Charles Atlas' Ocean captures the breathtaking 2008 performances of Merce Cunningham's seminal dance work of the same title. Completed in 1994, Cunningham's 90-minute opus is an homage to composer John Cage and novelist James Joyce. Similarly, Atlas' film serves as an ode to his four-decades-long collaboration with Cunningham, who died in 2009, before the film was finished. Atlas' Ocean celebrates these histories and their relation to the intertwining of video, music and dance.
Atlas' 2013 film Exchange is based on the 1978 dance piece of the same name by legendary dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham. Atlas created the newly completed film from never-before-seen footage that he shot in 1978 and that was only recently rediscovered by the Merce Cunningham Trust (MCT). The film captures a performance of Exchange by Cunningham and his company, with costumes and backdrop designed by Jasper Johns and music by David Tudor.
Commissioned by Dokumenta XI in 2002, Jonas' multimedia performance piece Lines in the Sand takes up two works by the poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)—Helen in Egypt (1955) and Tribute to Freud (1944)—as source material. Jonas transposes H.D.'s re-working of the story of Helen of Troy to present-day Las Vegas. This video document of Jonas' layered theatrical performance features the artist and performers interacting with large-scale video projections, ritualized objects, and a rich sound collage.
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.
On Translation: Açik Radyo is part of Muntadas' ongoing series of works and projects about communication, culture, and the role of art and the artist in contemporary life. This piece is the result of a two-year project created in the context of "Lives and Works in Istanbul," a program that invites artists from European countries to work in—and create works about—the city. Açik Radyo is an alternative, independent radio station that broadcasts throughout the metropolitan area of Istanbul.
"Analogue was the first piece I made after I started working at EAI in the fall of '98. I made it in the office, after hours. I didn't have a studio so it was nice to work somewhere. I was living in a sketchy place. Once I was waiting for the super out front and this young family rolled up ...
Writes Ahwesh: "Working through my archive of accumulated video footage, I pretended it was found footage from anonymous sources. What began as a tribute to Bruce Conner of the period of Valse Triste and Take the 5:10 to Dreamland, with their deliberate pace and bittersweet memory of home, ended as a dedication to my father as I wound my way through miscellany with distance and another aim."
Classical Frieze documents Antin in the process of creating her large-scale photographs, which reconstruct scenes from ancient history and mythology as seen through the lens of 19th-century salon painting. In her photographic recreations, which she terms "still movies," Antin constructs elaborate tableaux that evoke aspects of the contemporary world. Set against lavish villas, swimming pools and landscapes in Southern California, the behind-the-scenes apparatus of elaborate costumes, props, crew and cast suggests the production of a Hollywood historical epic. Mixing extravagant decadence with knowing anachronisms, Antin visits ancient Rome by way of Fellini.
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 ...
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.
In this untitled video, commissioned as part of her 2009 installation at the Whitney Museum, Bag imagines herself as the host of a nightmarish children's television program, clinically depressed, dissociating from reality, and unburdening herself to a mean-spirited dragon puppet. Bag elucidates the ...
These Super-8mm films represent Baldessari's conceptual engagement with motion picture film, pointing to the technical strengths and weaknesses of the celluloid medium relative to video. Conceived on an intimate scale (only the artist's hands are visible as he manipulates a range of objects), Baldessari's Super-8 films replace text and speech with a cunning visual language, in which he wordlessly describes physical changes in his environment. Here Baldessari employs a method of communication that is based on spectacle rather than performance.
Script is the opposite of an improvisational exercise. Seven couples, all amateurs, are handed pages from random movie scripts and instructed to enact the absurd text through force of imagination, without direction or knowledge of what the others are doing.
Six Colorful Inside Jobs is one of a series of films that Baldessari produced in the 1970s, which are newly available through EAI. Seen from a bird's eye view, a figure paints the walls and floor of a windowless room six times in six days, using each of the primary and secondary colors.
Baldessari progresses from simple, static images, such as a rock in an empty room, to complex narrative scenes, like a woman eavesdropping on her next-door neighbor. Through the gradual integration of cinematic techniques—motion, color, sound, acting, editing and arc—the artist inverts the traditional Hollywood model, stressing structure over narrative coherence.
In this silent work, Baldino surreptitiously films André Derain's painting Nature Morte sur fond noir in the Musée d'Art Moderne in Troyes, France. She writes, "As a result of open-heart surgery last year, I currently have a blind spot near the center of my vision....Normally I do not create work that is explicitly related to my personal life, but this new series is about perception more than anything else."
