This programme will be dedicated to Dutch filmmaker and photographer Jaap Pieters, who shoots his films only in Super 8. Jaap Pieters has been making short films since the early 1990s. These usually consist of a single shot and have the duration of a Super8 cassette, which means that they are about three and a half to four minutes long.
He films  small events and portraits of everyday life. His first films where often shot from and around his apartment in Amsterdam which gave him the nickname ‘the EYE of Amsterdam’. But in the last couple of years Jaap has picked up his camera during his travels and filmed in places where life brought him.

This programme will start with a selection of Jaap Pieters most recent work. Projected in its orginal format by the artist in person. Followed by a live performance of the jazz drummer and percussionist Han Bennink. And the evening ends with Barabara den Uyl’s documentary The Universe of Jaap Pieters.


taxi martina
Belfast Boys/Ulster Boys
Meticulous observation of traditional marking of territory around Sandy Row in Belfast.
(Jaap Pieters, 2008, Netherlands, Super 8, 7 min.)

Schweizer Dachreinigung
Observation of thorough cleaning as only the Swiss seem capable of. Beautiful lines and light determine the images while the church clock marks time’s passing.
(Jaap Pieters, 2009, Netherlands, Super 8, 3 min.)

A large digger on a strip of land separates sand from roots. The orange arm contrasts with the green surroundings, the world behind the camera visible in the…
(Jaap Pieters, 2008, Netherlands, Super 8, 7 min.)

Paris Meltdown
Diagonal composition of melting ice on a Paris roof. Sunlight plays across the glistening surface, in the water drops and the camera’s lens.
(Jaap Pieters, 2013, Netherlands, Super 8, 3 min.)

Queen St. W.
Still life of a complex street image from Toronto becomes an extremely detailed, ‘grainfest’ down to the lightest and darkest areas of the shot.
(Jaap Pieters, 2011, Netherlands, Super 8, 3 min.)


Han Bennink is a Dutch jazz drummer and percussionist. Though perhaps best known as one of the pivotal figures in early European free jazz and free improvisation, Bennink has worked in essentially every school of jazz, and is described by critic Chris Kelsey as “one of the unfortunately rare musicians whose abilities and interests span jazz’s entire spectrum.”



The Universe of Jaap Pieters
Universum van Jaap Pieters. Charming portrait of Jaap Pieters, lover of life among Super8 filmmakers, who says he lives in a world different to the one the world is in. His films reveal a fascination for society’s rough edges and the beauty of existence. He also takes a lot of photos, mostly in his own home, where time moves at its slowest.
(Barbara den Uyl, 2015, Netherlands, DCP, 47 min.)


A recent interview with Jaap Pieters by Tirza Mol (student at the UAntwerpen) and Mark-Paul Meyer (senior curator at the EYE filmmuseum):
Oeverloosheid en de bevrijdende beperking
(the interview is in Dutch only)

Short film on Jaap Pieters:

Link to the experimentele film in the Netherlands website to see or read more on Jaap Pieters: https://www.eyefilm.nl/collectie/uitgelicht/collectiedossiers/experimentele-film-in-nederland

An interview with Jaap Pieters and Simona Monizza (EYE experimental film curator) about last year’s film programme in EYE, but also on other facets…


Han Bennink and Jaap Pieters in EYE:


23 June, Janica Draisma: Into the Light

This evening celebrates the launch of Janica Draisma’s new book and DVD Into the Light, a visual compendium of Draisma’s work compiled by the artist herself. Into the Light is a personal account that sheds light on several of her films and projects, reflecting her development as filmmaker, photographer and artist, the themes that are characteristic of her work and the people who inspired her.

Draisma describes her films as ‘cinematographic choreographies’ or ‘visual poems’. Especially the early 16mm films made at the Rietveld Academy are studies in choreography for camera. They are composed of body poses and movements symbolizing and expressing an emotional thrust, with an underlying narrative line to back them up. They are films without dialogue, the music is the motor.
Janica her short fiction films express a very personal universe and are characterized by a strong visual language, often telling the story without any spoken dialogues.

EYE has recently restored a number of Draisma’s films from its collection.


1. Bakbeesten Ballade  002
De Bakbeestenballade / The Ballad of the Monstrous (1987, DCP, 1min, EYE archive)
Short animation film in which a dancer is beset by a dragon. In avoiding the huge monster’s mouth, she changes into a little monster.


Dans binnen kader / Dance Within Frame (1988, DCP, 1min, EYE archive)
Short animation film in which a male and female dancer move in front of and behind a square frame using stop-motion.


3. Table Kick Piece 002
Table Kick Piece (1988, DCP, 1min, EYE archive)


Research (1988, DCP, 1min, EYE archive)
Short animation using stop-motion, in which a female dancer dances against the background of a white wall and a painting.


Skipping’ sore (1990, DCP, 2min, EYE archive)
Short animation using stop-motion, in which a male and female dancer are able to disappear in a blue box.


6. On Pointes & Boots 004
On Pointes & Boots (1990, DCP, 1min, EYE archive)
Short animation using stop-motion, in which a dancer dances in a white space until the word STOP appears on the screen.


The Blight, Ah (1991, DCP, 4min, EYE archive)
Ablaze (1991, DCP, 1min, EYE archive)


La Balayeuse (1991, DCP, 4min, EYE archive)
Short animated dance film, the first from a series about the street-sweeper Bala, is set in Paris where Bala meets a spider, a street-sweeper and a green dancer.


8. Bala II 007
Bala II (1991, DCP, 10min, EYE archive)
Short dance film with animation elements, commissioned by the 1993 Spring Dance Festival. Part two of a series about the dancing street-sweeper Bala, who rises from the sea and ends up in Holland.


10. Sonata do Mar 004
Sonata do mar (1991, 35mm, 5min)
Computer animation inspired by the poem With not-quite truth by Czeslaw Milosz. Three perform a virtual choreography on the sea. They dance on the water without being limited by gravity, physical restrictions, time or space. They are timeless and eternal. Developed in collaboration with Albert Jan van der Stel, using the computerprogram Life Forms.


