Light Reading’s ninth series continues with a special performance and screening by Canadian artist and filmmaker Alex Mackenzie of “The Wooden Lightbox: A Secret Art of Seeing”. Using a homemade, hand cranked projector and a series of hand processed films, the piece forms part of an ongoing exploration into the experiential potential of the cinematic apparatus and the materiality of film. The Wooden Lightbox will be performed after Mackenzie’s day workshop at no.w.here on the techniques of handmade film.
The Wooden Lightbox is both an archaic and a contemporary investigation into an immersive encounter with the moving image, employing deconstructive and reconstructive methods that draw out the potential for various contemporary, expanded experiences of a cinema of illusions that is created through the apparatus and in the hand making of the image. The Wooden Lightbox is performed live with a hand-cranked 16mm projector built and assembled from various relic 16mm projector and rewind parts and framed in a wooden box. Ten “chapters” are presented over the course of 4 reels. Film speed is varied manually by cranking more quickly or more slowly, while the direction of the action is controlled by winding forwards and backwards. The Wooden Lightbox is an ongoing work in progress, an assembly of images entirely hand processed and contact printed, transforming and developing as new materials are added and deleted.
The Wooden Lightbox had its world premiere at Victoria’s Anti-Matter Underground Film Festival, Canada and has been screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Lightcone (Scratch Projections) Paris, le 102 Grenoble, (k-raa-k)3 festival Brussels, Grand- Guignol Lyon, WNDX festival of film and video art Winnipeg, Canada, Struts Gallery Sackville, Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival, Canada and is currently being performed across the UK and most recently in Toronto, Canada in 2009.
Alex MacKenzie is a media artist working in film, video, light projection and performance. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours from Carleton University, and has worked with a variety of independent film organizations over the past 15 years including Mainfilm, Pacific Cinematheque, Cineworks, and Doxa. He was the founder and director of The Edison Electric Gallery of Moving Images, The Blinding Light!! Cinema and the Vancouver Underground Film Festival, and currently works as an independent curator, graphic designer and writer.