Baldino writes, "As a result of open-heart surgery last year, I currently have a blind spot near the center of my vision. I had a 'mini-stroke' during surgery, and a small air bubble landed in my visual cortex; normally I do not create work that is explicitly related to my personal life, but this new series is about perception....This piece was shot at the Botanical Gardens in Marnay-sur-Seine, France. I used my low tech Harinezumi 2 digital video camera."
Baldino records French artist Ivan Polliart as he watches the last part of Battleship Potemkin with his young son, Witold. Father and son sit on a couch together; the television is off camera. The viewer hears the soundtrack (in French) to Battleship Potemkin as Ivan reads the subtitles and explains the film to Witold.
In 2011, EAI marked its 40th anniversary with a special public art project for New York's Times Square: EAI in Times Square: 40 Years of Video Art. In partnership with the Times Square Alliance and MTV, EAI brought artists' videos to the heart of Times Square, on MTV 44½'s large-format LED screen. Baldino's 1993 Suitcase/Not Suitcase was featured in the Times Square project. At one of the nighttime screenings, she created a brief performance: as her piece played on the screen above her, she reenacted the performance actions, live, on the street below.
Accompanying Beloff's year-long exhibition at the Coney Island Museum, this 128-page book traces the impact of Sigmund Freud's 1909 visit to Coney Island's Dreamland amusement park, and the activities of a little-known group—the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society—that was founded in his honor. Illustrated with rare photographs, drawings and documents that shed new light on Coney Island's mythic history, the book includes a DVD compilation of nine of the Society's "Dream Films."
The TV Commercials is a recent compilation of Burden's four legendary television interventions, which date from 1973 to 1977. For each of these conceptual projects, Burden purchased commercial time on broadcast television and aired his own subversive "ads." Included are TV Ad: Through the Night Softly; Poem for L.A.; Chris Burden Promo, and Full Financial Disclosure.
Vital Signals is a survey of the vibrant, interdisciplinary video art scene in Japan in the 1960s and '70s. Produced by EAI, the DVD anthology features sixteen works by fifteen Japanese artists, among them key figures such as Takahiko Iimura, Mako Idemitsu and Toshio Matsumoto. The DVD is accompanied by a 100-page, bilingual (English and Japanese) illustrated catalogue publication. Essays by Barbara London, Glenn Phillips, and Hirofumi Sakamoto draw out the unique art historical and cultural contexts of early Japanese video art, and its relation to film and other visual art forms. The Vital Signals DVD is organized in three parts: The Language of Technology, Open Television, and Body Acts. In technical experiments, activist statements, and conceptual performances, Japanese artists of the 1960s and '70s transformed the intangible—time, gesture, the electronic signal—into rich art-making material. The Vital Signals DVD anthology and catalogue publication illuminate this fertile period of creative engagement in Japan.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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 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 ...
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 ...
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, 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 ...
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 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.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
Donegan writes, "The piece is a short lament and meditation on housework, heartbreak and posing...keeping up appearances and appearing to keep up...I thought about Douglas Sirk and decorating."
Inspired by Warhol's 1967 Nude Restaurant, Donegan performs Viva's monologue from the film. She writes, "...I cast myself as Viva and my nine-year-old son as Taylor Mead—Beauty and the Beast reversed. Vintage headphones and a Nintendo DS keep us in our zones. The more I talked—trivial, breathless, at a breakneck pace—the more it reminded me of me getting on my own nerves. The relentless voice hooked up to a nervous system of images, everyday jolts. It's just Mom in the kitchen, serving up a hot dish of cool leftovers."
Blocking documents General Idea's 1974 performance at the artist-run center The Western Front in Vancouver, one of a series that began with the Miss General Idea Pageants of 1970 and 1971 and became part of the extended project The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion. Here they "rehearse" the audience staging and reactions in preparation for the 1984 Miss General Idea Pageant.
In this early conceptual experiment by General Idea, the artists manipulate reflecting surfaces to generate optical "feedback." Two mirrors are positioned to face one another over the edge of a lake. The mirrors are gradually tilted as the camera zooms in and out, revealing fragments of faces and rippling water. The multiplication of reflections produces a kaleidoscopic, disorienting effect.
In Loco, General Idea reflects on their formative creation and muse "Miss General Idea." Clips salvaged from a purported 1968 film showing glimpses of the mythical Miss General Idea are interspersed with video montages of General Idea artists Bronson, Zontal and Partz, dressed as poodles (an iconic General Idea motif) and meditating in a wilderness.
Produced for public television broadcast in Ontario, this witty survey of General Idea's early work takes the form of a prime-time newsmagazine, with General Idea as the subject. Hosts AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal describe their collective transformation from young strivers to "famous, glamorous artists," and the diversification of the General Idea media empire. Using a library of clips, they recount General Idea's public performances, films, magazine projects, and fashion designs.