11. The Wondrous 004
The Wondrous (1991, digital file, 10min)
Intimate and poetic portrait of mentally handicapped, in which movement and body language reveals their hidden universe to us, developed in collaboration with visual artist Berend Strik.


12. Over Mijn Lippen 002
Over mijn lippen / Crossing My Lips (1991, DCP, 14min)
A musical documentary with and about people who stutter, giving us insight in their unusual way of speaking.

The pilot of Draisma’s most recent production, The Secret Room, will also be screened.


16 June, Ken Jacobs and Early Cinema Studies

Program Description

Tom, Tom

This evening presents a program dedicated to Ken Jacobs avant-garde classic Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969-1971). The films in the program highlights its contribution to the revision of early cinema’s history, which occurred throughout the 1970s, and its repercussions in contemporary experimental filmmaking.

Ken Jacobs’ Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son appropriates cameraman Billy Bitzer’s homonymous film from 1905. When Jacobs rented an archival print of it for teaching purposes in the late 1960s, he was astonished by its composition which, not containing the conventional analytical editing of later mainstream cinema, made it difficult to discern the central action and characters. To explore and understand its form and modes of address, Jacobs began performing with the film on an analytical projector with a variable-speed function in reverse and forward projection mode, and to focus on details in the image by filming it from behind a translucent screen. The material filmed during these sessions makes up Jacobs’ now classic appropriation work which creates a transcendent experience through its exuberant scrutinies.

Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son is widely considered to have nurtured a paradigm shift in how film historians conceive of early cinema. From being considered mainly a ‘primitive’ steppingstone towards accomplished film art, early cinema became regarded as relying on its own cultural conventions by way of experimental filmmaking. Film historian Noël Burch’s article ”Primitivism and the Avant-gardes: A Dialectical Approach” (1986) underscores this by contending that Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son foreshadowed scholarly revisions of the period. Or, as film scholar Tom Gunning writes in his essay ”An Unseen Energy Swallows Space: The Space in Early Film and Its Relation to American Avant-Garde Film” (1983):

Comparing early film to recent films of the American avant-garde frees the early works from the ghetto of primitive babbling to which the progress-oriented model of film history has assigned them. If we cease to see early films simply as failed or awkward approximations of a later style, we begin to see them as possessing a style and logic of their own.

The titles in the evening’s program reflects this pas de deux between experimental film and the historiography of early cinema by making a full circle from experimental filmmaking to scholarly film history and back again. In addition to the projection of Jacobs’ Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son it will contain excerpts from Noël Burch’s rarely seen structuralist documentary Correction Please; or How We Got Into the Pictures (UK, 1979) which dealt with the modes of address and coventions of early cinema, and Peter Tscherkassky’s Coming Attractions (Austria, 2010), an experimental film which in turn pays homage to scholarly writings on early cinema by taking Tom Gunning’s aforementioned essay as its conceptual point of departure.


Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (Prod.: American Mutoscope and Biograph,1905)

Correction Please; or How We Got Into the Pictures [excerpts] (Dir.: Noël Burch, UK, 1979)

Coming Attractions (Dir.: Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2010)

Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (Dir.: Ken Jacobs, US, 1969-71)


Background Essay: Ken Jacobs’ ‘Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son’ (1969) and Early Cinema Studies

…the dialogue between early cinema historians, restorers, archivists and experimental filmmakers, this movement back and forth between historical understanding of the past and its reactivation in artistic works is essential for illuminating our knowledge and enriching our experience of film history and, in a more general way, our apprehension of what is in the film archives. (…) this historical mobility and flexibility invite new ways of thinking and writing film history departing from its historical mediations… 1

As stated by film scholar André Habib in the epigraph, experimental filmmakers have played a crucial role in the revision of early cinema and its historicization which resonated in academic film historiography. Experimental filmmakers in the 1960s and 1970s – often referred to as “structural” filmmakers because of their films’ formal experimentation – produced original perspectives on the development of film form propagating a conception of early cinema as a candid, independent form of filmmaking devoid of the narrative conventions which were established in the 1910s.2 These filmmakers regarded the formal traits of early cinema as akin to their own formal experiments and engaged with them, to lend the words of film theorist Noël Burch “… as ‘found objects’ which can be said to have stimulated the sense of recognition…”.3 They did this by using film projection and duplication technologies in novel ways to manipulate the playback speed, direction and scale of archival films as a way of exploring early cinema’s non-narrative forms. In doing so they conveyed the point that filmic narration was a cultural convention and not an inherent feature of the film medium, which had only been established decades after the emergence of cinema. As suggested by film scholar Bart Testa, by using film technology to this end, structural filmmaking represented a congruency with emerging culturalist and materialist approaches to film history and technology that rejected an essentialist, teleological view of film art’s development to establish “…a mode of cinema critical of orthodox histories of cinema and allied with apparatus theory.”4

With regard to these exchanges between film historiography, archiving and experimental filmmaking in the 1960s and 1970s, Ken Jacobs’ classic Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969-1971) can be regarded as a particularly illustrative work in its use of film technology and its conception of film as an archival medium. It reflects an anti-essentialist perspective by engaging in a revisionist scrutiny of early cinema to illustrate and acknowledge its different formal conventions and to project them onto the present. As David Bordwell has written concerning Tom, Tom.. to suggest this: ”Jacobs’ reworking of the film was as important as any archival research in suggesting that early cinema operated with a distinctive and oppositional aesthetic”.5

Ken Jacobs’ Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (USA, 1969-71)

In 1969, Ken Jacobs created the first version of Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son out of cameraman Billy Bitzer’s homonymous film produced by American Mutoscope and Biograph in 1905, using a 16mm print distributed by the Library of Congress.6 The film had been made available through the recently finalized restoration project of the so-called paper print collection. The paper print collection had been created as a means for production houses to copyright their moving picture production on paper rolls – an archival medium chosen because of legislative restrictions – in the late 1890s, but had fallen into oblivion after copyright registration of motion pictures on film had been approved in 19127. It was only in the 1960s that a restoration of large parts of the collection was completed and made available for distribution that educational institutions got a chance to show and reflect upon the films again.


tom, tom

Fig. 1 Screen capture from Ken Jacobs Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969-1971). By the use of an analytical projector Jacobs stretched the original film of Billy Bitzer of the same title to two hours to critically interrogate the film’s form focusing on details in the image.


