ELEMENTAL DYNAMITE | Finale of the summer round of research on intermedia practices in animated pictures. Works that are at once projection performance and sculpturing…

[中文在英語文字之後]

Courtesy of Floating Projects. Venue Sponsor: School of Creative Media, CityU-HK

1973-2015 | 80 min | Expanded Cinema | non-normative animated images

A finale to Elemental Dynamite’s first wave,  an expanded cinema program in September follows up on the unique role of celluloid highlighted in our August events. Guest curator Hangjun Lee (EXiS) will introduce and project three 16mm expanded cinema as they were originally scored. Dot Matrix by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie plays with the de-synchronization of images projected from two paired projectors. In Light Music, Lis Rhodes choreographs a series of black and white planes into a moving image discourse. In Line Describing a Cone, Anthony McCall sculpts a cone in the mist with a beam of light. Each of these works applies minimal elements — point, line , and plane, respectively — to elucidate their curious attention to the different facets of the moving image. 

They consider the medium of film as mechanical and technical applications; and they unravel the multi-level connections between sound and the moving image. As three unrepeatable happenings, the staged live performances invoke the many interactive possibilities the film projection may generate for the spectators, turning viewing into a new experience in an enlivened sight-and-sound environment.

 

Lee Hangjun (EXiS Program Director) | Why I choose to “project” these works: animated pictures as performance, installation, sculpturing and graphic patterning thru’ direction encounter with the film apparatus …

The three works introduced in the program “Scoring Space” are radical films achieved technically at the most primitive level. These are works that renew the attitude of experiencing movies, that is, to look back at ourselves as an audience. 

Anthony McCall’s work, on a flat surface, was filmed with an animation stand in which a dot becomes a circle for 30 minutes, while Richard Tuohy + Dianna Barrie and Lis Rhodes’s films reminded us what technological advances optical sound is made through. In the history of experimental films, we have generally referred to the three works that we introduce as expanded cinema. The term began to be used in the 1960s by filmmaker & multi-media artist such as Stan VanDerBeek, and was widely known theoretically by Gene Youngblood. Gene Youngblood’s key idea of the ‘expanded’ in his book Expanded Cinema (1970) was based on the belief that technology would enable new cinematic concepts. 

Historically, however, it is not easy to pinpoint precisely how new cinematic concepts have emerged through different technological innovations. With the exception of special cases like Barbara Rubin’s Christmas on Earth (1963) in which multi-projection and pop music flow together and improvise the color of an image using various filter set, few instances of expanded cinema occurred in the long history of experimental films in the United States. The cinematic practice to emphasize one-off as a performance, not as a film screening, influenced by various genres of theater, dance , and music, and to radically criticize the ideology of cinema as  a popular culture at that time has appeared mostly in Britain and France since the late 1960s. 

I would like to mention two important historical practices: One is the London Film-maker’s Co-op(LFMC), the other is the Lettrism-discrepancy cinema. Regardless of their different political and social discursive background, they have, in common, required audiences as an important factor in completing the cinema. Non-confirmative material relations between sound and image were pushed for maximal possibilities. As a result, active non-synchronicity of individual sight and sound elements  commanded novel aesthetic content, forming a new mode audio-visual discourses. 

From the expansion of projection methods, in the case of Paul Sharits or John Whitney, to contemporary film performances such as the works of Bruce McClure and La Cellule d’Intervention METAMKINE, experiments of expanded cinema continues with 16mm film practice. It is obvious that the expansion of cinematic concepts is not always a direct response to technological development. Richard Tuohy + Dianna Barrie and Lis Rhodes’s films can be historically traced back to Rudolf Pfenninger’s hand-drawn sound strips (1932) or Norman McLaren’s Dots and Loops (1940) & Synchromy (1971). The most important fact that we often overlook in the film is that optical sound itself is based on photographic images. Thanks to a series of innovative animation artists, we were able to systematize the sound with the technology of rephotographing an image on a narrow soundtrack area on film material. 

It is the creation of an auditory space within the film image. We are finally able to ‘synthesize’ sound artificially because of animation technology. The invention of synthetic sound, paradoxically, enabled various combinations of ultimate disassembly. Lis Rhodes’s Light Music(1975~1977) makes us visually experience the abstract patterns of images produced by optical sounds, and the two 16mm projectors set to face each other let us know how aural and visual experiences can adapt to each other in a colorful way in screening space. If Lis’s work consists of a linear image, Richard’s Dot Matrix consists of dots. The ‘illusion’ produced by a film consisting of images without any continuous movement at all overlapping on a single screen simultaneously through two projectors is one of the most important factors in the experience of the work. The sound and images in the piece are all made from Rayograms – named after Man Ray – in the darkroom.

