»Reconsidering The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974« revisits one of the industrial structures Lewis Baltz documented in his historic "New Topographics" from the outside and depicts the interior setting of a metal workshop with an eleven minute tracking shot. During this time, the 1974 book version has been reconsidered from back to front, each turning page a montage within the continuous 16mm black and white footage. An interview with J.R. Billington, a company owner in this building for nineteen years, discusses the socio-economical situation in military manufacturing in Orange County in the 1980's and today.
“Like modernist painting in its declaration of flatness one of the most important aspects of Baltz’ photographs are their allusions to thinness, a property beautifully shown in the New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California. The genre of these photographs is architectural photography limited to three aspects – facades, corners, and buildings on-site. The buildings and the photographs parse each other, subordinating on another in the angle of deflection, and here the dawning of an aspect, fixed in a print, is not like the revelation of a human physiognomy, the spectra of a soul. Looking here pushes you back and defeats weave of story. But it places you in the presence of these buildings, a presence which we share immediately whether looking at the book or visiting the site itself. There is almost no difference except that the images serve the buildings better than they deserve. But then the fixed images are about something besides the buildings. So consider an imaginary construction sequence out in the world which brought into being the object matter so subtlety transformed by Baltz’s suite.“
- Gus Blaisdell (1936-2003)
"To work in a way integrated with architecture, I think the work we’re speaking about here is not a question of putting my work in his building but a question of using that building and the activities in that building as a way of generating a dialogue in images. The work is not even site-specific, it’s really site-generated. It’s something that’s made exclusively for that space and that space with its present series of functions. In that sense it becomes like most works today ephemeral."
- Lewis Baltz
Cinematographer: Norbert Shieh
Sound: Wilson C. Busfield
Grip: Patrick Perez
Voice Over: Leigh Ledare
In Conversation: Jim R. Billington
Shot on location in Irvine, California and The Getty Research Institute
Supported by Kodak Los Angeles & California Institute of the Arts
Produced by [blackboardfilms]
Conceived by Mario Pfeifer