When Jacobs rented Bitzer’s film from LoC to show it in a filmmaking course at the SUNY Binghamton, he was astonished by its form, which he perceived as remarkably different – or ”visually busy” as he has himself put it – from later narrative cinema – in particular D.W. Griffith’s films. Its lack of conventional analytical editing as seen in mainstream cinema, made it difficult to orient oneself in the film’s frame and discern its central action and characters.8 To explore this form of composition and better understand it, Jacobs began performing with the film on an analytical projector using a variable-speed function in reverse and forward projection mode. This allowed him to focus on details in the image, and slow down and speed up actions filming it all from behind a translucent screen (see fig. 1). Using the material filmed during these performances, Jacobs created his now classic version of Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son, which stretches the ten minutes of Bitzer’s film into a two-hour investigation of its form, to show among other things that early film represented an alternative to conventional narrative cinematic forms and modes of address.9

Tom, Tom… had repercussions in contemporary writings on film historiography and has since been considered, as pointed out by film scholar Christa Blümlinger, a film which heralded a paradigm shift toward New Film Historicism and its emphasis on popular forms of cultural expression.10 In particular Noël Burch’s article ”Primitivism and the Avant-gardes: A Dialectical Approach” (1986) stressed the film’s role in the recognition of early cinema’s different formal conventions, just as Burch’s seminal monograph La lucarne de l’infini. Naissance du language cinématographique (1991), suggested that Tom, Tom… represented a ’modern look’ on the period which foreshadowed 1970s revisionism in pondering the difficulty of understanding early cinema from a contemporary perspective.11

In addition, Tom, Tom… could be situated within a broader strand of structural filmmaking which fuelled the scholarly revision of early cinema, through its approximation of experimental cinematic forms to early cinema conventions. Film scholar Tom Gunning’s article ”An Unseen Energy Swallows Space: The Space in Early Film and Its Relation to American Avant-Garde Film” (1983) clearly encapsulates this point:

Comparing early film to recent films of the American avant-garde frees the early works from the ghetto of primitive babbling to which the progress-oriented model of film history has assigned them. If we cease to see early films simply as failed or awkward approximations of a later style, we begin to see them as possessing a style and logic of their own.12

In Gunning’s view, the scrutinies of structural filmmaking exteriorized that early cinema’s formal logic was not narrative-driven but instead relied heavily on direct modes of address and the display of attractions (for which reason he also characterized – together with film scholar André Gaudreault – early cinema as ‘cinema of attractions). In this respect, experimental filmmaking held a liberating potential which helped film historians articulate a revisionist counter-position to the general film histories’ linear model. This can be said to reflect in concentrated efforts in the late 1970s to review early cinema from the vantage point of avant-garde filmmaking. As André Habib reminds us, Gunning’s essay was presented in the context of a symposium organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art entitled “Researches and Investigation into Film: its Origins and the Avant-Garde” where also Noël Burch’s “Primitivism and the Avant-Gardes” was first presented.13 The symposium provided a framework for the discussion between film archivists and historians of early cinema and included four programs of experimental films containing amongst others Ken Jacobs’ Tom, Tom…, Ernie Gehr’s Eureka! (USA, 1974) and films by avant-garde directors such as Stan Brakhage, George Landow and Kenneth Anger, in conjunction with programs of “Historical Films” from for example the catalogues of production houses such as Edison, Biograph and Pathé.14

However, while this created a closer dialogue between academia and experimental filmmaking it did not mark a merging of the two milieux. The respective production contexts and intellectual environments of academic research and films remained too incompatible.15 On a conceptual level, a very significant difference between early cinema historians and filmmakers was for example that the former opposed itself to the understanding of early cinema as a particularly pure and innocent filmic language which had become corrupted by later Hollywood cinema. This is perhaps most vehemently illustrated in Noël Burch’s position that ambiguously resorted to the vantage point of structural filmmakers first to illustrate the significance of studying early cinema as pertaining to a different set of cultural conventions, to then distance himself clearly from structural filmmaking’s longing for early cinema as unsullied, by arguing that later narrative cinema could not be regarded as intrinsically conformist.16

On the other hand, as pointed out by Bart Testa, Burch’s activities from the late 1970s onwards also represents an exception to this division, as he directed films and television documentaries which merged academic film historiography with perspectives of structural filmmaking.17 In his film on film style from 1979, Correction Please: or, How We Got into the Pictures, Burch investigated French, British and American cinema’s development of form and modes of address from the years before 1906 till the early 1930s.18

Conceived in a typically structuralist mode of filmmaking, Correction Please iterates the same dramatic scene five times; a young man named Williamson (named after British early Film pioneer James Williamson) is given the task of delivering a message to the countess Skladanowsky’s house (a reference to the German film pioneers Skladanowsky brothers). Each iteration of the action mimicks the stylistic conventions of a particular period’s editing and use of sound, alluding to the style of particular films and intercut with films from cinema’s earliest period.19 Following this structure, the first depiction of the scene employs a frontal tableau style with a voiceover mimicking the style of an early cinema bonimenteur – a narrator which in cinema’s earliest years explained screen action to audiences – while the last depiction shows the scene as it could have been edited and sonorized in the early period of sound film (see fig. 2). 20


correction please

Fig. 2 In Noël Burch’s Correction Please: or, How We Got into the Picures (1979) the same sequence is repeated five times inter-cut with examples from early films to eplain film form’s development. First the sequence appears in early cinema tableau style with a bonimenteur and audience sounds on the soundtrack respectively explaining the action and giving an impression of the screening’s atmosphere to then, in its fifth iteration contain analytical editing and sound effects in a style from the early 1930s.


