Completed between March 1988 and January 1989, this digital video piece is a unique integration of dance and performance with painting and photomontage in the digital computer graphic environment.
This work originated in a series of collaborations and performances with Christina Svane, Peggy Burgess, William O'Haire and Night School Theatre (San Francisco, 1984-86). Night School Theatre created a series of theatrical and cabaret performances conceived on a workshop basis and integrating dance, music, film with projections and other performed visual effects. These performances were experiments in interdisciplinary synaesthetics; taking movement, music, sounds, imagery and story apart and reassembling them through juxtaposition and isolation. As such these collaborations and performances represented a real time and real world analog to the then emerging vocabulary of non-linear composite imaging in the theatrical digital environment. The video used to create The Prisoner's Cinema came from various documents of these performances along with other pieces subequently choreographed and shot specifically for this purpose. These performances were then re-contextualized by digitally deconstructing the video sources, re-animating the movements and compositing the pieces to create a digital simulated performance representing the graphic themes of both digital and theatrical media. The themes explored included spatial and temporal resolution, projected environments with the computer as theater and the convention and conceit of "windows" and "the desktop" in computer interface and video graphic presentations.
The Prisoners Cinema was constructed of composited layers where video tape recordings of these performance events were reduced to phrases and gestures and then reassembled as a sequence of animation elements set into the theatrical backdrop of a painting. The work was completely created in the then "state of the art" Quantel Paintbox and Harry computer graphic and compositing systems, maximizing the available laser disc based random access system and 4:2:2 component digital tape storage.
The core methodology to create this work required digital interpretations of traditional animation, editing, multi-pass in camera filmmaking and optical compositing techniques. The process was itself an experiment in the plastic aspects of computer manipulation of media to create an abstract cinematic context that would retain the continuity and the dramatic atmosphere and immediacy of painting, performance, music and film.
The term "prisoners cinema" refers to the patterns of light, color and associated imagery which appear in the dark behind closed eyes; an expression of the relationship between sensation, perception and dreaming.
THE PRISONERS CINEMA PRODUCTION CREDITS
DESIGNED, COMPOSED & DIRECTED BY STUART CUDLITZ
HARRY EFFECTS EDITOR: RICHARD CHILDS
ANALOGUE/DIGITAL TAPE OPERATOR: ORIN GREEN
DIGITAL FACILITY PROVIDED BY WESTERN IMAGES S.F.
WITH GRADITUTE TO M.ACOSTA, M.CUNNINGHAM, J.CASTRO AND J.KEATON
NIGHT SCHOOL THEATRE (1984-86)
PEGGY BURGESS,CHRISTINA SVANE
PROJECTIONS AND PERFORMED ART:
PERFORMANCE FACILITY PROVIDED BY NO NOTHING CINEMA S.F
WITH GRADITUTE TO D.SNYDER, R.ROSS AND M.RUDNICK
16 Stills from Digital Video
THE PRISONER'S CINEMA
Copyright © 2005 Stuart Cudlitz
All Writing, Artworks and Design © Stuart Cudlitz unless otherwise registered.