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Continuous Sound and Image Moments

1966 London, England
Coauthor: Willem Breuker (sound), Tjebbe van Tijen

Continuous Sound and Image Moments is a hand-drawn black-and-white animated film loop with no beginning or end. Conceived as a cinematic expansion of pictorial means, the process of making thousands of drawings (rather than prizing the singular image) is the subject of its aesthetic experience. Each image is shown for only a few frames, resulting in momentary retinal impressions that assimilate in time into an insubstantial yet coherent multiformity.

Shaw and van Tijen handmade the drawings that constituted this film in the manner of a ‘cadavre exquise’—each artist alternating their making, one after another, creating an iconographic repartee. The shared botanic, genitive style of these drawings was distinctive to van Tijen’s art.

Though the film was technically produced as an animation, the makers did not intend it to be a graphic narrative. Instead the film explores the human perception of rapid sequences of still images—continuous static graphic projections that are stroboscopic and subliminal in their impression. As originally described, the work ‘. . . seeks to excite the perceptive process for indeterminate form within the total flux’.

The original (yet unrealized) plan for the installation of this film was to be a room with projection on two opposite walls. The film would be shown in a continuous loop, and viewers could enter and leave the room at will.

The film was later used in numerous expanded cinema events, performances and installations such as Emergences of Continuous Forms (1966), Disillusion of a Fish Pond (1967), Glove Screen (1967), Corpocinema (1967) and MovieMovie (1967).

Willem Breuker’s composition for six musicians, inspired by the images, has since been added as a sound track. The unconventional music score that he wrote was an arrangement of graphic and pictorial elements that the players could interpret.

The posters for Continuous Sound and Image Moments were purposefully made with a diazone printer, so that when hung up and exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the printed images would gradually fade into invisibility.

Exhibition Record

1966:  London, England

1966/8/27:  Kasteelhoeve, Beek en Donk, Netherlands

1967/2/27 - 3/20:  This is no Thing - This is a Situation of Opportunity, 26 Kingly Street Gallery, London, England

1967/8/24 - 9/8:  Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam, Netherlands

1967/9/23 - 10/4:  Sigma Projects, Museumplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1967/12/25 - 1968/1/2:  4th International Experimental Film Festival, Knokke-le-Zoute, Knokke-Heist, Belgium

1983:  Film en Kunst, T'hoogt, Utrecht, Netherlands