chapter  11
18 Pages

Gallery work: film as installation

Film as installation has also a long history in the film avant-garde and continues to this day, despite the prevalence of video art. Film is a different medium and this interest in its media specificity in installation underscores this difference. To a certain degree installation with film utilizes similar tools to any other experimentalists working in film. In Chapter 1 there are instructions as to how to make a loop. I put them there for the purpose of folks working in direct animation to be able to “test” their animations, but film as installation almost always plays on a loop so that it can play continuously. Most installations play pieces that are longer than the 6ft or so that we discussed in making a test animation. Films for installation can be several seconds to thirty minutes or more. Many artists use the standard 16mm projectors with various rigs built above the projector to allow the film to loop through the projector and play continuously. These rigs are called “loopers” and are often built to order to accommodate the length of the looped film, although a company in New York, NCS Products, makes 16mm mini and “super” loopers (Figure 11.1). For installation the film itself is generally printed onto Estar instead of acetate because Estar (as in polyester) is much more durable and can withstand the hours of continuous projection that are required.