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Student Showcase Archive

Catherine Rogers

MPhil work

MPhil work

Film Outside Cinema

Cinema and film are terms that have been inextricably linked since the Lumière brothers showed their first motion picture, Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon, in 1895. It is difficult to conceive of one without the other. According to film theorist Jonathan Walley, the vanguards of ‘paracinema’ (such as Anthony McCall and Tony Conrad) have tried to release cinema from the medium specificity of film with works that prioritise time and light, arguing for a cinema without film. The question this project proposes is whether film can exist outside cinema?

This MPhil by practice is led by a direct approach to creating the film image using experimental filmmaking techniques. A series of experiments look at subject (time, motion, representational imagery) and context (location, site of the pro-filmic). The studio outcomes led to a critical and philosophical inquiry into theories of time, duration, movement and motion through Bergson and Doane, and assessing how this relates to the notion of what cinema is via Bazin, Arnheim and Kracauer. A series of installations demonstrated the tension between the visible and invisible by capturing motion using lensless apparatus against a desire to see simultaneous moments of time at once with a material that divides and segments time. Using expanded cinema strategies, these works were presented to see how and to what effect film, when presented as projection, object, and as a component of sculptural installation, communicates ideas of motion, movement, space and time.

My written thesis included a historical review and analysis of experimental European and American artists’ film from the 1920s through to the current day, together with key contributors in the field of expanded cinema. I explored the filmstrip through simultaneous exposure, site-specificity of the pro-filmic and installation, printing through projection and hand processing. This formed the basis of a critical analysis of how lensless apparatus presents the nature of visual representation, imagery, time, motion, movement and duration, against forms of ‘paracinema’. 

Supervisors: A L Rees and Nicky Hamlyn



  • Catherine Rogers
  • MPhil


    School of Communication


    Visual Communication, 2011–2014

  • As a practitioner solely using the photographic filmstrip to examine time and space, I seek to expose the tension between how we perceive the projection of successive still images, which we understand as cinema and which constitutes illusionary movement, against the creation and presentation of these images via non lens-based systems. My own concerns are to explore the necessary conditions under which the inadequacy of cinema and the lens based film image can be exposed.  I work predominately with 8mm and 16mm film responding to site-specific situations using the film material outside mechanical cameras.

    I have just completed my MPhil research degree titled ‘Film Outside Cinemawhich explores the theory of paracinema. My work has been published in Sequence 2 by, London, written about by Nicky Hamlyn in his essay, ‘Medium Practices, 2010, published in Public Journal, issue 44, York University, Toronto and cited in A.L Rees essay ‘Physical Optics: a return to the repressed‘ published in Millennium Film Journal, 35th Anniversary Edition, Fall 2013, Millennium Film Workshop, New York. Recent installations and screenings include: Fieldwork II, Disruption, Here and Now, Nightworks, Living Film and at Film|Performance|Space at Summerhall, Edinburgh. I recently showed as part of ‘Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008-2013’ at Tate Britain in February 2014.  

    Recent presentations at the following conferences; Besides the Screen (2012, Goldsmiths University), So Far/So Good, (2014, RCA Research Conference), White Cube/Dark Cube, Experimental Film and the Gallery (2014, Canterbury Christ Church University), Screen Time/Screen Space: Cinema and/as Gallery Art (2014, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference).

    Together with PhD candidate Andrew Vallance we programme a series of site-specific film and video performances called Nightworks.  The next event will be in September 2014.

  • Degrees

  • BA Design and Public Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2002; MA Artists' Film, Video and Photography, University for the Creative Arts, Maidstone, 2009
  • Exhibitions

  • Near and Further Contact II, Assembly, Tate, London, 2014; Living Film,, London, 2013; Nightworks, Testbed1, London, 2013; Here and Now, The Horse Hospital, London, 2013; Disruption, RCA, London, 2013; Fieldworks II, Paper Tiger, Kensington, London, 2012
  • Conferences

  • 'Alongside and Beyond: Why paracinema?', Besides the Screen, Goldsmiths University, 2nd December 2012; 'Blurring the Boundaries: The potentialities of limits', So/Far So/Good, Royal College of Art Research Conference, 11 January 2014; 'Paracinema: Resistances and inconsistencies', White Cube/Dark Cube: Experimental Film and the Gallery, Canterbury, 19th February 2014 Christ Church University, ; 'Cinema without Film: Reconfiguring historical and theoretical genealogies', Screen Time/Screen Space: Cinema and/as Gallery, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, 10th April 2014
  • Publications

  • Hosepipe, Sequence, No. 2, 2011, pp.12-13; Nicky Hamlyn, Medium Practices, Public, Issue 44, 2010; AL Rees, Physical Optics: a return to the repressed, Millennium Film Journal (58), pp 52-58