Audio-visual moiré patterns: Phasing in Guy Sherwin’s Optical Sound films

Mollaghan, Aimee (2014) Audio-visual moiré patterns: Phasing in Guy Sherwin’s Optical Sound films. The Soundtrack, 7 (1). pp. 47-57. ISSN 17514193 DOI

[img] Text
Audio-visual moiré patterns- Phasing in Guy Sherwin¹s Optical Sound films.doc - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (99kB)


British experimental film-maker Guy Sherwin’s Optical Sound films from the 1970s explore the corporeal correspondence between sound and image through a transposition of the optical soundtrack into the visual images presented on-screen. These films are fundamentally a series of experiments investigating not only the relationship between sound and image, but also the essence and materiality of film itself. Sherwin asserts that his Optical Sound films have three discernible influences on them: the rigorous structuralism of the London Filmmaker’s Co-operative of the 1970s, the idea of aural/visual equivalence and Steve Reich’s contemporaneous musical experiments with sound phasing. Bearing this assertion in mind, this article intends to explore how Sherwin’s films, such as Phase Loop (Sherwin, 1971, 2007), subvert conventional notions of sound and synchronization in the film form from the vantage point of structural/materialist film theory. Further to this, it will also consider the influence of Reich’s use of phasing, looping and his stress on the importance of process in the structuring of material in order to assess the effects of perceptual shifts as extended to the audio-visual experience by Sherwin.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Guy Sherwin, Optical Sound films, Steve Reich, structural film, structural-materialist film, visual music, expanded cinema, minimalism
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Media
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 10:04

Archive staff only

Item control page Item control page