Optical Boundaries is a program featuring the work of Ross Nugent, Fern Silva and Steve Cossman whose respective works explore a variety of environments as well as the formal properties of the film medium. Though working independently, their films culminate in an examination of the film material as a true document of past and present. Each artist calls attention to the process of separation and recombination through the use of discarded View-master cells, appropriated 16mm nature footage, and a kaleidoscopic amalgam of the new and old world.
Program includes the following 16mm film projections:
“tonal tide”, 16mm, color, sound, 9 min, 2009
This camera-less film was conceived as a darkroom performance to expose the potential and vulnerability of the color film stock at hand. Both the image and sound were created by flashing raw stock; a peculiar pattern emerged in the soundtrack area as light was scattered by the edge of the film base.
“Spillway Study/ Carpe Diez”, 16mm X 3, b&w + color gels, sound, 8 min, 2010
This three-projector piece was created as a color separation project using 16mm Kodachrome nature photography footage from the late ‘70s as its source. The original was optically printed onto three strands and arranged to simultaneously abstract and call attention to the forces at hand. Using a primary color filter on each projector (R-G-B) and some precise hand-jiving, I combine the images and tease out a range colors.
“Sahara Mosaic”, 16mm, color, sound, 10 min, 2009
An orientalist kaleidoscope that constitutes a geographically complex yet cinematic whole. From Egypt to Las Vegas: the old and the new world are reflected and doubled in this experimental travelogue.
“HHOOWWLL”, 16mm, color, sound, 2 min, 2010
Shot on a Kodak Cine II special effects camera, a collection of recognizable masks are captured and layered on film. The screaming colors fuse together in a choir of haunting forms, slipping and melting on the screens surface.
“CRUSHER”, video transferred to 16mm, silent, 11 min, 2010
An unabridged photograph translated from its still print. Read left to right, pixel by pixel, CRUSHER mechanically sequences single color as single frame creating organic waves of color.
“TUSSLEMUSCLE” 16mm, color, sound, 5 min, 2007-2009
The work presented is a reflection on humanity’s ecological relationship and the ritual of restoration. The violent pulse speaks with a sense of urgency and chaotic struggle while the hypnotic arrangement keeps us in blinding awe us to its condition. TUSSLEMUSCLE is composed of 7,000 single frames, which were appropriated from view-master reel cells. Each frame was hand-spliced to create a linear film-strip.