Posted by | Ziva Schatz | Posted on | October 2, 2015
Thursday, October 8 | English based filmmaker Louis Henderson in person!
In his first Chicago appearance, award-winning director Louis Henderson presents a pair of films on the networked links between colonialism, computing, and capitalism in contemporary Ghana. In Lettres du Voyant (2013), a series of mysterious letters describe the practice of “Sakawa”—e-scams fortified by Western African religious rituals—and the possibilities it proposes for political resistance. Choreographed on Henderson’s desktop screen, All That Is Solid (2014) maps connections between the Cloud and its waste, layering ephemeral image searches, email, data, and notes over footage of the grinding physical labor of the massive Agbogbloshie electronic waste ground in Accra. Presented in collaboration with the Video Data Bank.
2013–14, France, HD Video, ca 60 min + discussion
Louis Henderson (1983, Norwich) is an English filmmaker whose research focuses on new materialities of the Internet and the neocolonialisation of cyberspace through planetary scale computing. He is a graduate of London College of Communication and Le Fresnoy–studio national des arts contemporains and is currently finishing a post-diplôme at the European School of Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited across Europe and the Americas, including at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Transmediale, Muestra Internacional Documental de Bogota, The Centre Pompidou, FRAC Midi-Pyrénées, Louisiana museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, and Whitechapel Gallery.
Posted by | Ziva Schatz | Posted on | September 30, 2015
Tomorrow Wayne Boyer, Michael Golec, Associate Professor of Design History at SAIC, and Anne Wells, Collections Manager for the Chicago Film Archives (CFA) will join us at the Gene Siskel Film Center post screening for a round table discussion. This week Anne Wells of the CFA writes for us, reflecting on her personal relationship with the filmmakers as she also re-introduces and premiers their highly innovative and visually stunning work.
I first came to know Wayne Boyer and Larry Janiak through Chicago Film Archives’ Mort & Mille Goldsholl Collection, which contains over a hundred industrial films made by the Chicago-based design firm, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates. Both Boyer and Janiak worked for the firm in the 1960’s and played a significant role in shaping the look of their playful sponsored films. I didn’t get a full understanding of Boyer and Janiak’s fierce experimental vision for film until CFA acquired Janiak’s films in 2011 and Boyer’s in 2015.
Wayne and Larry share strikingly similar biographies. Both were born in Chicago (Wayne in 1937 and Larry in 1938), attended the same high school and college (Lane Tech High School and the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology), worked at the same Chicago-based design firm (Goldsholl Design & Film Associates), helped found an artist-run film co-op (Center Cinema Film Co-op) and went onto teach and develop art programs at Chicago universities (Wayne at University of Illinois at Chicago and Larry at IIT).
Posted by | Ziva Schatz | Posted on | September 25, 2015
Thursday, October 1 | Followed by a roundtable with Boyer, Michael Golec, Associate Professor of Design History at SAIC, and Anne Wells, Collections Manager for the Chicago Film Archives (CFA). Presented in collaboration with the CFA.
Chicago at midcentury was home to a remarkable group of artists who bridged European modernism, pop, and psychedelia in brilliant personal and work-for-hire films. Among the most accomplished were Wayne Boyer and Larry Janiak, who trained at László Moholy-Nagy’s Institute of Design, worked for Morton Goldsholl’s design studio, and helped found the Center Cinema Coop, an important distribution collective. Both produced expressive and technically masterful films; Boyer’s explore visual abstraction through appropriation and in-camera effects while Janiak’s examine the inner life through direct animation and personal fragments of the everyday. This long overdue survey presents key works from the 1950s–70s and brings new insights to their achievements.
Featuring Faces and Fortunes (Goldsholl Associates, 1959), Drop City (Wayne Boyer, 1968), Disintegration Line #1 (Larry Janiak, 1960), The Building: Chicago Stock Exchange (Wayne Boyer, 1975), Adam’s Film (Larry Janiak, 1963), Agamemnon in New York (Wayne Boyer and Larry Janiak, 1964), George and Martha Revisited (Wayne Boyer, 1967, 8 min.), Disintegration Line #2 (Larry Janiak, 1970).
Followed by a roundtable with Boyer, Michael Golec, Associate Professor of Design History at SAIC, and Anne Wells, Collections Manager for the Chicago Film Archives (CFA).Presented in collaboration with the CFA.
1955–75, USA, 16mm and DCP, ca 70 min + discussion
Wayne Boyer (1937, Chicago) began making animated films as a teenager when he discovered that his father’s 8mm movie camera had a single frame release. He went on to study at the Institute of Design and, along with Larry Janiak, headed the newly formed filmmaking division at Morton Goldsholl Design Associates, an award-winning graphics and industrial design studio. In 1965 he was invited by the University of Illinois at Chicago to establish a photography, film and animation program in the School of Art & Design. During his tenure there, he established his own studio, producing public service, educational, and personal experimental films. He was part of Chicago’s early underground filmmaking community and a member of the Center Cinema Coop, an artist-run distributor for independent films. He is currently Professor Emeritus at UIC.