Working at this intersection, Burch can be considered one of few “scholar-filmmakers” whose practice illustrates the exchange between experimental filmmaking and scholarship.21 His practice reflects how structural filmmaking was embraced by scholars as a form of audio-visual film historiography, while in general not being broadly integrated into scholarly practice. This has established a conceptual exchange which continues to develop up to today in found footage filmmaking and recycled cinema which reflect current archival research into neglected areas of the archive and – to recap the words of Habib – “…invite new ways of thinking and writing film history…”.

Beyond Structural Filmmaking: contemporary dialogues of appropriation, archiving and filmmaking

Filmic appropriation works beyond structural filmmaking prevalently denominated as found footage or recycled cinema, continue to nourish new directions in film historiography. Today, a dynamic between film historiography, film archiving and artistic appropriation drives a re-evaluation of hitherto neglected material such as industrial, “orphan” and educational archival films in numerous works by independent filmmakers. Such archival material is becoming increasingly appreciated as an integral part of film heritage by film scholars and artists seeing film archives and museums encouraging its valorisation.22 As an early example of this which evokes the format of the “Researches and Investigations into Film…”-symposium, can be mentioned for example the 40th congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) held in Vienna at the Österreichiches Filmmuseum in 1984, which comprised a series of film screenings compiled by the institution’s co-founder and filmmaker Peter Kubelka, screening films by American avant-garde filmmakers such as Ernie Gehr and Jonas Mekas alongside for example cigarette commercials and home movies.23

From a present perspective, as film scholar Eric Thouvenel has pointed out on the basis of a comparison between Ken Jacobs’ and Austrian filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky’s works, “found footage” films nourish reflection on film historiography through their predominant focus on lesser known or anonymous film to propagate a “film history with little ‘f’” along the lines of structural filmmaking’s counter-myths of film history.24 Such works’ focus tend to downplay classic notions of auteurs and stylistic schools to comprehend the forms of neglected material through appropriation. While there is a large corpus of films demonstrating this dynamic, a recent work which illustrates the continued role of filmic appropriation in scholarly revisionism of archival film and its ties to the debates around structural filmmaking in early cinema studies clearly, is Austrian filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky’s Coming Attractions (2010). Coming Attractions appropriates rushes from commercials taking the conceptual vantage point and frame of reference of early cinema studies with particular attention to Tom Gunning’s aforementioned essay “An Unseen Energy Swallows Space…”.25

The film suggests, as film critic Catherine Giraud writes in her introduction to Coming Attractions, that commercials can be seen as one of three “cinemas of attractions” alongside early cinema and avant-garde film.26 The film uses the concept of “cinema of attractions” to understand the modes of address of the actors in commercials by playing puns on reference films and concepts of early cinema scholars in its inter-titles. Playing on the observation which Tom Gunning made concerning the different relationship between actor and camera, screen and spectator in early cinema, Coming Attractions conceptualizes the seductive conventions of the commercial as a pendant to early cinema’s direct address, establishing this by playing on the title of Gunning’s essay, changing it into “Cubist Cinema No. 1. An Unseen Energy Swallows Face”.



Fig. 3 The section “Cubist Cinema No. 2. Rough Sea at Nowhere” from Austrian filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky’s Coming Attractions (2010) plays a pun on the title of Rough Sea at Dover (1896) of Birt Acres’ production company, filmed by R.W. Paul, to frame the appropriation of rushes from a soda commercial within early film history, the film avant-garde of the 1920s and the revisionist historiographies of early cinema studies with particular attention to Tom Gunning’s concept of “cinema of attractions”.


Furthermore, close-ups of products being advertised are ascribed the same spectacular qualities of for example the depiction of exotic locations in early cinema travelogues in the inter-titles’ play with words. The close-up of a sparkling soda of which the soundtrack amplifies the crackling sounds of bubbles and ice cubes is presented as the “Rough Sea at Nowhere”, alluding to the title of the famous travelogue filmed by British cameramen Robert W. Paul and Birt Acres in 1898 Rough Sea at Dover (see fig. 3).

Through the conceptual frame of early cinema studies, Coming Attractions thus renders the seemingly incognito rushes of commercials and its anonymous settings into a revisionist excursion into film history and the shadowy corners of the film archive, testifying to the continued dialogue between film historians, archivists and independent filmmakers today.


1 André Habib, ”Le cinéma de réemploi considéré comme une ”archive”. L’exemple de A Trip Down Market Street (1906) et Eureka (1974)”, in André Habib and Michel Marie eds., L’avenir de la mémoire. Patrimoine, restauration, réemploi cinématographiques. (Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013) 151 (emphasis in original). Original quote: ”Je considère (…) que le dialogue entre les historiens du cinéma des premiers temps, les restaurateurs, les archivistes et les cinéastes expérimentaux, ce mouvement d’aller-retour entre l’intelligence historienne du passé et sa réactivation dans les oeuvres artistiques, est essentiel pour éclairer notre connaissance et enrichir notre expérience de l’histoire du cinéma et, de façon plus générale, notre appréhension de ce qui se trouve dans les archives du cinéma. (…) cette mobilité et souplesse historiques invitent à de nouvelles manières de penser et d’écrire l’histoire du cinéma à partir de ses médiations historiques…”. American film scholar P. Adams Sitney coined the term Structural Film to distnguish a common stylistic trend of formal experimentation in primarily North American and Austrian independent filmmaking in the 1950s to the 1970s. First appearing in an article in volume 47 of the American review Film Culture in the summer of 1969, the term has since become widely applied to experimental filmmaking in film scholarship. However it is also an increasingly contested term, being considered reductionist for its broad application.

2 Noël Burch, La lucarne de l’infini. Naissance du langage cinématographique. (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2007 [1991]) 10.

3 Noël Burch, ”Primitivism and the Avant-gardes: A Dialectical Approach”, in Philip Rosen ed., Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology. (New York, Guildford, Surrey: Columbia University Press, 1986) 502.

4 Bart Testa, Back and Forth. Early Cinema and the Avant-Garde. (Ontario: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1992) 20.

5 David Bordwell, On the History of Film Style (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998) 103.

6 Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema 3. Interviews with Independent Filmmakers. (Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press, 1998) 380.

