1992.03. Enoch Pratt Free Library Audio Visual Department 1992 16mm Film and Slide Catalog

Should I include this in books that I have something in? I might as well. I worked for the Enoch Pratt Free Library from late 1980 to early 1981. I got a job there under the CETA opportunities. As I recall, I started off as a tutor in math & english for the functionally illiterate. I became the head of the tutors (less impressive than it sounds given that there were only about 6 to 8 of us). I vaguely recall President Reagan ending these CETA jobs & my getting shifted to being a stack searcher &, eventually, to being a film repairer for the Film & Video Department.

That department was headed by Helen Cyr, someone with deep knowledge & love for moviemaking. The department had a truly incredible collection of experimental & otherwise rare 16mm films thanks to her curating. I didn't last at these jobs for very long because I was too busy doing things like taking off work to go to Montréal for the 2nd International Neoist Apartment Festival in February, 1981.

Nonetheless, Mrs. Cyr was aware of me as a moviemaker & very supportive. The Film & Video Dept bought a print of an in-progress silent version of my film "Subtitles" from me. This disappeared (& eventually reappeared under unknown circumstances many years later) so the F&VD bought a 2nd print of it at cost. They eventually bought a total of 7 works from me for the library's collection. These could be borrowed from the library for free by anyone with a library card. This was unprecedented support for me & probably more support than I've gotten from any institution since.

I was given forms to fill out to describe each of the works for the sake of whatever cataloging they were to do. I was thrilled when the 1st catalog was published in hard-copy in 1989. You can see my webpage for that here: 1989.01. Enoch Pratt Free Library Audio Visual Department 1989 Catalog . The works were indexed under my given name, "Michael Tolson". There were some errors in the 1989 catalog: "Subtitles" & "Transparent SMILE" were "mp" (motion pictures) but weren't listed as such.

In 1992, there were 2 catalogs: this one for 16mm film & slides & a separate one for video. The error here is that "Subtitles" isn't listed as an "mp" &, therefore, ended up in the video catalog. The exclusion of "Transparent SMILE" from having a descriptive entry in the 1989 catalog has been corrected here.

All 3 of the 16mm prints were unique because they were either early versions or, in the case of "Sound Along w/ t he Bounding Ball(s)", negative. I actually prefer the negative version but I don't have a negative for myself.

"Sound Along w/ t he Bounding Ball(s)" is available online now in an improved/updated version with sound from various performances using it as a score:

031. a. "Sound Along w/ t he Bounding Ball(s)" {version 1}

[in the collection of the Enoch Pratt Free Library Audio Visual Department]

- shot by Steve Estes

- Norkin Grip (Leanne Johnson)

- directed by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- 16mm (primarily negative) (silent)

- 9:40

- '83 (etc..)

b. "Sound Along w/ t he Bounding Ball(s)" {version 2}

- (primarily positive)

c. "Sound Along w/ t he Bounding Ball(s)" {version 3}

- version 1 transferred to 1/2" VHS cassette w/ sound added

d. "Sound Along w/ t he Bounding Ball(s)" {version 4}

- version 3 intercut w/ the screening of version 2 @ Jefferson Presents (as shot by Gordon Nelson) on Jan 27, 2007 w/ live soundtrack from LaDonna Smith; Greg Pierce; Steve Boyle; & tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- w/ soundtrack credits added

- 9:53

- edit finished december 24, '09

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/pGyS0t7vEQ0


In the 1989 catalog, the work was also correctly indexed under "tentatively, a convenience". It's possible (or probable) that I gave them the name in tOGGLE cASE as "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE" but that would've been stretching my luck. "tentatively, a convenience" was fine because that's the way I wrote it from 1975-1979 &, sometimes, thereafter. Alas, that goes missing in the 1992 catalogs.

You might also notice that the word "White" is missing its "t" in this catalog descriptive entry & also in the index.

This print of the film is an early one. The later prints have additional scratching done on the internegative so that the scratching is dark instead of light. This improved version is available online:

050. "Transparent Smile (Monty Cantsin Performing With White Colours)"

- Monty Cantsin (ie: Steve Estes), Monty Cantsin (ie: Joan Lobell), Monty Cantsin (ie:tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) w/ sound by various Monty Cantsins (primarily John Berndt & Jimmy Hedges)

- 16mm w/ optical sound

- 17:00

- '85

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here broken into 2 parts:

pt 1: https://youtu.be/EGc-rohmq4k

pt 2: https://youtu.be/p84MiQDrsnc

- On the version of "VAUDIO" that I've put online I've rejoined the 2 parts:

"Transparent Smile (Monty Cantsin performing with White Colours)" (1984-1985) - the original VAUDIO version of this was of an early print of the film before I'd added scratching to the internegative. This is the same version that's on YouTube already except that the earlier upload is in 2 parts. - https://youtu.be/yamGE-mVW8A?t=15m1


I learned recently by checking the Pratt catalog online that none of my VHS tapes are there anymore. That leaves only the 16mms.

This is ironic because back in the early 1990s a new administrator took over the library & decided that all 16mm should be thrown away. Given how incredible the 16mm collection was, there was significant resistance to this - of which I was a part. The administrator, someone who, apparently, wasn't a scholar or respectful of scholars, argued that 16mm was an obsolete format that hardly anyone took out anymore & that VHS was what everyone wanted.

Some of us started programming more 16mm films just to try to keep circulation going & I made bad VHS transfers of some of the films to try to make sure that I could preserve them somehow. Now, of course, VHS has gone the way of 16mm in terms of 'obsolescence'. As a scholar, I find the condemning of any information on the basis of whether market manouvers have rendeered it 'obsolete' or not to be ridiculous. Imagine: "The Dead Sea Scrolls? Never heard of them. Throw 'em away, only e-books are worth anything." At least the 16mm collection has been preserved - I don't know how much of it.

Despite the mistakes, it's fortunate that the 1989 catalog was reissued in this expanded larger 1992 form because the binding of the 1989 version fell apart fairly quickly while the 1992 edition still holds firm. For real scholars, this catalog is a precious resource because it shows a vast pool of what was available at the time - much of which may have already fallen into undeserved obscurity.







idioideo at verizon dot net


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page

to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions page

to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page

to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page

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to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile

for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..

to the mm index

to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page

to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website

to the Philosopher's Union website

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies


to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important

to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page

to Psychic Weed's Twitter page

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index

to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village

for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH

to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing

to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel