Expanded Cinema and Narrative

Some Reasons for a Review of the Avant-Garde Debates Around Narrativity

Jackie Hatfield

Printed in MFJ No. 39/40 (Winter 2003) Hidden Currents


In the second half of the twentieth century the history and theory of experimental film and video was written with a bias towards modernist material concerns stemming from Clement Greenberg’s modernist position and material specific ideas. Similar to other art forms, a schematized formal history has been predominant, with rules laid down in various texts about which artists followed whom. Although it is not materially film or video, I aim here to discuss how interactive moving image practice and its ancestors, expanded cinema, media and performance, have been excluded from the main theoretical arguments that have shaped the histories of experimental film and video. Of course, I acknowledge the historical writings that are pluralistic and celebrate hybridity, for example Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema and Douglas Davis’ Art and the Future, but they are few and far between. Here I am concentrating on the canonical arguments laid down by historians and film theoreticians and why I think they are problematic to future experimentation. Furthermore, I am arguing that the historical uncertainties around the relationship between narrative and the avant-garde have created a reductive climate for experimentation with narrativity. I am concerned with charting the avant-garde that has been multi-screen, narrative, pro-illusion and pro-representation, since expanded cinema and interactive cinema have often been an exploration of all of these elements. I will outline the supposed lineages that have been used to categorize experimental film and video, and why I believe that these ideological positions must be reviewed in the light of current interactive practice, but also in relation to experimental cinema as a whole. The bottom line is that I am against categorizations and lineages that have become institutional, and which have been taken up by curators or funding bodies where they are used to corral individual artists’ work into groupings, and inevitably serve to write artists in and out of history. My position is an artists reaction - no, a manifesto- against conservative positions in a quest for expanded cinema to be given its rightful status, a central position within experimental film and video history. Artists have often struggled against the institutional or the state funded and yes, theoretical and historical texts around practice do affect artists, who need validation and acknowledgement of their work.

Importantly, what needs to be recognized is that in practice experimental film and video, rather than drawing purely from the anti-narrative driven avant-garde, have also derived from the narrative traditions of intermedia and mechanistic invention in primitive film. Though not included in the canonical histories, narrative has been a central aspect of cinematic experimentation often in relation to interactive, expanded, performative and importantly, technological experimentation. For example the highly regarded and seminal volume of P. Adams Sitney’s Visionary Film was written with a bias towards single-screen work, and while I accept that there are narrative dimensions to Anger, Deren, Brakhage, Warhol and Markopoulos who are part of the American canon, it is largely the definition of narrative that I take issue with and the uncertainties about the real intricacies of narrativity. The general tone within avant-garde debates has been that artists were against narrative continuity and conventional cause and effect structures, and the focus has been on work that that can be interpreted as anti-narrative or "liberated" 1 from the "demands of narrative continuity" 2 . This position can be seen more clearly within the British texts, stemming from the structural materialists and epitomized by Peter Gidal’s influential book Structural Materialist Film (1989). On the other hand while the theories have been preoccupied with the anti-narrative stance, artists have often been both pro- and anti-narrative. For example, omitted from the canonical histories were the experiments with expanded cinema, narrative and performance that took place within the movements of Futurism, Dada, Bauhaus, at the Black Mountain College, with the Fluxus group and crucially the art and technology experiments in the 60s and 70s, epitomized by the pioneering activity of the engineer Billy Klüver and E.A.T. at "Nine Evenings: Theatre and Engineering" in New York in 1966.

It was through discussion with my students and with film and video artists that I realized that the seminal single screen based histories laid down by only a few people were in fact acting to define the whole sector for future generations. There are notable exceptions, for example Warhol’s Chelsea Girls, which has been widely acknowledged, but there is a difference between this kind of double screen formation and expanded work where the screens are part of a space, i.e. where the proscenium arch is removed. There are few contexts where artists can experiment with and be innovators of technology and cinema, I believe it needs a concerted effort by institutions and funding bodies to be aware of the history of artists’ endeavors in this area, but more importantly, to support them. I suggest that these two questions be addressed:

What is cinema if it is not film? And what is the history and status of interactive expanded cinema, technological invention, and narrative experimentation within the history and theory of the experimental avant-garde?

