PERFORMANCE – Expanded Cinema

“Concerned from the outset with extending film beyond its traditional narrative limits, it seemed a logical step for me to get beyond the frame and explore the full graphic potential of the medium in the direction of non-linear movement and synthetic vision. Expanded cinema became the social art directed at, and involving, the audience, through visual and sound projections, often combined in violently disconnected and overlapping patterns.

This type of presentation reflected my early interest in the art of assemblage and it’s counter movement destruct-art (collage/de-collage), and in visual poetry.

RayDayFilm actually took its title from Amazing Rayday, an occasional poetry broadsheet which I first published in 1962. The same year saw the creation of BLATZMAGAZINE, further evidence of TotalArtWar and the debris of Earth One.

RayDayFilm was originally shown in disconnected sequences with an overlay of slide projections and accompanied by live-action variations on the screened performances. Now the 16mm material has been condensed into a twenty-minute film which forms the basis of a wide-screen collage.

Since 1968, I have been making film-diaries quieter in tone and by their nature more subjective than the BLATZART films. Cut into 400 foot lengths and with separate titles, these films can be projected simultaneously or in sequence as an on-going story.

Strictly speaking the films are not true diaries. They do contain a lot of day-to-day shooting, but since two cameras were used, and the films exposed two or three times from camera to camera, whole sequences have been automatically re-edited and subjected to chance superimpositions and action overlap.

Over the years a dramatis personae has crystallised out of the film-making activity itself, expressive in part of the personalities of the non-actor performers and of certain Art/Life processes in contemporary culture.

These personages now suggest a comic strip of life, a theatre of the brain, and the creation of a secret cinema of tableaux, jokes and mysteries, that hopefully will embrace within a fluid cinematic context both the emblem and the natural world.”

Jeff Keen, Perspectives on British Avant-Garde Film, Hayward Gallery catalogue, ed. Rodney Wilson, Arts Council of Great Britain/Hayward Gallery, March-April 1977