The video documents the first ever Imax abstract film projection. (Stan Brakhage hand-painted a 70mm stock but never managed to have it screened – there are three frames from Brakhage’s The Dante Quartet imbedded as a tribute). Plany Mela is a hybrid of a 90-second, 70mm, abstract color film and an abstract, live, b/w digital projection accompanied by a musical score and live performance by Alan Licht. It was presented as a sequence of alternating sets, conceived as image and afterimage, at the Bristol IMAX Dome Theatre at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology in Syracuse. Both sequences were spherical, specifically designed for the dome screen of an Omnimax theatre, the musical performance utilized multichannel system of surround sound. Security intro was read by Fabio Roberti of WFMU. “To loop Plany Mela – a 90-second abstract IMAX 70mm film reel - we had to wait 12 minutes for the film projector to be reloaded. I sat on top of the Imax projector, amidst the audience, cutting paper and leftover film-stock, layering them in abstract live compositions projected in HD video, each layer of image responding to rhythms of Alan’s guitar. Image and sound interlacing in improvisation till the IMAX technicians would send us a signal that the Imax projector was reloaded and ready for the next loop. The performance was a one-of event, the IMAX corporation was very “upset” that I mixed the two technologies (IMAX and HD video) on their screen and had pulled out of the collaboration a few weeks before the performance”.
© Elka Krajewska