Although cinema‚ in itself, is synonymous with spectacle, vaudeville, theatre, circus, performance, narrative, and audience; structuralist filmmakers and conceptual artists of the 1960s and 1970s took a position that was anti-illusion, and the critique and theory around film and video created a modernist-oriented climate for the practice. Artists’ use of video in the early 1960s also initiated debate to determine how film was different from video, and vice versa. Artists and theorists alike were establishing characteristics that were specific to the mediums, much in the same way that Greenberg had defined the "flatness" of a painting as being "the only condition painting shared with no other art." 3 There were a number of key texts by artists that categorized experimental film around its material specificity; these have included, for example, Peter Gidal’s Structural Materialist Film (1989), The Structural Film Anthology (1976), Hans Richter’s The Struggle for Film(1986), and Malcolm LeGrice’s Abstract Film and Beyond(1977). Similarly, in the 1970s there were concerns with video’s intrinsic qualities. For instance, one of video’s distinct characteristics was seen to be its relationship to television. Frank Gillette wrote, "What I’m consciously involved in is devising a way that is structurally intrinsic to television. For example, what makes it not film?" 4 A review of articles such as David Antin’s "Video: the Distinctive Features of the Medium," David Hall’s "British Video Art: Towards an Autonomous Practice" and the catalogue of "The Video Show" at the Serpentine Gallery in 1975 suggest an atmosphere late modernist in tone. Hall has argued that artists were "constructing alternative frameworks and procedures out of the prevailing climate," 5 and that in retrospect the early work was more conceptual than formal. Nevertheless in the UK there were two distinct material specific histories forming around film and video practice of the 1970s that were institutionalized around the London Filmmakers Coop and London Video Arts. Although in the last few years there has been a convergence of these technologies, the material status of film in relation to video and other forms continues to be debated by those who are in love with film as film. The historical lines of demarcation between film and video are problematic, as any preoccupation with filmic-ness located in the material is missing the point. For example, I would prefer to use the term cinematic to describe what I do as an artist. I do not use film, but I do make cinema -- it moves, it is composed of moving images. Bill Viola makes cinematic work, although working electronically; Chris Hales, Malcolm LeGrice and Grahame Weinbren make cinematic work although working electronically and digitally. The formal distinctions with their intrinsic qualities became edifices in the UK for practice and distribution but they were a myth.

As well as the material distinctions insisted on through the 60s, 70s and 80s, there were some influential texts that sought to define experimental film and video further, and it is these conceptual bases that have since become dogma that need to be re-addressed alongside the resulting political outcome. To consider this relative to its historical context, it is important to say that in London David Curtis, Malcolm Le Grice and Peter Wollen were seeking to give film status within fine art practice at the time, and clearly it was their endeavors that were extremely influential on the setting up of the agencies to fund experimental filmmaking. The position developed by these men and their colleagues have had enormous influence on the funding practices of the public agencies of the British Film Institute and the Arts Council of Great Britain (now the Arts Council of England), neither of which function anymore as providers of funding specifically for artists moving image. In "The Two-Avant Gardes‚" published in Studio International 1975, Peter Wollen argued for specific distinctions in avant-garde practices. He established a lineage from abstract painting for what he called the first avant-garde, which he defined by the absence of verbal language and narrative. The second avant-garde remained within the bounds of narrative cinema. He claimed that divisions could be made along the lines of "aesthetic assumptions, institutional framework, type of financial support, type of critical backing, historical and cultural origin," 6 and the institutional and, furthermore, regional frameworks that Wollen referred to were the New York and London Filmmakers Co-ops. Wollen argued that to be included within the first avant-garde the work had to be non-narrative and anti-illusionist, and there were no anomalies to his clear line of demarcation extending through history. Furthermore the work he argued must also have been made, distributed, critiqued or funded within or around the London or New York Filmmakers Coops, and stated that "New York is clearly thecapital of the Co-op movement." 7 So to give an example of how this might have worked, an artist in Scotland or Ireland would have had to distribute their non-narrative work from the London or New York Filmmakers Coop to be considered part of Wollen’s first avant-garde, and be funded by one of the public agencies. Consequently the formal arguments and ideological politics affected practice, either through access to the technology or the distribution network, or through validation by the peer group through funding channels. Wollen’s reviews of experimental film would not have been so problematic for the continuation of avant-garde film and video practice if they had not been used as indicators for what was avant-garde and what was not.