Larry Janiak (1938, Chicago) began making films as a student at Chicago’s Lane Tech High School. He studied at the Institute of Design and, along with Wayne Boyer, headed the newly formed film division at Morton Goldsholl Design Associates. Janiak left Goldsholl in 1968 for the Institute of Design, where he taught design animation and experimental filmmaking courses for 12 years. He played an active role in Chicago’s underground film community, helping to found Center Cinema Coop, an artist-run distributor of independent films, and a film workshop and screening space in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. He devoted himself to spiritual practice in 1983 and lived at the Vivekananda Vedanta Temple and monastery until the early 1990s.
Posted by | Ziva Schatz | Posted on | September 23, 2015
I am delighted to welcome Natalia de Orellana back to the Conversations at the Edge blog (see her previous contributions here and here). This week, she writes about Le Révélateur and the ways their audiovisual performances work on the senses.
In the audiovisual performances of Le Révélateur, sound and image are not in competition but in symbiosis, responding to and fulfilling each other. Video artist Sabrina Ratté and electronic musician Roger Tellier-Craig, who have worked together since 2010, find synchronicity in gesture, in pitch and in rhythm.
Spectator, you’ll be immersed into the depths of a virtual journey marked by loss and wonder.
Posted by | Amy Beste | Posted on | September 21, 2015
Thursday, September 24 | Montreal-based video artist Sabrina Ratté and musician Roger Tellier-Craig in person!
Le Révélateur is Montreal-based video artist Sabrina Ratté and musician Roger Tellier-Craig (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am). Using digital and analog tools, the two produce mesmerizing audiovisual performances of pulsing light corridors, abstract color washes, spaced out synths, and jump-cut rhythms—paying homage to the pioneers of electronic and computer art, while exploring entirely new dimensions. In this special program, the duo performs a new, long-form composition and screens a selection of Ratté’s short videos. Presented in collaboration with the experimental music series Lampo. 2011–15, Canada / USA, HD Video and live performance, ca 70 minutes
Le Révélateur (2008) has performed across North America and Europe, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), On Land (San Francisco), Mutek (Montreal), Mutek.Mx (Mexico City), Electric Fields (Ottawa), Micro Mutek (Barcelona), Suoni per Il Popolo (Montreal), Send+Receive (Winnipeg), Tone Deaf (Kingston), Sight + Sound (Montreal), and POP Montreal. Recordings are available on Gneiss Things, NNA Tapes, and Root Strata.
Sabrina Ratté (1982, Montreal) is a visual artist, mainly working in the field of video. Her work has been shown internationally, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Museum of the Moving Image, and Phillips’s inaugural Paddles ON! sale. She is part of the online collective Computers Club.
Roger Tellier-Craig (1975, Sorel, Quebec) is an electronic musician, whose musical past is profoundly rooted in Montreal’s underground scene, including iconic rock outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor (which he left in 2003), Fly Pan Am, and Et Sans (with Alexandre St-Onge).
Posted by | Ziva Schatz | Posted on | September 21, 2015
This is Ziva, the program assistant for Conversations at the Edge and we are excited to announce our Fall 2015 lineup!
The Fall season will start out with Le Révélateur which includes Montreal-based video artist Sabrina Ratté and musician Roger Tellier-Craig presented in collaboration with Lampo (9/24), Chicago filmmakers Wayne Boyer and Larry Janiak (10/1), English filmmaker Louis Henderson (10/8), animator Suzan Pitt (10/15), new media artist Lorna Mills (10/22), German based director and filmmaker Heinz Emigholz (10/29), Berlin artist Ming Wong (11/5), and L.A. based ‘conceptual entrepreneur’ Martine Syms, as well as SAIC’s own faculty member Claudia Hart (11/19).
Posted by | George William Price | Posted on | May 5, 2015
During his visit to SAIC in April Daniel Sousa sat down with graduate student Elizabeth Metcalfe for a revealing interview about his background in painting and illustration, his relationship to animation and upcoming projects he is currently working on.
Elizabeth Metcalfe: I know you have a background as a painter and illustrator. Your films have a very painterly quality. How did you first come to animation? What relationship do you see between your films and your painting practice?