Anthony McCall radically reviewed the raison d’etre nature of the film-apparatus with Line Describing a Cone(1973) and 24hours long film installation works Long Film For Ambient Light(1975). The film Line Describing a Cone with a duration of 30minutes, the film shows the creation of a white curve being projected onto an empty space, becomes not only something made to be seen  but also something to be experienced since the viewer is absorbed into the scene and becomes part of the action. Anthony McCall wrote an artist statement for his Long Film For Ambient Light ; “Art that does not show change within our time-space of attending to it we tend to regard as ‘object’. Art that does show change within our time-space of attending to it we tend to regard as ‘event’. Art that outlives us we tend to regard as ‘eternal’. What is at issue is that we ourselves are the division that cuts across what is essentially a sliding scale of time-bases. A piece of paper on the wall is as much  duration as the projection of a film.”(Notes on Duration, 1975)

The non-normative practice of cinema, called expanded cinema, has urged us to abandon the “immersion” that we should take for granted as audiences or as a constant betrayal of what we expect from the film event. The three films introduced in the program expose the conditions necessary to create the illusion of the film – including ourselves as an audience – to the front in such a  very transparent manner, rather than being aimed at creating a vision of the film as an artistic event in this respect.

+++          +++          +++   The THREE Scores

Dot Matrix_Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie

Australia / 2013 / B&W / Sound / 16min / 22min / 2 X 16mm expanded

Two projectors, projecting images that are slightly offset from one another. Each film contains a flicker printing of various-sized dots. The dots were produced by ‘rayogramming’ dot screens (used in manga cartoons) directly onto raw film stock in the dark room. These are the same original rayogrammed dots I used in my film Screen Tone. As with that work, the sound you hear is the sound produced by the dots themselves (which extend right across into the sound track area) as they pass the optical sound head of the projector. The ‘drama’ in this work is generated by the interference patterns created by the otherwise regular arrays of dots.

Richard Tuohy began making works on super 8mm in the late nineteen eighties. After a brief hiatus from cinema (including formal study in philosophy for seven years) he returned to filmmaking in 2004. Since then he has created almost 40 films. His films have screened at venues including the Melbourne IFF, EMAF (Osnabruck), Rotterdam IFF, New York FF, Ann Arbor and Media City and he has toured Europe, North America and Asia presenting solo programs of his work.

Dianna Barrie is an experimental filmmaker. She found her way into filmmaking as a middle ground between the pursuit of abstract music and philosophy. Together with Richard Tuohy she established Nanolab, which is a hand-processing lab for super-8 black-and-white and colour reversal film.

 

Light Music_Lis Rhodes

UK / 1975 ~ 1977 / B&W / Sound / 25mins / 2 X 16mm expanded

The film is not complete as a totality; it could well be different and still achieve its purpose of exploring the possibilities of optical sound. It is as much about sound as it is about image; their relationship is necessarily dependent as the optical soundtrack “makes” the music. It is the machinery itself that imposes this relationship. The image throughout is composed of straight lines. It need not have been.  (Lis Rhodes)

Light Music is an innovative work presented originally as a performance that experiments with celluloid and sound to push the formal, spatial and performative boundaries of cinema. An iconic work of expanded cinema, it creates a more central and participatory role for the viewer within a dynamic, immersive environment. Formed from two projections facing one another on opposite screens, Light Music is Rhodes’s response to what she perceived as the lack of attention paid to women composers in European music. She composed a ‘score’ comprised of drawings that form abstract patterns of black and white lines on screen. The drawings are printed onto the optical edge of the filmstrip. As the bands of light and dark pass through the projector they are ‘read’ as audio, creating an intense soundtrack, forming a direct, indexical relationship between the sonic and the visual. What one hears is the aural equivalent to the flickering patterns on the screens. Light Music is projected into a hazy room – the beams that traverse one another in the space between the two projections become ethereal sculptural forms comprised of light, shadow and theatrical smoke. This format is designed to encourage viewers to move between the screens, directly engaging with the projection beams, forming a set of social relations in which cinema is transformed into a collective event without a single point of focus. Light Music occupies an important threshold in film history, drawing on early experiments in ‘visual music’ from the 1920s by pioneers including Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter and Walther Ruttmann, and subsequently opening the cinematic practice up to a host of concerns from gender politics to phenomenological experience.

