Tom Gunning and Paul Keiser on Framing, Re-Framing, and Un-Framing

Tom Gunning (University of Chicago) and filmmaker Paul Kaiser from OpenEndedGroup will discuss moving images that shift from the frame of classical cinema to the immersive framelessness and interactivity of virtual reality. The program includes the Norwegian premiere of the 3D film UIysses in the Subway (2016) The event is free and open to all, bring 3D glasses or buy for kr. 25.

Still from Ulysses in the Subway.


Professor Gunning and Paul Kaiser /The OpenEndedGroup have sought to study and intervene in the current redefinition of the moving image as it shifts from the frame of classical cinema to the immersive framelessness and interactivity of virtual reality. They recently completed an Andrew Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship program at the Grey Center for Arts and Inquiry, designed to foster intensive and experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.


The program will feature a lecture by Tom Gunning before the Norwegian premiere of the 3D film Ulysses in the Subway, (2016) a 3D film that was created in collaboration with renowned experimental filmmakers Ken and Flo Jacobs. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Gunning and Kaiser. Please find more information about the lecture, film and speakers biographies below.



14:30-14:35 Welcome

14:35-15:35 Tom Gunning

15:35-15:45 Pause

15:45-16:45 Ulysses in the Subway

16:45-17:30 Tom Gunning and Paul Kaiser in Conversation



Tom Gunning: TBA


The OpenEndedGroup Ulysses in the Subway, (2016.) USA, 59 min, 3D


A picturing of sound in 3D

We hear a recording of Ken’s subway ride up to 42nd Street, his wanderings in the Times Square station, his ride downtown on the “A train,” and his return to street-level on Chambers Street. Finally, his climb to the 5th floor loft where Flo (Penelope) awaits him. Sound-as-image turns fleeting presences (voices, footsteps, a steel-drum performance) into epic visual events. A still image may linger, allowing our gaze to wander through the complex particularities of a moment of ordinary noise. This richness of imagery reflects the fact that for every 1/24th of a second, there are 2000 audio samples recorded. Each frame, then, is built from these 2000 sources; constructed, that is, in 3D from more than 21 different ways of algorithmically analyzing and visualizing sound. So while the sound is always pictured accurately, the way it’s pictured can change dramatically.
Past intrudes on present as Edison’s 1905 film of this very path through the NY subway appears, also rendered in 3D. Long-gone passengers on the Grand Central platform connect to sounds of passengers today. Near the end, Betty Boop also puts in an appearance.





Tom Gunning is the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film (University of Illinois Press) and The Films of Fritz Lang; Allegories of Vision and Modernity (British Film Institute), and most recently co-authored the picture book The Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema with the Eye Museum in Amsterdam. He has published over one hundred and fifty articles on early cinema, film history and theory, avant-garde film, film genre, and the relation between cinema and modernism. With Andre Gaudreault he originated the influential theory of the “Cinema of Attractions.” In 2009, he was the first film scholar to receive an Andrew A. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award, and in 2010, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently working on a book on the invention of the moving and projected image, as well as a theater project at California Institute of the Arts based on Fantômas, the phantom bandit of turn of the century French popular culture.


Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie comprise OpenEndedGroup. Their pioneering approach to digital art frequently combines three signature elements: non-photorealistic 3D rendering; the incorporation of body movement by motion-capture and other means; and the autonomy of artworks directed or assisted by artificial intelligence. They have worked across a range of disciplines and venues, having created experimental 3D films shown at the New York Film Festival, Sundance, and MoMA (which recently acquired eight of their 3D films for its permanent collection); and site specific installations commissioned in the US by Lincoln Center, Barclay Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Museum of the Moving Image, and in the UK by the Hayward Gallery, Sadler’s Wells, the Wellcome Trust, and the York Minster. They are also well-known for their collaborations in the field of dance, working most closely with Merce Cunningham, but also with Trisha Brown, Bill T. Jones, and Wayne McGregor.

As artists they are unusual in the breadth and depth of the research they conduct for their artworks: spanning science, engineering, arts and the humanities, drawing upon their backgrounds in physics, artificial intelligence, film, and education. They conduct much of their research and create nearly all of their artistic creation in their own software environment Field, which they make freely available to the broader research and art community as an open source project. They have pursued their practice in numerous university and museum residencies at institutions including Stanford, MIT, Lincoln Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, IRCAM, the University of Chicago, Le Fresnoy, and EMPAC.

Over the last eight years Kaiser and Downie have focused most of their creative efforts on exploring the farther reaches of 3D image creation.


The event is organized by Atelier Nord and the Mediaaesthetic work group at the department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.

Published Mar. 17, 2017 11:09 AM - Last modified Apr. 1, 2020 12:42 PM