Expanded Cinema

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In the 1960s and 1970s, expanded cinema “expanded” the concept and practice of the cinematic. The “extended cinema” does not only project a film onto a screen. It enables multiple projections with several screens, light shows or multimedia actions in which film , slide , overhead and video projections are combined with real actions ( theater , dance ). The expansion extends to performances without any film projection. The actions reflect the medium of film on different levels: in its aesthetic, material, technical, ideological or institutional conditions. The audience is often involved in the event.

Concept history

First the term was used by Sheldon Renan (in his book The underground film from 1967) and Gene Youngblood (in his book Expanded Cinema from 1970):

" Expanded Cinema is not the name of a particular style of film-making. It is a name for a spirit of inquiry that is leading in many different directions. It is expanded cinema to include many different projectors in the showing of one work […] to include computer-generated images and the electronic manipulation of images on television […] cinema expanded to the point at which the effect of film may be produced without the use of film at all. "

- Sheldon Renan : 1967

" When we say expanded cinema we actually mean expanded consciousness. Expanded cinema does not mean computer films, video phosphors, atomic light, or spherical projections. Expanded cinema isn't a movie at all: like life's a process of becoming, man's ongoing historical drive to manifest his consciousness outside of his mind, in front of his eyes. "

- Gene Youngblood : 1970

In video installations of the 1990s, numerous forms of expanded cinema were unconsciously and consciously taken up again. The availability of video beamers, with which video films can be projected onto screens, made this artistic development possible.



  • George Maciunas: Film Culture Expanded Arts. 1966 (magazine).
  • Gene Youngblood: Expanded cinema. New York, Dutton 1970. (With an introduction by R. Buckminster Fuller )
  • Hans Scheugl: Extended Cinema. The Viennese films of the 1960s . Vienna 2002.
  • X screen. Cinematic installations and actions from the sixties and seventies. Catalog for the exhibition at the Museum für Moderne Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna, December 13, 2003 to February 29, 2004. Ed. Matthias Michalka. Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-88375-725-X .
  • Gloria Sutton: The Experience Machine. Stan VanDerBeek's Movie-Drome and Expanded Cinema . Boston 2017. ISBN 9780262028493 .