Walter Forsberg & John Klacsmann, 16mm Live Projection Performance, 2014-2015
A Technicolor dye imbibition printing error mis-registers a 1967 B-Western, revealing its Cyan ghosts and cinema’s psychedelic underpinnings.
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Screenings------February 2014: New York University, Department of Cinema Studies (New York, USA)March 2014: EYE Institute (Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS)March 2015: Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ann Arbor, USA)September 2015: American Film Institute (Silver Spring, USA)
Video Preservation (NTSC)
Walter Forsberg, Kodak 7285 16mm reversal film, 2013
I began to think very seriously about the historical longevity of video test patterns while managing the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s XFR STN – an open-door, artist-centered, media conservation laboratory that ran for 3 months in the summer of 2013. There, I provided countless explanations to the public, who passed daily through the fifth floor gallery’s video digitization workstations, as to how the colour bars were merely a representational electromagnetic language about voltages. I wondered how an image so iconic as the SMPTE split-field bars would live on beyond the technological obsolescence of standard definition analog video.
Translating these voltage values into filmic form seemed immediately logical, especially once Kodak discontinued its colour reversal film stocks in late 2012. This occurred to me as one strategy to preserve standard definition video beyond the lifespan of its own magnetic media format. A light leak in the Bolex makes for something of a strange ‘dropout’ in the magenta region, and rendering the 80% gray bar as a filmed 18 gray card is supposed to be funny.
Featured on the cover of issue #4 of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media.
Editioned 11" x 17" archival inkjet prints are available if you contact me directly.
Digital Preservation (Lincoln)
Walter Forsberg and Clint Enns, Kodak 7222 16mm reversal film, 2012
In the late 60s and early 1970s, scientists Leon Harmon and Béla Julesz published research into early digital imaging. Interested in human perception of things like resolution, quantization, and noise, Harmon and Julesz used Anthony Berger’s 1864 photo portrait of Abraham Lincoln as a source image to try and discern the minimum resolution required to recognize a human face.
While there are parallels to the kinds of flicker works that Tony Conrad and Paul Sharits were making around the same time that Harmon and Julesz were at Bell Labs, I’m most interested in the idea of articulating this ‘digitality’ with analogue media. As someone who works in media preservation I must admit to a little bit of gallows humour at the utopic ideas of digitization as a means of preserving cultural heritage. That this kind of filmic portraiture will long outlive any hard drive, LTO magnetic data tape backup, or website, is just plain great.
Clint Enns helped me with the math.