The Midwest Can Be Alright

A Program in Two Sides

Wednesday, July 25 at 8 PM, $7-10

“The sins of the Midwest: flatness, emptiness, a necessary acceptance of the familiar. Where is the romance in being buried alive? In growing old?”
Stewart O’Nan, Songs for the Missing

“A lot of people see it as a kind of failure to stay in the place where you’re from, especially if you’re from the Midwest. Like ambition is geographic.”
Leah Stewart, The History of Us

Can’t Stand The Midwest / The Midwest Can Be Alright is a two volume shorts program that considers the relationship between cultural production and place, specifically within the geographic boundaries of the Midwest. Conceptualizing the screening as a 7-inch single, in which our A and B sides are the appropriately dialectic 70’s Hoosier punk anthems “Can’t Stand The Midwest” by Dow Jones & The Industrials and “The Midwest Can Be Alright” by the Gizmos, the works assembled here consider Midwestern aesthetics from the inside out, mulling on the braided sense of possibility and frustration that, for many, comes with putting down roots in the region.

The program embraces notions of regionalism, not necessarily as a signifier of the parochial or provincial, but rather as a means of describing how artistic communities are formed, informed, maintained, defined and abandoned. Subjects given their due include: the underlying psychedelia of Bible Belt truck stops, the spurious aims of urban planning and psychological effects of segregation, corncob architecture, post-Fordist bricolage, a Chicago River boat tour haunted by the specter of the European refugee crises, and the illumination of avant-garde holdouts in the suburbs.

Can’t Stand The Midwest / The Midwest Can Be Alright features works cultivated in experimental arts communities throughout the region, highlighting the practices of artists hailing from various corners, sides and middles of Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan.

PProgram Two (Total Screening Time: 70 minutes)
Blair Bogin, Venus In Taurus, 2014, HD, 2:00
Kenji Kanesaka, Super Up, 1966, 16mm to HD, 12:00
Ben Balcom, Speculations, 2017, 16mm to HD, 18:00
C. Spencer Yeh, Hair Police Live July 4th 2002, 2002, HD, 13:00
Curtis Miller, Do It Again, 2018, 16mm to HD, 8:30
Christopher Harris, Distant Shores, 2016, 16mm to HD, 3:00
Julia Yezbick, How To Rust, 2016, HD, 25:00

Special thanks to the Chicago Film Archives, Video Data Bank and Platform Studio for their contributions and generosity.

(Don’t miss Part 1, on July 18!)
(cover image courtesy Curtis Miller)
(programmed by Aaron Walker)

Filed under: Uncategorized

Works by Joshua Gen Solondz

Still image from LUNA E SANTUR, 2016

Monday, April 30, 2018 at 7 pm, $7-$10

Joshua Gen Solondz in person!

Joshua Gen Solondz is an artist working in moving image, sound, and performance. He’s screened in a variety of festivals including Images, Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Onion City, Black Maria, Portland International, Milwaukee Underground, CAAMFest, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Chicago Underground, Mar del Plata, FIC Valdivia, Viennale, and New York Film Festival’s Projections. He’s has also shown at venues such as REDCAT, Light Industry, UnionDocs, Harvard Film Archive, MoMA, DINCA, NYU, Red Room, ATA, 3s, and Black Hole Cinematheque.

Solondz has received awards from Black Maria, New Orleans Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, and Ann Arbor Film Festival as well as commissions for shows at Heliopolis, ACRE TV, and microscope gallery. He has an ongoing collaboration with Jim Supanick as the electronic slime duo known as SynthHumpers.

Josh studied at Bard College and received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his partner and occasional collaborator Emma Brenner-Malin.

Program Notes:

Against Landscape, 2013, 4 min

Perfect Fantasy, 2014, 2 min

It’s not a prison if you never try the door, 2013, 7 min

KERATIN RESERVE, 2009, 3 min

Lapse, 2014, 1 min

BURNING STAR, 2011, 4 min

PRISONER’S CINEMA, 2012, 10 min

LUNA E SANTUR, 2016, 10 min

Deviations From the Wheel, 2007, 6 min


TRT: 57 minutes

Filed under: Uncategorized

10 for Nightingale 10!

A fundraiser to embark on our

Kickstarter ends on Satuday, April 28, 2018  at 9 AM

Over the last 10 years, we have hosted over 500 screenings, shown the work of over 1400 artists to thousands of patrons and we did it all with a volunteer staff and a gift economy. Now, our video projector is fading and we need your help to keep going. It’s a race against the clock for $10,000 with a side of goofy Joan Jonas homage. Check out our pitch and celebrate the Nightingale’s 10th anniversary with a donation.


Put extra dollars here if you got em.

Filed under: anniversary, Uncategorized

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