I shared some thoughts online last week with some of my art buddies, and thought maybe the larger public might find these equally perplexing and frustrating:
Have gone through some insane reading about my little conundrum regarding experimental film and where it fits, particularly in the regular world where people can appreciate it, and in the best case scenario, also be willing to pay for it.
Still going around in circles, but here are some things I’ve found in terms of people trying to bring something within the moving image field into the mix of what regular people see, or up the potential of that outside of the always small and wealthy art community. Yet, none of these orgs work without some significant support of art orgs and other art gateway groups:
1) Undervolt (http://www.undervolt.co) – this is a label for experimental video, yes, like a music label, which makes ART videos available to rent and buy, at a very cheap price. NOTE that in this case per what I have been able to tell by looking at the selected artists in Undervolt’s stable, “art video” means digital video done with obvious computer tools, very current, and without any semblance of a storyline. Sometimes “art video” (or is it “video art” – oh the labels!) gets lumped in with the term “experimental” – but my work doesn’t fit into this narrow definition of experimental. Undervolt’s offerings do fit into what the American academic art community does, however, and is hardly related to the film world’s definition of “experimental short” (which can be pretty much anything).
2) Sedition (https://www.seditionart.com/how-it-works) – this is even weirder. You can buy or rent the “art videos” (no storylines!), but if you buy, you collect as Limited Edition. There’s a whole argument around how video works for collectors, and it’s related to photography, and in specific to Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (read it if you haven’t!). This is really different from the way that regular film is treated – you can buy copies, but there’s no such thing as your OWNING, to resell, a copy of Star Wars – like as an original artwork. Bit of a conflict with this medium, eh?
3) Urban Projections (https://www.urbanprojections.com) – I love the idea of this, but the website was last updated in 2016, and I’m not sure how it’d survive in the U.S. The best thing about this idea, and what I’ve been contemplating about our Ambuscade group, is that it rips experimental in any form out of the closed art world and closed film world and brings it to the public out of nowhere, and in this case it feels truer to the idea of experimental throwing the establishment out the window and getting new art to EVERYONE, just because – art. I may have to see if this chic is still around and what she can tell me about how this worked for her. Do note however, that this group is (was?) financed by establishment. Which makes me depressed because that’s a tie. And one which can dictate. Thus this uncomfortable relationship between freedom to create, when you’re not doing something design-oriented and therefore which has a pragmatic aspect, and the kind of stuff some people end up doing like the guy I posted about recently who makes paintings based on what he sees selling on the market. Anyone come to terms with this comfortably? Wanna tell me what your compromise was?…
4) Last but actually first, I started this mad reading with this fantastically frank blog post by Edward Winkleman: http://www.edwardwinkleman.com/…/lets-really-talk-about-sel… Read it, and get a headache. Oh yes, the comment directly below points to the real path, in my opinion “… Unless the question of selling of video and film is as much a question about how we consume video and film as an audience?..” I wish Winkleman had commented on this, perhaps with another blog post. Maybe he’s still around so I can contact him for futher thoughts.