The NIGHTINGALE at MCA Chicago
Four Programs of Chicago Made Work
Over Four Weeks!
March 14th – April 10th at MCA CHICAGO
VIEWING EVENT on Saturday April 5th at MCA
1:00 pm- CINEMA Program Screening
ROUGH AND READY
As regular visitors to this site know, The NIGHTINGALE is a rough-and-ready microcinema located in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood. Dedicated to screening emerging work across film, video, and new media genres, it hosts more than 50 events a year and serves as a hub for Chicago’s vibrant cinema community. From mid-March to mid-April, dozens of Chicago-based artists and fourteen local programmers organize under quick timelines and loose thematic guides to inhabit a monitor on fourth floor of the MCA. Cribbing from its six-year presentation history, The Nightingale’s collaborative staff will refresh the program once a week under the titles,
ROUGH (March 14-20),
READY (March 25-27),
MICRO (March 28-April 3) and
CINEMA (April 4-10).
All pieces appear courtesy of the artists.
Tech Wrangled by Emily Kuehn
Special Thanks to all the artists, Michael Green, and the MCA.
Programmed by The Nightingale Staff:
Emily Eddy, Patrick Friel, Jill Hansen-Lewis, Emily Kuehn, Christy LeMaster, Jesse Malmed, Rory McSweeney, Jenny Miller
ROUGH (March 14-20)
This program parades ROUGH around in all it forms. Purposely Imperfect: the use of amateur formats, reflective feed back loops, glitched video, re-purposed electronics. Unresolved Situations: characters feeling emotionally distraught or confronting a large problem. Aesthetically Jarring: things so bad they’re good, aggressive or surprising turns of sound or image. Restarting at the top of every hour and approximately an hour long, this program shifts from the hilarious to the violent to the conceptual to the absurd.
The Nightingale, 2013 TRAILER (2013) 1.5 min
Five years later, an explosion of gratitude- with flicker. (CL)
Jerzy Rose, THREE DAYS & NIGHTS AT THE HARLEQUIN REGAL (2008), 3.5 min
Tiny ghosts on a cat talk about their artistic ambitions and work together to solve problems. (JR)
Jon Cates, ERRORRUNNINGWWWATERNOISES (RE:MIXXX For Amelia Ishamel) (2012) 7 min
jonCates reflects on 15 years of Realtime media / performance across water noises rendered online and offline. Running in realtime, errors fragment and overlap reconnect jonCates to himself in recursivities. These feedback loops merge personal data and swim in associations from Chicago to Chicago, from 1997 / 1998 to the presents / 2012. (JC)
Jennifer Reeder – TEARS CANNOT RESTORE HER: THEREFORE, I WEEP (2011) 10 min
A sign language interpreter breaks down during class but still manages to be understood. Chaos builds. (CL)
Theodore Darst – STYROFOAM (2010) 3 min
Digital compression artifacts and analog glitches and watching TV and thinking about JP. (TD)
Latham Zearfoss – HOME MOVIE (2012) 6 min
This video held the working title “RECYCLE BINGE” for quite some time. Fitting, since I was trying to find a creative use for all this video footage I’d acquired through shitty cameras and cell phones and a few not-so-shitty cameras too. HOME MOVIE is the resulting work, an attempt at aestheticizing the contradictory impulse to capture and record moments that are either very personal or of little interest to a public audience. I hope you enjoy it. (LOZ)
Emily Kuehn – LIFE-LIKE (2014) 2 min
A beguiling mix of computer animation and the long Chicago winter. (CL)
Jason Halprin – SHOOT OUT THE STAR (2009) 4 min
Ferris Wheels and midway games remain constant attractions. They live in a time where music belongs to a generation passed-by and a place nostalgia hasn’t touched yet. Some lights have burned out and only one player can win the prize, but you can still try your luck. (JH)
Jesse Malmed- HURRAY (2011) 4 min
A computer sings a cinemanifesto. Love to Adam Baz for the chimes, Robert Breer for the rhymes. Hurray, indeed (JM)
Monica Panzarino- MONICA PANZARINO SINGS THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER (2011) 3.5 min
Strangely sexy, sonically savage, and somewhat self-explanatory. Monica Panzarino sings the Star-Spangled Banner with the aid of the “Freqshift/Reverb Audio Bra”, a performance tool built by the artist. The bra uses hardware potentiometers (or knobs), an Arduino microcontroller, and a Max/MSP software patch to process the audio signal in real-time. The right “nipple” of the bra manipulates the frequency of the signal, and the left “nipple” adds reverb. (CL/MP)
Kent Lambert- RECKONING 3 (Preview) (2014) 11 min
RECKONING 3 is comprised largely of imagery and sound culled from over two years of Mac and Playstation 3 video game play. Some of this play was explorational, some was performative and much was anthropological in intent. The latter category of play was conducted in online multiplayer “shooter” games, in which numerous strangers (seemingly all male) drop in and out of play and communicate via headset microphones. Though I had the ability to communicate with these strangers through my own headset microphone, I was more or less paralyzed by horror and disorientation; I remained silent and documented my eavesdropping. RECKONING 3 is an attempt toward a lucid and expansive reflection on that disorientation. (KL)
Marianna Milhorat- LANDSCAPER RAP (2012) 2 min
Portrait of Uncle Joe in his Jersey garden, performing a rap he wrote with his friends in 1986. (MM)
READY (March 25-27)
Ready and not. Read-y, ready, readiness, already and made, the works in this hour long program explore, report, introduce, rework, sing and travel through notions of preparation and repair, lives and deaths, the mysterious and the ill-conceived, bowling with no pins and reading in the 21st century. See: sustainable sourcing commingled with speculative speakings, languid landscapes, cartoons and paintings. Hear: Tull, Paterra, “JT”. The questions are wry and show and here.