A further influential essay of its time was Peter Gidal’s 1976 "Theory and Definition of Structural/Materialist Film."’ Here Gidal stated that "an avant-garde film defined by its development towards increased materialism and materialist function does not represent, or document, anything." 8 At the time he was almost puritanical in his arguments for a continual attempt to destroy illusionism in his drive to validate film as film. Again, Gidal’s position was representative of ideas that characterized avant-garde film debates in the late 1960s and 1970s. As well as artists’ various approaches to narrative, the history of multiple projection environments, including performance, challenged theorist’s assumptions about the anti-illusionism and anti-narrativity of the avant-garde. After all, what is narrative? There are contradictions as it can be argued that narrative exists as soon as there is a representational image or as soon as there is a subject present. So for example when we see a performance as part of a screening, or when we experience expanded cinema, the bodies of the performer or audience are physically present as living embodiments of their narrative histories, we come from a narrative place. My point is that the definition of opposition to narrative has never been resolved; the lines of demarcation never quite clear.

As I have suggested, the categorizations of Wollen and the general tone epitomized by Gidal around narrativity were not reflected so literally in the actual work of artists either in the UK or US. Artists who gravitated towards film from performance, theatre and dance aimed to expand the theatre stage from the proscenium arch out towards the audience to create happenings or situations that included them as part of the event. For example, in 1958 the ONCE group from Ann Arbor Michigan used environmental projection with performance to "free film from its flat frontal orientation." 9 In 1965, Robert Whitman made Prune Flat, a synchronized projection and performance, and Aldo Tambellini used multiple projections to create electromedia environments. In 1967 Carolee Schneeman staged active performance-oriented cinematic spectacles such as Night Crawlers and Snows, and in 1969 John Cage and Ronald Nameth presented HPSCHD, a multi-media extravaganza that included one hundred films. In the late 1960s the group set up by Robert Rauschenberg and the engineer Billy Klüver, Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT), staged interactive installations extending the potentiality of art towards an inclusive experience for the viewer, incorporating technological experimentation as part of the event. As one of the works in Nine Evenings of ‘66, Oyvind Fahlstrom’s Kisses Sweeter Than Wine was an extraordinary artwork incorporating technological, synaesthetic, narrative, and performative experimentation. 10

