A GEOGRAPHER’S LENS

Multimedia Methods and
Scholar-Activist Praxis
Presented by the Subconference of the
Annual Meeting of the AAG

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Wednesday, April 22, 6 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

Join us for an evening of discussion and excerpts from four films with four documentarian-geographers. In coordination with the Subconference of the Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting, this event will provide an opportunity for an off-site, trans- and non-disciplinary, multi-method mingling of idea makers and media makers. While exploring different content in different geographic settings, the four panelists’ pieces take up the overlapping themes of economic, state, and extra-judicial violence amidst the quest for endless accumulation and surplus. The works explore the the prison and military industrial complexes, contested spaces of ‘urban renewal,’ and sites of accumulation and abandonment ranging from the body to the Mojave Desert to the city of Detroit and beyond.  We will gather to discuss process-oriented questions about filmmaking and public scholarship for liberatory social change. The event will comprise a panel discussion with the four filmmakers (Elizabeth Knafo, Amanda Matles, Alexis Mitchell, and Brett Story) moderated by Annie Spencer, as well as excerpts from their latest films.  We will reserve ample time for audience discussion.

Rare Earth (2014) // Elizabeth Knafo
From the Mojave desert, to the Pacific seabed, to the surface of the moon, the rush for rare earth minerals is afoot. “Rare Earth”explores the re-opening of an historically toxic rare earth mine in the California desert, and the intensifying land rush for the high-tech minerals across the world. The work is a portrait of changing desert landscapes and the residents who grapple with the impacts of industrial mining. “Rare Earth” traces the toxic and transformative legacy of treasure hunting in the American West—a legacy of speculation, produced scarcity and the social violence of resource extraction—deepening in our era of global climate change.

Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation (2013) // Paper Tiger
This is Detroit as seen by Paper Tiger Television members, Maria Byck, Amanda Matles, Nadia Mohamed, Adrienne Silverman. From food deserts, to the plans to “rightsize” the city, Detroiters resist, rework, and remain resilient given the social and ecological failures of post-industrial global capitalism. With a critical lens on race and class dynamics, this documentary weaves together segments on Detroit’s labor history, the roots of Detroit’s urban agriculture movement, a critical look at philanthro-capitalism and its relationship to urban renewal, as well as media (mis)representations of a city in transformation.

STEALTH (2014) // Chase Joynt and Alexis Mitchell
By merging hidden camera footage from a patient’s hysterectomy, with interviews of the objects used in these procedures and spaces, STEALTH poignantly and humorously mobilizes ‘sousveillance’ to subvert the perspective of surveilling machinery. Through a triangulation of corporeal, medical and military technologies, STEALTH provocatively points to previously unexplored histories and relationships between inanimate objects and human bodies.

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (in progress) // Brett Story
The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is a non-fiction work about the prison from the places we least expect to find it: the front yards, public spaces, and social rituals of everyday life. A meditation on the prison and its geographic disappearance in the era of mass incarceration, the doc unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of landscapes across the United States where prisons do work and affect lives: an anti-sex offender pocket park in Los Angeles, a congregation of ex-incarcerated chess players shut out of the formal labor market, the overnight buses that carry visitors to far away prisons, an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs, and a host of other unexpected spaces.

The event is happening in collaboration with the Subconference of the Annual Meeting of the AAG. The Subconference was created to offer a space for radical academics and activists to think critically and creatively about the connections between academic geography, higher education, and social/political change. The subconference is an evolving ambition. Each year we seek out new ways to creatively appropriate the critical mass of the AAG, using the space of the conference as an asset for forging solidarities and facilitating collective exchanges between people who are already engaged in radical, socially transformative work in all the disparate locations that we come from.

Annie Spencer, curator of A GEOGRAPHER’S LENS,  is a writer, organizer, media maker, and doctoral candidate in economic geography at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Spencer’s work examines state improvement schemes, accumulation, addiction, and everyday wageless life in the post-American century.



