Film for Invisible Ink, Case No. 71: Base-Plus-Fog

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

Just barely a whisper. The minimum density, the slightest shape. A series of measurements, an equation for living. The edge of what matters, the contours of an idea. A selection of coordinates for finding one's way back. Space, time and temperature. The name of the most important person. Premiered in the New York Film Festival's "Views from the Avant-Garde."

"Gatten's placid, comically lyrical new Film for Invisible Ink case no. 71: Base-Plus-Fog calls to mind the self-referential hijinks and bone-dry textual wit of Owen Land. But Gatten's approach is in some ways more classically minimalist than Land's. Invisible Ink is largely composed of a series of sprocket-hole outlines that seem to materialize from the white screen, the "image" consisting of clear leader and its dust granules until one of the rounded rectangles dips down and floats forward into the frame of reference. They each occupy pretty much the same position, and although they are mostly identical, the ongoing procession gives us time to notice their differences - a smudged lower boundary, say, or an unstable corner. In between, Gatten silently presents texts from a Kodak manual, detailing what I can only assume to be film-developer hazard that we're observing - problems in base-plus-fog density. (Don't ask me. For all I know this could refer to a soundcheck crisis at a Kiss concert.) Gatten has been working for years now with the particular juncture at which text and image become indistinguishable, but Film for Invisible Ink displays an impressive recommitment to the less-is-more aesthetic that lent such subtlety and refinement to his earlier What the Water Said series. This new work is muscular yet delicate, like an Agnes Martin canvas or a Fred Sandback string sculpture." - Michael Sicinski, GreenCine Daily

Rental Fees

16mm film $125.00  

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