This site annotates film programs, essays, and book publications undertaken (sometimes in tandem) by Lucas Quigley and Benjamin Tiven. The materials gathered here share a set of core interests: images of the production and distribution of objects and goods; unusual threads within the history of technical image-making; and the social parameters that make these descriptions possible. As materials assemble around these ideas, and ideas assemble around these materials, the possibility of a course begins to manifest.
"Machines are what make movies. And as Thom Andersen points out …, film – the institution of film, the cinema – is itself a machine, a process of production whose product is none other than its audience, us. If, as I do, you want to take film itself as your subject, I think it’s natural to approach it through equipment, because any single piece of machinery can be made to stand for the entire system of machines and what that system is capable of doing."
"Only when you describe something can you start speculating about it. If something hasn’t been described and a record of it doesn’t exist – it doesn’t matter what form the description takes: a film, a sociological study, a book, or even just a verbal account – then you can’t refer to it. You have to describe the thing or situation before you can deal with it."
Andersen & Fisher was organized by Lucas Quigley and Robert Snowden for Yale Union.
… in which three industrially-determined rectangles attempt to pronounce the nature of their shapes and make a case – with varying degrees of articulation – for three sets of plastic-minded characters, in public, and over time.
… in which three sets of plastic-minded characters attempt to pronounce the nature of their shapes and make a case – with varying degrees of articulation – for three industrially-determined rectangles, in public, and over time.
Exploded View … Interface … Letter & Spirit … was organized by Lucas Quigley and Summer Guthery for laxart.
This film program compiles a series of documentary and essay films that record and describe how material and immaterial goods are produced and distributed. A few were commissioned by companies to represent select interests, but the majority were made by filmmakers with an imperative to record and scrutinize goods as we typically don't see them: in the process of their becoming. Before we see them, commodity objects have traveled through geography, laborers, machinery, political ideologies, and social configurations. They carry forward a (mostly obstructed) history, belonging first to those who produced them, and later to those who will buy, sell, or use them.
The Devil, Probably was organized by Lucas Quigley and Robert Snowden for Yale Union.
"In the end, objects bear witness to their producers, who bear something of themselves in the act of production. But the producers do not appear with their objects. When you look at objects, the people who produce them remain unimaginable. The spectator who understands this becomes unimaginable to himself. This is the departure for a new image of man."
Wie Man Seht: A Tribute to Harun Farocki was organized by Lucas Quigley and Daniel Chaffey for Goethe Institut Los Angeles.
Styrofoam seagulls, replicant owls, and explosive donkeys casually amble through this visual primer on some aesthetics, histories, and cinematic legacies of artificial animals. Comprising three commissioned essays and a pool of visual research tracing hidden overlaps between technical and natural forms, Scrim Sinews connects DARPA robotics with the HUAC testimony of Bertolt Brecht, and the chronophotographic gun to the high realism of Pinnochio.
Scrim Sinews was edited by Benjamin Tiven and Per-Oskar Leu, designed by Lucas Quigley, and includes contributions from Homay King, Phillip Glahn, and Jonah Westerman. Published by CURA books, Rome.
Technological devices are all differently inhabited by their ancestralities, and differently predict their descendants. The films in this program try to stop, frame, or enunciate that very process. The interface between human bodies and cinematographic machines remains a common thread, as it was at film's earliest beginnings.
Liquid Fables was organized by Benjamin Tiven for Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Vienna.
Aerial shots, time-lapse motion studies, frame-by-frame compositing, standardization guidelines: these technical filmmaking imperatives are here converted into techniques of narrative. Each film interweaves one such trope with a history or engagement of some particular building, place, or artifact, such that each narrative demands its particular mode of imaging.
A Variable Prism was organized by Benjamin Tiven for Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck. Produced within the frame of Büchsenhausen's International Fellowship Program for Art and Theory.
"The proliferation of consumer chroma-key technologies – from roll-up backgrounds to YouTube tutorials to smartphone apps to cheap (or cracked) editing software – has boosted the cultural profile of the blank green color field. Its use has trickled down to low-budget commercial advertising, while it has become an icon of self-reflexivity in the finer arts. We now read a green screen as *virtually anything*: not only as a placeholder for a particular image, but also the very notion that an image could be plausibly inserted later. Image production increasingly presupposes post-production, and a green screen both technically enables, and stands in for "pending treatment." Actors on chroma-key backgrounds make only elliptical, partial sense: they're punchlines without jokes."
'Colorless Green Ideas' was written by Lucas Quigley and Benjamin Tiven for issue 11 of Bulletins of the Serving Library.