September 15January 27, 2019
Museum of the Moving Image - Video Screening Amphitheater
2018. Jeff Reichert (b. 1978, Northfield, New Jersey. Resides in Brooklyn), Damon Smith (b. 1968 in Houston, Texas, Eric Hynes (b. 1974, Staten Island, New York. Resides in Brooklyn). Video installation.
In his 1982 documentary Room 666, German director Wim Wenders asked the question "Is cinema a dead language, an art which is already in the process of decline?" to directors including Steven Spielberg, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and others.
Nearly 35 years later, the makers of Room H.264 invited filmmakers to answer the same question. Each filmmaker was recorded under specific conditions replicating those of the Wenders film: the subjects were left alone in a hotel room with a tripod mounted camera running for ten minutes. Room H.264: Astoria, NY, January 2018, projected on the main screen in the Video Screening Amphitheater, is a film created from footage captured at the Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City in January 2018. On side monitors are the raw, unedited sessions from the two Room H.264 shoots to date, in Brooklyn and Long Island City. The Wim Wenders film from 1982 plays on a monitor on a pedestal. The title of the installation is derived from the popular video compression standard of the same name, which is one of the most commonly used formats for recording and distributing moving images today.
Room H.264 explores how we make, view, and critically engage with movies. The interplay between screens highlights issues that have arisen in the transition to a world of ubiquitous images and interfaces, creating a running dialogue between past and present notions of screen culture and the state of cinematic arts.