7 For a description of the collection’s history and holdings, see: Patrick G. Loughney, “A Descriptive Analysis of the Library of Congress Paper Print Collection” (PhD diss., George Washington University, 1988)

8 David Shapiro, ”An Interview with Ken Jacobs”, in Millennium Film Journal, vol. 1 no. 1 (Winter 1977-1978) 171.

9 Paul Arthur, ”’A Panorama Compounded of Great Human Suffering and Ecstatic Filmic Representation’: Texts on Ken Jacobs”, in Michele Pierson, David E. James and Paul Arthur eds., Optic Antics. The Cinema of Ken Jacobs (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) 29.

10 Christa Blümlinger, Cinéma de seconde main. Esthétique du remploi dans l’art du film et des nouveaux médias. (Paris: Klincksieck, 2013 [2009]) 63.

11 Noël Burch, La lucarne de l’infini. Naissance du langage cinématographique, (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2007 [1991]) 166.

12 Tom Gunning, ”An Unseen Energy Swallows Space: The Space in Early Cinema and Its Relation to American Avant-Garde Film”, in John Fell ed., Film Before Griffith (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983) 355.

13 André Habib, op. cit., 150-151.

14 Ibid., footnote 12.

15 Bart Testa, op.cit., 18.

16 Noël Burch, op.cit.: 10.

17 Bart Testa, op.cit., 49.

18 Michèle Lagny, De l’histoire du cinéma. Méthode historique et histoire du cinéma. (Paris: Armand Colin Éditeur, 1992) 266.

19 Rod Stoneman, ”Perspective Correction: Early Cinema to the Avant-Garde”, in Afterimage 8/9, Spring Issue 1981 (1981).

20 With regard to the making of Correction… Noël Burch has pointed out the following periods and films as corresponding to the styles of the film’s five different segments: ”…the mature primitive years (ca. 1905), Griffith’s middle period at Biograph (ca. 1910), the more mature films which Reginald Barker made for Thomas Ince (ca. 1915), Fritz Lang’s Mabuse dyptich [sic] (1922) and, finally, the era of ‘canned theatre’, insofar as it is that of so many films made between 1929 and today”. Noel Burch cited in Bart Testa, op. cit.: 50.

21 Erlend Lavik, “The Video Essay: The Future of Academic Film and Television Criticism?“, in Frames Cinema Journal, Issue 1, July 2012.

22 Thomas Elsaesser, ”Archives and Archaeology. The Place of Non-Fiction Film in Contemporary Media”, in Vincenz Hediger and Patrick Vondereau eds., Films That Work. Industrial Film and the Productivity of Media. (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009) 27.

23 Christian Lebrat ed., Peter Kubelka. (Paris: Paris Expérimental Editions, 1990) 40.

24 Eric Thouvenel, ”How ‘Found Footage’ Films Made Me Think Twice About Film History”, in Cinema & Cie – International Film Studies Journal, no. 10 Spring 2008 (2008) 97.

25 Peter Tscherkassky, ”Coming Attractions”. Presentation of the film by the filmmaker available through Peter Tscherkassky’s website: http://www.tscherkassky.at/content/films/theFilms/ComingAttractionsEN.html.

26 Catherine Giraud, ”Coming Attractions”. DVD liner notes to the release Peter Tscherkassky. Attractions, Instructions and Other Romances. Index DVD Edition, Vienna, 2013, 13.

27 Elfi Reiter, “Cinema 2, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, Italy, July 2002 (review), in The Moving Image, Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2003, (2003) 158.

28 For more on this exhibition see Marente Bloemheuvel, Giovanna Fossati and Jaap Guldemond (eds.), Found Footage. Cinema Exposed. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012.

Text by Christian Gosvig Olesen, the curator of the program and PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies, University of Amsterdam, Media Studies department.

2 June, I Move, So I Animate

Between Grubby Flesh and Insubstantial Pixel

imoveMedium Specificity and Space Exploration

It is not exclusively through the moving image that the imagined haptic experience can be achieved in art. What is significant however. is a distancing of the original method of an image’s creation through projection or screening that highlights most strongly the imaginary process that goes on when experiencing imagined touch in art. The texture that once existed is flattened onto a screen. This is evident in Gerrit van Dijk’s work. He works in mediums like pencil and crayon, artistic instruments we have likely been familiar with from childhood. The resulting textures that we no doubt would have touched and smudged are immediately recalled when seen on screen, appealing to these pre-existing memories. This is where the issue of the haptic in digital arises—we cannot feel a pixel.

Shards of Pixels

With the rise of haptic interfaces, most notably through touchscreens on smartphones, we use our sense of touch on a 2-dimensional plane. This utilisation of physical touch is concerned with gaining information and communicating through the still virtual intermediary of a screen. We feel the screen but we can not touch the pixels. It is perhaps only possible to sense-touch through a medium that behaves similarly: glass. Like glass, the digital can be twisted, shifted, squeezed and moulded, but is still distinct from glass which always has a shine and transparency that digital might mimic but it is not an inherent quality (de Bruyn 12).

Because digital works can be so easily manipulated, they are often said to distance a creator from the process through a lack of physical effort. While it is difficult to pin down what the digital “feels” like, this does not mean it lacks tactility. And while the physical presence of the creator may not be so visible or immediate in the digital, it is still there, buried in the code, and construction of computer programmes. The digital “glass” is translucent, not transparent, and sometimes if we peer through we can see the other side—sometimes catching our own reflection and that of the world around us.

Programme Highlights

Movements in Light – Nan Hoover – 1975 – 17 minutes

“A close up is unclear, yet becomes clearer as the camera focuses. Closed lips, the contours of the upper lip, the tip of the nose, the dark shadow of a nostril appear against the contrasting lightness of the foreground which is bathed in light. A fade transforms the image…The slow movement and light reveal new formations of her body bathed in light: a face a close up of a hand with deep lines that are pronounced by the shadows they create…The images seem internal and somewhat distant like a dream which bears images of reality but visually appears so removed from it”. [LIMA catalog description]



Skinflick – Thorsten Fleisch – 2002 – 8 minutes

“Hautnah – Skinflick is a filmic exploration of the texture of my hand with and without camera. With maintaining the hand/skin theme the methods of film production are changed. Hence not only is my hand shown in various ways but also different possibilities of filmic representation are discussed. For the sound audio I scanned my hand with the cartridge of a phono player. The resulting sounds were rearranged to fit the images.” [artist’s statement]

Inklings – Leslie Holland – 1918 – 4 minutes

A playful work showing the artist’s hands with a knife cutting away and rearranging the strange contours of a female and male caricatures to morph them into beautiful profiles.

