Tails, Sound Strip/Film Strip, Synchronousoundtracks, Element Studies: Earth/Water/Sky/Fire

A film created out of tail ends of film.
• (197?, 5 mins, silent, 1-screen, color, Print courtesy of filmmaker)

Sound Strip/Film Strip
“...Sound Strip/Film Strip consists of four film loops simultaneously projected sideways so that the four images abut one another horizontally. Sharits made each loop by filming colored surfaces, scratching the film, projecting it so that the sprocket holes showed on the screen; he then filmed that projection, scratched the result, and projects that as the final object. The resulting image is a continuous flicker of various color ranges with both actual and ‘virtual' scratches and sprocket holes running horizontally (normally vertically) across the screen. Thus, Sharits is working with filmic abstraction which employs no image save for that inherent in the medium itself....” --Art International.
“...what is relevant to Sound Strip/Film Strip is the demonstration of that kind of temporality which is at the very heart of film.... Sharits' work within the medium of the flicker film was involved with creating a visceral feeling of that tension. His use of the flicker made it seem that one could catch the single frame as it came by projected, that one could actually see that moment which makes the film image possible.... Sound Strip/Film Strip obviously no longer uses the medium of the flicker. But what happens within one's experience of it is a deepening of that same sense of pain of analysis, that same effort to prize apart experience, to catch the illusion against the grain of time.” --Rosalind Krauss, Artforum (April, 1973)
• (1971, 25 mins, 2-screen, super-8, color, 1/4” stereo tape, Print courtesy of filmmaker)

“This was originally a 3-screen Locational installation, each screen image having its own soundtrack. The images - strips of film moving at varying speeds - were obtained by real-time rephotography and sync soundtracks were made of their rate of passage by registering the sound their sprocket holes made while crossing an optical soundtrack reader. The footage being rephotographed was Specimen I, a ‘flicker' film which was made for the purpose of being a subject for this and a few other films. In each image, Specimen I is seen moving in one direction and also, by superimposition, it is seen going the opposite way; we simultaneously hear 2 sprocket hole soundtracks. As a Location, the 3 images are turned sideways and placed next to each other and the effect is of one continuous horizontal filmstrip; but its continuousness is disjuncted because within each screen the filmstrip images constantly shift speed, sometimes slowing down, ‘looking like' filmstrips, and sometimes speeding up, appearing as abstract color blurring and shimmering. Innumerable relationships appear, within each image and especially in the images' juxtaposition. If, in the 2-screen presentation, the images are seen one above the other, one gets some sense of the Locational form, where film frames seem to mutually slip in and out of each other and into and out of each screen image area. If one sees the 2-screen piece with the images side by side, the images seem comparative, fugue-like.” --Paul Sharits
• (1973-4, 35 mins, 2-screen, color, sound on both reels, Print courtesy of filmmaker)
Plus, if completed in time,

Element Studies: Earth/Water/Sky/Fire

“‘Notes on Landscape'
“Now, fall 1980, that I have begun embarking on a number of films from/of ‘nature,' it seems appropriate to release Element Studies. I am or will be shooting footage of volcano eruptions (Stromboli), diamonds (Diamond Institute, L.A.), swamps in Florida, dune structures in the Sahara, earth configurations in the American Southwest deserts, etc.
“My work is usually characterized as highly perceptual ‘abstract' and/or self-reflexive of the film material/process; occasionally, an ‘inner landscape' is expressed (particularly in Razor Blades and T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G). Aside from S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION..., I've issued no exterior landscape films. Nevertheless, I have attempted, over the years, a number of ‘nature films'....” --Paul Sharits
• (1980, 15 mins, 2-screen, silent, color, Print courtesy of filmmaker)

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