On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton

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Overview

As Hollis Frampton's photographs and celebrated experimental films were testing the boundaries of "the camera arts" in the 1960s and 1970s, his provocative and highly literate writings were attempting to establish an intellectually resonant form of discourse for these critically underexplored fields. It was a time when artists working in diverse disciplines were beginning to pick up cameras and produce films and videotapes, well before these practices were understood or embraced by institutions of contemporary art. This collection of Frampton's writings presents his critical essays (many written for Artforum and October) along with additional material,including lectures, correspondence, interviews, and production notes and scripts. It replaces—and supersedes—the long-unavailable Circles of Confusion, published in 1983. Frampton ranged widely over the visual arts in his writing, and the texts in this collection display his unique approaches to photography, film, and video, as well as the plastic and literary arts. They include critically acclaimed essays on Edward Weston and Eadweard Muybridge as well as appraisals of contemporary photographers; the influential essay, "For a Metahistory of Film," along with scripts,textual material, and scores for his films; writings on video that constitute a prehistory of the digital arts; a dialogue with Carl Andre (his friend and former Phillips Andover classmate) from the early 1960s; and two inventive, almost unclassifiable pieces that are reminiscent of Borges, Joyce,and Beckett.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume does more than excavate the literary remains of a major figure from the'70s. Indeed, Hollis Frampton's writings appear more relevant today than ever before." Tom GunningArtforum
Publishers Weekly
This expansive collection of Frampton's critical writing is long overdue, replacing the out-of-print (and less comprehensive) Circles of Confusion from 1983. In addition to in-depth deconstructions of photography and film, this volume includes previously unpublished letters, lecture transcriptions and Frampton's own notes for the production of his films. Divided into four sections, the book first covers essays about photography, then essays on film, on Video and Digital Arts, and finally on the "Other Arts," mainly painting and sculpture. Though somewhat dense, the material is rewarding for its eloquence, humor and flair. In "Some Propositions on Photography," Frampton discusses the ambiguity of the form as an art, a science, and (to the artist's horror) a hobby ("conceived in the belly of the Muse, but later plucked from her ashes and nurtured in the thigh of Commerce"). His "Notes on Composing a Film" reads like a manifesto: "the whole history of art is no more than a massive footnote to the history of film." Even obscure writings, like a letter to the editor of Artforum, showcase Frampton at his best: an articulate, meticulous and thorough defender of his aesthetic principles. 18 color and 16 b/w illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262062763
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/2009
  • Series: Writing Art
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) was a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Among his best-known works are (nostalgia), Zorns Lemma, and the unfinished epic film cycleMagellan. He was one of the founders of the Digital Arts Laboratory in the innovative Center for Media Study at SUNY Buffalo.

Bruce Jenkins is Professor of Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute ofChicago.

Bruce Jenkins is Professor of Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute ofChicago.

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Table of Contents

Collecting His Thoughts: Remarks on the Writings of Hollis Frampton Bruce Jenkins Jenkins, Bruce

List of Illustrations

Photography

Some Propositions on Photography 5

Digressions on the Photographic Agony 9

Eadweard Muybridge: Fragments of a Tesseract 22

Incisions in History/Segments of Eternity 33

A Talk on Photography and History: Time, Space, and Causality 51

Meditations around Paul Strand 58

Impromptus on Edward Weston: Everything in Its Place 67

Lecture Notes on Edward Weston 88

Erotic Predicaments for Camera 89

Fictcryptokrimsographology 95

Pictures, Krims's Pictures, Please! 100

Notes on Marion Faller's Photographs 103

Proposal for adsvmvs absvmvs 105

Adsvmvs Absvmvs 106

Film

A Lecture 125

For a Metahistory of Film: Commonplace Notes and Hypotheses 131

A Pentagram for Conjuring the Narrative 140

Notes on Composing in Film 149

Letter to Stan Brakhage 157

Letter to Donald Richie 159

Letter to the Editor, Artforum 163

Film in the House of the Word 166

The Invention without a Future 171

Interview at the Video Data Bank 183

Notes on Filmmakers 190

Zorns Lemma: Script and Notations 192

(nostalgia): Voice-Over Narration for a Film of That Name 203

Notes on (nostalgia) 224

Envoi 225

Statement of Plans for Magellan 226

Phrases. Mag 230

Talking about Magellan: An Interview 232

Text of Intertitles for Gloria! 253

Mental Notes 255

The Withering Away of the State of the Art 261

Proposal: Hardware and Software for Computer-Processed and -Generated Video 269

About the Digital Arts Lab 272

The Other Arts

Letter to Enno Develing 279

Preface: 12 Dialogues 1962-1963 285

OnPlasticity and Consecutive Matters 286

A Note on Robert Huot's Diaries 290

Inconclusions for Patrick Clancy 292

Comic Relief 296

Two Left Feet 296

Letter to Macalester College 297

Notes: By Any Other Name 298

Texts

A stipulation of Terms from Maternal Hopi 303

Mind over Matter 308

Index 323

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