Q&A with Blake Williams following the screening
Blake Williams’ stunning homemade experimental 3D feature is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, unless you’ve lived throughout the entirety of the 20th century. One might begin by saying PROTOTYPE is a kind of science-fiction film set during the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 that looks back at the history of moving-image art. As the hurricane hits land, the film’s gaze is fixed on a televisual device that seems to project images of the future. PROTOTYPE is built around a foundation of various proto-cinematic technologies and media – stereography, Lucien Bull’s chronophotography, and the camera obscura – and early/primitive cinema tendencies. Williams moves from a firm representation of people and places toward a plasmatic formlessness, mimicking the trajectory from perspectivally oriented or space-based Renaissance representation to the fragmented, more temporally preoccupied Cubist, Futurist, and Suprematist movements that served as the tent poles of modernism. This is a condensed guideline, as Williams’ uncompromising project is an arena of dazzling ideas and cluttered curiosities intentionally striving for some sense of unity or structure, which gets to the heart of the critique of histories he’s engaging with: how the specificity of actual experience gets transformed into an event, replaced by images, icons, monuments, movements or narratives.
By Mark Peranson