Stephen Broomer (2014)

The Transformable Moment
edited by Scott Birdwise and Tom McSorley (2014)

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The Transformable Moment by Stephen Broomer
Some considerations on the artistic process (of Stephen Broomer) by Dan Browne
A Radical Sense of Form: Against organic unity, or Notes for discussion of Broomer’s films by R. Bruce Elder
Permutations and Other Schema: A Few Notes on the Films of Stephen Broomer by Clint Enns
Unruly Fragments about Christ Church by Zoe Heyn-Jones
Layers of Being: Stephen Broomer’s Brébeuf by Michael Sicinski
Magic: The Gathering, or Spirits in Season by Brett Kashmere
Rites of Passage amid ‘flooding radiance’ by Andrea Picard
The Answering Act by Cameron Moneo
Interview by Scott Miller Berry

The Transformable Moment by Stephen Broomer
The moment is an indefinite measure of time into which almost all experience falls. It is the conclusive present and it permeates all written past. It forms in our vision and consciousness. History enters as the moment fleeting, but the moment, in and out of tie, the present, is our epiphany, when eternity reaches into our time and into us. Eternity carves its expression into us. It comes to us to build.

Film has allowed the artist to tame the moment, to record and posses it, to suspend it by a representation that pretends to permanence. The moment, as inscribed on film, becomes an elastic interval. In this raw form, it opens onto the many possibilities for further creation, be they achieved by distortion and obscurity, by the heightened clarity that comes in the movement study, by the divergent gestures of alternating patterns, and by other operations played on the visual field. Our mastery over the moment and its contents invites us deeper inside the instant and eternity. That movement of insight, formed in the improvisatory gesture or tempered and realized by later contemplation, might be transformed to dam out old motions, to make them new; to give polyrhythmic integrity to both moment and memory itself; to reach for the essential energy of experience. Transformations reveal a composition as a field of individual and endlessly renewed meanings and energies. But the epiphany is rare and ultimate.

Every moment possesses the power to transform itself. In its stagnant chronology, its fixed coordinate, it changes. By memory and by history, time transforms itself. We use film to alter the moment, to cradle the moment, to annihilate the moment, or at least its impression, and by these operations, the image bears out the mystical associations of consciousness. The transformable moment is the moment turning into both its opposite and its other, and meaning arises in the gap between opposition and otherness. By this transformation, the moment departs from the assurances of memory and becomes a breathing passage.