Lis Rhodes’ Light Music at Elemental Dynamite, HK (image courtesy of John Chow)

Rhodes was brought up in West England, was educated at North East London Polytechnic,  and studied Film and Television at the Royal College of Art. Since the early 1970s, Rhodes has created radical and controversial art that challenges her viewers to question perspective of film through her work. She wanted her audience to “reconsider film as a medium of communication and presentation of image, language and sound.” She was cinema curator at the London Film-Makers’ Co-op from 1975–76. In 1979, Rhodes co-founded the feminist film distribution network, Circles. She was a member of the exhibition committee for the 1979 Arts Council Film on Film event, and international retrospective of Avante-Garde cinema. Rhodes was Arts Advisor to the Greater London Council from 1982 to 1985, and since 1978 has lectured part-time at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. One key innovative piece Rhodes created is Light Music (1975), which was exhibited at the Tate Modern from July 2012 – January 2013. Her work was also included in the 2007 exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. In 2012, Rhodes’ solo exhibition, Dissonance and Disturbance was held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. The ICA noted that Rhodes “examines the relationships in her work – from film, composition and writing – to the notation of sound and image, and the language of political dissent.” She lives and works in London.

 

 

 

 

Line Describing a Cone_Anthony McCall

UK / 1973 / B&W / Silent/ 30mins / 16mm expanded

Line Describing a Cone is what I term a solid light film. It deals with the projected light beam itself, rather than treating the light beam as a mere carrier of coded information, which is decoded when it strikes a

flat surface. The viewer watches the film by standing with his or her back toward what would normally be the screen, and looking along the beam toward the projector itself. The film begins as a coherent pencil of light, like a laser beam, and develops through thirty minutes into a complete, hollow cone.

Line Describing a Cone deals with one of the irreducible, necessary conditions of film: projected light. It deals with this phenomenon directly, independently of any other consideration. It is the first film to exist in real, three-dimensional space. This film exists only in the present: the moment of projection. It refers to nothing beyond this real time. It contains no illusion. It is a primary experience, not secondary: i.e., the space is real, not referential; the time is real, not referential.

No longer is one viewing position as good as any other. For this film, every viewing position presents a different aspect. The viewer therefore has a participatory role in apprehending the event: he or she can,

indeed needs, to move around relative to the slowly emerging light form. (Anthony McCall, From the artist’s statement to the judges of the Fifth International Experimental Film Competition, 1974, Casino Knokke-Heist, Belgium.)

Like many artists of the 1960s and 70s, Anthony McCall was drawn to film because it allowed him to document ephemeral performance work and extend his interest in time-based art and “art process” into a new domain. Soon, however, he began to explore the possibilities of film itself, independent of the events he was using it to record. This interest in the nature of cinema distinguished him from scores of other artists who made films during the same period, and dovetailed with the aesthetic preoccupations of the avant-garde film world. He thus became part of the growing independent, experimental film culture whose approach to the medium was distinct in many ways from that of the gallery-based art world.

The differences between these two spheres of film art are suggested by a curious label that has often been used to describe McCall: “artist and filmmaker.” Recent work on McCall has engaged the former more than the latter. Since the inclusion of his film Line Describing a Cone (1973) in the Whitney Museum’s exhibition “Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art, 1964-1977,” his films have been the object of a new surge of critical attention from the art world. And his recent return to filmmaking after a thirty year absence has mainly occupied the gallery. Hence, current scholarship on his films emphasizes the broad art historical context in which they were made: the milieu of Minimalist and Conceptual Art, the expanded arts scene, and the art world’s cinematic turn beginning in the 1960s. The importance of this context for McCall’s films is undeniable. But it becomes much more illuminating when focused “through the lens” of contemporaneous avant-garde film culture in Europe (especially England, where McCall lived until 1973) and the U.S. McCall’s career as an “artist and filmmaker” reflects the complex interrelationship of the art world and the film world.

