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Darklight's Open Forum Debate on Digital Cinema
12 Sep 2002 :
Last year's Darklight excellent conference presented papers discussing the role of copyright in the age of the internet and the development of digital communication. This year's hot topic of discussion is digital cinema. Organised by the Media Lab Europe, people are invited to participate in a discussion about cinema:

"The conditions of cinematographic art have changed radically over the past years.
Since Niepce's invention of light-sensitive gels 200 years ago, Muybridge and Marey's first chronophotographs, the introduction of colour, sound, anamorphic lenses, steadicams and dolby stereo, the evolution of filmmaking has always been tightly coupled with that of its technology. Yet, of all these innovations, we claim that none is having a more fundamental impact than the computer - digital technologies and computational devices. Looking back at a century of cinema, we will try during this discussion to examine together how, out of the endless number of things that can be done with moving images, we have come to define as "cinema" an experience mainly shaped by Hollywood standards; and how today's resurgence of creativity inspired by computational tools is our chance to break open to radically new cinematic forms.

After a brief history of the technology of cinema, we will summarize what impact digital technologies have had on the whole filmmaking process during the past 10 years. Considering the different media where moving images are shown (cinema, TV, art museums, clubs, projections for danse and theatre, internet, mobile devices, etc.), we will start our discussion based on the interactive installations shown at this edition of the Darklight festival. Centered around interactive film, this open debate, opposing new media artists/theorists and traditional film directors/academics, will focus on the following crucial question which is central to interactive art : what is the potential of multi-linear, non-deterministic, open narratives where a viewer can influence the storyline, change point of view, be involved in the camera work and the editing as s/he's watching the film, versus static, linear, traditional films ?

When should the artist give the user such freedom, when should s/he not ? What is the quality of an interactive cinema experience versus a traditional cinema experience ?

If you would like to participate in the debate, or would like to attend, please contact the Darklight office. Cafe Philo will be held at 5.30pm, on Saturday 21st September at the Darklight venue, Lee's Cash and Carry at No 17, Thomas Street, Dublin.



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