Exploring the Digital Landscape: New Work by Jon Jost and Chris Petit | Chicago Reader

Exploring the Digital Landscape: New Work by Jon Jost and Chris Petit

A trio of works shot on digital video. Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair's intriguing Asylum (2000, 56 min.) is a kind of postmodern DV takeoff on Chris Marker's La jetee: set in the future, after a virus has destroyed all past imagery, it follows an investigator seeking out survivors of a time when words and images made knowledge possible (among them the late poet Ed Dorn). The film's constant shifts in narrative, emotional tone, and visual style denote a “Xerox reality”; many images are either fuzzy or otherwise breaking up, and the loss of clarity and meaning provides eerie parallels to our own media-saturated present. Jon Jost's Dharma Do as Dharma Does has some lovely lyrical sections of kids at play but doesn't really cohere; his tedious Watersong #1 consists of abstracted water imagery (a terrain brilliantly explored by Stan Brakhage decades ago) whose mechanical quality suggests a camera running on autopilot. 90 min.

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