McCall’s Line Describing a Cone in 30 minutes at Elemental Dynamite, Hong Kong, 7 September 2019 (image courtesy of Andio Lai)

Line description in progress: McCall’s work projected by Lee Hangjun, 7 September 2019 in Hong Kong (image courtesy of Andio Lai/)

circle and cone complete: School of Creative Media’s Multimedia Theatre, City University of Hong Kong, 7 September 2019 (image courtesy of Andio Lai)

+++++
「原格破裂」| 動畫互媒實踐的夏季研究項目的句號 | 
1973-2015 | 80 分鐘 | 延伸錄像

繼八月的兩場實驗動畫放映,韓國首爾國際實驗電影錄像節(서울국제실험영화페스티벌 EXiS) 節目總監李幸俊將為《原格破裂》的第一波帶來一場壓軸好戲,以16米釐放映機的延伸影像現場表演三組原作者編譜的空間投影。Richard Tuohy 和 Dianna Barrie 的設計《網點矩陣》,以一對放映機去探索偏差的投影的可創性的;Lis Rhodes 的《Light Music》以一系列黑白光塊編出影像樂譜;還有 Anthony McCall 的《Line Describing a Cone》,於煙霧之間透過一束光線塑造錐體。三個作品分別以點、線、面極簡元素對影像媒介作出種種提問,如媒介於機械運用層面上的考量,聲音與影像的多向連繫等,形成三組強調現場性、無可重塑的行為演出,回溯影像放映與觀賞者的互動關係,活化放映場所,也喚起更主動自覺的觀者。

李幸俊 EXiS 節目總監 | 動畫的電影本質與互媒體潛力:電影器具結合了表演、投影、裝置、雕塑和圖形組合 …

這次延伸放映帶來的三個作品,尖銳,卻以最原始的技術實現。這些作品革新了我們看電影的態度,讓我們重新檢視作為觀者的自我。
Anthony McCall 的作品從一個平面開始,利用一個動畫架拍攝一個小黑點變成一個圓形的過程,歷時30 分鐘,Richard Tuohy + Dianna Barrie 與 Lis Rhodes 的兩部作品則以光學印片技術喚起我們對光學聲音的認知。在實驗電影的歷史中,這三部作品一般會被列作「延伸電影」。「延伸電影」一詞起初由一眾導演及多媒體藝術家,例如Stan VanDerBeek,於1960 年代所創造,其後 Gene Youngblood 將它理論化而為人所知。
在歷史層面上,確是難以釐清創新科技如何影響電影概念。以 Barbara Rubin的<Christmas on Earth> (1963) 為特殊例子,作品以多個投影和流行音樂組合而成,並透過各種濾鏡即興改動圖像的顏色,是美國實驗電影悠久的歷史中幾個難能可貴的例子之一。受到不同的戲劇、舞蹈及音樂所影響,電影實踐不再單單是一場放映,它強調「一次性」作為一種表演的可能,並嘗試以此批判60 年代後期英國和法國把電影作為流行文化的意識形態。
我想提出兩個電影歷史上重要的團體: London Film-maker’s Co-op (LFMC) 和 Lettrism-discrepancy cinema, 雖然他們的政治取態與社會語景不盡相同,卻都把觀眾的存在視為他們製作電影的重要原素。同時,他們亦把聲音與圖像之間非確認性物質的關係推到極緻,以實驗兩者互動的最大可能性,創立嶄新的視聽覺論述。
從擴張的放映模式,例如 Paul Sharits 或 John Whitney,又或當代的影像表演,例如Bruce McClure 或 La Cellule d’Intervention METAMKINE,延伸放映一直以16 米釐的錄像作實驗,這反映出電影概念的拓展並不一定與技術發展互相呼應。Richard Tuohy + Dianna Barrie 與 Lis Rhodes的 作品可以追溯到 Rudolf Pfenninger 的 <Hand-Drawn Sound Strips> (1932) 或 Norman McLaren 的 <Dots and Loops> (1940) 和 <Synchromy> (1971)。我們現今時常忽略了一個重點:負片上的光學聲音呈現其實是建基於攝影圖像。有賴一眾富創新精神的動畫師,使我們能夠透過照片技術把聲音系統化,並在負片上狹小的區域之間捕捉影像。
這是透過電影圖像創造的聽覺空間。隨著動畫技術的出現,我們終於可以人工「合成」聲音。與此同時,合成聲音的發明,亦令聲音拆解並再次組合變得可能。Lis Rhodes 的 Light Music (1975~1977) 讓我們在視覺上體驗由光學聲音產生的抽象圖像,兩組 16米釐的投影機相互投射,嶄新的處理手法令聽覺和視覺互相適應,帶出更豐富的感官體驗。若然形容 Lis 的作品為線性圖像的組成,Richard + Dianne 的作品便是以點作基調。最值得留意的是藝術家如何透過並置兩組 16米釐的投影機,同時於單個屏幕上投影重疊的沒有連貫性的移動影像。這部作品的聲音和圖像皆在暗室中運用Rayogram(以Man Ray命名)製作而成。
Anthony McCall 以 Line Describing a Cone (1973) 和 24小時長的影像裝置 Long Film For Ambient Light (1975)兩組作品全面地回顧了影像設備的存在性 (raison d’etre)。Line Describing a Cone 歷時30分鐘,影院內一束絲白的曲線虛空投射,觀眾身處其境融入其中,是一種視覺以外的全新經驗。Anthony McCall 在 Long Film For Ambient Light 作品描述中提及:「有些藝術沒能改變人們對時空的感知,我們稱之為「物件」。反之,我們視之為「永恆」。問題在於,我們的人生基本上是以時間作劃分,在存續的層面上,牆上的一張紙與電影的投影並無異志。」(Notes on Duration, 1975)
延伸電影,作為一種非規範性的電影實踐,要求我們放下慣常的觀賞模式,以及那對於建構「電影感」種種理所當然的期許。這次節目中的三部影像作品,揭示了創造電影幻象所需的必要條件 – 包括我們作為觀眾 -不再只著眼於電影藝術上的觀賞,而是徹底放空自己的心靈。

