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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathImmersion/Participation

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narrative (which is centrally important to building suspense in Hitchcock’s films), thus shifting the emphasis to the absolute presence of the moment, to the theatricality of isolated actions, gestures, and poses. Sequestered in schemata of frozen expressions, such gestures and poses create a system of affective references that connects the actors and viewers. The technical capabilities of the video recorder first made it possible to structurally dissect film, using the film print as a «ready-made,» since the individual frames of which a film strip is composed, which would become apparent when projection speed decreases, remain hidden in the slow-motion video version. Like an academic, Gordon made use of this type of «video analysis» in order to draw out symptomatic elements of a given film which act as a touchstone for our cultural assumptions. The depiction of extreme psychological conditions such as psychoses, ecstasy, insanity, and euphoria dominates the aesthetics of his compiled film material, adding to the psychological effects of Gordon’s installations—particularly when they include projections on both sides of free-standing screens, so that audience members are motivated to move around


the pictures. Viewers cannot avoid being struck by the beam of the video projector; thus their bodies intrude upon the projected images like patterns of shadows, «like a negative invasion of the scene.« [18] In these de-constructive «re-framings» of old film footage, [19] the images evoke the fundamental, exploitative constellation of relationships between the director and the artist, the observer and desire. Moreover, because the medium is reduced to its elementary structures, a disturbance in perception occurs, which guarantees that the audience will watch itself watching the (extracted) film material and develop an awareness of the synthesizing role it plays in the reconstruction of film history.

Doug Aitken

Characteristic, on several levels, of many artistic explorations of cinematic media is the viewer’s «absorption» in the work. Rather than encouraging a critical distance from the Hollywood aesthetic, so familiar that it has been completely internalized by viewers, Doug Aitken speculates on the audience’s total sensual absorption, by appropriating and

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