Today we see a cinema that is and speaks to an always-being-imaged environment; a cinema that is always on, always imaging, but not necessarily recording—a cinema that is so real time, so always on, it is not so much recorded but simply as pervasive as…
Today we see a cinema that is and speaks to an always-being-imaged environment; a cinema that is always on, always imaging, but not necessarily recording—a cinema that is so real time, so always on, it is not so much recorded but simply as pervasive as the air.
This condition of the network I will call a cinema of the immediate, which is a cinema of the intimate and the network a new cinematic apparatus. What happens when the seer is seen and the seer sees the seeing, when all seers not only see but represent themselves to be seen, when offscreen is always on-screen, some other screen.
If cinema can be read and considered as one narrative of film recording, what is the narrative of digital recording, cinema without film? Cinema without a starting point of film recording and projection, a cinema that is not based on film and fixed playback?
With the rise of digital technology—and with it the network and the computational—I wanted to (re)create a new kind of cinema, one that was no longer limited by the inflexibility of camera and celluloid.
After years of doing new-media work, I return to narrative cinema, presenting here nine feature-length narrative films made in as many years, an essay film, and my Permutations, a rules-based project consisting of making at least one multiscreen film a day over the course of a year. Most of the works have been made with very small crews, committed actors, and a very tactical, pragmatic, adventurous sense of filmmaking. Rather than starting from a place where we say, “We need this location, this actor, this amount of money,” we ask ourselves, “What do
we have?” The answer is simple: we have each other, myself, the writer-director; a very carefully selected group of actors; a committed, thoughtful assistant, an excellent camera and sound person (both filmmakers in their own right)—that’s really what we have, and sometimes we have less.
So how can we make films, what strategies can we employ, and who will watch these films?