"Experimental artist Tony Conrad is known for his innovative works in performance art, music, video, and fine art as well as his contribution to arts education as a longtime media professor at The University of Buffalo. A former Harvard math student himself, Conrad is widely considered to be a pioneer of minimalism, media criticism, drone pop, and noise music thanks to his lifelong dedication to deconstruction, abstraction, and self-empowerment."
(Erin Dennison, cinemathread)
"This experimental film ('Venom and Eternity') by Isidore Isou constitutes the Letterist manifesto of film. Rejecting film conventions by 'chiseling' away at them, Isou introduced several new concepts, including discrepancy cinema where the sound track has nothing to do with the visual track. In addition, the celluloid itself was attacked with destructive techniques such as scratches and washing it in bleach. Causing a scandal at the 1951 Cannes Film Festival, this film was later introduced in the United States where it influenced avant–garde film makers such as Stan Brakhage."
Fig.1 Isidore Isou (1951). Traité de bave et d'éternité. Venom And Eternity.
"Mothlight visualises a 'day in the life' of an insect from birth to death; however, it summons some of the more positive associations of lepidoptera, such as creativity and the soul (1). You could say Brakhage puts the 'anima' back into animation, reanimating the dead, painstakingly affixing the remains of dead insects, leaves and the like onto the film strip, and feeding it through the projector back to life. Of course, the principle of film projection is the illusion of life through light, with the audience gathering to watch like moths attracted to a lamp: the beauty of Mothlight is the way Brakhage evokes the moth not through cartoon mimicry, but by the fragile sensation of its movement, batting against the screen, hurtling in descent. The effect is exhilarating and terrifying.
Brakhage might be accused of playing God (or Dr Frankenstein), and it is no coincidence that Mothlight was assembled during the long production of his creationist epic Dog Star Man (1961–4). ... Its making is also a dismantling – imagine celluloid flypaper – and its examination of life's remains looks forward to The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971). Mothlight acknowledges the limitations of the screen, the way film traps subject matter in a box, suffocating the life out of it."
"In the creation of the sound film named after the Viennese artist Arnulf Rainer, Peter Kubelka used four strips of different material: blank film, black film, perforated magnetic tape with recorded white noise, and blank perforated magnetic tape. Thus, the film consists of the four different elements of light, darkness, noise, and silence, and these are audiovisual correspondences, given that white noise, like white light, contains all of the frequency components of the spectrum with a constantly even amplitude. Like the motion picture, the film's sound exists in its two extremes. Presence and absence in stroboscopic alternation substitute for the representational function of the film and transform it into an event. In the process, the illusion of cinematographic motion is made visible: the interpolation of the eye between the flashing frames as a condition for the fusion of the individual images into a continuous movement. This physiological sensory process usually goes unnoticed, but given contrastive alternating stimuli is now experienced in the form of afterimages on the retina.
However, with this irritation, by means of which the visual perceptive apparatus is cast back into its own physiology, Kubelka is not merely formulating a critique of the apparently self-evident conditionlessness of the unhindered gaze, but is at the same time demonstrating his emphatic notion of film as rhythm. Here, film becomes a metric art form, for the projection speed of twenty-four images per second sets the primary pulse and is thus the underlying meter for the interdependence of sound and image. It is above all in the form of varying relations in synchronicity that the principle of metric film becomes evident, as the score for the light and sound events in Arnulf Rainer demonstrates. The image and film frames are complementary, virtually counterpunctually contrasted in microstructural motifs, from which varying macrostructures can be derived. This evidences a conceptual propinquity to the musical principle of developing variation—sound and image are structured audiovisually as two voices. Arnulf Rainer is thus less a transfer of certain formal elements of music into the fine arts in the sense of a formation of structural analogy and more a structural identity of sound and image that in this form can only be demonstrated in the medium of sound film."
(See This Sound)