While we come from dierent generations, we both have long been immersed in lm and have
both long pondered how the structure of a signal inuences any recipient of that signal—that is,
what does it mean to the recipient. ose streams of thought and experimentation came together
nearly two decades ago and have continued to bolster some of our early thoughts, yield intriguing
syntheses, and urge our deeper explorations. is is a biography of a model.
While we refer to some work by others and reference some work of signicance, we do not
present a broad introduction to theories of video and meaning; having early on found most of the
work based in literary theory to be of little help in understanding lm, we began from scratchfrom
the practices of lmmakers, from forms of examination newly available in the digital era, and from
comparing our experiments with expert analyses. It is our hope to provoke fruitful critiques and
even deeper examination in new directions by others.
ere are many streams of inuence and investigation at play. We tell our story in a manner
inuenced by our colleague, philosopher Irene Klaver (2018) who says of meandering:
From early modernity onward, meanders were engineered away to facilitate modern devel-
opments, such as commercial river transportation, property boundary determinations, and
city planning. Meandering proceeds covering more ground, percolating into deeper depths,
listening to more voices, foregrounding the specicity of being what it is when and where it is
observed. Meandering makes room for the slow and for the workings of the material realm not
ruled by strict structures. It facilitates a slow ontology [and] a slow epistemology.
Meandering is a model for our decades of exploration of the structure of movies: working with a
colleague on a project and returning ve years later to work together on another phase; wrestling
with ideas here, being inspired by a conversation there; enabling the convention of saying “we,” even
when chronology does not hold particular colleagues to us at a particular time. Because lm is a
mode of communication fundamentally dierent than verbal documents and because our research
is the result of deep personal engagement with image making, when we present our work in person,
we relate elements of that engagement. When we present our work in lectures, we generally cast
our thoughts and constructs in lmic form of one sort or another, so we embark on our meander-
ing with an introduction in the form of a movie trailer and origin stories to establish the depth of
immersion in lm and video structure.
We hope to provoke new takes on our model, dierent avenues of exploration, and a shared
passion for moving image documents.
A word about this text is in order. For many years, we have given lectures and made confer-
ence presentations together in a conversational style and replicate that approach herein. is may
seem odd or even like a “postmodern pastiche of personal narrative, memoir, and shot sheet” as an
anonymous reviewer commented. at is intentional. We are of two dierent generations and come
from radically dierent backgrounds; yet, we share a passion for lm and for bringing information
to the point of use. e personal narrative relates the development of an understanding of lmic
structure from the early days and through personal engagement with the medium. e threads
woven into this biography of a model may, in themselves, provide a clue for a reader to some other