The EAI Collection: Works

Feature

 

Assemblage

Merce Cunningham, Richard Moore

1968, 58:03 min, color, sound

Assemblage is a recently rediscovered lost film featuring Merce Cunningham and his early dance company: Carolyn Brown, Sandra Neels, Valda Setterfield, Meg Harper, Susana Hayman-Chaffey, Jeff Slayton, Chase Robinson, and Mel Wong. A collaboration with director and former dancer Richard Moore, Assemblage features Cunningham dancing with his company in a public happening in San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square in November 1968. Cunningham's riveting performance--conceived from the beginning as a dance staged for the camera--is amplified by Moore's astonishing special effects and a soundtrack by John Cage, David Tudor and Gordon Mumma. Rediscovered after Cunningham's death, Assemblage was transferred from 16mm and colorized by artist and filmmaker Charles Atlas, himself a longtime collaborator of Cunningham's.

 

The Making of Amarillo Ramp

Nancy Holt

1973-2013, 31:52 min, color, sound

The Making of Amarillo Ramp is Nancy Holt's final film. The piece documents Holt, Richard Serra and Tony Shafrazi as they complete Robert Smithson's unfinished earthwork, Amarillo Ramp, in the months after his death in 1973. The 1973 still photography and video footage, which documents their completion of Amarillo Ramp according to Smithson's specifications, was edited by Holt in 2013.

 

Selected Works

Cynthia Maughan

1973-1978, 27:02 min, color and b&w, sound

This selection of short video works by Maughan includes sketches colored by her satirical wit and eclectic persona. In works such as Scar/Scarf, where she desperately tries to cover a scar with style, and The Way Underpants Really Are (1975), an unsexy reveal of her tattered, oversized underpants, Maughan explores the fear and shame that comes from failing to live up to the standards of a society obsessed with flawless beauty. Eerie works like Coffin From Toothpicks and Frozen & Buried Alive (1974-75) allude to a dark fascination with mortality, yet sustain humor via the absurdity of her characters' stories.

 

OM Rider

Takeshi Murata

2013, 11:39 min, color, sound

In OM Rider, Takeshi Murata deftly weaves the aesthetics of retro-noir, video games, and Italian giallo film into a cinematic exercise in cool, narrative minimalism and distilled rebellion. In a vast desert bathed in neon hues, a misfit lycanthrope blasts syncopated techno rhythms into the ...

 
 
 

New Works

 

Fragments of a Revolution

Eleanor Antin and Sybil Wendler 

2013, 24:34 min, color, sound

In Antin's 1979 performance extravaganza Before the Revolution, her persona Eleanora Antinova, an imaginary black ballerina in Diaghilev's Ballet Russe, performs as White Queen, Marie Antoinette, while quarreling with the great impressario about racial profiling and the promise of modernism. In revival performances at the Hammer Museum in 2013, live actors joined the original cast of life-scale puppets to perform this allegorical tragic-comedy, creating a kaleidoscopic world of shifting selves and ambiguous realities, with ballerinas, kings, lambs, maids, madmen and revolutionaries. Re-invented and transformed into a film, live actors and puppets move through a ruined landscape of narrative fragments of psychological and political oppression, a musical, poetic and dramatic interplay of continuities and interruptions, the dark chaotic music of modern life.

 

Fractions I

Charles Atlas, Merce Cunningham

1978, 32:59 min, color and b&w, sound

In Fractions I, four video monitors share the screen space with the dancers. Throughout the performance, these monitors show close-ups of the performers in the dance space, as well as images of those moving outside of the space. The images on the monitors share the same "tense" as the dance ...

 

Locale

Charles Atlas, Merce Cunningham

1978, 29:54 min, color, sound

In Locale, Atlas' camera movements map precisely onto Cunningham's choreography. Three kinds of cameras are used: Steadicam, a Movieola crab dolly and an Elemac dolly with a crane arm. Locale is structured in four parts, based upon the use of specific cameras, dancers and time sequences. Atlas also designed the costumes, playing thematically with television and video technology by incorporating the hues of color television adjustment bars and the grayscale tones used to adjust black-and-white monitors. The bright leotards of the dancers are imprinted against the studio windows and the city backdrop.

 

Blue Desert

Seoungho Cho

2011, 11:59 min, color, sound and silent

Seoungho Cho transforms a sublime natural landscape into a stunning abstraction through precise electronic manipulation. Writes Cho: "Blue Desert is one in a series of ongoing visual struggles with Death Valley, a specific desert landscape which I have worked with since 1992. It is also not the last piece, as I have every intention to continue producing works about Death Valley. Death Valley has been quite simply my favorite place on the earth since my first visit in 1992."

