“I’m a spectator of mathematics like others are spectators of soccer or pornography.” — Leggett, Leonardo, July 2009

There is much to be gained by the contemporary researcher from this new analysis of an artist who, working with 16mm film 50 years ago, set about redefining the epistemology of cinema and its myriad axioms in the contemporary context, expanded now into the digital cultures of uncertain authorship and purpose. Hollis Frampton’s research was precipitated by interventions made into creative cultures of the early twentieth century.

The New York state–based Frampton’s erudition exemplified the informal creativity characterizing the zeitgeist of the mid-twentieth century. “The infinite cinema was Frampton’s own phrase, an expansive concept in which cinema includes all images as well as all image technologies and their infrastructures.”

The author focuses on the major film cycle Magellan completed in the last decade of Frampton’s life, a “metahistory” of film, also...

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