CONDITIONS UNCERTAIN …

CONDITIONS UNCERTAIN AND UNLIKELY TO PASS
Recent Work by Ben Balcom

Balcom

Thursday, November 20th at 8:00 pm, $7-10

The Nightingale is pleased to welcome Milwaukee-based media artist Ben Balcom, who will present a selection of his stunning film, digital, and hybrid work from the past few years. Balcom engages with medium specificity—the textures and rhythms of the media he’s working in—and simultaneously troubles the inherent distinctions as he blends analog and digital, or pushes a single medium to extremes. His works are ones of instability, hovering tentatively and precariously between New Media and Old Media, but claiming neither (or maybe both). Beyond his formal play, Balcom takes on representation, technology, geometry, intellectual disquisition, systems and structures, and, well, a lot of heady-sounding things. But we come back to that word “play.” The seriousness is measured by a deftness of touch, an enthusiastic curiosity, occasional glimpses of irony, and a sensitivity to the beauty of the multiple textures in the imagery that provide many points of access. In instability there is openness.

A Symptom
6.5 min, 16mm/Digital, 2014
A mirrored discourse. The object we see is the object wanting enumeration, but it is never said quite right. We are looking at speech from both sides of the mirror, listening to the wretch who elaborates upon the grid of desire.

Ceol (Ruinsong)
5 min, 16mm/Digital, 2014
There, the ruins of a castle at the far edges of the land. The birdsong you hear mimics the sound of the river, and the human voice mimics the song of the bird. This is a failed historical gesture sung in the playful, wild mimetic gesture.

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Filed under: 16mm, artist in attendance, experimental, video

YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT

RUN OF LIFE Experimental
Documentary Series
Screening at Constellation
(3111 N. Western Ave.)

YDMN_Stills_9

Monday, November 17th at 7:00pm
$8 in advance / $10 at the door
Q&A following the movie featuring Cinematographer, Sean Hanley
and Chicago Housing Activist, Mary Tarullo!

Purchase tickets here.

The Nightingale’s Christy LeMaster and Kartemquin Film’s Beckie Stocchetti join forces to present RUN OF LIFE, a co-curated experimental documentary and expanded media series to be held at Constellation  beginning September 22nd, 2014 and running every third Monday for nine months through May 2015.

This new series pairs a recent feature experimental documentary with a short nonfiction work in any number of mediums – performance, video short, interactive presentation, audio doc, etc. At each event, a post screening Q&A will be moderated by either a local expert engaged in the movie’s subject matter or an artist involved in the making of the work. RUN OF LIFE seeks to create a space for audiences in Chicago to explore and converse about this important and often under-recognized form of media making: “We aim to investigate experimental tactics within representations of reality; the empathetic connection that is built through sensory experience rather than factual arguments; and aesthetic shifts in documentary that come with the breakdown of the fourth wall.


YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT: a hybrid documentary by Lynne Sachs
64 min // United States // 2013 // Chinese, English, & Spanish with English Subtitles // HD digital projection

Immigrant residents of a “shift-bed” apartment in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown share their stories of personal and political upheaval. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of the Chinese in the United States through conversations, autobiographical monologues, and theatrical movement pieces. Shot in the kitchens, bedrooms, wedding halls, cafés, and mahjong parlors of Chinatown, this provocative hybrid documentary addresses issues of privacy, intimacy, and urban life. Working from the idea that anytime someone is on camera they inadvertently engage in a performance, Sachs asked her subjects to become her collaborators, inviting them to participate in the construction of a film about their lives. In 2012, Lynne began a series of live film performances of Your Day is My Night in alternative theater spaces around New York City. She then completed the hour-long hybrid video which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in 2013 and screened at the Vancouver Film Fest, Union Docs, the New Orleans Film Fest and other venues in the US and abroad.

Preceeded by
LIGHT READINGS by Stephen Vitiello
8 min // United States //2001 //sound piece

WINDOW CLEANING IN SHANGHAI by Laura Kissel
3 minutes // United States //2011 // HD digital projection

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Filed under: artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, narrative, Uncategorized, video

INSIGHT: CATHOLIC TV…

Insight: Catholic Television
from The Twilight Zone
Archival Program by
Jeff Martin & Mark Quigley

INSIGHT

Friday, November 7th at 8:00 pm, $7-10

Mark Quigley of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Independent Archivist Jeff Martin bring another rare and insightful TV program to The Nightingale!