Filed under: archival, documentary, experimental, found footage, lecture, narrative, new media, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

FEST of (IN)APPROPRIATION #7

Artist LJ Frezza in person!

TOHO

Friday, April 17, 7 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

The Nightingale is delighted to host the latest traveling show from Los Angeles Filmforum’s program FESTIVAL OF (IN)APPROPRIATION!

Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of already existing media into new artworks is a practice that generates novel juxtapositions and new meanings and ideas, often in ways entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. Such new works are, in other words, “inappropriate.” This act of (in)appropriation may even produce revelations about the relationship between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion, artist and critic, not to mention the “producer” and “consumer” of visual culture itself. Fortunately for our purposes, the past decade has witnessed the emergence of a wealth of new audiovisual elements available for appropriation into new works. In addition to official state and commercial archives, resources like vernacular collections, home movie repositories, and digital archives now also provide fascinating material to repurpose in ways that lend it new meaning and resonance.

Founded in 2009, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary, short (20 minutes or less), audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. The show is curated by Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner, and Greg Cohen.

Generously sponsored by Los Angeles Filmforum.

 

Program Details:
Astro Black: Race for Space by Soda_Jerk (Australia, digital video, color, sound, 2010, 6:06)

Demolished Every Second by John Davis (US/Tajikistan, 16mm on digital video, color, sound, 2014, 4:25)

Sara Nokomis Weir by Brian L. Frye (US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 20:00)

Lexicon by Celeste Fichter (US, digital video, color, silent, 2014, 2:36)

The Bags, Probably 1971 by Joshua Yates (US, hand-processed 16mm film on video, black & white and color, sound, 5:11)

No Signal Detected by Péter Lichter (Hungary, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 2:33)

TOHO by Sellotape Cinema (UK, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 9:30)

Nothing by LJ Frezza (US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 6:27)

Array by Ben Balcom (US, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 7:18)

My clothes were dragging me back by Maria Magnusson (Sweden, digital video, color, sound, 2012, 4:53)

Falling in Love…with Chris and Greg: Work of Art! Reality TV Special by Chris E. Vargas and Greg Youmans (US, digital video, color, sound, 2012, 14:00)

Iterations by Gregg Biermann (US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 5:37)

(more…)



Filed under: 16mm, archival, documentary, documentation, experimental, film, found footage, new media, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

THE OTOLITH GROUP

The Radiant & People To Be Resembling
RUN OF LIFE Experimental
Documentary Series

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Monday, March 23, 7 pm, $10
Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL
Purchase tickets here.

THE RADIANT and PEOPLE TO BE RESEMBLING
by The Otolith Group
Screened in association with LUX

Preceded by BABBIT RESERVE MINING BLAST by Jack Behrend
Courtesy of Chicago Film Archives
With minimalist synth improvisation by Nick Broste, Kent Lambert, and Seth Vanek

Program Details
THE RADIANT(2012, HD video, 64 min)
Commissioned as part of dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, The Radiant explores the aftermath of March 11, 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed many thousands and caused the partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan. A film essay burdened by the difficult task of representing the invisible aftermath of nuclear fallout, The Radiant travels through time and space to invoke the historical promises of nuclear energy and the threats of radiation that converge in Japan’s illuminated cities and evacuated villages in the months immediately following the disasters. The Otolith Group’s cinematic document offers glimpses into the shape and presence of an unseen entity and its abstract manifestation through visual phenomena.

PEOPLE TO BE RESEMBLING (2102, HD video, 22min)
People To Be Resembling can be described as a five sided portrait of the methodologies of the post-free jazz, pre-world music trio Codona, founded by multi-instrumentalists Collin Walcott, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos in 1978. Consisting of stills by renowned photographers Roberto Masotti and Isio Saba, newly filmed and archival footage and original music performed by musician Charles Hayward, People to be Resembling reimagines the poetics of permutation that informed the sonic geography of the first Codona album recorded with ECM in September 1978. People to be Resembling returns to 1978 in order to redream the recording process at Tonstudio Bauer as a meditation upon the relations between visual anthropology, anti-colonial choreography, nuclear annihilation and Weltmusik. In its arrangement of positive and negative with colour and black and white and still and moving imagery, The Otolith Group’s People to Be Resembling stages an experiment in mnemonic cohabitation inspired by the visionary music of Codona.