Newly compiled by Graham, this survey features video documentation of ten installations, including a series of the architectural sculptures that he terms "pavilions." Typically composed of transparent or mirrored glass, and often placed outdoors in public sites, these structures further Graham's investigation into public and private spaces and invite a dialogue between the viewer and the environment. The documentation spans twenty-five years, from Present Continuous Pasts (1974) at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, to the 2008 For the Daughter of Jeppe Heim/Splash, from a private collection in Australia.
All Together Now is a tale of survival in a devastated but familiar world. Feral tribes are the only inhabitants left in a decimated Los Angeles, sustaining themselves on the debris of an annihilated culture. A sense of fresh disaster is evoked through disturbing details: cars abandoned in the middle of the street, yards strewn with kitten and bird carcasses, and buzzards circling over darkened skyscrapers.
In Nature Demo, Dodge and Kahn explore the flora and fauna of the Los Angeles River, which flows in a concrete channel through the city. They attempt to build a shelter and scavenge for food, questioning their ability to survive alone in this urban wilderness—though the ruse of their isolation is betrayed by the constant noise of traffic flowing over a nearby freeway.
In A Loft, Jacobs applies exacting digital techniques to footage of his New York City working and living space. The loft, crowded with books and film equipment, is rendered in vivid digital colors, inverted, and broken into planes that flatten the space, while Jacobs' signature stroboscopic effects give the illusion of three-dimensionality. The result is a deconstruction of his most personal physical space and an intensification of its psychological dimensions.
WARNING: This work contains throbbing light. Should not be viewed by individuals with epilepsy or seizure disorders.Writes Jacobs: "The real subject of ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks) is depth-perception itself. Our beloved performers from the 1905 Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son again encapsulate human absurdity for our amusement but this time in illusionary (and berserk) 3-D. Clowns and harlots and slumming gentry freely step forward and back through the screen surface, often misplacing heads and limbs as they change location."
Gift of Fire devotes fetishistic attention to what is probably the first film in history: Louis-Aimé-Augustin Le Prince's 1888 footage of traffic crossing Leeds Bridge. Jacobs continues his intellectual and scientific experimentation with cinema history and visual phenomena by displaying the footage in anaglyph 3-D color, intercut with contextual text and other legendary film scenes, such as the Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin.
WARNING: This work contains throbbing light. Should not be viewed by individuals with epilepsy or seizure disorders."RAZZLE DAZZLE is an early Edison shot cut off at its head and tail and along its four sides from the continuity of events like any camera-shot from a bygone day; no, like any camera-shot, immediately producing an abstraction. This abstraction pictures a great spinning maypole-like device lined with young passengers dipping and lifting as it circles through space... Early stereopticon images also appear, digitally manipulated to reveal their depths. A digital shadow falls upon the scene and yet, grim as things get, as our crimes and failures then and now commingle, the movie proceeds with a cubist/abstract-expressionist zest."
WARNING: This work contains throbbing light. Should not be viewed by individuals with epilepsy or seizure disorders."One of the nice things about movies was you could keep them at a distance. Movies knew their place. We were dimensional, they were flat, so it was easy to know which was which. But THE SCENIC ROUTE seemingly spills from the screen, threatening demarcation lines everywhere."
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.
In It's Cool, I'm Good, a bandaged and injured protagonist (Kahn), seduces, entertains, harasses and charms a slew of nurses who have agreed to hold the camera. The "patient" is at once selfless and narcissistic, verbose and elusive, vulnerable and manipulative. With a 22-track surround sou ...
Shooting within the close quarters of domestic space over the course of two years, Kahn constructs a narrative "document" featuring her best friend of twenty years. Compressing time and meaning, Kahn elicits recollections of the past in the midst of events occurring in the present, framing trauma in ...
Framed by her wish to document her burial plans, the artist's mother recounts her tenure as a shipyard worker, armed revolutionary, atheist, and partner of a thief, ruminating on how meaning is made. Humor rewrites trauma in a new read of the past.
Kelley's carnivalesque opus is a genre-smashing epic in which vampires, dancing Goths, hillbillies, mimes and demons come together in a kind of subversive musical theater/variety revue. This riotous, feature-length theatrical spectacle unfolds as an episodic series that forms a loose, fractured narrative. The video comprises parts 2-32 of Kelley's multi-faceted project Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstructions, in which trauma, abuse and repressed memory are refracted through personal and mass-cultural experience. The source materials are high school yearbook photographs of "extracurricular activities," or what Kelley terms "socially accepted rituals of deviance." Kelley then stages video narratives around these found images. Here these restagings take the form of "folk entertainments" that Kelley memorably subverts.
