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Movies by Michael Betancourt
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archives begin in 1996


These notes and observations on aesthetics in motion pictures are not limited to only the familiar organization of the proscenium screen of the movie theater. This work is related to what appears in my book-length monograph Beyond Spatial Montage: Windowing, or, the Cinematic Displacement of Time, Motion, and Space by Focal Press.


observations on my process

story © Michael Betancourt | published February 25, 2022 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


I make Glitch Art; my work pioneered this engagement with digital computers in the 1990s before it even had a name. The role of autonomous and automated systems in my work makes the question of my process something that can be difficult to articulate clearly. The way I understand these generative images as simply another category or type of footage, one that is abstracted, but is neither necessarily critical nor essentially broken shapes how I use it as both a formal model to emulate with the non-glitched, and as an abstracting protocol to employ against the photographic realism that might otherwise emerge in my movies. Those intentional factors constrain the glitched materials so they become cues for their audience that what they see is not merely a malfunction, but is consciously shaped and chosen. The glitch is a pervasive, even dominant, contemporary sensibility for all the ruptures, aberrations, transformations that technical processes createbecoming manifestations of our interactions with the world.

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On my work: "Postcinema, Motion Perception and Glitch Movies"

story © Michael Betancourt | published April 22, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


I have a short write-up called "Postcinema, Motion Perception and Glitch Movies" on my work with glitches and their relationship to postcinema in issue 15 (their issue focusing on experimental film and video) of AM Journal of Art and Media Studies.

Betancourt, Michael. "Postcinema, Motion Perception and Glitch Movies." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 15 (2018): 202208.
doi: 10.25038/am.v0i15.242

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Cliche Interests, An Artistic Statement

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 29, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


The artist's statement is an exercise focused on a variety of basic ideas, all concerned with the tactical manipulation of their reader's later engagement with the artist's productions. They're about shaping iinterpretations. These statements are an essential part of how an artist creates a context for their work and creates a meaningful relationship to work of the past. These statements are part PR and part polemics. Producing a statement to accompany individual works is an essential part of the exhibition process. Artists use these statements for several overlapping, but discrete purposes:

  • Context: how they want to be seen in relation to current trends
  • Stage Setting for specific ways they want to be interpreted
  • Distinguish their work from similar or related works
  • Claim a specific history their work might not be related to otherwise
  • The production of ambiguity and the production of meaning are essentially exclusive procedures: to create a meaningful statement requires a discursive structure where ambiguity is radically reduced; in contrast, while definite meaning emerges from limitations upon ambiguity, the meaningful statements of art are (paradoxically) those where the ambiguity (or, more accurately, multivalence) plays the strongest role. It is through the production of multivalent formsworks where several potential meanings simultaneously emerge in a work, sometimes at differing levels of interpretationwhere ambuiguity enables an instability of interpretation that require more careful consideration and demand critical insight for their coherence.

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    Notes on Marginality

    story © Michael Betancourt | published December 26, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

    movies: AESTHETICS

    The issue is basic survival and continued possibilities for carrying on with what one does. Marginal is thus about displaced actions that continue with neither recognition nor official sanction.

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    Watson on the Aesthetics of Avant-Garde Film

    story © Michael Betancourt | published February 26, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

    movies: AESTHETICS
    Interesting early article on the aesthetics of avant-garde film versus commercial cinema from 1929: "The Amateur Takes Leadership" by J.S. Watson, on his film Fall of the House of Usher, in Movie Makers, January 1929.