art of 'keeping it real' - a mantra one hears in hip hop at every level.
DJ Spooky rescores and remixes Vertov's film with a contemporary soundtrack based on a combination of contemporary art's dialectical relationship with video-montage and his own work as a composer, artist and writer. Vertov invented and deployed a range of cinematic techniques including double exposure, fast and slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, etc, and Spooky explores these kinds of film representations through the filter of how sound interprets cinematic 'realism'. Spooky continues:
Vertov began his 1924 film with the following statement: 'Kino-Glaz: The world's first attempt to create a film-object without the participation of actors, artists, directors; without using a studio, sets, costumes. All members of the cast continue to do what they usually do in life. The present film represents an assault on our reality by the cameras and prepares the theme of creative labour against a background of class contradictions ...'
How do we in the 21st century respond to Vertov's 'cinema of rhythm'? This project is just a first step along the path to understanding how cinema of the 20th century set the tone for the info-aesthetics of the 21st century.
A graduate of Bowdoin College, Paul D Miller (born 1970) aka DJ Spooky is a writer, artist and musician who lives and works in New York. His award-winning collection of essays, Rhythm Science, was published by MIT Press in 2004; Sound Unbound, edited by Miller, followed in 2008. His work has been exhibited around the world, at venues including Tate Modern, London; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the 2007 Venice Biennale. For more information, see his website: www.djspooky.com
For more information about the FOREX project series, click here.
DJ Spooky exhibits concurrently with Zander Blom. The exhibitions open on Thursday 9 September, 6-8pm. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 1pm.
Work courtesy of DJ Spooky.
© 2010 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.