Expanded cinema

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Stan VanDerBeek, Movie-Drome, c1963-65. Interior view. Documentation (PDF).
Carolee Schneemann, Snows, 1967. Performance at the Martinique Theatre, NY. EAI. Artist.
Still from Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1967) by Ronald Nameth. Film on UbuWeb.
Valie Export, Abstract Film No. 1, 1967-68. MoMA. Artist.
Michael Snow, Two Sides to Every Story, 1974. Installation view at Projected Images exhibition, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Synchronised film projectors on 2 sides of suspended screen, 16 mm colour, sound. 300 x 600 x 1250 cm. CCCA. Video.

"'Expanded cinema' is an elastic name for many sorts of film and projection event. It is notoriously difficult to pin down or define. At full stretch, it embraces the most contradictory dimensions of film and video art, from the vividly spectacular to the starkly materialist. Stan VanDerBeek's synthetic multimedia Movie-Drome of the 1960s, for example, is in high contrast to the analytic and primal cinema of 1970s Filmaktion screenings in the UK. Some kinds of expanded cinema widen the field of vision so far that they dissolve cinema itself as a separate entity, merging it into cybernetic space, as envisaged in Gene Youngblood's seminal book of 1970 or in Carolee Schneemann's manifesto-like performance scripts of the same era. Other variants seek film's ontology in the medium's simplest elements, such as the projector lightbeam or the bare bulb. In 'paracinema', the notion of the film medium is itself questioned, and the cinematic is sought outside or beyond the film machine." (Rees et al 2011: 12)

Filmmakers, artists


Stan VanDerBeek, "Culture: Intercom", 1966, PDF, Log.
Carolee Schneemann, "Expanded Cinema: Free Form Recollections of New York", 1970, PDF.

Artists' writings

  • Jonas Mekas, "On the Expanding Eye", Village Voice, 6 Feb 1964; repr. in Mekas, Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959-71, New York: Collier, 1972, pp 118-120.
  • Jonas Mekas, "More On Expanded Cinema: Emshwiller, Stern, Ken Jacobs, Ken Dewey", Village Voice, 2 Dec 1965; repr. in Mekas, Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959-71, New York: Collier, 1972.
  • Stan VanDerBeek, "“Culture: Intercom” and Expanded Cinema: A Proposal and Manifesto", Film Culture 40 (Spring 1966), pp 15-18; repr. in Motive, Nov 1966, pp 13-23; repr. in The Tulane Drama Review 11:1 (Autumn 1966), pp 38-48.
  • Jonas Mekas, "On the Plastic Inevitables and the Strobe Light", Village Voice, 26 May 1966; repr. in Mekas, Movie Journal: The Rise of the New American Cinema, 1959-71, New York: Collier, 1972, pp 242-244.
  • Film Culture 43: "Expanded Arts", ed. Jonas Mekas, New York: Film Culture, Winter 1966, 12 pp.
  • Carolee Schneemann, "Expanded Cinema: Free Form Recollections of New York", International Underground Film Festival, London, 1970.
  • Werner Nekes, "Some Notes on Some Expanded Films", International Underground Film Festival, London, 1970.
  • Annabel Nicolson, "Artist as Filmmaker", Art and Artists, Dec 1972; repr. in A Perspective on English Avant-Garde Film, 1978.
Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema, 1970, Log, PDF.

Film/art history and theory

For catalogues see Events above.


  • Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema, intro. R. Buckminster Fuller, New York: Dutton, 1970, 432 pp.
    • Cine expandido, Buenos Aires: Eduntref, 2012, 456 pp. [9] (Spanish)
    • Expanded cinema, trans. Pier Luigi Capucci and Simonetta Fadda, Bologna: CLUEB, 2013, xvi+388 pp. (Italian)
  • Hans Scheugl, Erweitertes Kino. Die Wiener Filme der 60er Jahre, Vienna: Triton, 2002. (German)
  • X-Screen: Film Installations and Actions in the 1960s and 1970s, ed. Matthias Michalka, Cologne: Walther König, 2004. Kotz's essay.
  • Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema, eds. Janine Marchessault and Susan Lord, University of Toronto Press, 2008, 368 pp.
  • Expanded Cinema: Art, Performance and Film, eds. A.L. Rees, David Curtis, Duncan White, and Stephen Ball, London: Tate Publishing, 2011, 304 pp. Reviews: Utterson (Screen), MacDonald (MIRAJ).
  • Andrew V. Uroskie, Between the Black Box and the White Cube: Expanded Cinema and Postwar Art, University of Chicago Press, 2014, 288 pp.
  • Erik Bullot, Sortir du cinéma : Histoire virtuelle des relations de l'art et du cinéma, Geneva: MAMCO, 2013.
  • Moving Image, ed. Omar Kholeif, London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2015, 239 pp.

Journal issues

  • Tulane Drama Review 11(1): "Film & Theatre", Aug 1966. [10]
  • Art and Artists: "Artists' Films", London, Dec 1972.
  • Art in-sight 14 (Filmwaves 27:1): "On Expanded Cinema", ed. Jackie Hatfield, 2005. Texts by Jackie Hatfield, Grahame Weinbren, Chris Hales. [11]

Essays, book chapters

See also

Experimental film, Video

Art and Culture

Avant-garde and modernist magazines, Artists' publishing, Graphic design, Photography, Typewriter art, Multimedia environments, Design research, Video activism, Urban practices, Zine culture, Demoscene, VJing, Live cinema, Media labs, Cyberfeminism, Community television, Hacktivism, Art servers, Hackerspaces, CD-ROM art, Circuit bending, Pure Data, Media archives, VVVV, Maker culture, Glitch art, Live coding, Locative media, Libre graphics, Electromagnetism, Surf clubs, DIY biology, Post-digital, Neural aesthetics.
See also Art styles and movements.