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Beth Block

Successive Approximations to the Goal

Film expérimental | hdv | couleur | 14:11 | USA | 2015

Successive Approximations to the Goal (2015), 14 min., 1080p digital Successive Approximations to the Goal is a term that is used in applied behavior analysis. It refers to the series of slight behavioral changes that are reinforced because they are increasingly more similar to the ultimate objective. Driven by the desire to spatially portray the passage of time, I filmed an LA Galaxy/Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game and then composited the images to portray the motion over time of the players, the refs and the ball. As the different pieces emerged, I was struck by the inevitability and futility of what I was seeing, which triggered in me thoughts of rats in cages, endlessly pushing rocks up mountains, video games that you always lose and the paradox of the movement of electrons. The sound interprets, in many different ways, the possible explanations for such strange human behavior.

Beth Block is a media artist who lives in Los Angeles. She worked in the film industry creating visual effects for major Hollywood films including TERMINATOR 2, ALTERED STATES, and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and was among the first generation of artists to transition from cameras to computers to create visual effects. Her recent films exploit the ability of digital technology to be re-photographed multiple times without generational loss, enabling her to more fully explore her fascination with capturing motion depicted over time. In addition to her experimental films she is a freelance documentary director, cinematographer and editor. She currently teaches at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and is also documentarian for the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company and the NewTown Pasadena Foundation. Her films and installations have been exhibited at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), The Cinematheque, San Francisco, Los Angeles Filmforum, Film in the Cities, Minneapolis, MN, and the Ann Arbor, Sinking Creek, Philadelphia, Athens, and Black Maria Film Festivals. Block was a founding member and former board president of the NewTown Pasadena Foundation, where she is still an active member, and from 1985-1995 was a Los Angeles Filmforum board member and past president.