Book Launch, Discussion and Film:

Stan Brakhage

Dog Star Man, 1961-64, Stan Brakhage (Kadervergrößerung ÖFM)
February 1, 2018

One of the characteristics of the history of avant-garde cinema is the absence of a comprehensive theory. In its stead, a range of often conflicting historiographical writings, in most cases determined by production context, working methods (found footage, handmade films, etc.) and the current "generation" of filmmakers fill the gap. However, ever since Dziga Vertov"s "WE: Variant of a Manifesto" (1922), the theoretical "superstructure" is provided by the filmmakers themselves in the form of programmatic self-declarations and treatises.

One such is Stan Brakhage's text Metaphors on Vision, published in 1963 by Jonas Mekas and considered a trailblazing self-portrait of American avant-garde. Out of print for decades, Brakhage's composition has been reviewed by film theorist and historian P. Adams Sitney and is now available in a new edition complete with annotations published by Light Industry and Anthology Film Archives.

In conversation with Michael Loebenstein, panelists Gabriele Jutz (professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna) and Vrääth Öhner (film and media scholar) will investigate the "avant-garde practice of self-theorizing" and the lasting importance of Brakhage's theoretical work. The panel will be followed by a screening of a new, restored film print of Brakhage's Dog Star Man (1961-64).