Garden of Chromatic Disturbance (1998)
A still from 'Garden of Chromatic Disturbance' (1998)
Stories & Ideas

Fri 04 May 2018

Garden of Chromatic Disturbance: Projection notes

Craft Film Preservation
Arthur and Corinne Cantrill

Arthur & Corinne Cantrill


Arthur and Corinne Cantrill provide our projectionists and the rest of the world with a rare insight into how they wish their work to be seen

Technical considerations for the projection of the film print

We advise against cutting off the run-in before the Count-down Leader of this Polyester Print. (The longer run-in also gives protection against wear and tear of the opening part of the film.)In our work, since 1969, we have wanted to embody the ends of film rolls into the main film, for their flares and foggings, their reminders of the nature of the film material itself. (See Eikon, Harry Hooton, Island Fuse from this period)

Our later work with three-colour separation brought additional considerations, the reminder that each image has three film inputs, with three identifying notations for the film lab. In 1999, when we made our four films using High-Contrast, B&W negative camera stock, we found that the film stock was so thin it often "slipped" in the camera gate. At first, we worried about this, but then we could see that this "defect" was a reminder that we are looking at Film, and the slipping marked a characteristic of our film work, that we are not following a narrative, but a technical exposition of the film material itself. 

With the advent of digital, there is a sterile experience in viewing it: a "perfect", blemish-free image, except for the characterless pixels. The viewer is thrust back into the world of narrative. How we miss the scratches and blemishes, dodgy repair splices, missing frames which define film. We could even compare the characterless pixels of digital with the Autochromes developed by the Lumière Brothers for still photography in 1903, and marketed in 1907, where red, green and blue starch grains were spread randomly over the black & white film stock, but achieving realistic colour, and beautiful surface textures.Professional projectionists are trained to ‘hide’ the beginnings and endings of the film rolls, and not to show the Count-down Leaders. But these are things we want to see: they say ‘ you are about to see a Film’.

– Arthur and Corinne Cantrill, 10 April, 2018

Garden of Chromatic Disturbance screened as part of Alice is Everywhere (19 May – 2 Jun 2018).