The Black Room – Robbie Correlissen – 2015 – 8 minutes

“The work consists of sixty animations based on charcoal drawings on paper, in which the themes of perspective and space, abstraction and figuration and the transition from two- to examine three-dimensional are being examine” [LIMA catalog description]

I Move, So I Am

I Move, So I Am

I Move, So I Am – Gerrit van Dijk – 1997 – 8 minutes

Director Gerrit van Dijk states: “I move, so I am”, a free interpretation of Descartes quotation: “I think, so I am”, is my credo to express myself on celluloid. “I am not shooting pictures, I animate…” [artist’s description]

Cascade – Bernard Gigounon – 2001 – 4 minutes (excerpt) 

“Cascade is a stop-motion, 25 image/second animated loop of a river in motion. Gigounon printed his images, piled them on top of one another, filmed on accelerate, and let magic of cinema bring the river back to life.” [LIMA catalog description]

Swan Song – Anouk de Clercq – 2013 – 3 minutes

“‘Swan song’ is a metaphorical phrase for a final effort or performance given just before death or retirement. Anouk De Clercq, Jerry Galle and Anton Aeki found inspiration in the age-old belief that the swan is shrouded in silence during its life – until just before its death. A sparkling, subtle animation.” [LIMA catalog description]

The Haptic and Control Over the Imaginationhaptic

It is thought that engaging the audience with texture in art gives the audience more control over what they think and feel in reaction to the work (Vasseleu 145). Of course, when the word “feel” is used in this context, it does not imply any physical contact. Rather, it refers to an emotional and imagined sensation. The duality of this word in relation to a film programme that explores the haptic is interesting in that it suggests there is more than one way to “feel.” Apart from the feeling of the screen itself, the texture of what has been recorded can only ever be imagined by the audience. This is why it is of interest to have the audience engage with film’s physical texture to then have them see and imagine a texture that they know is not onscreen. There is not only a suspension of disbelief over movement, but also with texture and space.

Further information and advance tickets for I Move, So I Animate .

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A “preview” of I Move, So I Animate.

Eye on art1

Eye on art2

26 May, Magnify – Magnifying: Researchlab Rietveld Academy, VAV – Dept of Moving Image

Insights – installation by Martina Gudmundson – ongoing

The ‘Insights’ are positioned in sites of the hallway at the EYE Film Institute. These objects are making use of the oldest way to project an image – that of the camera obscura. Here the viewer may have a parallel cinematic experience – live and in real time.




Overflow – Performance by Marilou Stive and Mathilde Renault – 10’

This performance aims to wonder about reality and our daily rituals. How the fear of missing out interferes in our lives and social behaviour.



Mister and Misses Huis – Noé Cottencin – 4’

The story is simple: A couple decides to go on a vacation and while they look at their house in the distance, they remember the last time they left together.
In their time of wonder, Mr. and Mrs. Huis take some distance from the story. They get detached from us and the focus is given on the other characters.
” Mister and Misses Huis ” is a story written from archival documents present on the OpenBeelden. They are here taken as a base for a narration, a journey at the sea, or at the swimming pool when it’s too cold, with appearance of fashion women in the streets of Amsterdam or bathing suits men on the shore of january.




The Absolute Truth – Yasmina Ghalmi Mews – 3’

How would you react if you opened an envelope with the absolute truth in it? Is there such a thing as the absolute truth? Those questions stroke me while I was reading “The Illicit happiness of Other People” by Manu Joseph. The original story ends with a farmer who opens an envelope that contains the absolute truth and he begins to laugh hysterically. At the end, the envelope and its content have been passed around the whole world and everyone laughs about the highly anticipated absolute truth.
To me, finding out the absolute truth would be an absurd experience with the only logical reaction being a hysterical laugh.
This animation is my own interpretation of the two before-mentioned questions, inspired by this passage from the book. It made me think of those moments when we are alone and thinking about these important metaphysical questions.
That same kind of atmosphere that Edward Hopper always captures in his paintings. That feeling of isolation and transcendence is what I am trying to transmit with this animation — by zooming in from the universe and ending with something tangible or relatable like the hand of a human being.




double F for Final Fantasy – Alina Ozerova – 7’

The film is re-interpreting a touristic voyage of relatives and friends who got the permission to reach the outer folds of Iron Curtain. The 8mm camera they brought along was documenting both intimate and typical moments of the tour: street views, swimming in the lake, and incredible amount of Soviet monuments on the way.
35 years after that trip original film footage is digitized and parts of it are lost due to the time damage, not sharp focus of the original lens or digital correction side-effects. Coming from a country with a long history of repressive forgetfulness, now I might need to practice oblivion as a part of a new identity formation, as a way to get forward. This results in an experimental essay adapting touristic posters claims to highlight the unreflected episodes of the past and make a link between private history and ‘here and now’.

F for final



Hulleman – Berber Humalda – 5’

The work “Hulleman” is inspired by unrecognizable microscopic images and how these images create a world on its own. “Hulleman” is a journey that travels over a surface and explores the passing of time, alienation and the human body.




How To Dress For The End Of The World – Raluca Tudorache – 6’

The work represents a metatheatrical character, Electric Jesus, paraphrased by The Holy Spirit and accompanied by The Ephemerals, who confronts and asks for a closer look at the perpetual mutilation and recycling of beliefs in our postmodern/ postmortem society.
A world in decay is one where meaning is shifting absurdly, almost grotesquely, before the final exit into nothingness. We have to dance with the nothing, so little less conversation and little more action, please!

