Hollis Frampton portrait by Marion Faller, 1975

Critical Mass: The Legacy of Hollis Frampton

Friday, February 5, 2010 - 6:00pm to Sunday, February 7, 2010 - 3:00pm

Friday evening’s performance and screening is SOLD OUT and the FSC is no longer taking reservations. Registration for the conference is not required.  For other conference questions, please contact conference co-organizer Matt Hauske at

The work of Hollis Frampton—films, photography and essays — has long been recognized as a major contribution of the avant-garde culture of the seventies and eighties: with such photographic series as Vegetable Locomotion (undertaken in collaboration with Marion Fallon), films such as Zorns Lemma, Hapax Legomena and the films intended to be part of his Magellan cycle, and his essays collected in the volume Circles of Confusion. However Frampton’s untimely death in 1984 left his Magellan cycle unfinished, while Circles of Confusion went out of print (and became one of the volumes most frequently stolen from University libraries). Although projects for the preservation of Frampton’s work are ongoing, the critical reevaluation has begun, as his work inspires a new generation of filmmakers and scholars, and continues to excite the generation that knew him. The publication of an expanded collection of his essays, new critical and historical works dealing with his films and a number of dissertations in progress by young scholars that target Frampton’s work demonstrate the need to rediscover this major artist, filmmaker and media theorist.

This three-day event will be dedicated to exploring the impact of the writings and visual work of Hollis Frampton in this era of new media and new paradigms for the moving and projected image and sound. The offerings will range from scholarly research to new speculation, from recollections to discussions of the future of Frampton’s work and will include both work by established scholars and new research from graduate students.

Conference Opening Night  - SOLD OUT
The conference opens on Friday night with a performance of Hollis Frampton’s “A Lecture” by Michael Snow, followed by a discussion with Snow about his relationship to Frampton, and a screening of Manual of Arms (1966, 17min) and Gloria (1979, 10min).

Conference participants:
Bill Brand (Hampshire College)
Patrick Clancy (Kansas City Art Institute)
Tony Conrad via Skype (University of Buffalo)
Bruce Elder (Ryerson University)
Ken Eisenstein (University of Chicago)
Tom Gunning (University of Chicago)
Mark Hansen (Duke University)
Adam Hart (University of Chicago)
James J. Hodge (University of Chicago)
Bruce Jenkins (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
Peter Lunenfeld (University of California, Los Angeles)
Scott MacDonald (Hamilton University)
Rachel O. Moore (University of London)
Dan Morgan (University of Pittsburgh)
Gerald O’Grady (SUNY Buffalo)
Michelle Puetz (University of Chicago)
Melissa Ragona (Carnegie Mellon)
Ivan Ross (University of Chicago)
Keith Sanborn (Princeton University)
P. Adams Sitney (Princeton University)
Michael Snow
Lisa Zaher (University of Chicago)
Michael Zryd (York University)

Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.