+++          +++          +++   三段為空間而譜出的動畫投影

Dianna Barrie and Richard Tuohy (source: Nano Lab)

Dianna Berrie and Richard Tuohy (source: Nano Lab)
《網點矩陣》Dot Matrix

澳洲 / 2013 / 黑白 / 有聲 /  16’ / 22’ / 

兩部 16米釐 延伸兩部放映機,以略微偏差的影像同時放映。每邊的影片各自包含了一組尺寸不同以光學印刷的圓點,透過「射線編程」的手法,在黑房直接把網點紙 (用於卡通漫畫) 印刷到未曝光的膠片上。這與我的前作 Screen Tone 處理手法相同。與此同時,你所聽到的聲音是由圓點(印刷於聲道區域) 經過投影機的光學發聲所產生。作品當中的「劇情」是透過干擾不同規律的點陣模式所構成。

Richard Tuohy 於80年代末開始以超8 創作。經過一次與影像短暫的別離(當中包括七年正式的哲學訓練)後,他於2004 年重返錄像創作。至今他已創作了接近40 部作品。他的作品曾於墨爾本國際電影節、歐洲媒體藝術節(奧斯納布魯克)、鹿特丹國際電影節、紐約電影節、安娜堡與Media City展出。他曾於歐洲、北美及亞洲策劃個人放映節目。

Dianna Barrie 是一位實驗電影導演。她在研習抽象音樂與哲學期間開始錄像創作。她與Richard Tuohy 共同創辦 Nanolab -一所專門處理超8 黑白與彩色底片沖曬的實驗室。

 

Lis Rhodcs

Lis Rhodes (source: LUX Online)

《光的音樂》Light Music 
英國 / 1975 ~ 1977 / 黑白 / 有聲 / 25’ / 兩部 16米釐 延伸

“這部電影並不完整:它可以不同的姿態出現,而仍可達到探索光學聲音可能性的目的。這關乎聲音,亦同等地關乎影像;它們的關係是必然地互相依賴,因為光學音軌「製造」 音樂。機械的本身鞏固了這種關係。整套影像由直線組成。它不需「曾經存在」。” (Lis Rhodes)

Light Music 是一部創新的作品,起初透過表演形式以賽璐珞和聲音進行實驗,挑戰電影正規、空間與表現性的邊界。作為擴展電影的一部標誌性作品,它以一種沉浸式的動態空間讓觀眾成為更積極及中心化的角色投入作品之中。Light Music 由兩個位置相對的屏幕組成,作為Rhodes 對歐洲女性作曲家不被關注的的一種回應。她以一組繪畫編製樂譜,繼而組成螢幕上黑白線條的抽象圖案。那些繪畫透過光學印片轉移至膠片的受光區域上。當明亮和深黑的光帶通過投影機時,它們暫被「讀取」為音頻,產生強烈的配樂,使聲音和視覺之間形成一種直接的,互相索引的關係。觀眾聽到的與屏幕上閃爍的圖案相對應。Light Music 被投射於一個朦朧的房間-光束在兩個投影之間相互穿越,結果,光、影與煙霧組成了空靈的雕塑。這種形式旨在鼓勵觀眾在屏幕之間移動,直接與投影光束互動,把一場沒有焦點的電影轉化為一次集體性的體驗,建構種種社會關係。Light Music 在電影史上佔據了一個重要的位置,依據 1920年代早期「視覺音樂」的創作,先驅者包括 Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter 與 Walther Ruttmann,以及其後開展的各種電影實踐議題,如關注性別政治及現象學經驗等。

