festival dates

Courtisane festival, notes on cinema, 23nd edition, 27 - 31 March 2024

09: Margaret Honda

26 March, 2016 - 20:00




A dialogue between new audiovisual works, older or rediscovered films and videos by artists and filmmakers who work in the expanded field of moving image practice.

Color Correction

Margaret Honda

“The idea for Color Correction came from the fact that my film Spectrum Reverse Spectrum was made by creating a timing tape to produce predetermined colours. When I understood that the timing tape functioned as the original, I realized that any existing timing tape, or set of timing tapes, could be the source of a film. In its simplicity, Color Correction insists that film is a filter. For this reason, it can only be projected as film, never as a digital file. The film is both totally material and totally abstract.” (MH)

Artist Margaret Honda’s first feature-length film is a radical celebration of projected light, filmic colour and the material and industrial processes behind it. Color Correction was made using only the timing tapes for a Hollywood feature, the identity of which Honda does not know (and which is irrelevant). Timing tapes are narrow rolls of paper with punched holes that encode the colour corrections for each shot in a film. They control the light valves on the printer and do not generate an image, as a negative does.

A sublime example of the ready-made, Color Correction is a conceptual, camera-less film, which takes an industrial process as a meaning-making and structuring principle. Detaching herself from a traditional authorial position Honda thus lets the work make itself. Decisions such as the length of the film, the gauge, or the colour changes, were all given by the unknown Hollywoodfilm. As she explains: “I had no idea what the film would look like until it was completed, and I accept it as the tapes gave it to me. Color Correction bears an indexical relationship to the nameless film that generated the timing tapes. It is neither a shadow nor a ghost of that film, but is something more like a layer that remains after another is removed.”