In the UK expanded work was becoming publicly quite visible and some of the uncertainties around narrativity were being aired. In the 1970s, artists like Anabel Nicolson described her work in progress "the wooden camera and projector will also be used as elements in a situation where viewers and performers/film stars will be the same‚" 11 and Malcolm LeGrice, were incorporating performance with film and also questioning the boundaries between audience and artwork. In Reel Time (1973) Nicolson famously performed with a sewing machine and projector and projected film of a sewing machine in operation, which was simultaneously sewn into a real sewing machine. 12 At the important show "Perspectives on British Avant-Garde Film" in 1977 at the Hayward Gallery there was a great variety of filmmaking reflected in the films from the period 1967-77. Although much of the work played with narrative, performance, and audience expectation and was placed in various other categories, the sections "The Avant-Garde and Narrative" and "Deconstructed Narrative" acknowledged some of the ambiguities around narrativity. In addition, the commentary in the catalogue, the many discussions, as well as the work itself, reflected the real diversity in the artists’ approaches to performance, narrative, and the screen space. The exhibition included expanded cinema, and performance-oriented (i.e., audience or artist), and narrative work (in the widest sense). There was performance based work by Stuart Brisley (Arbeit Macht Frei 77), and Jeff Keen’s (White Dust), which was collage, imagistic, narrative, and performative, and which Tony Rayns described in the catalogue as "an homage to vintage movie serials, a form with very specific, very idiosyncratic narrative conventions [that] can only be described as collage narrative." 13 In relation to the theoretical debates of the time Keen’s multi-layered, multi-screened, projections on projections could be described as pro narrative and representational, and not at all anti-narrative. Sensorial and expanded, Ray Day Film, absorbed the viewer into Keen’s interpretation of kitsch horror and Americanized comic book narratives. Also there was Marilyn Halford’s work, frequently performative, including New Sketchesand Ten Green Bottleswhich was by Deke Dusinberre’s account from the show catalogue an interactive film where the audience "assume that participatory role by playing a child’s game," 14 and described her films as "simple, subversive and wryly humorous; in addition they explore those aesthetic issues which inform all of British avant-garde film-making." 15 Work by Halford included Hands Knees and Boomsa-Daisy (1973) which Halford described as "gaming with a screen image of myself," 16 Footsteps (1974) described as a "game in the making," 17 between the camera and actor, about which Halford said "I am interested in the relationship of theatrical devices in film working at tangents with its abstract visual qualities" 18 and for Rehearsals (1976) "my interests are in the theatrical devices and repeated movement between actors through rehearsals‚ and to present them theatrically." 19 In video terms, expanded work of the late 70s, tended to be modernist in tone, with a focus on time, space and television, but shows like "The Video Show‚" at the Serpentine Gallery in 1975 showcased all kinds of video, including expanded, interactive, representational and cinematic, e.g. Valie Export’s Space Hearing and Space Seeing‚ Tamara Krikorian’s Breeze, and Hermine Freed’s Art Herstory.

What I’m trying to demonstrate by listing just some of these works is that despite the modernist thrust of the writing with an emphasis on the lineage of purist and non-imagistic anti-narrative practice, what actually went on was totally different. Rather than this history being weighted towards anti-narrative, the reality has been that, beginning with the Futurists and the Surrealists, through to Fluxus, and to date, artists have played around with narrative rather than being predominantly against it. In actual fact the history of artists’ experimentation with narrativity, representation, interactivity and technology as part of the experimental avant-garde, is un-accounted for and unwritten. Therefore, looking at the work retrospectively the extraordinary and imagistic, textural and sensuous works of LeGrice and Nicolson, seem to bear no relationship to the dry formalist climate around them. Nicolson’s Slides (1970) was lyrical and physical, layered and colorful, teasing the viewer into looking for representation within the filmic-ness. She shows us the process, we see the slippage of the film through the gate, the sprocket holes and the material flicker. We get glimpses of a figure. We are waiting for these fragments to re-appear and are conscious of film’s capacity to record a representation relative to the artist’s action in manipulating the film as a painterly event. Threshold(1972) by LeGrice is a three-screen work including performance, where the artist changes the configuration of the screens by moving the projectors around. This piece is vibrant in color, and imagistic, sumptuous and beautiful. The sound is fragmented, and edited like the image and color into tonal rhythms and cadences. There is representation, and reference to the external world, and it is processed and layered, drawing us in. This work is not about the absence of representation, but the richness of it when it finally appears. Rainbow colors, layers and movement, are pieced together, a rich tapestry of image and sound, figures become shapes and multiply into crowds. It is a work that speaks of the artist and of the process but also the representational and narrative world, and performed live, this work is a physical meeting of artwork, artist and audience. And also with Footsteps (1974), Marilyn Halford toys with the viewer’s expectation of cinema and their place in relation to the screen and the camera. The opening shots are in negative, the figure, a woman, turns to look at the camera, and we seem to be creeping up on her. We ask, who is behind the camera? The figure turns away, then we get nearer, and we realize that we are implicated in a game of statues with the woman. There isn’t any montage, just a cut and a second section, which is the same as the first, but positive this time, with music added. We are reminded of the silent films, ‘primitive’ cinema, games and early American movies. The film is processed to look ‘old’, dragged through dust and grained to appear ancient and crackly. So while these works are structural and formal they are also narrative, they reference cinema, film, and representation, and ask us to question them relative to that.