Daniel Sousa: I went to Rhode Island School of Design. At the beginning, I was going into illustration. I liked illustration as a major because it allowed you the most number of electives. As a child, I was never really into animation. Of course I was familiar with Disney and Bugs Bunny, but that’s about it. So I didn’t have a burning desire to become an animator until I was in school. But, while I was there, through different screenings around campus, I was exposed to non-traditional animation: European work, especially Eastern European work, as well as independent American animation. I realized it wasn’t just a medium for children’s entertainment. Animation wasn’t just cartoons, but could be used as a fine art, used to express dream or internal states in a much more specific and universal way than live action films could. So I found that fascinating. I took an Introduction to Animation Class as an elective. It was a lot of fun to experiment with different materials. This was before computers, so it was a lot of hands-on work: playing with celluloids, scratching directly into film, playing with paints and charcoal, and different cut-out techniques. So I realized that this was a medium that encompassed a lot of other mediums and you could try sculpture and use stop-motion animation or do painting and use hand-drawn animation. It incorporated literature, storytelling, theatre, and I thought it was a good size of filmmaking for me because I didn’t have a lot of money to afford a film major lackey. With animations, I could do stuff on my own and I didn’t need a team. I didn’t realize how much work it was going to be, but that’s when you realize that animation is either for you or it isn’t. You have to enjoy the time that it takes and the trance that you almost get into by doing really repetitive work. It takes a very specific type of personality. At the same time, I was also taking electives in painting, especially figurative painting. What I was trying to do with the films was to make paintings come to life. So I wasn’t necessarily interested in storytelling but more in just capturing moments like a painting would. I wanted my films to be living paintings.
Posted by | George William Price | Posted on | April 30, 2015
It’s with a heavy heart that we call a close on the busy Spring 2015 season of CATE. We have welcomed artists from far and wide to present a diverse and eclectic spectrum of work here in Chicago this spring. From Soon-Mi Yoo’s beautiful and complex Songs from the North, a film that weaves biography, archival material, and first-person footage together to create a nuanced look at life in North Korea, to John Gerrard’s hyper-realistic digital works that question the power structures and energy networks that facilitate our everyday existence. I’d like to thank all our visiting artists for sharing their work with us, as well as our presenting partners the Gene Siskel Film Center and Video Data Bank. I would also like to thank our numerous SAIC student writers, who each week have sat down to write thoughtful and sensitive editorials for our blog. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming special content on our blog and the release of our Fall 2015 season line-up!
Posted by | George William Price | Posted on | April 22, 2015
Projections, Portraits, and Picaresques: Works by Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss screens the at Gene Siskel Film Center tomorrow, Thursday, April 23rd at 6pm. Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss in person!
Ouroboros—an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. Rather than requiring or demanding a space, this reworking of a culture opens up its own space in the form of a temporal or social rupture. This serpent is all knowing—a never-ending circuit from mouth to anus. It is the constant consumption and regurgitation of the detritus of society. And although there may be no originality in the form, it is through the process of digestion that one may reshape it into an alternate form. Rather than viewing identity construction as something forged through denial and loss, this feedback loop short-circuits the concept of transmission. This temporal feedback is critical to make sense of contemporary identity formation and culture through reinvention, renegotiation and reimagining—a problem discussed by Cindy Patton and Benigno Sánchez-Eppler in their opening text of Queer Diasporas, the stated focus of which is “on how to make sense of the always poignant and sometimes hilarious labors of reinvention and renegotiation in new places, or in reimagined old ones.”
Apr 23 – Projections, Portraits, and Picaresques: Works by Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss
Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | April 19, 2015
Thursday, April 23rd | Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss in person!
Artists Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss (BFA 2008) self-reflexively play with portraiture and autobiography in a cultural landscape dominated by selfies and shifting social media platforms. In Home Movie (2012), Zearfoss engages with the contemporary urge to capture personal moments for online public consumption. Garnett’s Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin (2012) uses hand-painted celluloid, drag, and intimate conversation to reveal and obscure the reality of her relationship to the 1970s porn star. Clark’s The Dragon is the Frame (2014) meditates on a world shaped by missing persons by linking landmarks from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) with the persistent online presence of the late artist Mark Aguhar. Each artist articulates personal identity in relation to aesthetic and community, fiction and truth.
2011–14, US, multiple formats, ca 70 min + discussion
Mary Helena Clark (b. 1983, Santee, SC) is a filmmaker based in California. Her films explore genre tropes, the materiality of film, and the pleasure of tromp l’oeil. Bringing together observational, appropriated, staged and abstract footage, they operate on dream logic until disrupted by moments of self-reflexivity. Clark received her MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago. She has exhibited internationally, including at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Anthology Film Archives, New York; and Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Mariah Garnett (b. 1980, Portland, ME) mixes documentary, narrative, and experimental filmmaking practices to make work that accesses existing people and communities beyond her immediate experience. Using source material that ranges from found text to iconic gay porn stars, Garnett often inserts herself into the films, creating cinematic allegories that codify and locate identity. Garnett holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Film/Video and a BA in American Civilization from Brown University. Her work has been screened internationally, including at REDCAT, Los Angeles; White Columns, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Venice Biennale (Swiss Offsite Pavilion).
Latham Zearfoss (b. 1980, Xenia, OH) is an artist and cultural producer living and working in Chicago. His artwork often centers on reclaiming historical and mythological texts, and revising them to incorporate radical notions of love and sex, possibility and probability. Zearfoss graduated from SAIC with a BFA in 2008 and the University of Illinois at Chicago with an MFA in 2011. His commitment to art and activism has also manifested in the creation of sporadic, temporary utopias like Pilot TV and Chances Dances.keep looking »