A Machine for Viewing

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


In 1970, filmmaker Peter Kubelka designed a movie auditorium in which carefully controlled sight lines and black velvet caused all but the screen to disappear into darkness. He referred to his invisible cinema as “a machine for viewing.” In these adventures in vision, directors Oscar Raby,
Richard Misek, and Charlie Shackleton use real-time VR experience, live performance, and video essay to transform the Egyptian theater into “machines for viewing” to explore how we watch films.

Charlie Shackleton’s A Frame of the Mind explores the struggle of filmmakers to fit their work within a rigid frame and allows audiences to adjust the aspect ratios of films Richard Misek’s A Pillow of Light offers audiences different vantage points, including one so close to the screen that you transcend the spatial immersion of VR and commune directly with the screen. Oscar Raby’s Manual for a Disassembly of Cinema moves you to the projection room, where the projector’s housing, image, and screen start to merge, bringing the experience back to the most important component of cinema: you.

Screens as New Frontier Double Feature: Machine for Viewing and Infinitely Yours

— S.F.

Screening Details

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