Michael Morris' Expanded Cinema and Post-Digital Aesthetics

story © Michael Betancourt, July 6, 2016 all rights reserved.


Film International published my article about Michael Morris' contemporary expanded cinema performances with film, video and digital technologies. The interpreted nature of the digital sound/image presented through the language of visual music is central to these works.

Michael Morris, Second Hermeneutic (2013)

Michael Morris, Third Hermeneutic (2014)

Second Hermeneutic (2013) and Third Hermeneutic (2014) are presentations where the differences between technologies reveal a common foundation and demonstrate the continuity between contemporary works and historical expanded cinema. Morris’ use of visual music forms is logical, even necessary: these performances function as critiques and interrogations of the apparent displacement of human action and engagement by the digital (and earlier analog) technologies he uses. They restore the centrality of human activity to the work, drawing attention to how these works are made as much as the reasons why. Morris thus insists on the necessary role that the human must play in rendering these works coherent and meaningful: the hermeneutic that is actively engaged in these works is not simply new technologies interpreting and transforming older technology, but an engagement that asserts a crucial, mediating role for the human performer-director acting in dialogue with these automatic systems.

Copyright © Michael Betancourt  July 6, 2016  all rights reserved.

All images, copyrights, and trademarks are owned by their respective owners: any presence here is for purposes of commentary only.