Why the MExIndex ?
On returning from an international festival in 2014 an experimental film artist noted that curators reported that Irish artists’ moving images were not much represented internationally because they were difficult to access, ie. there was no systematic way to find them. Whilst looking for experimental films for MEx (Maynooth Experimental based in Maynooth University Ireland), I found the same problem. Word of mouth seems to have been the most common source of information on the subject, but many visual artists are solo flyers and therefore not ‘in the loop’.
Launch of the MExIndex at NUI Maynooth 2015
This website aims to be the ‘go to’ space for curators, galleries and institutions looking for Irish artists’ moving images and experimental film. Those looking for work for exhibitions and screenings can contact artists or representative directly from the MExIndex who also provide back up for such contacts.
Motivated by the conviction that the index of a culture’s health and vibrancy lies largely in its margins, in those works of art that are created outside the commercial mainstream, the MExIndex strives to advance the cause of Irish moving images works that struggle to be seen.
‘Experimentalism may be said to be moving into a gap in the human adaptive potential left open by the increasing computability of a globalised world. Let us seek to be, and keep being, trained by it’ László Tarnay – Film Experimentation and the Sublime – Journal of Moving Image Studies 2004
To help you to assess if your work falls into this genre, your submitted work should have some of the following characteristics:
1. Most experimental film makers conceive, shoot and edit their own films on their own or with a minimal crew.
2. Experimental film are mainly made outside of the film industry economics. This low budget approach buys independence.
3. Experimental works are usually short, under say a half an hour long.
4. Experimental film makers are commonly the first to try out new ways of making films, after which these new technologies are adopted by the mainstream.
5. Avant-garde film makers often continue to use old formats such as 16mm film etc. long after they go out of commercial use.
6. Most experimental films give primacy to the visual.
7. Experimental films typically ignore, subvert and or fragment the storytelling rules of Hollywood.
8. Experimental film doesn’t offer a clear, unequivocal ‘message’. More frequently than mainstream film, it is fraught with conscious ambiguities, encourages multiple interpretations and marshals contradictory techniques and subject matter to create active participation of the viewer.
9. Experimental film makes conscious use of the materials of the cinema that call attention to the medium.
10. Experimental film may form part of a gallery installation.
As you can see, even the definition (an adaptation of a definition by Edward S. Small in 1994) is quite loose!
to be uploaded Sept 2017