Readings at the intersection : audio culture and the moving image in 1970s Britain

Holdsworth, Claire (2017) Readings at the intersection : audio culture and the moving image in 1970s Britain. In: Il Intermedia Conference: The Moving Form of Film : Exploring Intermediality as a Historiographic Method; 6–8 Nov 2017, Reading, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Delivered as part of the panel ‘British Cinema and Intermediality II’, this 15-minute paper explored the intersections between two London-based collectively organised groups in the late-1970s. The London Musicians Collective and London Film-makers Co-operative inhabited the same address in Gloucester Avenue in Camden, separated by a (not quite soundproof) breeze-block wall. Though distinct, each coalition of practitioners inhabited overlapping spaces that were social, artistic and critical during an important juncture, when the disciplines of sound art and moving image emerged in the UK. By discussing how the timelines of each connect, this paper considered intermediality as a historiographical tool and a means of describing audio-visual artefacts. Taking extracts from Readings, a short-lived review magazine edited by the artists Annabel Nicolson and Paul Burwell (which ran to 3 editions published in 1977) the ‘intersection’ between these practices and groupings was traced, mapping the experimental laboratory / bookshop culture in London during the 1970s. The paper discussed the intermedial tensions underlying archival research that traces, charts and maps multiple sensory modes, organisational convergence and the living nature of contextual critical writings that capture these times.

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