Although an important and much welcome history of single screen film and video, the tone of the anti-narrative stance has been reiterated more recently in A History of Experimental Film and Video (1999) by Al Rees. I don’t want to be too critical of Rees, since he is the only person lately who has attempted to write an historical overview of the sector, and he is dealing with a minefield trying not to leave anyone out. However, I have one point of contention with his historical lines of demarcation around narrativity, since his views are widespread and influential. Although it is a small point within an otherwise evenhanded historical review of the theories, Rees referred to the "artists’ avant-garde," 20 and discusses the issue of experimental narrative, and its distinctiveness as an "art form," 21 from the "avant-garde." 22 He included within the "art cinema"‚ as opposed to the "artists’ avant-garde," 23 Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Delluc, Dulac, and Gance. Rees described Richard Abel’s distinctions between the artists‚ avant-garde and the art cinema or narrative avant-garde, and made his own distinctions, "the rise of narrative, psychological realism in the maturing Art Cinema led to its gradual split from the anti-narrative artists’ avant-garde." 24 In Rees’s definition the artists’ avant-garde has again been aligned with anti-narrativization and non-drama. His arguments have been based on the supposed lines of demarcation between dramatic narrative and experimental film. He argued that "the continuous flow of images that editing permits, and which is the basis of dramatic illusionism in film, is in contrast to the equal power of film editing to enforce breaks and interruptions in that flow," 25 and that "the role of experimental film was to push the distinction to its limits." 26 My reading of Rees’s distinction was that while drama based film had narrative expectation built into it, the artists’ avant-garde used illusionism and narrative against themselves‚ i.e. drama was narrative, experimental film was anti-narrative. The problem is, it was along similar lines of definition that the majority of women’s practice of the 1970s and 80s was marginalized as being narrative and therefore not art (i.e. not coming from the abstract or formal film) and not part of the purism debate. This reductive positioning of narrative was challenged by feminist groups in the 70s and 80s who consequently set about distributing work through their own organizations, for example, Circles and Cinenova (UK), Women Make Movies (US), Video Femmes (Canada). Much of women’s practice of the 70s & 80s was narrative-driven, certainly political, and often oppositional, and there is space for an extensive historical review to write this work into the avant-garde. Although some of the work was supported institutionally and debated in the UK as the new pluralism, many of these important works have subsequently been written out of the history, for example, the experimental narrative and performative work of artists like Gill Eatherley and Marilyn Halford and later Rita Keegan, Pratibha Parma, Zoe Redman and Marion Urch to name but a few.