An evening of performance and music by Mike Kelley presented at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City in 2009. Including: The Judson Church Horse Dance and the Horse Dance of The False Virgin, and live performances of instrumental soundtrack music from Kelley's Day is Done, composed in collaboration with Scott Benzel. Plus the world premiere of The Offer (Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #33), a composition for 12 horns and vocalist.
Mike Kelley and Michael Smith's feature-length video A Voyage of Growth and Discovery follows the existential journey of Baby IKKI over several days at Burning Man, a festival of "radical self-expression," famous for its presentations of large-scale displays of fire, held in the remote Blac ...
Premiered as a live performance at The Poetry Project in 2010, Am I From Brooklyn? betrays Lampert's interest in the spectacle of sentiment, especially at the mercy of consumer technology. Using the now obsolete but once popular home-movie format super-8 film, Lampert runs through a sequence of scenes from a life imagined had he grown up in three different ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn (as opposed to his hometown St. Louis).
An actress rehearses for a role as Lampert's great, great, great, great, great Aunt Chana Kozehovich. Following Lampert's direction, Golum adjusts her inflection and characterization as she delivers a melodramatic monolog describing life in late 1700s Siberia.
A Silly Symphony at 45 rpm spliced straight from life. "Hit it and quit it" -- James Brown
"In 2006 legendary composer/performer and raconteur Charlemagne Palestine appeared in Boston for the first time in over 30 years. On a stage festooned with teddy bears he told tales about Morton Feldman, imbibed cognac and simultaneously performed on two Steinway pianos. Andrew Lampert and Saul Levine...both documented the performance in its entirety, each unaware of what the other one was focusing on. The Golden Mean is a stereo-vision portrait of the highly energetic, iconoclasitc Palestine that presents Lampert and Levine's footage side-by-side. A hysterical and bewildering musical moment captured by pure providence and presented here for you." --AL
Linzy's third installment in the "Conversation Wit de Churen" series, Da Young and Da Mess, is "a histrionic spoof of soap operas and Hollywood's penchant for casting stereotypes," writes Time Out New York's Martha Schwendener. "Linzy is doing to daytime soaps what John Waters did to his Baltimore childhood, writes Rachel Wolff in New York Magazine. "Part Richard Pryor, part RuPaul, Linzy writes, directs, and stars (wigged, heeled, and often scantily clad) in this series of shorts that are tender and vulgar, hilarious and heartfelt."
In The New York Times, Roberta Smith writes, "Kalup Linzy's fabulously nuanced (and lip-synched) new video, a collaboration with Shaun Leonardo, restates a vintage blues duet as a gay flirtation." The New York Sun's Deborah Garwood adds, "Messrs. Linzy and Leonardo's evocation of bygone performance styles brings to mind the poignant dance-theater performance politics of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane from the 1980s. In their absence, Mr. Linzy provides a welcome link to America's jazz and vaudeville past."
Melody Set Me Free is an alternately hilarious and heartbreaking narrative about contestants in an American Idol-style talent show competition and their quest for fame and stardom. Writes Linzy, "Vying to win a recording contest, they must take a Whitney Houston song and make it their own." The narrative was written, directed, and edited by Linzy, who also performs and overdubs all of the voices of the multiple characters.
SweetBerry Sonnet (Remixed) is a remixed version of Linzy's recent video anthology, which was created to accompany the songs on Linzy's 2008 album, SweetBerry Sonnet. Performing as his recurring characters (including Taiwan, Labisha, Katonya, Nucuavia and Jada), Linzy created a music video for each R&B-inspired song on the album. With titles such as "Dirty Trade" and "Edge of My Couch," the songs—all written and performed with sublime theatricality by Linzy—trace a melodramatic arc of desire and loss.
In Transit is an observed portrait of the spaces—often considered non-places—of air travel. Lord moves from San Francisco to Shanghai, Beijing to London, and Frankfurt to Mexico City, though these geographic leaps are barely perceptible in the airport interiors or the travelers' behavior. The viewer is ultimately left with an image of air travel that is equal parts science fiction and the sublime.
Background Story continues Lucas' ongoing examination of the isolating and disorienting effects of electronic media on contemporary life. Using Amazon's Mechanical Turks program, which connects employers with an anonymous labor pool to complete jobs referred to as "HITs" (Human Intelligence Tasks), Lucas and her collaborator/employee create a self-reflexive rewrite of the creation story, using text and fair use background images.
Here Moulton's alter ego Cynthia again gains access to a parallel universe via the transformative powers of New Age body treatments and domestic objects. After applying a facial beauty mask, she moves through an environment energized with Southwestern motifs and rituals, from sculpted heads and Georgia O'Keefe-like forms to sand painting and hot stone massage. Ultimately Cynthia is transported to a fantastical world and emerges transformed.
