This program 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 program presents fifteen experimental shorts that focus on recontextualizing 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 program use the appropriated film material itself as the site and means of auto-re contextualisation. 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 littéra ture potentielle) and conceptual art (from Duchamp to Sol Lewitt, Hanne Darboven et al). Digital projection. Copies and software courtesy of the artists. A program curated by Peter Freund.
Peter Freund is usually working on something else. He writes to avoid making art and makes art to avoid writing. He is a sometimes curator so as to avoid his own work, but usually that inspires him to write or make art. He is co-founder of the Barcelona-based artist collective, Adversorecto, which uses “retraction” as a working method for producing individual and collaborative works. www.peterfreund.art