In relation to the formal and material arguments and the narrative distinctions, I believe that in the UK little seems to have changed in forty years and there is currently a sense of déjà vu. Consider the position of women involved with the avant-garde in the 60s, 70s and 80s. In 1979 Anabel Nicolson, Lis Rhodes, Felicity Sparrow and others were so angry at the dominance of the masculinised modernist canon patronised by the Arts Council, that they with held their work en mass from the "Film as Film: Formal Experiment in Film" exhibition at the Hayward Gallery accusing the committee of "denying the space within it to answer back, to add or disagree." 27 They argued that they were not "being left free to characterize our own contributions" 28 and that their "perspectives were tolerated rather than considered seriously." 29 They objected with their feet, on the grounds that diverse practices were being squeezed into the anti-narrative formal abstract debates, and furthermore that they were being used to define retrospectively the narrative work of women such as Maya Deren and Germaine Dulac. There was emphasis on the abstract formal qualities above all else, which were used to contextualize this seminal narrative practice within the male dominated canon, and to re-define and re-imagine it as either formal or anti-narrative or ‘art cinema’ and narrative. The predominance of this position and the totally institutional patronage of non-narrative effectively silenced the variety of practices that women happened to be involved with and which in reality collectively formed the history of the avant-garde. Inherent in the formalist rhetoric was the rejection of the alternative languages of cinema that didn’t fit the prescribed norm, and loosely speaking individual artists were ‘in’ the avant-garde, if their work could be matched to the theoretical categorization. This isn’t exactly surprising given that film discourse was a late starter in the modernist tendency to substantiate traditions and specific artistic trends, but it meant that artists had to be totally oppositional to narrative in the widest sense. The point was that women’s work was included, and was written about, but within the frame of reference of the abstract/formal debates, which left almost no place for the naming of, for example, an experimental narrative language, nor what Laura Mulvey has described as a "feminist formalism." 30 In his contribution to the "Film as Film" exhibition catalogue in his essay entitled The History We Need, Malcolm LeGrice acknowledged that the discourse around narrativity was riddled with ambiguity and unease, and perhaps he felt the potential consequences of restriction more keenly, since he has always fostered an inclusive approach to experimentation. Though as I have said, women challenged this by setting up their own distribution and means of production, in particular Felicity Sparrow and others set up "Circles" which became "Cinenova", and was a central space for the support of experimental narrative work by women, and against dominant forms of representation. To fast forward to date, Cinenova has now closed down, funding withdrawn, and the important historical archive of LUX (London Electronic Arts, and London Film-makers Coop) has also re-located after a critical few months of crisis management by the artists. The sector at present has limited means of distribution, the current LUX organization distributes the back catalogue and a few selected artists works. No freedom here, no equal opportunity, no open access, and certainly no context for exhibition. It is probable that works by many women artists of the 80s and 90s from these archive collections will never be seen again if no-one objects, since they don’t fit into the current zeitgeist, which is, materiality (film not video or electronic) and anti-narrative. The old arguments are being played out again. In 1983, Lis Rhodes and Felicity Sparrow asked, "Do we have to delve into history and re -appropriate it?" well I argue, yes, we (all of us) do. In the current climate there is no place for radical and dangerous work that challenges the status quo. There are many reasons for this, but because of funding streams that encourage all that is anodyne, contexts for disruption and intervention are few. Within the art sector, points of resistance are rare and funding, expertise, and exhibition infrastructures have the potential to be (and are) influenced by reductive standpoints. The small chinks where artists have squeezed their productions have been getting narrower. The point is there is a danger that more selective histories will be written, as to date within the various histories of the experimental avant-garde there has been a gradual writing-out of an enormous body of narrative, expanded, technological and interactive moving image work that does not fit easily into categories. Perhaps it is the fault of the artists, who should have written their own histories, and for future consideration we should start to challenge the way that the writing up of practice takes place. One thing is certain, anti-narrative as definition for what is avant-garde practice or not, is and has been historically, a flawed form of classification.

My review of the avant-gardist positions and ideologies would draw a different picture of the avant-garde to include the histories of expanded cinema and experiments with narrative as a central rather than marginal element of artists’ experimentation. Although drawing a similar lineage to the historical avant-garde debates it would have a different emphasis. For one thing, there would be no material delineation between film and video post digital (I will be extremely unpopular for this position) and there would be wider debate around what has constituted narrative and anti-narrative experimentation. There is no doubt about the historical relationship between anti narrative and narrative in artists’ practice - each drives the other. Though as I have said, within the critique and definition the emphasis on this relationship has been perceived as artists’ work versus mainstream, and the issue of narrative in experimental film and video needs more research to determine a historical trajectory within which to include much overlooked narrative work.