The Otolith Group was founded in 2002 and consists of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun who live and work in London. During their longstanding collaboration The Group have drawn from a wide range of resources and materials. They explore the moving image, the archive, the sonic and the aural within the gallery context. The work is research based and in particular has focused on the essay film as a form that seeks to look at conditions, events and histories in their most expanded form.

 

Special thanks to LUX and Chicago Film Archives for Program Support

luxlogoBEST_GRAB                  anniversary-logo



Filed under: animation, archival, documentary, documentation, experimental, film, found footage, international, music, narrative, new media, performance, reading, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

VESSEL

RUN OF LIFE Experimental
Documentary Series Sidebar
Post Screening Discussion
with Jeanne Galatzer-Levy of the JANE Collective

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Friday, January 9th at 7:00 pm, $10

The Nightingale is delighted to present the Chicago premiere of the new documentary VESSEL. Dr. Rebecca Gomperts sails a ship around the world, providing abortions at sea for women with no legal alternative. Her idea begins as flawed spectacle, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade. But with each roadblock comes a more refined mission, until Rebecca realizes she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched protocols with pills.
From there we witness her create an underground network of emboldened, informed activists who trust women to handle abortion themselves. Vessel is Rebecca’s story: one of a woman who hears and answers a calling, and transforms a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.

http://vesselthefilm.com/

Program Details:
Dir. Diana Whitten // 88:00 // USA // 2014 // HD Video

Preceeded by a reading from
JANE: Documents From Chicago’s Clandestine Abortion Service 1968-1973

Post Screening Discussion with Jeanne Galatzer-Levy of  the JANE Collective

The first 40 ticket holders will receive a free copy of JANE: purchased from Microcosm Publishing in Portland, OR.
http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/2071/

Diana Whitten (director/producer) has a decade of professional film/TV direction, production and design experience. She founded Sovereignty Productions in 2008, following a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia, and was the Director of Communications at Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Vessel, her first feature film, premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival and won the Audience Award in the Documentary Competition, as well as a Special Jury Award for Political Courage.  Awards include the inaugural Peter Wintonick Award from Sheffield DocFest, an Honorable mention for the Moving Mountains Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride, and the Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award.

Jeanne Galatzer-Levy was a member of the JANE Collective. These days she is associate director in the UIC News Bureau, handling media relations for the biomedical and natural sciences. Her previous experience includes media relations for the American Medical Association, the University of Chicago and the Alzheimer’s Association. Her freelance experience includes articles on health topics in the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Magazine and Loyola Medicine. She has a master’s degree in biochemistry from UIC, an undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in science journalism from Columbia College.

RUN OF LIFE is 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 documentarywith 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.

Co-curated by Beckie Stocchetti & Christy LeMaster
Programming Board: Robin Amer, Jillian Hansen-Lewis, Sally Lawton, & Jenny Miller



Filed under: documentary, international, queer, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

Return To The Moon Hotel

Videos by Jessie Stead

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Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm, $7-10
Video chat Q & A with Jessie following the screening!
Chicago premiere of Meanwhile At The Moon Hotel!

Return to the Moon Hotel: a selection of recent solo and collaborative cinema works by Jessie Stead, including Page 59, Ambient Whiskey Slap, and the Chicago premiere of Meanwhile at the Moon Hotel, from the Nocturnes episodics: “A reverie in 10 overlapping Meanwhiles at a downloaded lunar hotel…”

BIO: Jessie Stead is a New York based artist working with installation, cinema, music, collaboration and other overlapping disciplines.

VISIT: www.jessiestead.com

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Filed under: artist in attendance, documentary, documentation, experimental, narrative, new media, reading, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

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