The Moving Image Lab

  • Experiments in film viewing atmospheres. 
  • 2 organizers, 3 contributors, 4 installations/screenings, 2 exhibitions, 1 film festival 
  • Boston + Istanbul

We believe in the moving image. And that film should move you. We reject the tradition of sitting in a chair and passively absorbing the projection screen. We say fuck chairs. We say get up, walk around, feel the film around you… in you. This is the Moving Image Lab, a sequence of serious social experiments that raise questions about our film viewing experience: the way we see, feel the film; the exact moment our subconscious mind starts poking our conscious one. What happens when we change / manipulate the reality around us or invent an entirely new reality during the film screening? What happens when we are invited to interact with the film as we watch it? Can we discover more effective ways of reaching and communicating with an audience within a film viewing experience?

The idea of the Moving Image Lab and the book project descended on Farida Amar and Aylin Gürses at the London Heathrow Airport while they were waiting for their flight to Boston, one fine December day in 2009. Amar and Gürses, taking the risk of achieving no significant results at all, decided to start a series of screenings and discussions on carefully selected films, incorporating sensory enhancements to the existing environment where these films are viewed. They were especially curious about what ways this manipulation had an effect on the audience viewing experience. The autoethnographic analyses of these experiments, the resulting exhibitions and a compilation of the audio and visual documentation will transform this into a multimedia project. 

In collaboration with architects and visual artists, The Moving Image Lab builds complete installations within which audiences can experience film. We take into consideration not only what they see, but also what they smell, taste, and how they hear the film. What colors and materials, lighting design, and food best bring the film to life. It is more than 4D cinema, it is literally a step into the story of the film itself from the moment you walk in.

LAB I : “Filmscape” 

This experiment featured artistic extensions of the film setting into the physical viewing environment. We intended to make the viewers feel as if they are in the film rather than just observing it. This challenged us, as communication artists and film scholars, to not only show a story on the screen, but to also extend that story into reality by providing a window for mental and conceptual space and time travel.

LAB I / SCREENING I : Paris, Texas (1984) directed by Wim Wenders

LAB I / SCREENING IIThe Girl on the Bridge (1999) directed by Patrice Laconte 

LAB II“Documented” 

This experiment was about documentary film. We focused on the relationship between the documentarian, Werner Herzog, and the documented. Herzog was chosen as a focus because he has exceptional curiosity that challenges communication between his subjects using the right questions, in the way researchers like ourselves strive to achieve.

LAB IISCREENING I : Encounters at the End of the World (2007) directed by Werner Herzog

LAB IIEXHIBITION I : “The curtains are drawn for the staging at the end of the world”

LAB IISCREENING IIGrizzly Man (2005) directed by Werner Herzog