Alfred University News

Dr. Gregory Zinman to lecture on handmade cinema

Alfred University’s School of Art and Design will host a lecture by Dr. Gregory Zinman, assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, who will speak at 5:30pm Tuesday, Feb. 25 in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall. Zinman’s lecture will be drawn from his book Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press, 2020).


Alfred University’s School of Art and Design will host a lecture by Dr. Gregory Zinman, assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, who will speak at 5:30pm Tuesday, Feb. 25 in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall. Zinman’s lecture will be drawn from his book Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press, 2020).

Zinman’s book provides a comprehensive survey of handmade cinema, from painted film and kinetic art to psychedelic light shows and video synthesis. The book reviews efforts by numerous artists to create moving abstraction by intervening in celluloid’s physical makeup. Techniques include painting and scratching directly on the film strip; deteriorating film with seawater, dirt, or bleach; applying elements such as paper, glue, and even the artist’s own blood.

Recovering a range of forms, tools, and intentions that, considered together, constitute a kind of shadow history of film, Zinman’s talk will offer an overview of this approach to thinking about moving images. It’s a radical alternative to the representational terms in which the medium is typically understood. While the goal of elevating or transcending abstract painting remains evident in many of the works to be screened, their diverging concerns extend into a variety of other arenas—feminism, social justice, self-portraiture, the Anthropocene—demonstrating the many ways that handmade cinema acts as counter-cinema, in concept, material, and execution.

Zinman’s lecture is open to the public and free of charge. It is sponsored by Art History, Expanded Media, Sculptural/Dimension Studies and the Robert R. McComsey Career Development Center.