The indexical body of film : time-based experiments in Super8 materiality and performance

Prokopic, P ORCID: 2021, The indexical body of film : time-based experiments in Super8 materiality and performance , in: Time and the Body in Film, Television and Screen Studies’ BAFTSS Conference, 7-9 April 2021, University of Southhampton.

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The argument of this video essay stems from the knowledge and observation that film represents reality in two different ways: through a near-identical iconic resemblance and, more importantly, through a direct indexical contact – capturing a specific arrangement of light at a given moment in time. However, when it comes to analogue/celluloid film, the iconic resemblance is altered by the materiality of the medium, imprinting the texture (and time-based imperfections) of the medium onto the image itself. Furthermore, the capturing of the human body on celluloid film results in an indexical exchange between two material bodies: the body of the performer and the body of the medium merge inseparably into a singular immaterial plane of the image. This plane transcends representation as a new aesthetic reality of the image – the existence of which depends on the original, filmed performance, and yet, through the dominant texture of the material medium, a new defamiliarised filmic body comes into being, a body that amplifies affect and hapticity at the expense of symbolic or iconic representation. This semiotics of film and performance – based in a synthesis of works by Del Rio, Sobchack, Marks, Shklovsky, Shaviro, Metz and others – underpins a practice-research experimentation, which illuminates the expressive potential of film performance, and explores and evidences issues surrounding body and time in film, while resulting in stand-alone creative outputs. Two experiments emerging from the practice research are presented. The first depends on simultaneous capturing of performance on digital and Super8 celluloid film, helping to identify the semiotic and ontological distinctions between the two. The second experiment concerns the filming of performance using old film stock (expired in 1981), which brings attention to film’s inherent transformative potential based in asynchronous indexicality between the performing body and the decaying body of the medium.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Related URLs:
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Depositing User: P Prokopic
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 12:38
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:53

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