I first heard of Stan Brakhage as if he were an urban myth or some kind of artistic rumor: some guy had supposedly taped thousands of mothwings – real mothwings – onto a reel of celluloid and released it as a “film.” Thousands of mothwings, with light projected through them, flickering.
Turns out, of course, it was true, and the film is called Mothlight.
Having been reminded of this by the preceding BLDGBLOG post – which has some ridiculously beautiful images of cyanobacteria – here’s a quick glimpse.
[Images: Stills from Stan Brakhage, Mothlight (1963)].
Brakhage taped actual pieces of animals and plants to a reel of celluloid! You’re watching shadows of an actual landscape, in cross-section – core samples – projected onto a screen like any other cinematic experience. Landscape as cinema.
It’s too bad you can’t do something like this with bedrock, I have to say – but you could make an entire film out of fossilized amber, for instance…
Anyway, you can watch Mothlight on DVD. (Which, of course, eliminates the fun of the actual mothwings – but no matter).