Experiment, Cybernetics and the Formal Film in Britain

Reynolds, L. 2020. Experiment, Cybernetics and the Formal Film in Britain. in: A companion to Experimental Cinema Wiley-Blackwell.

Chapter titleExperiment, Cybernetics and the Formal Film in Britain
AuthorsReynolds, L.
Abstract

This essay reconsiders the foundational contexts attributed to the experimental film form, which developed in London in the 1960s and 1970s. It makes the case that the distinctive emphasis on materiality and process for which British alternative film of the period is best known is rooted in discourses of science and cybernetics as well as art. With reference to a number of well-canonised filmmakers of the period, my essay examines how the influence of new theories of art and science upon Britain’s cultural environment in the 1960s, and the pedagogical approaches developed from them, can be identified in a number of key, and often overlooked, works of British experimental film of the 1960s and 1970s.

Keywordsformal film, cybernetics, science, computers, enquiry, Malcolm le Grice, Ian Breakwell, pedagogy, modernism, game play, 1970s, Mike Dunford, London Film-makers’ Co-operative, Arts Lab, John Latham, Roy Ascott
Book titleA companion to Experimental Cinema
Year2020
PublisherWiley-Blackwell

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