Here Moulton's protagonist Cynthia seeks a cure for an ailment via "Healing Hands," a natural New Age therapy. Donning conch-shell-and-pine-cone-adorned headphones and an Avon relexology glove, she listens to "sound medicine" and undergoes a treatment with Lady Nova, a hand healer. This is a portal for an out-of-the-body experience, as Cynthia finds physical and spiritual release, dancing ecstatically in a psychedelically animated California landscape.
"Alphaville," a gated residential neighborhood in Sao Paolo, is the primary site for Muntadas' examination of the phenomenon of "gated communities," and how fear and a search for exclusivity lead to urban isolation and exclusion. Referencing the 1965 film Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard, a dystopian sci-fi vision of a totalitarian, urban future, Muntadas presents an architecture of space based on the rhetoric and mechanisms of fear and control. Scenes from Godard's film are juxtaposed with promotions for the gated neighborhood, digital animations, security camera footage, and images of fences, pools, tennis courts and gardens.
EAI commissioned artist Takeshi Murata to create a special introductory piece for EAI's 40th anniversary programming, which will take place throughout 2011. Murata's creation is a stunning homage to forty years of experimentation by artists. With his intricate and lush interventions into archival footage from the 1960s and '70s (including glimpses of EAI founder Howard Wise), Murata initiates a vivid dialogue between the analog past and the digital now.
Infinity Doors draws on the determined staying power and unremitting stimulation of prize-oriented game show culture. Utilizing clips from The Price is Right, Murata edits a kinetic series of prize unveils. Unrelenting audience applause and an excessively animated announcer make the clip at once comical and peculiar. The superfluity of reward and overload of visual cues become absurd in their excess and begin to smother the very excitement they are meant to induce.
Rhythmically departed from Murata's usual assertive cadence, No Match employs footage from the 1980's game show, Classic Match. The seamless loop of an unyielding contestant's ineptness solidifies as an almost cruel experiment, as the stretched time limit imprisons him in a fruitless guessing game. As 1000 seconds tick off the clock, our relationship towards the disembodied head of the contender shifts from sympathetic support to uncomfortable pity. One cannot help but wonder if this humiliating effort is really worth the grand prize at stake.
In Timewarp Experiment, Murata applies a simple temporal manipulation to a piece of found footage, to uncanny effect. Digitally slowing the opening credit sequence from the 1970s' TV sitcom Three's Company, Murata creates a strange, hypnotic flow of movements and arrested gestures that unfold in unnatural time.
Murata transforms footage from the 1982 Sylvester Stallone film Rambo: First Blood into a morass of seething electronic abstraction. Subjected to Murata's meticulous digital reprocessing, the action scenes decompose and are subsumed into an almost palpable, cascading digital sludge, presided over by a hypnotically pulsating pink dot.
Art Thoughtz with Hennessy Youngman is an episodic, Internet-based talk show in which Musson performs in the guise of hip-hop "art critic" Hennessy Youngman. In a series of short, talking-head monologues, Youngman offers aspiring artists his irreverent views on the contemporary art world, f ...
Art Thoughtz with Hennessy Youngman is an episodic, Internet-based talk show in which Musson performs in the guise of hip-hop "art critic" Hennessy Youngman. In a series of short, talking-head monologues, Youngman offers aspiring artists his irreverent views on the contemporary art world, f ...
AWGTHTGTWTA is one of a series of video works in which Oursler explores the idea of the "chorus." Oursler asked high school and middle school students in Manhattan, many of whom are recent immigrants, to describe their ideal or fantasy places. The resulting piece brings together scenes of the students reciting text in unison, excerpts of their imaginative responses to Oursler's question, and found footage of the online gaming, shorthand sms text messaging, and YouTube improvisational recordings that characterize their environment.
This collaboration between Oursler and David Bowie was originally shown as part of a multimedia installation. The piece features Bowie voicing text written by Oursler, whose exploration of language and sound has led from stream-of-consciousness narratives to collaborations with musicians and sound artists. Bowie's brightly colored, disembodied head is set against a stark, black ground; the vivid, theatrical visuals recall Oursler's video sculptures, which often feature expressive faces projected onto dolls or objects.
Pop is a video portrait of the musician Beck, who appears to inhabit the persona of a childlike pop star surrounded by toys: frenetic images of the singer dancing, wearing a fake beard, and blowing bubbles are layered over a tight close-up of his face as he blows balloons up and noisemakers out. The mood of antic play assumes a darker tone as Beck smears lipstick over his mouth and covers his face with white foam to eradicate his features, acts that suggest a complicated dialogue between public and private personae.
