The Magic Ritual of Tactile Initiation

A Poem by Jan Švankmajer The novice is isolated in a dark room He has to leave his hands submerged in a black ointment Meanwhile bandages from finely chopped stinging nettles and goose fat are alternatively applied to his back. The sole of his left foot is touching the surface of hot water The sole... Continue Reading →

Embodied Memory

[The past is] somewhere beyond the reach of intellect, and unmistakably present in some material object (or in the sensation which such an object arouses in us), though we have no idea which one it is. As for the object, it depends entirely on chance whether we come upon it before we die, or whether... Continue Reading →

Tactility and Film, interview with Jan Švankmajer

Tactility and Film Jan Švankmajer's interview, with Tereza Stehlíková 2011 1. What methods do you consciously employ in order to make your films more tactile? I have in mind both in pre-production [choice of location, experiments], production, and post-production [particular methods of editing etc]? Until my first experiments with tactile objects I was unaware about... Continue Reading →

Tactile Workshop

This is a 13 minute documentation of one of my tactile workshop, performed at the Royal College of Art, London, between 2005 - 2009 Tactile workshops have been a vital part of my personally tailored methodology. They functioned as a testing ground for various practical propositions, as well as an imaginative way of gaining new... Continue Reading →

Švankmajer’s Decalogue for filmmakers

Decalogue by Jan Švankmajer 1. Remember there is only one form of ‘poetry’. The opposite of poetry is professional expertise. Before you start making a film, write a poem, paint a picture, create a collage, write a novel, essay etc. Only by cultivating your ability for universal expression will you ensure you will produce a... Continue Reading →

Alice by Jan Svankmajer

Tactile artwork by the great Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer. This image comes from his Dimensions of Dialogue retrospective, which took place in Prague, Dum U Zvonu, 2012/13

From Marinetti’s The Manifesto of Tactilism, 1921

From Marinetti's The Manifesto of Tactilism, 1921 1. to wear gloves for several days, during which time the brain will force condensation into your hands of desire for different tactile sensations; 2. to swim underwater in the sea, trying to distinguish interwoven currents and different temperatures tactilistically; 3. every night, in complete darkness, to recognise and... Continue Reading →

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