Intimate Cinema

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'Interested in responding to the setting in which people typically view the web, Torfs wanted to offer a kind of intimate cinema.' This is from the introductory text by Sara Tucker for Approximations/Contradictions by Belgian artist Ana Torfs: the new DIA online project launched December 2. Tucker's text is key to accessing this online 'video installation'. 'Approximations/Contradictions' includes 3 different video-based perspectives on 21 singers singing 21 songs from Hollywood Songbook, a collection of songs for piano and one voice by the German-Austrian composer Hanns Eisler, written in 1942-43. The use of video is technically superb for an online environment but the work brings up questions as to why the medium of the internet was chosen. While it offers the viewer more time to process the work, this gain is balanced by a loss in engagement due to scale. But linear references, such as the lines from the songs shown and ‘cast credit’ lines as points of interaction, become 'underlined' due to being in a non-linear environment. - Laurie Halsey Brown