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logical negation | cross.ova.ing ][4rm.blog.2.log][ | [SUPER8.LOG]

outsider art

Q: In the 80s and maybe still in the 90s, the easy way to start music was to pick up a guitar and learn three chords, or pick up a Super 8 camera and make a film. But nowadays you would perhaps use something like this [cell phone camera]. So has Super 8 now become more crafty or more exclusive and is still the punk aesthetic?

Paolo Davanzo: That's a good question.

Lisa Marr: We try to keep it as the punk aesthetic. At the [Echo Park] Film Center, we still try to make it accessible. But I agree with you, there are other media that come along, that grab the public imagination and then obviously, digital technology is the Super 8 of today. It is something that everyone has, that your grandfather can use, your little brother can use. But we do believe that there is something irreplaceable about this [Super 8] technology. We don't want it to become a rarefied art form, we want to keep it in the everyday which is why we teach our students to use it, which is why we encourage our community to use it, which is why we show it as much as possible to say that it's still a vital art form.

Paolo: But I think it's also interesting because when people were shooting first 8mm in the 40s and 50s and then, since 65, Super 8, it was still more like family videos. And in the 80s it became once again like an outsider art because people were shifting towards video. Now, every kid can buy a little crappy cell phone that has a video camera on and all of a sudden becomes a cultural producer, at least a content producer, but it doesn't have that same kind of outsider aesthetic to it.

Q: Would you say that Super 8 culture has gone full circle, that it is now becoming one with the old amateur culture? The punks were anti-establishment, and the typical punk filmmaker would be the anti-family filmmaker, but now they are all one family?

Paolo: Exactly. That's hilarious, yes, well said.

Lisa: Yeah, it's complex, the way these media come and go in our culture.

Q: I think a difference with today is that, back then in the 80s, you didn't have a choice. Super 8 was the only way to make a film if you didn't have money. Or making a fanzine and xeroxing it was the only way to make a magazine. But nowadays, it's a very conscious choice of a particular material because you have other alternatives. A blog is cheaper than a fanzine, cell phone video is cheaper than Super 8.

Lisa: And there is this return to craft in all forms, things that are made with your hands, things that are made with the community, and people are hungry for that. It's like the church of our generation, it's a way to gather people and celebrate something that everyone has a common belief in. So, yes, I think that there is that conscious community building aspect to it now that maybe didn't exist before.

Tags: analog, super 8.
21st March 2011
Tags 16mm, analog, art, book, cultural theory, deutsch, div, economy, education, film, gnu/linux, internet, literature, music, nederlands, neoism, performance, photo, poetry, politics, super 8, systems, theology, video.

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