Screen Space Panel

12-1pm, Parallel Session 2 – Cinema 3

Chair: John Adams (University of Bristol)

Title: ‘High Definition Imaging: the Paradox of Creativity within the Academy’
Terry Flaxton (Creative Research Fellow, University of Bristol) – Flaxton(at)btinternet.com

In this paper I will examine the creative tension that requires academic research to generate creative acts and vice versa, when research requires a methodology and creativity more often requires spontaneous and intuitive behavior. I will do this by reflecting on the outcome of my 3 year AHRC Creative Research Fellowship through the experience of both creating and exhibiting the series of research works, as a combined creative, theoretical and research gesture, within the moment when some argue that the time is becoming ‘postdigital’.

My core research question was arguably couched within the digital: “How will High Definition Imaging affect the nature of art and entertainment from the point of view of both practitioners and audiences?” When I proposed my fellowship it was on the basis that the argument I would be making would exist within the work itself as opposed to within theoretical writing about the subject (which I would accomplish later with critical reflection). However, a deep question that pervaded my research process was implicit in the feeling that I was creating work with the wrong goal in mind and I struggled with that feeling until I felt I’d managed to balance the twin agendas of research and creativity.

The key to finding that balance resided within a re-reading of Georgia O’Keefe who had said on becoming blind in later life: “creativity is like an abyss and it is only when you have dived into the darkness that your fear might turn into wings.” This understanding of the creative gesture was framed within the analogue and stimulated me to remain spontaneous when everything that academic practice seemed to demand was to replace the spontaneous with contrivance – as a scientist might construct a hypothesis only to then go on to find the proof for that hypothesis.

In this paper I will describe my journey, show some of the work, describe the exhibition process and reveal the extent to which the spontaneous and the intuitive aided me in search of the creative gesture that enabled me to balance the creative act with academic practice.

3 Portraiture projects displayed as a triptych, from left to right: Bristol, New York, Spitalfields


Title: ‘Looking Back to the Future’
Jeremy Bubb (Roehampton University London) – J.Bubb(at)roehampton.ac.uk

Writ in Water is a multi-screen cinematic film, which uses texting as an integral part of its narrative to explore the notion of Continuous Partial Attention in relation to narrative digital technology and its consumption. The film is presented on three-screens and tells the story of a troubled father trying to making his way with his own business, a son desperate for his attention, a cherished daughter having a birthday and a mother unwilling to face up to the reality that surrounds her. The individual lives of this seemingly ordinary, financially comfortable family are about to change forever.

Writ in Water

I will be discussing the use of storytelling in Writ in Water in relation to its influences, screen space and the use of three-screens in a cinematic context, rather than art installation. Notions of audience, digital natives, and the production process will also be explored. I will draw on past examples of multi-screen narrative in cinema and art, such as Abel Gance’s Napoleon and 20th century painting to consider the context of this project. Fredric Jameson’s idea of ‘restructuration’ in relation to building strategies for narratives in post digital encounters will also be examined. Finally, I will be asking if the completion of multi-screen digital narratives such as Writ in Water marks the beginning of a post digital age and consider future concerns for narrative in the ever changing digital landscape.


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