Sandra Gibson, who makes films by herself and with her partner Luis Recoder, is engaged in an ongoing exploration of the materiality of film and the conditions of film viewing. She has a particular sensitivity to the play of light from the apparatus and how it falls or performs on spaces and screens. Like so many filmmakers in this study, Gibson conceives of her work as moving paintings and views her status as "being between a filmmaker and a painter." In addition to being a student of earlier handmade films, Gibson has also been influenced by contemporary artisanal filmmakers such as Stephanie Maxwell and Jennifer Reeves.
Gibson makes use of a number of techniques to transform film material. For Edgeways (1999), she stitched and wove together a series of filmstrips. Her film Blue Light (2006) is essentially a ten-minute colorfield painting set to classical Japanese court music. Its pacific, immersive blue imparts associations with elemental sources--water, sky, diffuse sunlight and floating clouds. Recoder's Yellow-Red (2001)--part of his Available Light series, in which he exposes film to indirect light exposures and flares--pulses through subtle variations on the colors of its title, and as a whole his films evoke the perceptual play of light and color in the work of artists such as James Turrell, Robert Irwin, and Olafur Eliasson. In Pour-trait (2001), Recoder shot himself in super-8mm before processing the film with old chemicals. When screened, Recoder bi-packs the film--the film is double-threaded the gate of the projector--and projects it at a rate of 6fps, producing what he describes as an "apparition like, a transparent veil that slowly evolves in unexpected ways."
For certain of their projection performance pieces, Gibson and Recoder often manipulate, modify, and construct their own apparatus to produce ethereal light effects. In Untitled (2008), they rigged an electric humidification system to mist glass panes situated in front of two projectors running monochromatic 16mm films, creating beautiful and constantly changing abstractions on screen.