In Between Frames 2.0.: Time, Image and Remediation in Photography and Video Art (Two Case Studies)



The present essay addresses a number of issues related to contemporary visuality such as manipulation, quotation, remediation, unstable mediums, hybrid art discourse, and cross-referentiality, proposing the concept of In Between Frames as the main theoretical instrument. The term In Between Frames describes the median zone in arts and media productions, the “interstice” that breaks with appearances and conventions, and that defies any predictable accounts and established principles related to medium, technology, cultural patterns, or power configurations. Crucial in defining the conceptual and functional dimensions of being In Between Frames is the time factor. The artworks discussed here – Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills (1977–80) and Adad Hannah’s “video stills” – opt for an atypical temporality, one that undermines not only the narrative, understood in the traditional sense as a flow of sequences in time, but also – and this is my main argument here – the very definition of their own medium (photography and video, respectively). Undermining, as I will demonstrate, is not simply an act of negation, but rather a process of remediation: photography turns into film, and video aspires to the condition of photography – a way to recuperate, reevaluate, recite and recycle a medium by turning into its opposite.

Keywords: medium, temporality, visual manipulation, photography, video, remediation, spectatorship