Lynn Marie Kirby - Time-Dilation Series (2000-2003)

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Time-Dilation Series, 2000-2003


Photons in Paris: image encodings

Off the Tracks

Out of Step

Study in Choreography for Camera Remote

Six Shooter

Twilight's Last Gleaming



Lynn Kirby, an avant-garde filmmaker, uses a wide array of film technology and philosophy when making her films. Kirby's films range in content from the feminine to the spiritual, political, and social. Kirby also uses a diverse toolset for creating her works. She originally began her work in film, but quickly switched to the video format when “editing for video” systems were developed. Later known for her work with digital video in the 90's, much of her work has been shown in a number of different forms, including the triptych. Kirby's body of work as a whole is diverse, with different messages and meanings conveyed in different settings and using different techniques of capture and editing.

When we were screening the “Time Dilations” series, the images she captures are not as pixel perfect as what can be achieved on newer consumer digital camcorder; rather, the images tend to become blurred and amalgamated together when there is a lot of motion, creating this “rare balance between austerity and playfulness” that Michael Sicinski of Cinema Scope mentions in his article “Incremental Framebusting: The Paragon Example of Lynn Marie Kirby”. When editing her work, Lynn relies on the manual controls of her digital editing deck to control the speed and direction of the film, as well as the sparadic crashes of her ancient editing computer to create some of her cuts. Lynn works within the limitations of her tools in order to create a “'way of looking at time and space both simultaneously and pulled apart'”.

A later work captured in a similar vein to “Time Dilations” is Kirby's “Twilight's Last Gleaming”. This latter work, which was originally presented on three separate screens in a triptych, uses Kirby's method of fast-forwarding and rewinding, computer “crash cuts”, as well as digital still frames created out of the colors of other images. What separates “Twilight's Last Gleaming” from her other digital video works is Kirby's use of music to shape the visual aesthetics of the film. The music Kirby chooses, not surprisingly, is the Jimmy Hendrix version of the film title. Kirby say that she “wants you to see the music of Jimmy Hendrix”. The images that collide across the triptych have a rhythm and a pulse that drive the work forward.

Unafraid of venturing off in new directions with new and unconventional technology, Lynn Kirby presents new experiences within the constraints she places on her work (i.e. “crash” editing). The exploration of the temporal, the spiritual, and the social can be found throughout her work through her use of editing and capturing, whether that be through exposing canisters of film, using older editing systems, or using different mediums. Kirby plays these different forms of expression to her liking in such a way as to capture objects and events that could be everyday, and present them in new ways that add meaning.


Lynn Marie Kirby has been working with ideas of intimate and cultural landscapes across the materials of film, video, sound and light for almost two decades.

Her work is constantly on the edges/boundaries of the medium with which she is working, yet the subject of her work reaches a broad audience, exploring very real and intimate personal stories that are both literary and experimental.

She challenges our concepts of framing, in terms of structures like narrative and documentary, as well as the literal way we look at framed images. Her work deals with love and death, exuberance and loss, themes present as much through editing - the use of pulses, freezes, glitches - as through characters and settings.



This is participatory cinema. As viewers we are asked to complete the cycle of looking, to bring our own experience to the work which is at once poetic and complex, and often quite humorous.


Her work has shown internationally at festivals in London, Athens, Istanbul and Oberhausen and she has had one person shows in numerous museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art and Artist Space in New York, George Pompidou Centre and Theatre de L'Entrepot in Paris, LACE in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Cinematheque and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.

Several films won First Place awards at the San Francisco Art Institute and Big Muddy Film Festivals, Second Place awards at Onion City, Chicago, Ann Arbor and Women in the Director's Chair Festivals. She has received support for her work from a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowships and Film Arts Foundation grants, as well as support from the Jerome Foundation and the Kelsey Street Press.


In addition to her production and installation work, Lynn has taught film and video production and theory, emphasizing a cross disciplinary approach to the fields of film, video, performance, sound and critical media studies. She is currently a Professor at the California College of Arts and Crafts.

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