by Courtney HOSKINS
2001 / 16mm / color / silent / 1S / 4' 50
"Gossamer Conglomerate» was originally a reflection on two films by filmmaker Stan Brakhage. The first of these films is a hand-painted work entitled «Cloud Chambers.» In powerful thunderstorms, hailstorms form when water is frozen in the upper atmosphere. As the chunks of ice fall, their outer layers melt and shift. Powerful updrafts blow the stone back into the upper atmosphere where it refreezes. This process is repeated several times until the conglomerate becomes so heavy it falls to the ground. Cross-sections of large hailstones under polarized lighting situations reveal bands of colorful shapes (similar to cross sections of tree trunks that reveal bands of different shapes as the tree ages). As I watched this film, I imagined following the path of such a hailstone, collecting colors from the cloud around me. A fusion of my scientific background with the cinematic medium began to form! The second film influence is Stan Brakhage's monumental work «Mothlight.» In this film, Brakhage placed moth wings (as well as other materials) that he found in various light fixtures onto clear film. He claims to have been inspired by creatures that died because they were drawn to the light.
In «Gossamer Conglomerate» I claim that my inspiration comes from a man who himself is drawn (sometimes dangerously) to the light of cinema. The expression of this is my placement of bits of film and splicing tape on clear film leader and then photographing the filmstrip, like the hailstones, under polarized lighting situations.
|1,37 - Standard (single screen)