Gibson + Recoder

Modified 16mm film projector, looper, color film, Plexiglas; dimensions of projected image: 244 cm x 46 cm (96 x 18 inches)

USA 2011


Lightline is a projected light or projected film installation in which the intermittent mechanism of a regular 16mm projector has been removed thereby allowing the filmstrip itself to slide uninterruptedly through the gate. The size of the projected image is 244 cm (8 feet) high by 46 cm (1½ feet) wide; the projector sits on a plinth a few feet away from the wall. The verticality of the filmstrip’s passage during projection is the subject matter of this work, and is emphasized not only by the absence of intermittent motion which normally arrests the filmstrip into so many frames-per-second, but also by the placement of a Plexiglas cylinder directly in front of the lens, thus elongating and stretching the possibilities of projected light beyond the upper and lower borders of the standard projected frame.

A 1600-foot reel from a found feature-length film was selected for this setup because of its cinematic composition of color and movement. The interaction of these ready-made properties through the cylindrical prism refracts our cinematic experience into analytical currents specific to the medium as well as currents that both literally and figuratively expand upon the narrow frame or aperture of medium specificity. The vertical color band, ever-changing into multicolored strips, illuminates the bare walls of the gallery not only shedding light on the immediate surroundings but also unmasking the cinematic apparatus that struggles ever so precariously in its persistence of vision – so as to take hold and fix our attention. Lightline pries open this cutting, in which the line of light makes its incision, a cross-cut, a light scratch upon our line of sight. (Gibson and Recoder, excerpt from an artists’ talk titled “Projecting Projection” given at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 2011)


Sandra Gibson (born 1968) and Luis Recoder (born 1971) live and work in New York, USA.



John Hanhardt, “The End(s) of Film,” in Celluloid: Tacita Dean, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Rosa Barba, Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder, eds. Marente Bloemheuvel and Jaap Guldemond (Amsterdam: EYE Filmmuseum, nai010 publishers, 2016), pp. 99–102.

Jonathan Walley, “Materiality and Meaning in Recent Projection Performance,” The Velvet Light Trap, no. 70 (2012), pp. 18–34.

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