The Live Record

BFI Southbank Dec 2008

Expanded Cinema is a transitory and unpredictable art-form. The live act of projection activates the space in front of the screen and explodes the relationship between the audience and the film. This AHRC Central Saint Martins supported a day of screenings, performances and talks, illuminated the rich history of Expanded Cinema and explored and questioned the tensions that exist between the live event and its record. Performers and speakers included Duncan White, William Raban, Malcolm Le Grice, Guy Sherwin and Maxa Zoller.

Download the original conference brochure here.


Duncan White: ‘Expanded Cinema: the Live Record’

Duncan White’s ‘live lecture’ will illustrate many of the key works from Expanded Cinema’s long, varied and international history, drawing on documentation from Mark Webber’s unique personal collection, as well as that of the British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and REWIND, University of Dundee.  His talk will illuminate the tension that exists between the live experience of expanded cinema and its documentation.  Included will be footage of works by Werner Nekes, Valie Export, Paul Sharits, Tony Conrad, Lis Rhodes, Gill Eatherley, David Hall, Malcolm Le Grice, William Raban & Bruce McClure.

View video documentation of this lecture here.

(Duncan White is a post-doctoral researcher based at CSM and is lead researcher on the Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema project.)


Maxa Zoller: ‘Simply Press PLAY: documenting film art today’

While most expanded cinema works of the 1960s and 70s were poorly documented, today’s moving image artists can preserve an almost exact account of their work for future generations of artists, researchers and curators. A hungry art market propels the need to record, represent and ultimately to trade expanded works. This talk will look at the way in which today’s expanded cinema artists such as Anthony McCall, Candice Breitz, Brad Butler and Karen Mirza deal with the problem of documentation. While in the past, expanded cinema performances were primarily represented through a series of photographs, today’s digital projectors and automatic loop systems make it possible for the museum visitor to directly experience the ‘real thing’. Maxa Zoller will suggest that the close relationship between new technology, the presentation and the preservation of film art has had a profound impact on the artistic, cultural and economic value of expanded cinema.

View video documentation of this lecture here.

(Maxa Zoller is a freelance critic and moving-image curator)

13.00-14.00 Lunch

In the foyer, Tony Sinden:  Cinema of Projection (1975) 16mm, silent, 5 mins, on video (loop) time lapse record of the ICA Expanded Cinema Festival of 1975 and William Raban: Filmaktion / Walker Art Gallery (1973) 16mm, silent, 7 mins on video (loop). time lapse record of Raban, Nicolson, Le Grice, Eatherley, and others.


Screening: ‘Expanded Cinema Documents’: works that demonstrate expanded cinema’s preoccupation with the audience, reception, space and time.

Click here for screening schedule.


Lynn Loo: ‘On Guy Sherwin’s Expanded Cinema’

Using documentation from her archive of video recordings, Lynn will discuss the various manifestation of Guy Sherwin’s Paper Landscape focusing on the question of site-specificity and the work as a live rehearsal.

View video documentation of this lecture here.

(Lynn Loo is an artist, archivist and moving-image conservator)

15.45 - 16.00

Guy Sherwin (live performance) Paper Landscape, 1975 – 2008, colour, silent, 8mm (8mins).

See video documentation of this performance here.


Malcolm Le Grice: ‘Time and the Spectator in the Experience of Expanded Cinema’

Artist Malcolm Le Grice will address the spectator’s experience of time as revealed in the differences between ‘continuous performance’ and ‘installation’, and consider the impact of digital media in this field. Using Raban’s Take Measure and his own new work After Raban as exemplars, he will look for correspondences between multi-projection and the non-linear experience of time for

the spectator.

View video documentation of this lecture here.


Malcolm Le Grice (live performance): Self Portrait After Raban Take Measure (2008), video, 8.20 mins, three projector (three screen) video piece Self Portrait looks for an approach to a specific relationship between the duration of a work and material conditions in the projection, as did William Raban in the film performance Take Measure. The main difference is that Raban’s work was made when cinematic media had distinct physical properties linking medium directly to image — this self portrait recognizes that there is no such simple materiality for cinema following the emergence of digital processes. Instead the work takes a conceptual base — the speed of light and the time taken for light to travel from the sun to illuminate objects on earth — thus

the duration of 8 minutes 20 seconds.


Drinks Reception