Pat O’Neill

7362 (1965–67)
USA, 16mm, 10′

sound design: JOSEPH BYRD

This Film started out to be about the motion and sound of the oil derricks that once lined the beach in Venice, California. The derricks, which had been built during the oil boom of the 1920’s, were made of wood and rusted iron, and were largely open and unattended. I was attracted to these towers by their moaning sounds, their heady aromas, and the consolation of the endless rising and falling of the pump heads. Somehow it seemed like prayer. The film came to contain a human body, and then moving objects which I filmed in my studio: rotating and oscillating shapes whose outlines would merge with one another. But in a way the piece was really about re- photography – about making something out of ordinary parts using mechanical technology to reveal a glimpse of something uncanny.

Thirty-some years later, it seems to be about orgasms. JOSEPH BYRD, later of the United States of America (a band) made sounds on the fly from a primitive synthesizer. BURTON GERSHFIELD stopped by with a gallon each of yellow, cyan, and magenta developers from Technicolor, which were used to develop black and white, emulsion 7362. PAT O’NEILL

In the early 1960s, experimental filmmaker and optical effects artist PAT O’NEILL began making films while studying design and photography in graduate school at UCLA. As he continually refined his technical abilities, O’NEILL expanded the boundaries of avant garde film by creating highly graphic, layered and reflexive assemblages that frequently combined found footage, abstract material and his own cinematography.

PAT O’NEILL lives in Pasadena, CA.

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