Monday, November 5, 2007

Outer and Inner Space

There are a lot of ways to look at Warhol's Outer and Inner Space: as time spent with Edie Sedgwick, as a commentary on or exercise of star power, as play with technology, as technology playing with our viewing experience and Edie's performing experience. But, underlying it all, giving excitement to whatever angle we choose to consider, Outer and Inner Space is a vision of paradise. Paradise here is characterized by:

  • an audience with a beautiful woman;
  • strange and beautiful light - gleaming, silvery foreground elements against the pervasive blackness of unexposed emulsion;
  • multiples of everything!

For this reason, I think the Museum of the Moving Image made a mistake when they projected the film on Saturday with only the sound track from the right projector. Agreed, it was possible to hear Edie's words more clearly than when two inferior sound tracks compete for attention. If the screening had been advertised as a special event for scholarly purposes, no one could object. But, in paradise, everything should be capable of everything. Giving unequal weights to the left and right projections just felt so wrong.


Anonymous said...


I totally agree, Dan. Just so you know, there was a technical problem at the screening. The intention certainly was to have the sound from both projectors play simultaneously. Sorry that there was a technical glitch (there was a problem with the line from the left projector to the speaker).

David Schwartz
Museum of the Moving Image

Dan Sallitt said...

David - I hope I didn't seem ungrateful - it's great to be able to see the film with two projectors. I didn't realize there was a tech problem.