Evil Video

A young woman watches films and enjoys moving image art more than any other medium. But she feels that this proclivity goes beyond taste and interest, that it is also an obsession she endures. She personifies the screen and believes she is in a relationship with it, one of push and pull, of threat and desire, of comfort and suspicion, but that is in any case inextricable. In trying to understand this perceived relationship, she thinks back on horror films in which screens influence and manipulate their spectators, wherein they are given a consciousness and nefarious intent; and wonders if screens in her life act in a comparable way.

She suspects she is not alone in this sentiment and that it has wider societal and historical bearings. This prompts analysis and criticism of films, artworks and literature that consider or beg the question of people’s relationship with screens, within and outside the scope of horror. She ponders on such topics as the distracted viewing of pornography and the merits of indiscriminate watching; sexual or non-sexual scopophilia; using windows to frame and reify life and watch it as a film; long form ‘boring’ experimental filmmaking; film’s nature as a framing of space and a production and enclosing of time; killer tapes, televisions and cameras; screens and frames as windows into other dimensions; or the differences and key commonalities between photography, film, video, and digital moving image.

These enquiries take the form of essays that blend criticism with dishonest life-writing. They are structured by juxtaposition, or zapping, between materials, with vignettes enclosed within each other, with mise-en-abyme devices reflective of the metatextual nature of the analysed materials—of the activity of walking in and out of screens.

 

Paperback with flaps, 126 pages

Evil Video

Clara Raillard, Evil Video, 2022. Photo: Jen Martin.
For Sale: £10 (edition of 20)

Evil Video

Excerpt: pages 4 - 15