Created, produced, and hosted by Paulist priest Father Ellwood E. Kieser, the landmark anthology television series “Insight” debuted in the 1960-61 season and aired nationally in syndication for well over two decades. Top Hollywood artists such as Rod Serling, Ida Lupino, Bob Newhart, Patty Duke, William Peter Blatty, Michael Crichton and Martin Sheen contributed their talents to the series, drawn by the show’s reputation for stretching the creative boundaries of television. With a “Twilight Zone”-esque tone, “Insight” (produced on 2″ videotape) received critical acclaim and won numerous Emmy Awards for addressing difficult social issues and humanist themes, often with black humor or stark realism. But like many non-network television programs of the time, “Insight,” is no longer broadcast and has faded from memory, a relic of another time. This screening will be a rare opportunity to experience truly genre-defying television. 

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Filed under: 16mm, archival, artist in attendance, film, found footage, video

SUGGESTIVE GESTURES

David Finkelstein in person!
Shorts by Thorne Brandt and Jesse Malmed!

glorious_gestures

Monday, October 27th at 7:00 pm, $7-10

A poet’s journey though corridors of liquid geometry where words float and echoes are visual; where portals open onto morphing gardens with unlimited horizons.

—Mike Kuchar

The Nightingale is proud to host the Chicago premiere of David Finkelstein’s debut feature, Suggestive Gestures. An oneiric, surprising odyssey through seductive, hyperreal and overwhelming spaces that float somewhere between the screen and your body. Piloted by expansive and elastic improvisation, the work unfolds into continually unpredictable and astonishing new territories.

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Filed under: animation, artist in attendance, experimental, video

ANTHROMENTARIES, THREE

Recent works and words
by Steve Wetzel (in attendance!)

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Saturday, October 18th at 7:00 pm, $7-10 

The Nightingale is ecstatic to bring Steve Wetzel, his words and works back to Chicago. Like the people and places that populate tonight’s program, Wetzel work is unassuming, quotidian and idiosyncratic—uniquely itself and comfortable in its oddness. Taking the world and the millions of ways a life can be lived as sources, Wetzel’s crafts portraits of minor league hockey players, tick racers, inventors and laid-off fishermen, to name a few. There’s a Midwesternness, polite but peculiar, that permeates this work. In addition to his anthromentaries for the screen, Wetzel will present a few short readings.

Kid Beat Box: Twenty-two Tapes, Edit Nine, 2012, 9 minutes, video

In the end all biography is inadequate, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. There’s much to learn from these efforts. In saying this I don’t mean to suggest that Kid Beat Box is a biography; I don’t think it is, or if it is a biography, then that’s just part of the story, part of the experience: experiment in biography, anthromentary, experimental document, flimsy structuralist video, short documentary essay. Whatever the case it’s only nine minutes long, and we can handle that. (SW)

 

The First Shot is Silent, 2010, 15 minutes, video

The First Shot is Silent is about the commemoration of a once-thriving fishing village, now bulldozed into an industrial corridor. As with all progress, many experience its opposite: reversal into disappearance. The memorial merges the material and the spiritual by both preserving the idea and memory of something now vanished—really a sort of apology—and a physical marker that conjures the realness of geography and the actual bodies that once animated it. (SW) 

Of the Iron Range, 2014, 19 minutes, video

Of the Iron Range documents a cultural event in a small Midwestern town (Cuyuna, Minnesota) that once held the nation’s supply of iron ore. Every year, people from across the region gather for a dynamic, convivial social performance where hundreds of wood ticks are gathered and raced. Deeply symbolic and rich in human observation, Of the Iron Range offers a portrait of one of America’s once-thriving industrial sites. (SW)

 

Steve Wetzel is an artist from Minnesota, USA, and currently teaches in the Film Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Over the past decade Wetzel has produced many works of experimental non-fiction and anthromentary video, and has shown nationally and internationally. Much of Wetzel’s work focuses on social construction and the everyday inscription of the human symbolic. These themes can also be found in a book he penned in 2010, Occasional Performances and Wayward Writings, that was described by his editor as “an urgent and generous exegesis . . . [a] re-collecting of thoughts and experience, a naming of bullshit.” The second volume is forthcoming.

Presented by Jesse Malmed

 



Filed under: artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, performance, reading, video

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