Sound Digressions in Seven Colors is the single-channel version of Oursler's multi-channel installation of the same name. Seven performers—including Kim Gordon, Tony Conrad, Stephen Vitiello, and Ikue Mori—were recorded; their performances were then recombined in an experiment with chance. The performers were not told what the others would play, only that they would be mixed with six other players. The single-channel version is a layered sound and image collage of the seven performances, each assigned a specific color.
Dating from the sixties and compiled by George Maciunas (1931-1978, founder of Fluxus), Fluxfilm Anthology is a document consisting of 37 short films ranging from 10 seconds to 10 minutes in length. These films (some of which were meant to be screened as continuous loops) were shown as part of the events and happenings of the New York avant-garde. Made by the artists ranging from Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell to Yoko Ono, they celebrate the ephemeral humor of the Fluxus movement.
Ritual in the Emptiness continues Palestine's long-term exploration of subjective point of view. In an abandoned French factory filled with wintry light, Palestine records his vision on video; the viewer sees what the artist sees. As he spirals from room to room, Palestine's voice resonates throughout the cavernous space, filling the emptiness with sound and motion. The video ends as it begins, with a fleeting glimpse of a solitary individual.
Booty Melt, a mash-up of re-edited YouTube clips and original flash animation, explores the conflation of cartoon violence and real or implied violence in the pop vernacular. Ciocci finds hybrid monsters of caricature/reality in hip-hop fashion and emulative teen culture (viral videos of teens dancing and lip-syncing to hip-hop). Just as errant Looney Tunes become sinister symbols in the everyday, YouTube flattens identity, and, as Ciocci explains, "makes cartoons out of everybody."
Problem Solvers is Paper Rad's ideal Saturday morning cartoon. The episode adheres to the parameters of a children's TV program—in structure (half-hour format with space for commercial breaks), method (an "economic approach to animation and script writing") and content (a story arc anchored by a "post-hippy new-age message"). While emulative of a classic formula, the cartoon is strangely fresh; earnest and untainted by adult-flavored parody, Problem Solvers exemplifies Paper Rad's post-ironic art.
With a title hearkening back to the analog era, The Peace Tape is a frenetic remix of old and new "found" video. Culling his sources from thrift stores (countless straight-to-VHS childrens' programs), the Internet (a single YouTube clip featuring "dog in a dog costume"), and his own designs ...
In September 1975, photographer Marc Petitjean documented Matta-Clark as he made one of his major "building cuts" in Paris. Created for the 1975 Paris Biennale, Matta-Clark's Conical Intersect was a spiraling cone-shaped cut through a pair of 17th-century buildings on rue Beaubourg. Slated for demolition as part of the "urban renewal" of the Les Halles district, the buildings were adjacent to the Centre Pompidou, then under construction. Petitjean records Matta-Clark's two-week process and interviews him at the site.
In 2003, for A Short History of Performance, Part II, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Rosler announced an open call for a live restaging of her seminal 1975 video piece Semiotics of the Kitchen. Twenty-six women participated in a rotating performance of Rosler's script at the Whitechapel. On a set stocked with culinary utensils, the participants were taped and "broadcast" on television monitors throughout the gallery via live feed. Semiotics of the Kitchen: An Audition documents the preliminary rehearsals with Rosler and the public event, the "audition."
"The 'Americana I Ching Apple Pie' recipe was first enacted in my Belsize, London kitchen in 1972... With the exception of a dozen apples, flour, maple syrup, and eggs which I brought, all the cooking 'material,' utensils, and props were discovered in the jumble. Objects which functionally approximated actual cooking utensils were used: nails, hammers, an arrow, a flower pot, ball bearings, rags, a watering can. The cook's apron was a ripped mini skirt with which I covered my hair...."
Infinity Kisses - The Movie completes Schneemann's exploration of human and feline sensual communication. It incorporates extracts of the original 124 self-shot 35mm color slide photo sequence, Infinity Kisses, in which the expressive self-determination of the ardent cat was recorded over an eight-year period. Infinity Kisses - The Movie recomposes these images into a video, in which each dissolving frame is split between its full image and a hugely enlarged detail.
Schneemann's performance-lecture Pinea Silva was first presented in December 2011 as part of EAI's 40th Anniversary Benefit. Aided by a PowerPoint presentation of images culled from the Internet, the artist analyzes traditional Christmas imagery with an eye toward the psycho-sexual, positing a re-writing of traditional symbols in which the Christmas tree is understood as vulvic. Deploying humor in her delivery, slides and props, Schneemann uses the performance-lecture as a distinctive forum for questioning the relationships of gender, sexuality, power and culture.
