Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema

Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema

“I like to imagine a philosophy of experimental cinema, which emanates from the cinema of attractions and expanded film, and includes the electronic, the computer, the active spectator, sculpture, collage, dramaturgy, narrativity and representation.”

Jackie Hatfield

“Expanded cinema does not mean computer films, video phosphors, atomic light, or spherical projections.  Expanded cinema isn’t a movie at all: like life it’s a process of becoming’, i.e. a concept of presence more than it is a material of one kind or another.”

Gene Youngblood

Coined in the mid-1960s by Stan Vanderbeek but with its origins in the experiments of early Twentieth Century avant-garde filmmaking, media-technologies and performance art, Expanded Cinema is a film and video practice which activates the live context of watching, transforming cinema’s historical and cultural ‘architectures of reception’ into sites of cinematic experience that are heterogeneous, performative and non-determined.

Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema was an AHRC funded research project led by the late Dr Jackie Hatfield and subsequently transferred to Prof Stephen Partridge and David Curtis.

Conducted by Duncan White and David Curtis, the project was based at the British Artist’s Film and Video Study Collection at Central St Martins, College of Art & Design, London in association with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee, it set out to explore the various histories of expanded cinema and their impact on the question of narrative, space and time in experimental film and art practices.

Works identified as Expanded Cinema often open up questions surrounding the spectator’s construction of time/space relations, activating the spaces of cinema and narrative as well as other contexts of media reception.  In doing so it offers an alternative and challenging perspective on filmmaking, visual arts practices and the narratives of social space, everyday life and cultural communication.


Expanded Cinema Family Tree by Duncan White et al. 2008

Expanded Cinema, 2011, Eds David Curtis, Al Rees, Duncan White and Steven Ball 


For information on conferences, click here.

Original Project Team:

Principal Investigator: David Curtis

Co-Investigator: Prof Stephen Partridge

Research Fellow: Dr Duncan White

Media Archivist: Adam Lockhart

Advisory Panel: Prof Malcolm Le Grice, Prof Chris Meigh-Andrews, A.L. Rees

Our research partners are:

© REWIND | Artists' video.