Jennifer Wicks residency: Technical Notes

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A basic quality of us human beings and in fact all living creatures, is that we are always moving... we are creatures of movement. The basic substance of the cinema is movement. At its lowest level the movement of light waves (the visuals) and the movement of sound waves (the soundtrack).

Norman McLaren, 1956 incomplete notes of proposed theory of cinema.

Throughout 2022, Jennifer Wicks has been at the University of Stirling’s Art Collection. Specifically looking at the work of Norman McLaren, held in the University Archive and the Art Collection, Jennifer researched McLaren’s pioneering innovations with sound and image to produce a new body of work which includes film, sound, and print work.

Initial research explored themes surrounding sound and image, the materiality of film and visualising music. McLaren’s interests lay in the visual translation of music, phenomenology of sound, and image, and the philosophy around perception; one of his underlying concerns was movement, “movement that is drawn, not drawings that move”. He also drew directly onto the soundtrack of the film to create an innovative sort of electronic, optical-graphical music, he essentially produced sound out of drawings. Alongside his hand-drawn films, he experimented with stereoscopic films and drawings and went on to work with dancers and choreographers.

The residency is generously supported by Creative Scotland.

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