Practices of Viewing

A video essay series on new media and their many old histories

(Awarded best video essay series in the Sight&Sound poll 2021)

Practices of Viewing I : F.FWD

Fast forwarding – nothing is as despised and as omnipresent among those in love with cinema. But what if we consider the speeding up of film as a reflexive practice that connects contemporary media consumption with the experimental beginnings of cinema before standardization. Instead of making our viewing quicker the acceleration of moving images can … Practices of Viewing I : F.FWD weiterlesen

Practices of Viewing III: Muted

On Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter the standard setting for videos is „mute“. More than 120 years after its invention silent cinema has become the default mode.

Practices of Viewing IV: Screenshot

In the background of all the films I watch there are these screenshots that keep accumulating on my hard drive. Hundreds, thousands. When I see them I think of all the difficulties we once had with trying to obtain these images hidden within a film. And how easy it is today. And it makes me dream about what this images could be doing together, without my knowledge.

Practices of Viewing: Mask

Cinematic images never come to us directly but through mask that crop their visuals to the right format. The question of different image formats and aspect ratios is more than of just film history interest. It raises the question of visibility in general, and how images do not just have one size but could be … Practices of Viewing: Mask weiterlesen

Practices of Viewing: Loop

A film has a beginning and an end and what happens in between knows only one direction: forward. That would be a banal commonplace if it were only true. But in fact, film for long was not a linear medium, but a circular one. Cinema had no start. It began with repetition. An experiment in … Practices of Viewing: Loop weiterlesen

Practices of Viewing: Distance

[this video is best experienced with headphones] Seeing films is also a physical experience, bringing into play my body in new and disturbing ways. We need to be physically separated from a film in order to watch it. Even the first row in a cinema must retain a minimal distance from the screen, in order … Practices of Viewing: Distance weiterlesen

Practices of Viewing: Dubbing

As cinephiles we pride ourselves to watch films in original versions only. Dubbed versions, on the other hand, we consider as a massive and thus unacceptable deviation from how a film is intended to be viewed. And maybe that is true. But what if the practice of dubbing, as disruptive as it might be, could serve … Practices of Viewing: Dubbing weiterlesen

Practices of Viewing: Color

In Henri-Georges Clouzot’s fragment L’ENFER from 1964, the main character’s jealousy, escalating to the point of psychosis, is reflected in the fact that his surroundings appear tinted in new and disturbing shades. The whole world is colored by delusion. Clouzot’s experiments points out what is true for all cinema: Color in film is never a … Practices of Viewing: Color weiterlesen

Practices of Viewing: Sleep

You are not supposed to sleep during a film.But what if sleep is recognised as not an obstruction but as an essential element of experiencing cinema? I remember those times I dozed off in the theatre and how I began to intermingle and flow together with those images I saw through my half closed, half open … Practices of Viewing: Sleep weiterlesen