 

Buoy

Seoungho Cho

2008, 7:11 min, color, sound

The golden, barren landscape of Death Valley, recorded by Cho from a moving car, provides the luminous and mysterious texture of Buoy. Cho reflects on the polar extremes of this desert, once the floor of a vast sea and now traversed by tourists. In contrast to the horizontal landscape, which floats ceaselessly past Cho's camera, vertical "strata" pattern the imagery, creating an axis between natural landscape and Cho's composition.

 

Butterfly

Seoungho Cho

2008, 10:53 min, color, sound

In this visually minimalist work, Cho pursues an associative connection between a Buddhist drumming ritual and the pulsing drum solo in Iron Butterfly's famous psychedelic rock song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." In Cho's unexpected intermixing of the mesmerizing Buddhist ritual drumming and Iron Butterfly's iconic hard rock classic, he frames the drummer so that his movements resemble those of a butterfly beating its wings in air.

 

Red Desert

Seoungho Cho

2011, 10:30 min, color, sound and silent

Seoungho Cho employs complex visual editing and rich sound to explore the landscape of Death Valley. He writes that he has "...refined a theme that has obsessed and haunted me, that I have struggled with, and which I owe many of my most important artistic achievements—the desert."

 

Shifted Horizon

Seoungho Cho

2009, 6:09 min, color, sound, HD video

A moody landscape of mountainous islands, recorded from a wave-tossed boat, is infused with the bobbing motions of the camera. In an effort to override the ever-shifting horizon, Cho splits the image into bands, each showing different vantages on the scene: the bluish outline of the islands, interspersed with views of the water's surface, golden in sunlight. The flickering of the bands, especially those of the water's choppy surface, is suggestive of digital static, a sense matched by Stephen Vitiello's evocative soundtrack.

 

Stoned

Seoungho Cho

2012, 11:40 min, color, sound

Stoned begins in silence. An image of a Buddhist monastery—a long stone corridor lined with receding columns—appears to jerk forward and slightly recede, or move tremulously back and forth. The single high notes of a piano begin to sound in a halting counterpoint to the agitated ...

 

498 3rd Ave

Merce Cunningham

1966, 81 min, b&w, sound

"A documentary of the Dance Company in New York City. The film tells the story of the making of the dance Scramble. The film maker was interested in showing the daily routine of the dancers, how and where they work, and other aspects of producing new work." -- Merce Cunningham Trust

 

Variations V

Merce Cunningham

1966, 49:05, b&w, sound

First composed and performed in 1965, Variations V is a true testament to 1960's experiments with "intermedia"—a coexistence and cutting across of artistic genres that profoundly informed Cunningham's choreographic practice. Video is materially integrated into the performance, with pr ...

 

Channels/Inserts

Merce Cunningham, Charles Atlas

1982, 32:11 min, color, sound

To create Channels/Inserts, Cunningham and Atlas divided the Cunningham Dance Company's Westbeth studio into sixteen possible areas for dancing and used chance methods based on the I Ching to determine the order in which these spaces would be used, the number of dancers to be seen, and the events that would occur in each space. Atlas employed cross-cutting and animated mattes or wipes to indicate a simultaneity of dance events occurring in different spaces, as well as to allow for diversity in the continuity of the image.

 

Coast Zone

Merce Cunningham, Charles Atlas

1983, 27:07 min, color, sound

Coast Zone, a video-dance collaboration between Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, was shot in the vaulted Synod House of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The great spatial depth of the cathedral allows for the use of deep focus and camera mobility; dancers in the bac ...

 

CRWDSPCR

Merce Cunningham, Charles Atlas

2008, 29:37 min, color, sound

Atlas records a late-2000's revival performance of the 1993 dance CRWDSPCR, which Merce Cunningham choreographed using the choreographic software program LifeForms. In program notes to a performance of the dance, Cunningham suggested that the vowel-less title, pronounced either "crowd space ...

 

Squaregame Video

Merce Cunningham, Charles Atlas

1976, 25:46 min, b&w, sound

Squaregame Video is a video-dance collaboration between Merce Cunningham and Charles Atlas, recorded in the choreographer's Westbeth studio. As a video-dance (that is, a dance choreographed specifically for the camera), Squaregame represents a dynamic integration of mediums. True to its title, Squaregame's choreography fits in a square area within the larger rectangular space of the Westbeth studio stage.

