Ernie Gehr - Serene Velocity (1970)

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In representational films sometimes the image affirms its own presence as image, graphic entity, but most often it serves as vehicle to a photo-recorded event. Traditional and established avant garde film teaches film to be an image, a representing. But film is a real thing and as a real thing it is not imitation. It does not reflect on life, it embodies the life of the mind. It is not a vehicle for ideas or portrayals of emotion outside of its own existence as emoted idea. Film is a variable intensity of light, an internal balance of time, a movement within a given space.
-Ernie Gehr, January 1971


Serene Velocity is a literal "Shock Corridor" wherein Gehr creates a stunning head-on motion by systematically shifting focal lengths on a static zoom lens as it stares down the center of an empty, modernistic hallway–also plays off the contradictions generated by the frame’s heightened flatness and severe Renaissance perspective. Without ever having to move the camera, Gehr turns the fluorescent geometry of his institutional corridor into a sort of piston-powered mandala. If Giotto had made action films, they would have been these.
–J. Hoberman


EG Serene is available for the improvising of digital video in real-time. The software adopts and "open sources" the structure of the 1970 film as the basis for temporal reconstruction of your own selected digital videos in quicktime movie format. link.



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