End of world



Wandering – Luciënne Venner – 7’

”Wandering’’ is a Short film shot in real time. It takes the viewer on journey to hit the mind of the main character. The drama unfolds elsewhere while the build-up of tension is frozen to become the memory of an event that never took place.




Fatherland – Baha Görkem Yalim – 6’

Right after the military coup was declared as finished, in the beginning of the 80’s, my grandfather got assassinated. Moving from what is left from him brings the physical and non-physical aspects to light. Using the glasses he was wearing at the time of the shooting I am trying to reconstruct a father figure. I am building a bridge from this reconstruction to self-perceiving of politics, of one’s country and one’s identity. Fatherland is a wondering about ancestrality and dislocated self.




Skinship – performance by Anna Dorota Radzimirska, Yulia Ratman and Arta Balina

The experience of the lost language of touch through the lens of cinema. The play between physical presence and live-filmed image become holistic.

19 May, Re-action in F(ilm), Researchlab Master Photography AKV|StJoost

Point of departure of this evening is the work of Noud Heerkens. Heerkens has contributed greatly over the years to the development of Dutch (experimental) film with his works in different genres.

Heerkens is a tutor at the master photography. This year he used some of his films in a workshop to discuss artistic points of departure and cinematic principles with the students. These were the inspiration for the works the students made as a reaction or comment.


Blank_Sheets_Still Blank_Sheets_Still1

Blank Sheets, 5 min 2015

Simone Engelen, Jesse Bom and technical direction Bart Verhoeven

Simone Engelen and Jesse Boom contribute the short film Blank Sheets to this evening. The film was inspired by The Last Conversation (2009) by Noud Heerkens.

Blank Sheets shows the turning point in a relationship, when dreams come to a stand still and reality shows itself in all its imperfections. In this film different cameras create their own images simultaneously. The images are shown as a series, the viewer constructs his own story.


Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 19.48.40 Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 19.54.20

Le Flaneur, 15 min 2015

Idan Brull

Following the film Limited blue (1984) by Noud Heerkens, Idan Brull created a series of short videos that describe a daily routine from the inside (the house) to the outside,(to the streets) and back. He searches for things that are of interest to him in this walk he does, the everyday events that pass us by.



Bright Light 1 Bright Light 2

Bright Light, 6 min 2015

Iebeltje van der Spoel

Iebeltje van der Spoel made Bright LIght based on the films Limited Blue and Last Conversation by Noud Heerkens: a man sits in his car in front of his ex’s house. He is unsure if he should get out and ring her bell. While time is passing by he smokes one cigarette after another and closely watches her apartment. He gets haunted by a dreamlike world in which people seem to come and go.



Pleats 1 Pleats 2

Pleats, 3 min, 2015

Verena Blok

Point of departure for this short film is the Blok’s fascination for the sculptural aspects of the body. With her camera Blok moves close to the skin, each part of the body seems to gain a certain rythm. With a 50 mm lens she concentrates on the abstract forms and materials of the contextual surroundings, showing the intimate atmosphere of someone’s life.


7 5

Perfect frame, 20 min 2015

Jacklyn Cornelisse, Simone Engelen, Mihai Gui, Anne Lucassen

Four master students try to figure out what the perfect frame would look like, as four different cameras record this process. Each of their four perspectives is revealed and manipulated as they progress through the discussion and the film. A fifth, exterior, perspective provides a solid anchor for this meta-experience that will end when the question is answered: what does the perfect frame look like? The setup and the filming will all take place on a single day and draws its main inspiration from Last Conversation (2009) providing a line of dialogue to it through the great similarity in the means employed, while also presenting a completely different experience because of its self-referential and real-life based storyline.

5 May, Up to the Sky and Much Much More

Three films on recollections and forgotten memories concerning World War 2, with work by Henri Plaat, Karel Doing and Barbara Meter. Absurdism, personal memories and experiment come together in this programme, which examines the many ways in which memories of the Second World War can be visualised.

2nd war hats 2
2nd War Hats – Henri Plaat (NL, 1984, 3 min)

In between war bombardments, models are showing the latest fashion in ladies’ hats from a manhole in a tarmac road. One of the made-up faces peeping out of the manhole is that of the filmmaker himself.

Henri Plaat (1936) studied at the Amsterdam Arts and Industry School (the current Gerrit Rietveld Academy). He works as a visual artist and has occupied himself with film since 1968. Frequently his films are a precipitate of his journeys through Europe, Asia, America and North Africa. Plaat lives and works in Amsterdam.


Dark Matter 01
Dark Matter – Karel Doing (NL, 2014, 20 min)
The filmmaker follows the trail of his father based on an archive of family portraits and landscape photographs and experiments with film emulsion against the backdrop of the Second World War. Images of industrial buildings, wooded areas and a surreal semi-desert pass by, alternated with abstract, fast-moving shots. Karel Doing made use of chemical, biochemical and mechanical techniques to create these animated images. The outcome is a fascinating tale, told by the film material itself.
Dark Matter offers a mix of sensory experience and intellectual challenge; what precisely drove Doing’s father? Why did he travel to the ends of the earth and why did he record thousands of landscapes, but hardly took any photographs of his friends, relatives and colleagues?


“Taking a selection of my father’s vast archive of landscape photographs as a starting point, I embarked on an investigation of the possibilities for creating ‘landscapes’ directly on motion picture film material. 

Using yeast, salt, leaves and seaweed as reactive elements I managed to find a new way for creating images on analogue film. The yeast grew; feeding on the gelatin, the caustic power of the salt left marks in the emulsion, the acidity of the leaves attacked the film even stronger, and chlorophyll in the seaweed was absorbed; creating unexpected colours. 

Additionally I experimented with organic developers and a range of chemical toning techniques and more destructive techniques such as scraping, applying acid and temporary burial of photographic material. 

