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Fields of View


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Table of Contents

Foreword: Harvesting Fields Acknowledgements Fields Film Machine Film as Optic and Idea Expanding Cinema Room Films Film Objects Projection Space Time Frames Realisms Asymptote Digital Dialectic Fields in Braque and Gehr Classic Film Theory and the Spectator Field and Gestalt Monet, Lumiere and Cinematic Time Displacement, Sculpture Bodies in Motion Intervals Methods of Montage Frames Frames and Windows Constructivism and Computers Geometry of Intervals Notes

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In this bold and original work, A.L. Rees elucidates an expanded network of connections between avant-garde film and wider culture.

About the Author

A.L. Rees was Head of the Time Based Media course at Maidstone College of Art from 1988 - 1995 and then Research Tutor at the Royal College of Art until 2014. At various times he was the chair of the Arts Council's artists' film and video committee, and an adviser on experimental film to the British Film Institute, Tate, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Channel 4. His book A History of Experimental Film and Video (BFI, 1999/2011) remains a key text, supplemented by the wide range of essays he wrote for journals and books on film and art. Simon Payne is Reader in Film and Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University,UK. In addition, he is an experimental video maker whose work has shown in numerous venues including Tate Modern; the Serpentine Gallery; The Hermitage, St Petersburg and the London, Edinburgh and Rotterdam Film Festivals. He has written widely on experimental film and video, and recently co-edited Kurt Kren: Structural Film with Nicky Hamlyn and A.L. Rees.


Al Rees's testament is a cinematic thinking: film and world swooping towards each other across a landscape of fields and intervals, projections and geometries, movements in and of time and space. On every page, the generosity of the man, the curator and the teacher shape new insights into our audiovisual century and its lineage. A work of permanent illumination. -- Sean Cubitt, Professor of Screen Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia
In the unlikely event that there was any doubt, Fields of View affirms A.L. Rees as one of experimental cinema's most erudite, insightful, and passionate critics and advocates. His writings, which range across a breathtaking array of subjects, ideas, works, and references, are intelligent - frequently brilliant - without ever devoting into intellectualism. They are astonishingly well-read without succumbing to mere scholasticism; we never lose the sense of an original voice, a distinct sensibility, and a great mind. Like all the best critical writing, Rees's is itself elegant, artful, provocative, and personal. This collection of essays is an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with Rees, and a reminder to those of us who already knew his writing how important he was (and remains), and what great writing about art looks like. -- Dr Jonathan Walley, Associate Professor, Department of Cinema, Denison University, USA
In this posthumous collection of essays, A.L. Rees has woven his outstanding knowledge of avant-garde film into a startlingly original, and non-linear, reconfiguration of its history. With great agility and lightness of touch, his perceptive but unexpected juxtapositions between theorists and artists, ideas and technologies, movements and moments throw new light on key issues of film theory and aesthetics. This radical rejection of chronology, however, has an underlying message. Rees traces ways in which experimental art and artists' film have challenged traditions of space and time that, rather than abrupt rupture, create a direct connection with the forms of digital art. In the brilliant last chapters of the book, he zeroes in on this dialectic. -- Laura Mulvey, Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK.

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