Precarious is an edited document of Schneemann's multi-channel DVD projection installation with motorized mirror system, commissioned by the Tate Liverpool's 2009 Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival. The document compresses the mirrored video projections of dancing in captivity: fleeting sequences in which a bird, a bear, prisoners and Schneemann are seen dancing within the shifting frames of cages and the video format itself.
21 Films, which actually contains 25 titles, is a compilation of 16mm and 8mm shorts assembled by the artist. In these works, Sherman combines the hallmarks of his "Spectacle" performances—metaphoric juxtapositions and visual puns—with a fluency in film grammar. Through exquisite storyboarding and montage, Sherman transforms the mundane into the magical, blithely manipulating colossal forms (landscapes, bridges, chili parlors, skyscrapers, rollercoasters, escalators, and airplanes) like weightless props.
Sherman created and performed eighteen Spectacles in total, twelve of which were solo performances and six of which involved groups of people. In his second Spectacle, Sherman performs with Stefan Brecht, Richard Foreman and Kate Manhei ...
Staged before an intimate audience on the set of Richard Foreman's play Pandering to the Masses: A Misrepresentation (Sherman was in the cast), Sherman's first Spectacle introduces his unique approach to performance. With fluid and seemi ...
Sherman may best be known for his solo Spectacle performances, which usually took the form of quick-paced interactions with everyday objects over a table top. A prominent theme of the Spectacles was Sherman's playful use of scale, either in the amplification of small gestures and details or the miniaturization of theatrical spectacle. The Twelfth Spectacle plays with the syntax of common objects, such as telephones, balloons and magnets, to stage rhetorical questions.
Silver premiered 5 lessons and 9 questions about Chinatown in the Shorts Program of the 2010 Berlinale International Film Festival. A longtime resident of New York's Chinatown neighborhood, she writes, "You live somewhere, walk down the same street fifty, a hundred, ten thousand times, each time taking in fragments, but never fully registering THE PLACE, the district's shifting patterns and the sense that, since the 19th century, wave after wave of inhabitants have moved through and transformed these alleyways, tenements, stoops and shops."
Silver writes: "in complete world is both a rigorous and unique reworking of the vox pop tradition - the entire documentary is made up of a weaving of street interviews done throughout NYC. Mixing political questions ('Are we responsible for the government we get?') with more broadly existential ones ('Do you feel you have control over your life?'), the video centers on the tension between individual and collective responsibility."
Michael Snow's film Wavelength has been acclaimed as a classic of avant-garde filmmaking since its appearance in 1967. In February 2003 Snow made WVLNT, a "re-mix" which created a new work consisting of simultaneities rather than the sequential progressions of the original work. WVLNT is composed of three unaltered superimpositions of sound and picture.
ETC: Experimental Television Center 1969-2009 is a compilation of groundbreaking electronic media work by 100 artists who have worked in the Center's Residency Program during the last 40 years. The collection offers a look at the evolution of the unique artist-designed sound and image tools that are the hallmark of the Center's studio and provides a view into the constantly changing artistic processes and practices that have shaped the work. This five-disc set, accompanied by a 132-page catalog, features titles by Nicholas Ray, Gary Hill, Kristin Lucas, LoVid, Aldo Tambellini and others.
In her new work, Thornton confronts the economic and cultural transformation of contemporary China, evoking the spectacle of capitalism run amok. Creating a layered landscape of alienation and dislocation, Thornton shoots from her window of the Jin Jiang Hotel in Shanghai, the site of Mao's 1972 meeting with Nixon, and revisits her 1983 film Adynata, itself an exploration of Orientalism and the Other.
Thornton describes Sahara/Mojave as a "little trip to Hollywood via North Africa, circa 1900. I hone an 'aesthetics of uncertainty' to question our understanding of the real." She pairs disparate media sources - a collection of vintage erotic North African postcards and video footage from Universal City, Los Angeles - and a dense audio collage to create an elliptical inquiry into culture, history and representation.
Holland Cotter, writing in The New York Times, describes Trecartin's "sensationally anarchic" new video I-Be Area, in which the artist uses what Cotter terms "very basic digital tools to create a highly personal narrative art, almost a kind of folk art." He writes, "Like the work of John Waters and Jack Smith, his art is about just saying no to life as we think we have seen it and saying yes to zanier, virtual-utopian possibilities."
K-Corea INC. K (section a) is one of seven works in Trecartin's 2009/2010 Rotation. Kevin McGarry writes, "The cast of K-Corea INC. K is mainly comprised of actors dressed as various 'Koreas' (sounds like careers), in blond wigs, powder, and office casual attire, who represent all nations in a UN-inspired flavor spectrum. The video revolves around an unending 'meeting'—a busy, aimless meeting that goes in circles to evade a traditional narrative arc. The meeting is essentially a party, and the entire company bumps and grinds with itself everywhere from in boardrooms to airplanes. Amid the din of self-negating office politics, one underling aspires to introduce her own agenda to the workflow."
