film #7

(16mm silent, 32 min, 1996)

distributed by Lightcone (Paris), Filmbank (Amsterdam) and myself.


a text I wrote about this film in 1999:

#7 is a film that was made by stamping paint onto transparant film and using the result of this as a negative. The colours in the film modulate from black via the primary light-colours and via the primary paint-colours to white. All movements in the film are caused by the interference of the stamped grid patterns and the perforation of the filmmaterial.

Working on the filmstrip directly is interesting to me because of the simplicity of it and because of the fact that the traditional perspective inherent in the optical system of the camera becomes irrelevant. Illusion of depth occurs because of the difference in size of particles of paint, illusion of movement occurs when these particles are in some way equally spaced on the film. The colours of #7 are based on the opposition of pigment and light. The colour model of theoretician Harald Küppers reduces this opposition to a unity at a deeper level in our perceptual system. I used his colour model to structure a slow evolution from black to white. This is an elaboration of an old idea worded amongst others by Aristotle that colours are located in the shadow between light and dark. When stamping grid patterns onto film the content of every film frame is in part determined by chance. In contrast with this all parameters that allow for control are composed in an elaborate score. The timestructure is built up from the separate film frame to 28 sections that group into five larger parts. Each of these sections has its own colourscheme and its own choice from the 17 grid patterns used. Recently I have also been showing this film in 3d, using the Pulfrich-effect. This effect has been used extensively by Ken Jacobs for his Nervous System-performances. The effect it creates with my film #7 is that the separate layers of grid patterns are clearly separated out in space, which makes the structure of the film more accessible and the visual experience more rich.


When I was making this film, I wrote a text about my views on colour. You can find it here.