COMPUTATIONAL SUBLIME: Films by Gregg Biermann

Sale Format(s): DVD-R

Anthology Film Archives 2010 Screening
"In this work Gregg Biermann has taken head-on some of the supreme moments of classical cinema and subjected them to a dazzling transformation in the digital domain. The results are exhilarating, surprising tours de force. They also have a zany quality that shows the artist to have a witty imagination. He is a prober into the hidden corners of cinema, and a master of computer-based wizardry." -- Larry Gottheim

The development of new tools has often determined aesthetic innovations. Consequently, I've looked to new technologies to discover vast unspoiled frontiers no longer available to small gauge filmmakers interested in exploring cinematic form. These works use digital technologies to advance rigorous compositional strategies and could not have been achieved in earlier periods. The meaning of digital technology lies in its ability to copy, alter, mask, fragment, super-impose, mutate, reflect, transmit and reframe. - Gregg Biermann

Happy Again -- 2006, 5 minutes, video, sound
The signature scene from the Hollywood musical Singin' in the Rain is split into seven layers. Each layer is moving at a different speed and is visible equally in superimposition. At the temporally central point all visual and audio elements coalesce in a single frame. The result uncovers a new cinema, music and dance that are buried within the familiar iconic sequence.

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/films/happy-again

The Hills Are Alive -- 2005, 7 minutes, video, sound
An iconic scene from the beloved Hollywood musical The Sound of Music is transformed through a contrapuntal progression of split screen effects. The resulting mosaic reveals haunting melodies and reverberating dissonance.

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/films/the-hills-are-alive

Spherical Coordinates - 2005, 9 minutes, video, sound
The camera moves in a variety of ways examining the inside of a 3D animated sphere on the inside of which a scene from "Psycho" is wrapped.

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/films/spherical-coordinates

Utopia Variations - 2008, 5 minutes video, sound
In this piece the "over the rainbow" sequence from The Wizard of Oz moves forward from the beginning and backwards from the end in half second intercuts. This gradually builds from one screen to a "25-voice" split-screen canon in which each voice is slightly out of sync. The resulting matrix is mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic.

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/films/utopia-variations

The Waters of Casablanca -2002, 6 minutes, video, sound
A single frame from the classic film Casablanca is transformed into six minutes of exploding and hyperactive animation. Although the process is entirely digital, it actually relates to the hand-made or cameraless tradition more than most computer animation.

Another Picture -- 2007, 4 minutes, video, sound
Another Picture is a digital age motion study inspired by the "chronophotographic" work of Etienne-Jules Marey. The finale from the Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard is split into 16 superimposed layers. Each duplicate of the scene dissolves in and out such that it is slightly offset in time from the next. The result is oddly static and hyperactive at the same time.

High Noon Reflections - Gregg Biermann, 2009, 12 minutes, video, sound
In this piece simple patterns intervene and the original material (an iconic passage from the classic film High Noon) is transformed by them. Each shot from the original material is repeated five times and this sequence is broken up into a four part split screen, with each part of the mosaic two and one half seconds ahead of the next. The images also reflect across their horizontal and vertical axes in a regular pattern. The result is a gradual yet propulsive, shifting, nd hypnotic transformation of the original sequence.

Hackensack Motet - 2006, 5 minutes, video, sound
Recorded on Main Street in Hackensack, New Jersey and animated in the same software that is responsible for 3D animated features like Shrek, this video transforms an ordinary street scene into a kaleidoscopic phantasmagoria with stunning depth effects. The original audio composition has associations with early choral music and thus imbues the otherwise worldly imagery with sacred, almost cosmic qualities

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/cast_members/202938

New Jersey Gradual - 2008, 17 minutes, video, sound
This video consists of a single 17-minute dolly shot of a typical feature of the suburban New Jersey landscape: the parking lot. This shot is used as a texture on the inside of a primitive object in a virtual 3D space. The object is a sphere that undertakes a number of programmed rotations. The result transforms the ordinary imagery into a hypnotic, disorienting and at times otherworldly visual experience. Somehow the secular and the spiritual collide in this unlikely landscape.

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/films/new-jersey-gradual

Traffic Patterns - 2009, 9 minutes video, sound
Video sequences shot on New Jersey highways from a moving automobile are wrapped around a virtual 3D cylinder and the virtual camera moves around inside it distorting the view and encountering various reflective objects. This material is then subjected to a complex editing procedure that results in a meditative rhythmic montage.

"In this work Gregg Biermann has taken head-on some of the supreme moments of classical cinema and subjected them to a dazzling transformation in the digital domain. The results are exhilarating, surprising tours de force. They also have a zany quality that shows the artist to have a witty imagination. He is a prober into the hidden corners of cinema, and a master of computer-based wizardry." -- Larry Gottheim

The development of new tools has often determined aesthetic innovations. Consequently, I've looked to new technologies to discover vast unspoiled frontiers no longer available to small gauge filmmakers interested in exploring cinematic form. These works use digital technologies to advance rigorous compositional strategies and could not have been achieved in earlier periods. The meaning of digital technology lies in its ability to copy, alter, mask, fragment, super-impose, mutate, reflect, transmit and reframe. - Gregg Biermann

This title is available to watch on MUBI:
http://mubi.com/films/traffic-patterns




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