La Cellule d’Intervention Metamkine and Plains


Performing at in collaboration with the Telecom 39th Auckland International Film Festival, La Cellule d’Intervention Metamkine from Grenoble, France is a live expanded-cinema group made up of musicians and filmmakers. Metamkine produces and directs a new film with each thrilling and spontaneous performance. These highly articulate improvisations push the boundaries of film and soundtrack into the realm of live performance. Projectionists Christophe Auger and Xavier Quérel perform live on multiple 16mm projectors; they apply chemicals to their films on stage, play with film speed and filters, and scratch directly onto celluloid to stunning effect. Jérôme Noetinger performs live musique concréte in a similar analogue fashion. Utilising reel-to-reel tape recorders and vintage synthesizers, the trio engage in an entirely real-time invention. They create a unity of sound and image, immersing the audience in a rich display of unusual diffusion and refraction techniques and compelling sound-collage.Metamkine remain deeply purist in their approach to the immediacy and tactility of analogue film and sound techniques.

For 20 years the Metamkine project has expanded on the tradition of experimental cinema and celluloid reverie. They could be described as successors to the early experimental cinema lineage of Walter Ruttmann, Isodore Isou, Guy Debord, Stan Brakhage, Len Lye et al, through to Fluxus Film and Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable happenings.

[Metamkine’s] work ethic is a far cry from the trendy multi-art events that are currently mushrooming in the capitals of Europe … The performances were an inspiring and frequently chaotic mix of acoustic, electronic and electroacoustic elements, an aural and visual celebration that even included some live sampling – of the group itself – by Noetinger, demonstrating that analogue and digital techniques can be complementary. As Noetinger puts it: “We have to move beyond this opposition between analogue and digital. The important thing is the music, not where it’s coming from.” Rahma Khazam, The Wire 157, March 1997.


Plains is an Auckland live audio ‘supergroup’ of sorts, comprising Tim Coster, Rosy Parlane, Paul Winstanley, Clinton Watkins, Richard Francis, and, until recently, Mark Sadgrove, whose coming together in the live context has produced artefacts such as the Underground 3” CD on Coster’s CLaudia label, the controlled quiet and textural dynamics of which is about as far from maximalist as six performers are likely to get.

Plains’ performance for will be supplemented by a video by Michael Morley, whose sensibilites as artist and musician have long been integral to New Zealand audio culture through his work with the Dead C, and solo, as Gate. Morley has been making video works since 1990. Non-narrative and experimental, these are often meditations on a subject, removed from real-time constraints and suspended within a timeframe of its own making. Reason was conceived as a response to the video game aesthetic, the romantic painted landscape where possibilities for disaster are commonplace and frequently catastrophic. North Otago is emblematic of New Zealand art history; as landscape it is one of the characters within Reason.


14 July 2007 – Auckland – Kenneth Myers Centre, Shortland St
with: Plains.

START: SAT 14 JULY 2007, 12:00 PM