Stanford Cinematheque is pleased to welcome Kenneth White, Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Binghamton University (and Stanford PhD Art History 2015!), who will present a 16mm print screening of Michael Snow’s ↔ (Back and Forth) (1969, 53 minutes). The screening will be held on the occasion of the recent publication, Michael Snow: October File, co-edited by Kenneth and Annette Michelson. About ↔ (Back and Forth), the film critic Manny Farber wrote in Artforum in 1970:
"This neat, finely tuned, hypersensitive film examines the outside and inside of a banal prefab classroom, stares at an asymmetrical space so undistinguished that it's hard to believe the whole movie is confined to it, and has this neck-jerking camera gimmick that hits a wooden stop arm at each end of its swing. Basically it's a perpetual motion film that ingeniously builds a sculptural effect by insisting on time-motion to the point where the camera's swinging arcs and white wall field assume the hardness, the dimensions of a concrete beam. In such a hard, drilling work, the wooden clap sounds are a terrific invention, and, as much as any single element, create the sculpture. Seeming to thrust the image outward off the screen, these clap effects are timed like a metronome, sometimes occurring with torrential frequency.”
Kenneth White is an Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Binghamton University, where his research and teaching focuses on experimental and avant-garde film history and theory; expanded cinema, video art, moving image art, and multimedia environments; theories of media and performance; histories of science and technology; and discourses of sexuality and gender; with concentration on the Cold War to the present.
White edited the books Carolee Schneemann: Unforgivable (Black Dog, 2015), and, with Annette Michelson, Michael Snow: October File (MIT Press, 2019). He is an editor of Millennium Film Journal, the bi-annual periodical of moving image art criticism, history, and theory, published by the Millennium Film Workshop. His articles and essays on Michael Snow, Carolee Schneemann, Chantal Akerman, Eadweard Muybridge, and Tony Oursler, have been published in Grey Room, Art Journal, Screen, and Public, among other periodicals and books. White is completing a history of American media art of the late Vietnam War era entitled Hyperventilation Syndrome: Media Cultures, Control Societies—ca. 1970.
White was educated at Syracuse University (BFA Art Media Studies 2005) and Stanford University (PhD Art History and Film Studies 2015). His dissertation "Libidinal Engineers: Three Studies in Cybernetics and Its Discontents" examined film, video, and multimedia environments, by Michael Snow, Carolee Schneemann, and Tom Sherman, in the context of Cold War media cultures. He was a participant in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 2013-2014 (Critical Studies) and 2014-2015 (Studio). He served as Faculty of Curatorial Studies in the Whitney Program before joining Binghamton's Cinema Department.
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