Screening Program for The Extended City Symphony

This program was programmed and screened for the EYE on Art Research Lab on May 16, 2017. It was curated by fourteen students from the University of Amsterdam: Nicholas Avedisian-Cohen, Vincent Baptist, Alexandra Beddall, Zsombor Bobák, Nele Koos, Matthias Nothnagel, Niamh O’Donnell, Mia Pepler, Lisa Rückwardt, Merlin van Schaik, Rick Vrouwenvelder, Susan Warmenhoven, Julia Witcher, and Leonie Woodfin. The curators introduced and framed their program as “An extrapolation of database cinema: a day in the life of an imaginary cinematic city emerging from the archive.” Their program and notes, as well as links to and embedded videos of the works they selected, are below.


Program for The Extended City Symphony, EYE on Art Research Lab, May 16, 2017



Instead of presenting the city waking up, marking a clear beginning of the day, as in the classical city symphony, the morning is rather the extension and ending of the night.

Diepte [Depth], 6’, 1933, Frans Dupont (35mm, silent)

Convalescing, 3’, 2000, Barbara Meter (35mm, silent)

Ahrend [commercial for office supplies], 3’, 1962, Piet van Moock (35mm)


At noon, all is still possible, within an indeterminate catharsis, marked by aimlessness and passive abundance. Noon is a hypothetical mid-point, a moment of brightness. However, 12am is not truly when the sun is highest. Is it the lie of symmetry and temporal order, in which cinematic noon unfolds and descends equilibrium?

De dag die droomt (The Day That Dreams], 8’, 2007, Bernard Lier (dig., silent)

Midden op de weg [In the Middle of the Road], 3’, 1991, René Hazekamp (35mm, silent)

Intermezzo (sound performance) – Sonification of Midden op de weg by Jim Wraith

Vakantieopnamen Afrika [Journey to Africa], 6’, 1925, Adolf Bargeboer (dig., silent [orig. 8mm])


Afternoon is enduring. Waiting for the next thing to come, one may physically break from city life, but psychologically one cannot escape its restlessness. Subjectivity is heightened when time gets stretched and looped.

Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943, 14’, Maya Deren & Alexander Hamid  (35mm, silent)

The film is accompanied by a reading performance.


Dissociated from work, evening is a moment of ‘self-improvement’. However, within neo-liberal economy, leisure activities serve to keep production going, 24/7. This rationale actually causes an acceleration of activity.

The Case of The Spiral Staircase, 1981, 3’, Jacques Verbeek, Karin Wiertz (35mm)

Performance and screening of commercials:

  • Una Tipica Storia Italiana [Campari], 2’, 1950s, Starfilm (dig. [orig. 35mm])
  • Are You a Mackeson Type?: Juggler [Mackeson stout], 1954, 27”, Dollywood (dig. [orig. 35mm])
  • Famous Cities of Europe Filmed in Cinemascope: Brussels [Stuyvesant], 2’, 1958, Starfilm (dig. [orig. 35mm])
  • Are You a Mackeson Type?: Kop van Jut [Mackeson stout], 1954, 27”, Dollywood (dig. [orig. 35mm])
  • Bowling Alley [Pall Mall commercial], 1’, 1962, Starfilm (dig. [orig. 35mm])

Hotel Nachtclub [Hotel Nightclub], 2011, 3’, Arianne Olthaar (dig. [orig. BetaSP])


While the night is a peaceful time for sleep and dreams, it is also full of intensity and danger. It is a time of contrasts –  light and darkness, good and bad, noise and quiet. It turns out that a city full of life, energy and people can also be the loneliest place on earth.

 Birth: Of het verlangen naar een wit gestreken overhemd, 1993, 12’, Noud Heerkens (35mm)

Ironing performance during “Night” section of Extended City Symphony program