Premiere Screening for RUN OF LIFE:
Experimental Documentary Series
Screening at Constellation
(3111 N. Western Ave.)
Monday, September 22nd at 7:00pm,
$8 in advance / $10 at the door
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.
SUITCASE OF LOVE AND SHAME
Dir. Jane Gillooly // 70 min // 2013 // video
Tender, erotic, and pathetic, this reconstructed narrative examines the obsession to chronicle the details of an adulterous affair. Suitcase of Love and Shame is a mesmerizing collage woven from 60 hours of reel-to-reel audiotape discovered in a suitcase purchased on eBay. Recorded in the 1960’s, a Midwestern woman and her lover become reliant on recording devises to document and memorialize their affair. The film aims at a cross-generational consciousness about exhibitionism, privacy and voyeurism. Focusing on the aural and experiential nature of the audio the imagery in the film is restrained – abstract, evocative and expectant, so that the audience will see with their ears. The listener/viewer is variously located within and outside of the events – complicit and voyeuristic. The “eavesdropping viewer” is compelled, despite feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable with the knowledge and access they have been given into the transgressions they imagine they see. Selected to screen as part of the distinguished Art of The Real series at the Film Society at Lincoln Center 2014, the film has screened internationally winning Best International Film at Images Festival in Toronto.
Filed under: documentary
, found footage
, new media
and BETTER THAN MICHAEL BAY: HIGHLIGHTS FROM
THE AMATEUR ARCHIVE OF TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Kevin B. Lee in Person!
Friday, June 20th at 8:00 pm, $7-10
Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise directed by Michael Bay, will be released June 27 2014. But on YouTube one can already access an immense trove of production footage recorded by amateurs in locations where the film was shot, such as Utah, Texas, Detroit, Chicago, Hong Kong and mainland China. Transformers: the Premake turns over 300 YouTube videos into a critical investigation of the global big budget film industry, amateur video making, and the political economy of images. The Premake by Kevin B. Lee utilizes a desktop documentary technique that acknowledges the internet’s role not only as a boundless repository of information but as a primary experience of reality, and depicts the process in which we use it to explore the world. In a blockbuster cinema culture rife with insipid remakes of franchise properties, The Premake presents a critical counter-image in which personalized digital media asks what Hollywood is really doing in the world.
Filed under: found footage
, new media
Presented by White Light Cinema
A Prescient 1983 German Film Essay
Saturday, July 27 at 8:00pm, $7-10
DER RIESE (THE GIANT) directed by Michael Klier
(1983, 82 min, Video on DVD, West Germany)
Owing to a poorly-picked date for the previous screening, and many requests to bring this back – we’re bringing this back.
“Comprised entirely of material generated by surveillance cameras, Der Riese is a rhapsodic but ominous work depicting the world with a cold mechanical spirit. That nothing can escape the chill stare of surveillance is only the starting point of Klier’s tape. People come and go in public places-parks, department stores, banks, airports-like lifeless ciphers, unaware of the authoritarian stare of the camera. The flattened field of vision, black-and-white imagery, and sterile quality of the technology make the inhabitants of Der Riese emptied shadows. They are the signs of life; truly signs, not the flesh rendered in two dimensions. Lyrically constructed sequences unfold to the strains of Mahler and Wagner, adding an almost heroic mood to much of this dark work. But this is where Der Riese excels-footage seemingly impervious to meaning here acquires the energy of high drama. Even the unblinking eye of the surveillance camera can be foiled.” (Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive)
“An unconventionally constructed essay video on video surveillance in public space. The video uses documentary material from remote-control surveillance cameras on public streets, squares, shopping malls, and transit spaces like airports and train stations, as well as pictures from banks, department stores, supermarkets, and private grounds and buildings. The combination of various footage in a realistic style creates the impression of a central surveillance apparatus as an anonymous, powerful subject that omnipresently sees everything without itself being visible.” (Reinhard Wolf)
“Everyday life is being increasingly checked and observed. We are watched, recorded and documented as if we are all under suspicion. What’s more this often takes place without us even knowing it. This disturbing development is partly due to technologies such as video. For instance, it is now quite normal for buildings and other aspects of public life to be guarded by surveillance cameras. In Der Riese Klier transforms the viewer into a voyeur and shows him life in a German town through the eye of one of these cameras. To the evocative music of Mahler and Wagner, we watch images of streets, airports, subway stations, department stores, banks and private houses through the ‘all-seeing’ video eye as it keeps its look-out for trouble. But it goes further than that: our constant observation must mean that our privacy is also being put at stake. Big Brother is watching us. But who’s doing the looking? Who is being protected from whom? And what is being guarded?” (Netherlands Media Art Institute)
About Michael Klier:
Born in 1943 in Karlovy Vary, studied Philosophy and History. Before he began making films himself, he acted in several films by Harun Farocki and Rudolf Thome, among others. His first film Der Riese (1983), a video documentary about video surveillance, won several international prizes. Thereafter, he developed his artistic signature with films such as Ueberall ist es besser, wo wir nicht sind (1989), Ostkreuz (1991), the documentary Out of America (1995) and Heidi M (2001). He has also directed a series of film portraits about François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Henri Alekan, Juliette Binoche and others. (Biography from Media Art Net)
Filed under: surveillance
“THE LEAK IN YOUR HOMETOWN – a work in progress by Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking – is an iPhone app that lets users see the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill whenever they see a BP logo. A user simply launches the app and aims their iPhone’s camera at the nearest BP logo. What the user sees is one of the broken BP pipes coming out of the BP logo, and out of the pipe comes the oil, pluming upward.
