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50 The Collected Writingsof Michael Snow it (thewire) has a "spread" which in its own terms has some similarity to the acoustical spatial spread of the sound, eventuallydisappearing. I decided against showing the playback tape recorder because the source of the sound at this time and historically is here described, and in the photo, pictured. In a sense the black line (carrier of the sound) disappears to here (text), to the photograph (image), both of which are "traces" of it, and to the actual (hidden) tape recorder. This piece is an attempt to, among other things, do something manipulative with memory devices: tape recorder, camera, type writer. It is not a "mixed-media" or collage-assemblage piece, nor is it theatre. As is proper to the use of the above devices I've attempted to use memory as an aspect of the work. I have made separated or "dispersed" compositions since 1961, some of them having parts on different continents, but with the exception of certain performance pieces (e.g., Right Reader, 1965) and films (simultaneous in elements and site), the parts were always in the same medium, involved images only (if that's possible) or worked in an image to object scale. Tap is a kind of still sound movie. The ways in which the different elements occupy space are interesting: the sound filling it, having a source but no definite "edges"; the line, reading backwards,threadingand carrying the sound and having an unseen end;the image flat, two dimensional, this flat, black, linear, small, in your eyes and in your mind. Ten Questions to Michael Snow 1969 This interview by Simon Hartog was first published in Cinim 3 (Spring 1969) and reprinted in Hartog's Structural Film Anthology published by the British Film Institute, London, 1976. H e wants to make "a film that has no explanation." 1. Why Wavelength ? Critical moment in my life and/or art. Light and sound waves. Limits of hear and see ... "A time monument." A pun on the room length zoom to the photo of waves (sea), through the light waves and on the sound waves. Electricity. Ontology. "A definitive statement of pure film space and time ..." "A summation of my nervous system, religious inklings and aesthetic ideas ..." The quotes from pre-prize piece written for the NY Coop catalogue. 2. Why is it 46 minutes long? Nice fuck. Could have been longer, couldn't be shorter. Money! Much shorter and the movement would have been too fast. Much longer was too expensive. 3. What is it about? It is about question one. Yes. Question one. Also question two, four, five, six and seven. And question three perhaps most. 4. Why does life enter the film? Life is in the film. One of the subjects of the film or perhaps more accurately what the film is is a "balancing" of different orders, classes of events and protagonists. The image of the yellow chair has as much "value" in its own world as the girl closing the window. In life (?) the film events are not hierarchical but there is a kind of scale of mobility that runs from pure light events, the various perceptions of the room, to the images of human beings. The inert: the bookcase that gets carried in, the corpse, visually , dying being a passage from activity to object. Inertia. It is precise that "events take place.'" 5. Aren't the beginning and the end arbitrary? They are the beginning and the end of the film. And in between? Where do you start? If you decide to make a film at all, that narrows down your choices considerably . Of course it could have been shot somewhere else. From the beginning the end is a factor. In the context of the film the end is not "arbitrary"; it is fated. And past the end it should have ripples. The wave photograph; waves are the visible registers of invisible forces. Because it is (at first) seen as flat (on the wall) it makes a total spatial ending for the film at the same time as an image it implies continuity. 51 H 52 The Collected Writings of Michael Snow 6. What determined your choice of the different textures? 1 presume you mean the colour and light-value changes. They were given their tendency by the arranging of the different kinds of film stock, which was done before shooting. Basically I played/improvised with plastics and filters while shooting, bearing in mind many...


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