David Cunningham
Where a straight line meets a curve
an installation by Karen Mirza, Brad Butler and David Cunningham

24th - 27th April 2003
Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London

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Where a straight line meets a curve is a durational sculpture, of real and imagined activity shot entirely in one room. It is a film concerned with the objective reduction of space, a film 'about' the recording and representation of space and the politics of the viewing space of film itself. Projected onto two adjacent screens, the visual material is constructed so that light and colour form relationships between and across screens continuously, redefining the viewer's perception of the space presented through the images. Time is measured out in ways analogous to the coming and going of the everyday, exposing the passing of time to a (continuous) present.

The work questions the usual strategies of the viewer, mediating between the mental image, the dimension of physical space, and the illusionistic space of cinema. The sound is constructed from the speech of the filmakers within the space broken down by a process of re-amplification and re-recording to a point where the resonant frequencies of the space have an equal value to any spoken content. A structure of loops and phase patterns internally resonating both within the filmic space and in parallel with the textual content of the intertitles. Through the framing and re-framing of images and the constructed relationship of sound, text and image, the film creates perspectual shifts and unexpected confrontations that confound our usual way of distinguishing between the actual and the representational.

"The often unacknowledged aspiration of the American avant-garde film has been the cinematic reproduction of the human mind. Structural film approaches the condition of meditation and evokes states of consciousness without mediation, that is, with the soul mediation of the camera" - P. Adams Sitney.

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Where a straight line meets a curve - Mirza and Butler website
Where a straight line meets a curve - notes on the soundtrack
Where a straight line meets a curve - technology 

The artists:

Karen Mirza is an influential figure in artist film and video, known both for her work and her curatorial practice. She has recently been appointed a director of the new LUX organisation, and has been a tutor in film and video at the Royal College of Art for several years.
Her work has been screened at the Tate Modern, Dokument/Art Film Germany, the National Film and Television Theatre  ‘Other British Cinema’, The LUX centre ‘Monuments and mise en scene’ where it preceded Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’, the Whitechapel gallery and festivals in Australia, Holland and Germany.
Karen recently completed a new body of work, ‘site/non site’ at Goliath visual arts space in New York. And is set to follow this with a site-specific project in Australia 2003. Through her activities as a spokesperson for experimental film, Karen has been asked to present her work at screenings in Paris [Dec] Berlin [Nov] and India [Jan 2003] as well as crating an evening for the London Film Festival. In collaboration with David Cunningham and Brad Butler, Karen is currently launching ‘where a straight line meets a curve’, her second film financed by the Arts Council.

Brad Butler graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Documentary Direction. He also has a first class degree in Anthropology from UCL. His documentaries have been screened on Channel 4 and the BBC, as well as the ICA, NFT, Hedah, Amsterdam. Mute Loops, D-Net, The Lux Centre for Film, Video & Digital Arts. Instit. Francais d’Architectur, Paris. Architecture Film Festival, Rotterdam, BBC British Short Film Festival, London. Experimenta Media Arts, Melbourne, Australia. New British Cinema, Cinema de Balie, Amsterdam, The Tate Gallery, London and multiple festivals across Europe and the US. In September 2000 he won and headlined BBC2’s talent 2000 competition, as well as winning the National Student Television Award in 1998.
Brad has just directed his first feature length documentary in the US entitled ‘`The Tunnel’ to be launched in Dec 2002. Brad is actively linked to the DocHouse initiative in London and is co-curator of the light reading series.
In 1998 Brad Butler and Karen Mirza established  Building on their training as film specialists, their vision was to create a cross-disciplinary, multi platform studio for experimental film. have grown to become major activists in this area and have recently been asked to manage ‘Artslab’, a not for profit professional studio dedicated to film as a fine art practice.  Artslab is set to launch in January 2003 and will be the only lab in the U.K. to offer the filmmaker hands on manipulation of the film negative in post production and will be a central meeting point for Independent filmmakers interested in the preservation of the film form.

David Cunningham is AHRB Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle.  Following his first album of experimental compositions 'Grey Scale' (1976) he has worked as a composer and record producer, the first notable commercial success with The Flying Lizards’ 'Money' (1979) reaching the top ten.  Other production work has ranged from rock groups (This Heat, Palais Schaumburg) to contemporary music (Michael Nyman, The Balanescu Quartet) to improvisors (David Toop, Steve Beresford).  In parallel with this work he has been involved in a series of collaborations and production and treatment of sound with visual artists including John Latham, David Hall, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gillian Wearing, Joćo Penalva, Susan Hiller and Martin Creed.
Since 1993 David Cunningham has been developing a series of installations based on real time exploration of acoustics including 'The Listening Room', Biennale of Sydney (1998). 
He has 2 installation works in "Days Like These", The Tate Triennial of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain, until 26 May 2003 and is currently developing installations to be shown at Ikon, Birmingham in September 2003.

Where a straight line meets a curve was previewed at:
24th - 27th April 2003
Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London
(Jay Mews Entrance, nearest tube: South Kensington)
LUX OPEN 2003 is a four day show of new British artists' film and video and curatorial projects with morning to evening screenings, performances, talks and presentations and new installation works. All screening are free admission, on a first come, first served basis. The full schedule and further details are available online:

LUX OPEN 2003 is presented in collaboration with The School of Communications, Royal College of Art and financially supported by Arts Council England.

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Where a straight line meets a curve - notes on the soundtrack
Where a straight line meets a curve - technology