Expanded Cinema: Activating the Space of Reception
Tate Conference, London
April 17/18/19 2009

This conference will investigate an expanding field of film and video art from multi-screen, immersive, performance-based live-projections through to interactive, digital and virtual reality multi-media events. The conference is part of an AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) funded project entitled Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema set up by the late Dr Jackie Hatfield. Conducted by Duncan White and David Curtis, the project - based at the British Artists' Film and Video Study Collection at Central St Martins, College of Art & Design (University of the Arts London) in collaboration with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee - seeks to explore the various histories of expanded cinema and their impact on the question of narrative, space and time in experimental film and art practices.

Coined in the mid-1960s by Stan Vanderbeek but with its origins in the experiments of early Twentieth Century avant-garde filmmaking, media-technologies and performance art, Expanded Cinema is a film and video practice which activates the live context of watching, transforming cinema’s historical and cultural ‘architectures of reception’ into sites of cinematic experience that are heterogeneous, performative and non-determined. Works identified as Expanded Cinema often open up questions surrounding the spectator’s construction of time/space relations, activating the spaces of cinema and narrative as well as other contexts of media reception. In doing so it offers an alternative and challenging perspective on filmmaking, visual arts practices and the narratives of social space, everyday life and cultural communication.

Prior to the Conference, during March, the Conference website will begin to publish a number of papers and interview transcripts that have been generated by the Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema project during the past 18 months. These will include Duncan White’s interviews with Carolee Schneemann, William Raban, Guy Sherwin, Peter Weibel, Malcolm LeGrice and others; and a streamed record of our previous public event The Live Record at the BFI Southbank in December 2008. Watch for links from

During the Conference, a videotheque will be available containing documentation of over 70 classic expanded cinema works by more than 30 artists recorded at two recent Expanded Cinema events in Germany, made available to us courtesy the artists and the Expanded Cinema Study Collection of Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, and with thanks to Mark Webber.

For Conference tickets book online
or call Tate box office at 0044 (0) 20 7887 8888

Provisional Schedule

Day 1
Starr lobby - Registration from 10:00
Videotheque of documentation of classic expanded cinema performances recorded at Dortmund and Stuttgart – available from 10-30 – 8.00

Starr Auditorium
10.30 session 1 - What is Expanded Cinema?
Chair Stuart Comer (Tate) - histories; definitions; distinctions etc

10.40 Jonathan Walley (Denison U, Ohio)
“Not an Image of the Death of Film:” Contemporary Expanded Cinema and Experimental Film

11.10 Duncan White (CSM, U Arts, London)
Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema

11.40 Mark Bartlett (Independent Scholar USA)
Expanded Cinema, Social Imagistics, and the Fourth Avant-garde of Stan Vanderbeek

12.10 questions to morning speakers

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Topologies of Expanded Cinema Chair AL Rees (RCA, London)
- Social space, reception, phenomenology

2.10 Chrissie Iles (Whitney Museum)
On expanded cinema and the moving image in the gallery in the 70s

2.40 Noam Elcott (Columbia U, USA)
Rooms of Our Times: László Moholy-Nagy and Cinema between Theatre and Museum

3.10 Questions

3.30 Tea

4.00 Cindy Keefer (Centre for Visual Music, USA)
Raumlichtkunst to Vortex: Early Expanded Cinema Experiments of Oskar Fischinger and Jordan Belson (1926-1959)

4.30 Catherine Elwes (Artist, Camberwell College, U of the Arts, London)
The Domestic Spaces of Video Installation

5.00 Stephen Partridge (artist, U of Dundee) in discussion with William Raban (artist, LCC U of the Arts, London)

5.30 Questions to afternoon speakers (20mins)

6.00pm – 8.00pm Starr Lobby - wine reception + Videotheque
6.45 & 7.30 - visits to installations (30mins) for programme - see day 3;
book your place (6.45 or 7.30 )

Day 2
Starr lobby - Videotheque from 10.30 – 8.00

Starr Auditorium
10.20 Performance (Body) Chair Stephen Partridge (U of Dundee) - discourse of the body; live film and video; presence; actions; happenings

10.30 Liz Kotz (U of California, Riverside)
Projecting Cinema Otherwise, via Judson Dance

11.00 Lucy Reynolds (U of E London)
Magic Tricks? The Use of Shadow Play in British Expanded Cinema

11.20 Cecile Chich (independent scholar, Paris/London)
Beyond the Frame / Beyond the Gaze – The Multi-Media Projection Performances of Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki

11.40 Maxa Zoller (independent scholar/curator, London/Berlin)
Polish Expanded Cinema: Technology and the body

12.00 Mike Leggett (artist, U of Technology, Sydney)
Private Performance and Video Art

12.20 questions to morning speakers

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Media Environments and Expanded Cinema in the Digital Age
Chair Prof Chris Meigh Andrews (U Central Lancashire)
- interactive narratives; the digital; virtual arts

2.10 Chris Welsby (artist, Simon Fraser U, Vancouver)
Expanded Cinema: 20th Century Encounters with the Machine

2.40 Eugeni Bonet (Independent Scholar, Barcelona)
PLAT (Picto-Luminic-Audio-Tactile): The “overflowing” cinema of Val del Omar

3.00 Anja Gossens (ZKM, Karlsruhe)
Future Shock and Time/Energy objects – Expanded Cinema and the Code in New York


3.50 Ji-Hoon Kim (NYU)
Interfacial Intermedia Art as Digitally Expanded Cinema: iCinema’s Transmedial Narrative Environments

4.10 Yvonne Spielmann (U of the West of Scotland)
Conceptual Synchronicity or intermedial encounters between film, video and computer

4.30 Malcolm Le Grice (artist UAL) in discussion with Peter Weibel (artist ZKM)

5.00 questions to afternoon speakers

6.00 PM – 8 PM Starr Lobby - reception + Videotheque
6.45 & 7.30 - visits to installations (30mins) see day 3;
book your place (6.45 or 7.30)

Day 3
Level 2 – Starr lobby - Videotheque from 10.30, open all day

from 10.45 East Room (Level 7) Coffee and bagels

11.00 Tony Sinden (Installation artist UK/Greece) in dialogue with [speaker tbc]

11.30 Valie Export (artist) in conversation with Chrissie Iles (Whitney Museum NY tbc)

12.00 - 1.00 approx Open Forum
Chair Stuart Comer (Tate)

Level 2 - Starr Auditorium Free 40-50min screenings:

2 pm: ‘Shadow Play and Visual Music
Tony Hill
, Point Source (UK, 1973) (performance 6mins)
From German Expanded Cinema Pioneers to Light Show Psychedelia
programme curated by Cindy Keefer (Centre for Visual Music in Los Angeles).
Including films by Oskar Fischinger, and Jordan Belson (40mins)

3.30 pm: ‘LIVE MEDIUM’
Stephen Partridge
, Monitor (UK, 1975) 6mins performance
Sandra Gibson + Luis Recoder, Untitled (US, 2008) performance; electric humidifiers; glass and an original score by Olivia Block.

David Dye
, Western Reversal (1973 S-8 6mins) performance
And other twin-screen works by UK artists (programme tbc)
Annabel Nicolson, To the Dairy 1975, 4mins (single screen)
Malcolm Le Grice, Yes No Maybe Maybe Not 1967 sil 8mins (two-screen)
Ron Haselden, Doityourselfportrait 1974 3mins (two-screen)
Gill Eatherley, Dialogue (with David Crosswaite) 1974, 10mins (two-screen)
Tony Sinden, Can Can 1975, 10mins (two-screen)

2.45 pm visits to installations (30mins) book your place

4.15 pm visits to installations (30mins) book your place

Installation Programme - Classic British Texts - (timed visits)

Steve Farrer, The Machine 1978-88 6mins

Tamara Krikorian, Time Revealing Truth 1983 (two monitors, tray of oil,shells)

Lis Rhodes, Light Music 1975 25mins (two screens and hazer)