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Light Is a Kind of Rhythm
December 2009
art, science & business
44 pages
19 EUR

Looseleaf collection in plastic sleeve, 30 x 30 cm, 32 b/w illustrations

Light Is a Kind of Rhythm provides a speculative history of cinema: Alena Williams investigates the relationship of light and moving images from an early moment in the history of film to that of the present day. She assumes that contemporary artists like Jan Hammer, Jutta Koether, Andreas Wutz, Die Tödliche Doris, and Matthias Müller return to a 1920s-style engagement with cinema. In their films, videos and digital slides, the moving image offers an alternative mode for thinking through abstraction; static paintings, collages, and walls are reconstituted as animate, reflective objects, while transient light effects are extracted from life and assigned entirely new meanings.

In a critical essay included in the book, Alena Williams sets out a theoretical background for the analysis of the interrelation of cinema, works of art, and the contexts in which the films were shown in the early twentieth century. Light Is a Kind of Rhythm furthermore contains three new English translations of seminal articles on art and cinema by the film theorist Siegfried Kracauer as well as artist interviews.

Alena Williams (*1977 in Denver, CO/USA) is an art historian and curator who lives in Berlin. She is currently completing her dissertation »Movement in Vision: Cinema, Aesthetics, and Modern German Culture, 1915–1930« at Columbia University in New York, and is a fellow in the research group Media of History – History of Media at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Her upcoming traveling exhibition »Nancy Holt: Sightlines« will open at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Gallery at Columbia University in fall 2010; the first retrospective publication on the artist including contributions from Pamela M. Lee, Lucy Lippard, James Meyer, Matthew Coolidge, and Ines Schaber is forthcoming with University of California Press. Alena Williams was a fellow in the art, science & business program at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2008.