LIGHT DRAWINGS: Interventionist Acts

George Saxon, Vicky Smith (Other), Stuart Brisley (Other), Export Valie (Other), Dryden Goodwin (Other), Milan Grygar (Other), Mark Lawrence Stafford (Other), Rachel Lowe (Other), Nancy Murphy Spicer (Other), Jennifer West (Other)

    Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchExhibition

    Original languageEnglish
    Media of outputOnline
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: Venue:
    Opening date:
    Closing date:
    Media of output:
    Documentary Video Record
    URL:, ,
    A “phenomenological enquiry into the impact that tools and materials have on artist, artwork” (Vicky Smith) and its relationship to audience perception in real time. A live event that elicits hybridity uncommon to conventional film practice:
    1. Camera-less film, 2. Darkness, 3. Looping. 4. Collaboration. 5. Live intervention

    This unique live event, significantly in relation to time, space and ‘expanded cinematic’/sculptural realisation was the first attempt to control mark-making and sound generation directly onto film as it runs through the projectors. Developed from initial exploratory workshops and symposium as part of ‘KINOPIXEL/ Exploding the image, Reel #1: Structuralist/Materialist Experiements (2008)’ shown at the Herbert Art Gallery in 2008, became a timely re-appraisal of the environments of film, and its inherent obsolescence in relation to the theoretical understanding of the ubiquity of digital moving image.

    The installation/performance comprised of a column of 3 x16mm projectors which threw their beams in different directions onto screens and textures responding to the architecture of the space (VIVID). Images are generated through the performance intervention onto the moving film stock, exploring the nature of live intervention and sculpture –as the sound hovers on the edge of recognition created by the action of tools on the celluloid picture and optical sound track. The performance interrogates the tactile interventions directly onto moving black celluloid film. Each artist utilized selected tools, eg. A prosthetic finger – a needle, sandpaper and soldering iron to intervene and make marks and sound gradually revealing the projected ‘camera-less moving image.

    This multi screen projection installation was followed by a series of workshops where the audience was invited to participate in the ‘interventionist acts’, developing their own manifestations on celluloid, which were spliced in to the original projected loops as part of the exhibition. George Saxon trained mentee Daniel Simcox as an assistant in using 16mm film and projection to facilitate audiences engaging directly with the film medium. Smith and Saxon presented specialist ‘camera-less film’ workshops for participants (aged between 11-16, 30 students in total) from four schools from the Birmingham area with funding from ‘First Light Movies’ and with of MA Contemporary Arts Practice students from Coventry University. (Documentation of the workshops provided on request).

    Visitor figures over the period of the exhibition was estimated to be over 1000. Participants/audience were roughly divided ito three distinct age groups: 40% of the participants were under the age of 16 years, 40% aged from 17 -30 years and the remainder between 30 – 60 years.

    This key collaborative work by Smith and Saxon includes a report published in the Journal of Media Practice (Vicky Smith).
    Print ISSN: 1468-2753 | Electronic ISSN: 2040-0926
    Volume: 11 | Issue: 2
    Cover date: August 2010
    Page(s): 191-193
    Format: multi screen projection installation (3 projectors)
    Rights holder: George Saxon and Vicky Smith and others
    Related publications: Journal of Media Practice (Vicky Smith).
    Print ISSN: 1468-2753 | Electronic ISSN: 2040-0926
    Volume: 11 | Issue: 2
    Cover date: August 2010
    Page(s): 191-193

    Cite this