I used the resulting collection of images to create an experiential cinematic piece, simultaneously being a portrait of my father, an account of the largely unknown part of his life before I was born, and a moving visual painting.”
-Karel Doing

Karel Doing (1965, Canberra, Australia) makes expanded cinema, multi-screen, performative, cross-media and participatory works. His single screen works and installations are often the result of these processes and collaborations. He has worked together with individuals, groups and organizations in many European countries and in Indonesia, Suriname and the USA. His main interest is to reconnect seemingly implausible links: urban/nature, music/math, passion/ratio, analogue/digital. He lives and works in London.
In 1989 he started Studio één, an artist run lab for Super8 and 16mm filmmaking, now operating as an independent film-production company specialized in artist films.

Interview in Dutch:


Bis an den Himmel und noch viel mehr – Barbara Meter (NL, 2015, 35 min)

Barbara Meter tells the story of her father Leo Meter based on a series of poignant letters. Leo Meter wrote them to his daughter after he had been arrested by the Gestapo and deported to the East Front. Bis an den Himmel… is a magnificently produced and touching portrait of a unique man.


“There was an article in the newspaper that suddenly struck me: someone here in Holland had found gravestones of Russian soldiers from the Second World War. The traces of what was left of the soldiers’ memory brought the remaining relatives to come and visit their gravesites. All of them were very grateful and moved. My father does not have a gravestone, and though that was not something I was after, the article awakened what I had decided long ago and it was made clear that I should do that now.

There are not many testimonies of Germans who resisted fascism – my father was one of them and I could tell it. So I dug up what I found of him – photos, letters, drawings, stories…, and recorded it. During the making of the film I felt that step by step I came closer to who he had been and also closer to the love and protection I experienced from him – even if I was too little to remember his presence clearly.

In Poland I was very close to where he had died. There were only empty fields of grain and old broken houses… such an estranged feeling that there were no signs left of the cruel fighting that had happened there. For myself this gap has been filled and I hope for some others too.”
-Barbara Meter

Barbara Meter finished the Dutch Film Academy in 1963 and got an MA Film and video at the London School of Printing in 1995. Meter was co-founder of Electric Cinema, in the early 70’s a bastion of Dutch experimental cinema. Meter has made many experimental short films, and also some feature films and documentaries. She also worked as a curator of film programs, teacher and free-lance lecturer on film.




7 Apr, Wet Dream Festival Recap

This programme is devoted to the two editions of the Wet Dream Film Festival in the early seventies, instigated by Suck (the First European Sex Magazine).
The Wet Dream Film Festival was the world’s first sex film festival and took place at various locations in Amsterdam. With participants like Germaine Greer, William Burroughs and Betty Dodson. Erotic films were screened at the interface between eroticism and art, who wanted to be more then or different from standard porn. The sexual revolution of the late 60s was closely linked to the artistic and cultural avant-garde of the time.
One of the organizers, Willem de Ridder, will take us 45 years back in time.

Cover of the Wet Dream Festival catalogue



It’s Harem Time (NL, Wim van der Linden, Willem de Ridder, 1966, 10’)



Noviciat (FR, Noël Burch, 1969, 20′)

A peeping tom caught spying on a women’s self-defence class is taken captive by the class leader. At first the class uses him to practice on, but his treatment steadily becomes more humiliating and fetishistic.



Love Objects (NL, Tom Chomont, 1971,16mm, 11’)

In Love Objects, explicit scenes of heterosexual and homosexual lovemaking are intercut so seamlessly that one doesn’t know quite what one’s watching. And yet—while its subject and content are daringly transgressive, the film reveals in its tenderness, rather, that life itself is a transgression on prurience.



Fuses (US, Carolee Schneemann, 25′, 16mm, 1965) with Mary Oliver on violin

A film that explicitly shows Schneemann and her partner having sex. She painstakingly etched, coloured and reassembled its frames to form a joyous collage, aiming to capture the equitable, erotic splendour of everyday sex “with shameless regard”. This was at a time when movies couldn’t show pubic hair and the word “vagina” was taboo. Schneemann had to get the footage developed in a secret lab usually used for pornographic films.

Schneemann’s self-shot erotic film remains a controversial classic. “The notorious masterpiece… a silent celebration in colour of heterosexual love making. The film unifies erotic energies within a domestic environment through cutting, superimposition and layering of abstract impressions scratched into the celluloid itself… Fuses succeeds perhaps more than any other film in objectifying the sexual streamings of the body’s mind” — The Guardian, London



24 Mar, Blindness and Cinema : Research-lab van de Master van de Filmacademie


The goal of this evening is to challenge the traditional perception of a film and explore the possibilities of interactivity between an audience, a space, cameras and a filmmaker. For the occasion, the traditional film theater will be transformed into a black box.

It is the starting of a project that you will experience as both witness and actors.

O.Delebecque ÔÇô Sketches (2014)

I am inviting you to be part of a live film performance. I am inviting you to explore, with blind person and visual impaired persons, what is an experience on vision. I am inviting you to a critical journey about blindness and cinema. I am inviting you to participate, to question and to activate the first part of an on-going process which starts as follows : to what extent can the technology of the cinema apparatus, be challenged by the performativity  of a live film performance ? I welcome you to participate but remember that you should be prepared to be filmed and blind people will help you.


5 Mar, This is Film! – Film or performance: Nicholas Ray’s We Can’t Go Home Again

From 12 February to 19 March, EYE and the University of Amsterdam are presenting a series of public lectures on film restoration at EYE: This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice. Each lecture is accompanied by film screenings.

On Thursday the 5th of March (at 16:00h, Cinema 3), the challenges of restoring and presenting experimental films will be addressed. Taking Nicholas Ray’s last film We Can’t Go Home Again as a leading case, professor Giovanna Fossati will discuss what the possible restoration and presentation strategies are, when dealing with a film that does not fall into the standards of filmmaking and theatrical film presentation. She will discuss a number of technical, ethical and institutional issues with guest Anne Gant (Head of Conservation and Digital Access, EYE), who worked on the restoration of We Can’t Go Home Again on behalf of EYE in close collaboration with Susan Ray and The Nicholas Ray Foundation, the Archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and Cineric film laboratory.
Guest: Anne Gant (Head of Conservation and Digital Access, EYE).

Films: We Can’t Go Home Again (35mm)