image courtesy of John Chow

Rhode 於英格蘭西部長大,完成東北倫敦理工學院研習後,繼續於皇家藝術學院修讀影視課程。早於70年代初期,Rhode 以激進而具爭議的創作挑戰觀眾,透過她的作品對電影的視角提出疑問。她希望觀眾可以「重新考慮電影作為一種溝通媒介,作為影像、語言及聲音的展示」。她於1975–76 成為倫敦電影製片合作商行(the London Film-Makers Co-Op)的電影策展人。Rhode 在1979 年與同志創辦了女權主義電影發行網絡 Circles。她是1979年英格蘭藝術委員會轄下電影節目與國際前衛電影回顧展的委員。Rhode 曾於1982 年至1985 年擔任大倫敦委員會的藝術顧問,並自1978年起在倫敦大學學院斯萊德美術學院兼職授課。Rhode 其中一份備受關注且創新的作品 Light Music (1975) 於 2012 年七月至2013年一月於泰特現代美術館展出。她的作品曾於2007 年 WACK! 藝術與女權主義革命展覽中展出。2012年,Rhodes 的個人展覽“Dissonance and Disturbance” 在倫敦當代藝術學會(ICA)舉行。ICA 指出Rhodes 「常檢視她自己作品之間的關係:從影像,作曲以至書寫,對於聲音與圖像的譜記,以及政治異見的話語」。她現於倫敦生活及工作。

 

Line Describing a Cone 

英國 / 1973 / 黑白 / 無聲 / 30’ / 16米釐

Line Describing a Cone 是我一部稱之為固體光的作品。它集中處理投影光束本身,而非著眼於光束作為投影信息編碼的載體及其解碼過程。觀眾透過相反的面向觀看電影,並沿著光束投射的方向觀看投影儀。影像從一束連貫的鉛筆粗幼的光線開始,像一束激光,然後在30 分鐘的過程中形成一個完整的空心錐體。

Line Describing a Cone 是電影處理中一項不可或缺的條件:投射光。這作品直接處理投射光,把其他條件暫時擱置。這是第一部真實存在於三維空間的電影。這部電影只存在於「當下」:在投射的那一刻以外並不存在。它不帶任何幻覺影象,它是一種根本的體驗,而非附帶的:亦即是說,這個空間是真實的,不是虛擬;時間是真實的,不是重塑。

所有的位置都是最佳觀看位置。在這部電影中,每個位置都會為觀眾帶來不同的觀感。觀眾需要積極參與及理解:他或她可以,也需要,因應緩慢出現的光線作出移動。(Anthony McCall,寫於1974年比利時克諾克第5 屆國際實驗電影節的藝術家敘述)

正如許多 六、七十年代的藝術家,Anthony McCall 被影像深深吸引,因為影象可以記錄短暫的表演,把他對於時間性創作與過程的興趣延伸到一個新的領域。不久,他便刻意避開影象用於事情記錄的本質,開始探索這媒介的其它可能性。這種對探究電影本質的興趣,使他有別於當時其他使用錄像創作的藝術家,亦同時令他產生了對前衛電影審美的關注。他藉著對這種媒介的關注,很快便成為了不斷發展的獨立實驗電影文化中的一部分,與當時畫廊為主的藝術世界截然不同。

the cone emerging 冒現中的圓拱 (image courtesy of Andio Lai)

對於當時這兩種電影藝術領域之間的分野,或可從描述 McCall的標籤中看到:「藝術家與導演」。McCall 的近期作品似乎更適合前者的稱謂,自Line Describing a Cone (1973) 於惠特尼美術館展覽 “Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art, 1964-1977” 展出後,他的影像作品在藝術界引起極大的迴響。缺席三十年後重操影像創作,他的作品仍備受關注並進駐各大藝廊。他的作品論述強調廣泛的藝術歷史背景:極簡主義和概念藝術的意念、延伸的藝術場域,以及藝術界於1960 年代初期的電影趨勢轉向。 McCall 的影象語言絕對無法抗拒,而這種語言透過「鏡頭」亦變得顯然易見,無論是歐洲同期的前衛電影文化(特別是McCall 開展創作生涯並於1973離開的英格蘭),又或之後 於美國被稱爲「藝術家與導演」,都可以反映到藝術世界與電影世界當中複雜的相互關係。