Materiality of Film and Photographic Media: Workshop Nov 11, 1-4pm @SCA

berenice abbott – shadows produced by water waves -1958

NMiCA SCA Workshop
Materiality of Film and Photographic Media
Wednesday, November 11, 1-4pm
Presented by:
George Ioannides & Sean O’Connell
SCA Board Room,
Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle

RSVP (free attendance):
Each presentation will include a participatory studio component.
Workshop open to anyone with interest in New Materialisms.

Filmic Mattering: Notes towards a New Materialist, Multispecies, and Postsecular Cinematics
George Ioannides


This workshop will present a new materialist intervention into the question of an aesthetics that can actualise a shared multispecies, postsecular materiality. It investigates the potentials of a mediated new materialism that avows a material sense of the postsecular animal subject, revealing an opening unto a religious vocabulary of immanence and transcendence that reconciles both the sacred with the material and human aesthetics with nonhuman materiality. Film media, as the focus of this presentation, is discussed here as a material-discursive aesthetic practice, a co-collaboration of material-discursive and human-nonhuman agencies that can often express the interconnectedness of life as a structure of perception and framework of experience. Such a new materialist perspective towards film redirects our attention to both the discourse of filmic images and the matter of film, as well as to the contemporary spectator’s encounter with its underlying materiality and world-making capacities. This perspective further allows us to explore what a materialised cinematics that recognises the embodied materiality and material comportment of multi-species relationality would look and feel like, and how best to speak of its importance in this postsecular present.

Studio Component:
Screening of Sirius Remembered (Stan Brakhage, 1959, US) and facilitated discussion of the new materialist reading of this film.

Workshop participants are encouraged to read two short introductions to the life and work of Stan Brakhage, the subject of this workshop’s studio component:
1. Fred Camper, ‘Stan Brakhage: A Short Introduction,’ Senses of Cinema 26 (May 2003),
2. Ronald Bergan, ‘Stan Brakhage,’ The Guardian (15 March 2003),

Tracing Forces
Sean O’Connell
kirlian polaroids
Exploring the visualisation of various forces within the media of photography and film, experiments and documents of artists and scientists are examined to reveal how images help us to comprehend hidden energetic exchanges coursing beneath our mundane realities.Studio Component
As a part of this presentation, participants are requested to bring a small inert object (around match-box sized), which will be bombarded with 50,000 volts of electricity, directly over manipulated polaroid film in a darkroom, and developed instantly to reveal the traces of electrical force. These polaroid documents are take-home, in black & white, or colour.

1.The Shapes of Edges, Sean O’Connell (2015)
2. ‘The matter of film : Decasia and Lyrical Nitrate’, Nicholas Chare & Liz Watkins
In Estelle Barrett & Barbara Bolt (eds.), Carnal Knowledge: Towards a ‘New Materialism’ Through the Arts. I.B. Tauris (2013)


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