Sibling Topics (section a) is one of seven works in Trecartin's 2009-10 Rotation. Kevin McGarry writes, "Sibling Topics adopts a narrative and style that is more cinematic than any of Trecartin's other or previous videos....Family is the central theme of Sibling Topics—post-family, to be precise. Trecartin returns to his conception of family-as-business-enterprise (I-Be Area), casting parent figures as managers and executives on one end of the spectrum, estranged children as freelancers on the other."
Writes Antek Walczak: "The opening credits announce a set of false pretenses: a video to mark the centennial of fashion images (1898-1998), sponsored by luxury conglomerate LVMH, and produced by the renowned French film producer Anatole Dauman. What ensues is a delirious collection of sketches, scen ...
Writes Antek Walczak: "A detective-mystery movie adapted from Edgar Allan Poe's 'Purloined Letter' that purposely forgets the central premise of the story: the invisibility of hiding something obviously in plain sight. The Dupin twins, Augustine and Nicolas, confront another baffling case in their h ...
Writes Antek Walczak: "Commissioned for the Purple Magazine-curated 'Elysian Fields' exhibition at the Pompidou Center, Occupational Hazards (Les Risques du Métier) arose from a fundamental constraint. For budget, insurance, and scheduling reasons, filming was to be kept within the ...
Writes Antek Walczak: "Commissioned in the margins of a 90s fashion-art exhibition called 'Exposing Meaning in Fashion Through Presentation,' the video starts by documenting Susan Cianciolo's Run 8 collection fashion show in the intimate bourgeois setting of Lady Mendl's Tea Salon, but very quickly ...
Around the Park was a public art project commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservency in New York in autumn 2007. The video, which stars Wegman's canine cast enjoying a fall day in the park, was presented on four outdoor monitors near Madison Square Park's food kiosk.
Turning Some Pages was produced in conjunction with the printing of a limited edition journal of the same name by the Howard Smith Paper Group, a British paper merchant. The action of reading a book informs the structure of this digital motion drawing, in which abstract arrangements of graphic shapes and images of dice are interspersed with cryptic aphorisms.
Writes Lawrence Weiner: "SITUATED WITHIN A LANDSCAPE OF HUMAN INTERACTION THOSE ACTIVITIES THAT LEAD TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF STRUCTURES NECESSARY TO DEAL WITH OR CO-EXIST WITH THE FORCES OF NATURE, WATER IN MILK EXISTS ATTEMPTS TO PRESENT VARIOUS CHARACTERS AT A POINT OF DISJUNCTIVE BUT SIMULTANEOUS REALITIES.... THE ACTIVITIES OF THE PLAYERS FIT WITHIN THE GENRE OF ADULT FILMS. IN FACT, THE PLAYERS ARE ADULTS."
Echoing themes explored throughout David Wojnarowicz's art and writing, A Fire in My Belly is a visceral meditation on cultural and individual identity, spirituality, and belief systems. On a trip to Mexico City with Tommy Turner to scout Day of the Dead imagery, Wojnarowicz shot 25 rolls of super-8 film, documenting scenes that embodied the violence of city life. A central image is that of a child exploited as a fire-breathing street performer, which resonates in the title of the film and Wojnarowicz's own experience hustling on the streets at a young age. He later staged scenes in his New York City apartment to combine with this footage, collecting dreamlike images to illustrate thematic sections he outlined in a cutting script. Among these images is a dancing, gun-wielding marionette, coins dropping into a plate of blood, vibrantly colored loteria cards, and the now iconic self-portrait of the artist with his lips sewn shut. A Fire in My Belly was never completed. What currently circulates and is preserved in the Fales Library Collection of NYU is a 13-minute version entitled A Fire in My Belly, A Work in Progress, and a 7-minute excerpt that possibly represents a chapter planned for the finished version.
Yalkut creates a poetic homage to Lazlo Moholy-Nagy's pioneering 1930 kinetic sculpture Light-Space Modulator, which was reconstructed at the Howard Wise Gallery, New York, in 1970. Yalkut's silent Light Display: Color combines processed analogue and digital imagery derived from the original 16mm film that he shot at the gallery.
Yalkut's film is the only record of Nam June Paik's legendary 1967 performance Opera Sextronique in New York, which was interrupted by the arrest of cellist Charlotte Moorman, who was performing topless. The incident led to Moorman's subsequent notoriety as the "Topless Cellist." This studio restaging of Opera Sextronique, performed by Moorman and filmed by Yalkut, was shot immediately after the arrest incident to present at Moorman's trial. (The judge did not permit it to be shown in court.)