Observational cinema has an affinity with the designer’s aptitude for discerning relationships among phenomena and imparting structures to experience, for dwelling in the alternating currents of ambiguity, for making sense through association, combinatorial play, and projective construction. This video production course invites you to experiment with moviemaking as a process of design research. Our approach comes to grips with the paradoxical nature of cinema—that cinema operates at once as both a record and a language. Can you walk without watching your step? Do you mean what you see? Given that the cinema of observation involves a manner of revealing more than a language of telling, how may we define its rules of practice, codes of representation, principles of structure, and elements of style? While using your eyes and ears to respond to emerging patterns in the situation, and moving the point of view to account for dynamic conditions, this exploration involves not only the subject of your observation and the act of observing, but also it is systematically guided by the language of cinematic construction. We might say that it exercises your sensory-motor and narrative systems of intelligence simultaneously.

Strickland taught this graduate studio at California College of the Arts 2009 – 2013.

Download text » Syllabus, 2013.

Download text » 5 Video Assignments, 2013.

Download text » How to Walk Without Watching Your Step, 2003.

Download text » Theory of the Film by Bela Balazs: Sound, 1952.