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Kate Pelling

Published date
19 Jun 2018

Select Reject Reconfigure: Editing Speech in Artists’ Direct Address to Camera

Chelsea College of Arts

This practice-based thesis offers a new approach to editing processes that take place during the recording and subsequent editing of an individual speaking directly to a camera. Rosalind Krauss identified all performance to camera as narcissistic (1976), which includes the subset of artists’ direct address to camera, and since then the area has been widely understood within a psychoanalytical framework. This new approach provides a non-psychoanalytical perspective on direct address to camera, taking into account linguistic self-editing during the generation of speech (Skinner, 1957, p. 370) and technological editing processes once the speech has been recorded. While ‘artists’ film and video is a distinct form of cultural practice with its own autonomy’ in relation to mainstream film (Rees, 1999, p. vii), editing practices within the field show no such independence and widely adopt techniques and terminology from the mainstream canon. I consider ways that the language and practice of editing can be expanded beyond the mainstream, and I introduce a transdisciplinary approach to the editing of speech, which is between, across and ‘beyond all disciplines’ (Nicolescu, 2008, p. 2).

My practice plays a major role in developing a context for this enquiry. I use the video process, artist’s books, transcription, drawing and text to add to the existing vocabulary of mainstream editing. I create a new technique called blind-editing, which involves cutting out video material without looking at it. Finally, I discuss my publication A Relational [Video] Grammar: Extrapolation (2013) which illustrates my transdisciplinary approach and explores the new language that I have developed for editing speech. My research provides a new perspective on the editing of speech in artists’ direct address to camera and suggests that a transdisciplinary understanding of editing practices can shed light on existing works within artists’ film and video.


Dr Hayley Newman