A daily rush is the raw footage captured during the production of a motion picture. At the end of each day on set, the unprocessed film is assembled, synced to sound, and sequenced for directorial review the following day—a coveted indication of how a film is progressing, even as it’s in production. A daily rush is exceptional in its capacity to indicate how individual performances are reflected and shaped by the camera in front of which they’re carried out: confronting the strange, corporeal dynamic between body, lens, and apparatus of capture. As a media-form, rushes amplify both individual and device—centering on the legible tension between performer, camera, and playback.
Over a half-century before the works in this first season of Daily Rush were conceived, Siegfried Kracauer published “Inherent Affinities,” an essay in his collection Theory of Film (1960, Oxford University Press). In it, Kracauer reconciles a changing media environment against the accepted conventions of imaging disciplines. “If photography survives in film, film must share the same affinities,” Kracauer writes. “Accordingly, [most of the] affinities which seem to be characteristic of film should be identical with those of photography. Nevertheless they call for renewed discussion because of their extended scope and their specifically cinematic implications…the flow of life,” he concludes, “is peculiar to film alone.”
Kracauer, whose thought developed contemporaneously with cinematic technology, was concerned with the perceived artificiality of staged composition. A staged reality seemed to contradict film’s inclination for natural, unmediated representation. But as a cinematic convention, staging is formally accepted to the extent that it evokes an illusion or understanding of actuality. Staged performances only begin to feel unreal as they extend beyond perceived reality into the hyperreal. The works presented on Daily Rush—most of which are by artists who, in contrast, came of age with broadcast media and networked culture—propose an increasingly fluid distinction between reality and representation.
To paraphrase: if photography survives in film and film survives in video—and video survives the screen—then the inherent affinities of each are revisited anytime moving image, much less an artwork, is staged online. All six episodes of Inherent Affinities will be presented here on Daily Rush, with works by Rashaad Newsome, Phoebe Boswell, Holly Blakey, Jillian Mayer, Sofie Alsbo, and Tin Ojeda, respectively. Throughout them, and in disparate ways, the body and the screen are dual protagonists—they compete with another for a starring role, and out-of-body experiences drive their performances.