ISSUE is pleased to premiere Owl Movie, a newly commissioned cinema work by multimedia composer Lary 7 exploring the possibilities of arcane film equipment and music instruments running for two nights only at ISSUE’s 22 Boerum Theater.
Lary 7 combines his expertise in engineering, music, and filmmaking to create unrepeatable sound and light spectacles.
Owl Movie is a “static” 16mm film serving as both an archival document of a live cinema performance and a unique work of film in its own right. In the tradition of long-duration “still” films, such as Andy Warhol’s Empire, Owl Movie consists of a thirty-minute unmoving still life, featuring a stuffed owl, run simultaneously through two Analyst slow-speed 16mm projectors. Lary 7 employs an Arriflex 16mm camera to record the dual projection of the Analysts, capturing the transient experience into a fixed media. The arcane nature of the projectors, which run at 5 frames-per-second (as opposed to the standard 24), coupled with the asynchronous, dual overlay of a single image creates a startling and hypnotic effect – produces a continuous stream of flickering images and strobing frequencies of light. Exploiting the mechanical imperfections of the projectors and the inherent impossibility of overlaying identical film images in perfect sync, the performance activates an unchanging still life into a complex, breathing image characterized by perpetually-shifting rhythms and pulsations of light and color. By calibrating the performance in a studio setting and utilizing the media of film itself to capture the filmic performance, Lary 7 embeds the final product with an additional layer of complexity that transcends straightforward documentation. The film will be accompanied by an optical soundtrack containing the sounds of the projectors in performance, amplified via contact microphones – an exaggerated and distorted representation of the sounds that would naturally accompany the original performance.
Owl Movie is Lary 7’s first-ever fixed media film, following decades of ephemeral multimedia performances – enabling an invaluable transformation of his singular experimentations into a release capable of circulation amongst cinema institutions around the world.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Lary 7 is a multimedia alchemist who coaxes profane, inscrutable sounds and images from various mysterious devices. His work mainly features vintage and forgotten electronic instruments and technologies. In the past he has taken the unique approach of modifying household appliances in order to give them a musical voice. As an artist, he uses analogue equipment whenever possible, steering away from digital. He is a co-founder of Plastickville Records and has been a major figure in the New York experimental underground music scene since 1970. In the course of the past decades he has worked on exceptional musical projects with diverse artists, such as Jimi Tenor, Jarboe, Foetus, Tony Conrad, Alexander Hacke, Larry Mullins, Dorit Chrysler, Bernhard Gal, Jakob Kirkegaard, Ken Montgomery, Michael Evans and Gordon Monahan.