To conclude, within the relatively short academic history of experimental film and video there has been emphasis on the material conditions of the mediums revolving around narrative categorisation. This schematization of film and video artworks has been oriented around what were initially Greenbergian formal concerns and there has been pre-occupation through the writing that the avant-garde has been totally opposed to mainstream narrative conventions. I have tried to point out here that the historical and theoretical premise of avant-garde artists being anti-narrative can be proved unfounded by simply reviewing the practice throughout history. This is not widely available, so similar to a review of the women’s avant-garde in relation to narrative, there is a need to determine a history for experimental interactive expanded cinema that is not guided by anti-illusion, material concerns, or single screen as categories to define it. After all categorization and definition are forms of censorship that have often found their way into institutional funding and exhibition curatorship. There is no doubt that ideologies take their toll on the continuation of certain artists practice. We need to understand how this has happened in the past to optimistically look forward to a climate for radical experimentation with moving-image in the future. At the moment in the UK, artist’s communities are dispersed and fragmented, and there is no place where artists can show their work without a limiting selection process oriented around non-narrative single screen film. In 1972 and before prematurely bringing her expanded filmmaking to a standstill Gill Eatherley said "There have been many struggles with projection ideas, which are impossible to realize, due to lack of situations outside the conventional cinema in London..." 31 and sadly in the UK this statement is true for artists working with expanded cinema and performance in 2002. Artists do need exhibition spaces, but also unfettered funding and collective and empathetic dialogue within which to review their work. I believe that for cinematic experimentation to continue in fertile ground or indeed, at all, it is imperative that the histories are reviewed, in a pluralistic and inclusive way, but that any ideologies around moving-image funding, distribution and exhibition facilitate expanded moving-image and experiments with narrativity, and don’t marginalize them any more than they have been to date.




1. P Adams Sitney Visionary Film The American Avant-Garde 1943-1978 p.4. Sitney is referring to Un Chien Andalou.
2. Ibid , p. 4
3. Clement Greenberg "Modernist Painting," from Art in Theory 1900-1990 Charles Harrison and Paul Wood p.755
4. From an essay written in for the exhibition Video Art ICA Philadelphia Catalogue. Also quoted by David Antin in Video Art an Anthology, Ed Ira Schneider Beryl Korot, p.174
5. David Hall, "Before the Concrete Sets" in AND Journal of Art No.26 1991 p4
6. Peter Wollen, "The Two Avant-Gardes," Studio International November 1975 p.171
7. Ibid p.171
8. The British Avant-Garde Film 1926-1995: An Anthology of Writings Edited by Michael O'Pray (University of Luton Press, Arts Council of England, 1996), p.145
9. Milton Cohen of the ONCE group from Gene Youngblood Expanded Cinema (Studio Vista, 1970), p. 371
10. Kisses Sweeter than Wine, and Open Score by Robert Whitman have been documented by Billy Klüver and were recently presented by him at Evolution 2002, part of the Leeds International Film Festival.
11. Nicholson's description of her work in Perspectives on British Avant-Garde Film Hayward Gallery Catalogue, 1977.
12. See Michael O'Pray The British Avant-Garde Film 1926-1995, p213
13-19. From the catalogue for Perspectives on British Avant-Garde Film, Hayward Gallery 2nd March-24th April 1977.
20. AL Rees A History of Experimental Film and Video, British Film Institute, 1999, p 30.
21. Ibid p.33
22. Ibid. p.30
23. Ibid pp. 30-33
24. Ibid p.33
25. Ibid p.34
26. Ibid p.34
27-29. Women and the Formal Film, Annabel Nicolson, Felicity Sparrow, Jane Clarke, Jeanette Iljon, Lis Rhodes, Mary Pat Leece, Pat Murphy, Susan Stein, statement from Film as Film, Formal Experiment in Film 1910-75 , ed. Phil Drummond, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1979, p.118
30. "Film, Feminism and the Avant-garde," Laura Mulvey, written as a lecture for 'Women and Literature,' Oxford Studies Committee 1978, published in The British Avant-Garde Film 1926 to 1995, p199
31. Gill Eatherley "Filmmaker's statement" "The Avant Garde" exhibition, Gallery House, London 1972, taken from Peter Gidal's Structural Materialist Film (Routledge, 1989), p118