Made without the use of a camera, these films from the mid-1970s focus attention on the surface that carries the film image. 

Films showing in this section: 

16:47 - Lis Rhodes Dresden Dynamo 1972
16:53 - Guy Sherwin At The Academy 1974
16:58 - Steve Farrer Two Drawings (From Ten Drawings) 1976

Lis Rhodes Dresden Dynamo 1972

10 minutes. Collection: Lux 

In this early experimental work, Lis Rhodes fixed Letraset and Letratone onto clear film, then ran it through a film-printer in different combinations, finally adding colour through filters. The image on the filmstrip extends into the area reserved for audio recording, and so also generates the sound. 


Lis Rhodes studied at North East London Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art, London. She was cinema programmer at the London Filmmakers’ Co-op in the mid 1970s. A founder member of Circles Women in Distribution, she also served on cultural committees at the GLC and the Arts Council, where she won equal representation of women on the artists’ film panel. Her own films, and her teaching at Goldsmiths College and the Slade have influenced several generations of artists. 

Guy Sherwin At The Academy 1974

5 minutes. Collection: Lux 

The ‘academy leader’ is a standardised lenth of film which provides a visual countdown intended to assist projectionists with timing and focus; it is not usually seen by audiences. Guy Sherwin loops and repeat-prints this imagery to develop transformations and layers of superimpositions, playing with the audiences expectations. 


Guy Sherwin was born in 1948. He studied at Chelsea School of Art. He helped establish fine art film at the North East London Polytechnic in the 1970s, before becoming workshop organiser at the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. He still hand-develops and prints much of his own 16mm film work. Widely travelled and exhibited, Sherwin now teaches at the University of Wolverhampton, Middlesex University and (periodically) at the San Francisco Art Institute. 

Steve Farrer Two Drawings (From Ten Drawings) 1976

4 minutes. Collection: Lux / Artist 

‘It would be nice to deal with a film with one stroke’. Steve Farrer has said, ‘To say… I’ve dealt with beginning, middle and end in one go’. Farrer made a series of drawings directly onto film strips laid out as a grid. When assembled and projected - their linear and temporal form contains all the information needed to mentally reconstruct the original drawing. 


Steve Farrer was born in 1951. After working in the ‘dye stuff’ section of ICI, Manchester, he studied at North East London Polytechnic and Royal College of Art, London. He was London Filmmakers’ Co-op workshop organiser and cinema organiser in the late 1970s. Inventor of The Machine, a shutterless spinning film camera/projector, many of his installations similarly rely upon hand-crafted technology to deconstruct the spectacle of cinema.