By Stephen Clarke

Used to be the conflict of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was once Norman and hated the French. have been the Brits particularly chargeable for the loss of life of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to demise for donning trousers. used to be the guillotine a French invention? Non! It was once invented in Yorkshire. Ten centuries' worthy of French old 'facts' chew the dirt as Stephen Clarke seems to be at what has fairly been happening due to the fact that 1066...

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Moholy-Nagy, 1 67 . 1 3 . Frank Gllette , Video Process and Meta­ Process (Syracuse , N . Y. : Everson Museum of Art , 1 973) , pp . 2 1 -22 . 1 4 . Hollis Frampton , Circles of Confusion ( Roch­ ester, N . Y. : Visual Studies Workshop , 1 983) , pp . 1 66-67 . For a similar affirmation of the medium-based potential of special-effects video , see the interview with Richard Lorber. "'From Cimabue to Cunningham . " in Millen­ nium Film Journal, 10/1 1 (Fall/Winter 198 1 82) , p . 7 . And Bill Viola reasserts the impor­ tance of medium specificity in the interview with him in Sightlines, Spring , 1 983 , p .

G . , the early Films d'A rt. To remedy this situation , the medium specific­ ity theorist urges that the new medium pursue those unique effects that it executes best . Thus , we avoid such violations of the ideal division of labor as bad duplications of theater in film . However, this way of think­ ing confuses issues . For what is problematic about things such as Films d'A rt is not that they are imitations for imitations can be healthy, exciting and progressive but that they are bad and slavish imitations .

Indeed , it is often difficult to know at what level of analysis we should focus our attention vis-a-vis medium-specificity ac­ counts . For though they generally suggest that their starting point is some physical element or constituent , medium-specificity discourse also easily drifts into consideration of nonphysicalistic elements or constituents : space and time , for example , are often said to be the basic i ngredients of film . But why 27 Questioning Media ent arts , that is , practitioners will have to begin somewhere .

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1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke
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