This work mixes computer generated 3d graphics with the iPhone’s video camera to create an augmented reality. The user is able to see the computer generated 3d objects at specific locations in the real world. The 3d graphics create the broken BP pipe which comes out of the BP logo.
A important component of the project is that it uses BP’s corporate logo as a marker, to orient the computer-generated 3-D graphics. Basically turning their own logo against them. This re-purposing of corporate icons will offer future artists and activists a powerful means of expression which will be easily accessible to the masses and at the same time will be safe and nondestructive.”
-Networked Performance on Turbulence.org
Upgrade! Chicago is the local Chicago-based node of the international Upgrade! network, an emerging network of autonomous nodes united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Its decentralized, non-hierarchical structure ensures that Upgrade! (i) operates according to local interests and their available resources; and (ii) reflects current creative engagement with cutting edge technologies. Upgrade! Chicago presents new media projects, engages in informal critique, and fosters dialogue and collaboration between individual artists. Upgrade! International functions as an online, global network that gathers annually in different cities to meet one another, showcase local art, and work on the agenda for the following year.
Filed under: lecture
, new media
Sunday, May 16, 2008
Tearoom (1962/2007, 56 mins., video), which was selected for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, is a provocative act of appropriation. Jones presents original 1962 police surveillance footage of a men’s bathroom with only very minor intervention. The images are raw and powerful and the film invites exploration from a number of perspectives: portraiture, queer history, anthropology, sociology, documentary, voyeurism, structural film, and ever kinesthetics. It is a rich work, both fascinating and disturbing.
Jones writes: “Tearoom consists of footage shot by the police in the course of a crackdown on public sex in the American Midwest. In the summer of 1962, the Mansfield, Ohio, Police Department photographed men in a restroom under the main square of the city. The cameramen hid in a closet and watched the clandestine activities through a two-way mirror. The film they shot was used in court as evidence against the defendants, all of whom were found guilty of sodomy, which at that time carried a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in the state penitentiary. The original surveillance footage shot by the police came into the possession of director William E. Jones while he was researching this case for a documentary project. The unedited scenes of ordinary men of various races and classes meeting to have sex were so powerful that the director decided to present the footage with a minimum of intervention. Tearoom is a radical example of film presented ‘as found’ for the purpose of circulating historical images that have otherwise been suppressed.”
Jones has published a companion book Tearoom (2nd Cannons Publications), which contains many historical texts relating to the Mansfield cases, as well as over 100 frame enlargements from the video. Limited copies of the book will be available for sale at the screenings.
Showing with Tearoom is a short experimental video Jones made from the original footage: Mansfield 1962 (2006, 9 mins., video).
William E. Jones has been making work for nearly twenty years. His films Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997) were both highly acclaimed documentary-essay works and his recent video v.o. (2006) has had great success on the film festival circuit and at film venues around the world. His films and videos were the subject of a retrospective at the Tate Modern in London in 2005. He works in the adult video industry under the name Hudson Wilcox and teaches film history at Art Center College of Design under his own name.
Filed under: artist in attendance
, found footage