 

Beach Birds for Camera

Merce Cunningham, Elliot Caplan

1993, 30:01 min, color and b&w, sound

Elliot Caplan's 35-mm film adaptation of Beach Birds, a dance work originally choreographed for the stage, begins with Merce Cunningham outlining his approach to dance for the camera, and thus his vision for how movement behaves and how we see it. He explains that the piece is choreography ...

 

Cage/Cunningham

Merce Cunningham, Elliot Caplan

1991, 95:55 min, color and b&w, sound

This feature film traces the history of the 50-year-long collaboration between choreographer Merce Cunningham and composer John Cage. Award-winning filmmaker and Cunningham collaborator Elliot Caplan brings together rare footage from the Cunningham and Cage archives, interviews with principal figures involved in the collaboration, and candid documents of their art and lives. The result is a revealing portrait of the two men and their spirit of adventure and iconoclastic thinking.

 

CRWDSPCR (Documentary)

Merce Cunningham, Elliot Caplan

1996, 52:12 min, color, sound

Elliot Caplan's 1996 CRWDSPCR documents the rehearsal and production of Merce Cunningham's dance of the same title, which was commissioned for the stage by the American Dance Festival and first performed in Durham, North Carolina, on July 15, 1993. In addition to documenting daily activity ...

 

The Live! Show (February 18, 1983)

Jaime Davidovich

1983, 29 min, color, sound

Davidovich produced The Live! Show on Manhattan Cable Television's leased access Channel J from 1979 to 1984. The program featured performances by and interviews with art world personalities, live phone-ins and home-shopping segments. In this episode, aired February 18, 1983, Davidovich's character Dr. Videovich's expounds on Spanish accents on American television. The episode includes an excerpt from a Tony Oursler video, a performance by Tim Maul, and a Fluxus Festival promo tape.

 

The Live! Show (January 21, 1983)

Jaime Davidovich

1983, 22:27 min, color, sound

Davidovich produced The Live! Show on Manhattan Cable Television's leased access Channel J from 1979 to 1984. The program featured performances by and interviews with art world personalities, live phone-ins and home shopping. In this episode, cablecast on January 21, 1983, Davidovich's character "Dr. Videovich" proposes a theory of cable access as "generic" or "off-brand" television. Herbert Wentscher delivers an absurdist lecture on "The History of Video" and Paul McMahon performs as the "Rock & Roll Psychiatrist," offering on-the-spot advice to viewers who phone in with their troubles.

 

The Live! Show (January 28, 1983)

Jaime Davidovich

1983, 29:07 min, color, sound

Davidovich produced The Live! Show on Manhattan Cable Television's leased access Channel J from 1979 to 1984. The program featured performances by and interviews with art world personalities, live phone-ins and a home-shopping segment. This episode, cablecast January 28, 1983, features performances by Linda Montano as "Sister Jacques Bernadette" and Ann Magnuson as "Alice Tully Hall with the Hall Family." In addition, Davidovich presents footage of a press conference in which the art critic Les Brown speaks about future possibilities for artists and television.

 

The Collaborators: Cage, Cunningham & Rauschenberg

KETC Public Television, Merce Cunningham

1987, 56:04 min, color, sound

This documentary is in two parts, with the second part, Coast Zone, available separately. The first part of the program features a revealing and informal discussion between Cunningham and his longtime collaborators, composer and musician John Cage and artist Robert Rauschenberg. Their lively interchange is intercut with archival footage from their collaborative works, Travelogue, Minutiae, and Antic Meet. They discuss designing and composing for dance, aesthetic philosophies, and the adventures encountered when touring and performing together.

 

As Da Art World Might Turn (the series) Episodes 1-6

Kalup Linzy

2013, 29:04 min, color, sound

Writing on his Huffington Post blog about the new episodes of his series As Da Art World Might Turn, Linzy states, "The new version continues to center around Katonya, Big Feet Freddy, and Sholeva Sure's melodramatic journey through 'their' contemporary art world, but also introduces a set ...

 

Restless Leg Saga

Shana Moulton

2012, 7:14 min, color, sound

In this edition of Moulton's narrative series, the artist's character Cynthia suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome, and seeks relief in pharmaceutical ads on TV and in health magazines. In a domestic world enlivened with animated dance and mystic poetry (written and read by poet John Coletti), Cynthia ...