The North Sea (1973-1974)

Chris Kennedy

The North Sea Chris Kennedy Canada16mm > digital 8 min1973-1974

As Benjamin had predicted, nothing brings the promise of happiness encoded at the birth of a technological form to light as effectively as the fall into obsolescence of its final stages of development. – Rosalind Krauss

More than a theory, the subject of this proposition reflects a simple image of the frustration that rules the social condition of today, for example this year. Perhaps I should add that le sujet brille. – Marcel Broodthaers 

Often combining a careful concern with the apparatus and a high degree of formal rigour with thoughtful attention to social reality and history, Kennedy’s films examine the interpenetration of a kind of phenomenology—how the things of the world appear to consciousness—with the material possibilities of film (multiple exposures, hand processing, found footage, multi-frame presentations). – Scott Birdwise

Streaming Details

This film is available to stream globally.

Program Partners

This film is co-presented with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © Chris Kennedy.

about the artist

Chris Kennedy (Canada) is an independent filmmaker, film programmer, and writer born in Easton, Maryland in 1977. His work as an artist and programmer operates in dialogue with the history of film as art, exploring the medium’s materiality in a contemporary context. He received a BA in Film Studies from Queen’s University (1999), and an MFA in Filmmaking from San Francisco Art Institute (2008), where he was recipient of the James Broughton Film Award. He has completed 25+ films since 1998, which have been exhibited at hundreds of festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Berlinale, Museum of the Moving Image, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, The Block Museum of Art, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, Havana Film Festival, National Gallery of Art (Washington), European Media Arts Festival, Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente, Toronto International Film Festival, Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Nam June Paik Art Center, Canadian Film Institute, e-flux, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, ARKIPEL – Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Forum, and Semana del Film Experimental, among others. Kennedy has also written extensively about film and music, including features on Akio Suzuki, Olivia Block, Metamkine, Ute Aurand, John Smith, and others. Writing about his practice has appeared in Artforum, Reverse Shot, Millenium Film Journal, The Brooklyn Rail, Mubi, and Filmmaker Magazine, among others. His film Watching the Detectives won the Ken Burns Award for the Best of the Festival at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (2018). He programmed for the Images Festival (2003–2006), Pleasure Dome (2000–2006), and TIFF Cinematheque’s The Free Screen/Wavelengths (2012–2019). He was also co-founder and co-programmer at Early Monthly Segments (2009–2018). Kennedy is currently Executive Director of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. He is a Media City Film Festival Chrysalis Fellow (2019–2022). He lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. 

Artist interview