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posted on 01.22.08

In some sense the phenomenon of YouTube returns us to the early days of cinema which has been referred to, before its language of narrative and editing evolve, as a cinema of attractions. In these early days when cinema was a novelty, an entrepreneur, some one like Edwin Porter (who would go on to make, 'The Great Train Robbery') would buy up a number of short films, go from town to town, rent a hall, publicize his event and gather up an audience for a screening. There, with his reels of film and accompanying musician, the entrepreneur who was also the projectionist, would create an order to his films, cue his music and in many cases talk over them. The entrepreneur was a story teller, our first editor, who used sound to narrativize the image.

The sound image relationship for the moving image did not become uniform until the late 1920's and the advent of synch sound. That is sound up until then was live, and as live things go, they are unique night to night, venue to venue. As the relationship of sound and image evolved more and more film makers became interested in the recording of direct sound, that is the sound heard was to be the sound recorded at the same time as the image. Capturing sound was as important as capturing image. This was quite radical as for example most films still today have a great deal of scored music and effects as well what is called ADR, additional dialogue recording. In fact the practice of the great Italian film studio, Cine Cinetta did all of its sound work including dialogue in post production. Simultaneously multi-track real time direct recording was being explored by many filmmakers including Straub Hillet, Altman, Godard and many others.

It is sound that so often tells us what we are watching. In the creation of 3Things, this is what is most distinct about the project or rather what distinguishes it. It is not 3 images and their sounds playing side by side simultaneously, it is 3 images uniquely inflected by the unique sound of the others and the ability to control the sound tracks one at a time. It is the ability to re-narrativize the image with sound that makes the project unlike others out there.

This intimate relationship of sound to image is explored in a number of works on the site.

Take for example, 'Abstract Cinema', roll the mouse over the windows of video, triggering the sound to play over the others and look at the relationship of this early works by Eggeling and Richter and then what happens to them with the sounds of Peter Kubelka.

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