Artificial Light repeats variations on a single filmic utterance twenty times. The same phrase is a series of portrait shots of a group of young New York artists talking, drinking wine, laughing, smoking, informally. —Karagarga
Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) was an American avant-garde filmmaker, photographer, writer/theoretician, and a pioneer of digital art.
Frampton was born March 11, 1936 in Wooster Ohio. An only child, he was raised primarily by his maternal grandparents.
At the age of 15 he entered Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he was accepted on full scholarship. At Andover, Frampton’s classmates and friends included the painter Frank Stella and sculptor Carl Andre. Widely read already as a youth, he had a reputation at Andover as a “young genius” but was also unpredictable: he failed to graduate from Andover, and thus forfeited a National Scholarship to Harvard University, when he failed his history course on a bet that he could pass the final exam without ever reading the textbook. Entering Western Reserve University in 1954, Frampton took a wide variety of classes( Latin, Greek, German, French, Russian, Sanskrit, Chinese, mathematics) but had no declared major. He recounts… read more
The weakest film I’ve seen by Frampton, it repeats a filmed conversation between fellow New York-based artists many times, with scant to semi-significant visual effects applied to them. In between the variations is a zoom-in on the planet Earth taken from stock footage, apparently from a science show of the 1950s. Other than being a visual representation of Sartre’s phrase “hell is other people”, I could think of no other solid interpretations of Artificial Light, and in a style of filmmaking where the audience’s interpretation is the key to their appreciation of the film, I cannot recommend it.