Lori Felker – Broken New 1 (Disaster), 2012, 4:47
Part one in a series. I read the headlines all day. At night, I recalled what I knew. I went to sleep. I woke myself up. I reported the newest news I could muster. I went back to bed. I forgot what I said. I asked my graphics team to rebuild the news after I broke it.
Steve Reinke – Regarding the Pain of Susan Sontag, 2006, 4:06
Continues the journey from the final sequence of Ask the Insects. We turn away from the graveyard, enter the schoolyard, approach the old crippled tree spinning, and sit under it to draw a little cartoon for the New Yorker, while–through some sort of temporal displacement–New Year’s resolutions are being made.”
Jeremiah Jones – Looking Down Yosemite Valley After Bierstadt, 2013, :59
Inspired by the romantic landscape work of 19th Century German painter Albert Bierstadt, whose depictions of the American west would often consist of fabricated and geographically impossible views, Looking Down Yosemite Valley analyzes contemporary idealizations of the American landscape by presenting a pieced-together view of the region using multiple animated layers of topographically disparate views.
Tony Balko – 3 Men & A Baby Ghost, 2011, 9:21
An ominous knock on Ted Danson’s door leads to a psychedelic trip through the astral plane. The truth is irrelevant. Belief is affirmed. Transcendence is unintelligible.
Eric Fleischauer – Assigned + Recommended Reading, 2007, 2:03
Blurry, photocopied pages with underlining and marginalia are rendered even more illegible as they pulsate across the wall at a pace too swift to read, forming an overwhelming swarm of knowledge.
Deborah Stratman – Village, Silenced, 2012, 7:18
A re-working of Humphrey Jennings’ seminal 36-minute 1943 docudrama “The Silent Village,” wherein Welsh coal miners from the village of Cwmgiedd collectively re-enact the Nazi invasion and annihilation of the resisting Czech mining village of Lidice. Focus in this iteration is on sound as a mode of social control and the larger historical implications of repetition. An homage to Jennings’ lucid address of labor solidarity, power and commemoration.
Kera MacKenzie – Abductive Object #4, 2013, 2:45
Part of a series of investigations into alien subjectivites, the inner lives of objects, and mysterious events. A single floating shot reveals a room waiting for interpretation.
Scott Wolniak – The Ratio of Effort to Effect, 2010, 1:15
Recorded 10/10/10 at The Green Gallery East, Milwaukee; Performed by Scott Wolniak, William Staples, Camera Assistance by John Riepenhoff, Jake Palmert. In the performance video, “The Ratio of Effort to Effect,” a large canvas is delivered through a too-small doorway, resulting in the transformation of painting into broken-heap. Referencing physical comedy and action painting, the absurdity of the gesture is visceral and dumb but also provides formal content to the otherwise blank painting.
Robert Chase Heishman + Megan Schvaneveldt – ibid. (for Chris Naka), 2013, 3:30
ibid. (for Chris Naka) is a collaborative work by Robert Chase Heishman and Megan Schvaneveldt that explores how information is perceived and processed. By replacing touch screens with mirrors and crossfades with mini blinds, screen space is actualized through the use of cheap tricks and sleight of hand.
Mary Scherer – Study (for Sense of Place), 2012, 1:41
Study features action shots of elderly playing Nintendo Wii Bowling. Study is the precursor to Sense of Place, a documentary that follows senior citizens competing in Wii Bowling tournaments.
Cameron Gibson – The Inner and Outer Vanishing Point, 2013, 20:08
An unnamed paranoia is flowing through the American countryside like a noxious gas. Drifting between documentary and fiction, memory and reality, the film attempts to trace and embody this inexplicable threat on the horizon.
MICRO (March 29-April 3)
This program deals in the diminutive. If Hollywood blockbusters are at home on the big screen, the Nightingale proudly belongs to the world of small screen. From the folding chairs in our tiny community theater patrons bravely transverse cinematic landscapes where even art house theaters fear to tread. This week’s program literally puts the micro in microcinema, focusing on all the little things. From tiny turtles enjoying encased meat products to tiny animation cycles building to chaotic crescendos – from the confines of claustrophobic spaces to the constraint of claustrophobic communities – from microscopic budgets to the politics of microprocessors.
Tubular Freaks, 2013
2 minutes 43 seconds
“Turtles have short legs, not for the walking,
Turtles have short legs, not for the walking,
But we can find it out, but we can find it out,
But we can find it out, but we can find it out.
Want to have a cigarette, not for the choking,
Want to have a cigarette, just king-sized”
— Damo Suzuki
Fantasy is the only morsel available to the leashed dog.
Nothing to do with Electromagnets, 2011
2 minute 05 seconds
A sci-fi version of a place being affected by radiation; in a reality just as weird, where is perfectly normal to start singing in the middle of a conversation.
Chapter Three, 2012
2 minutes 25 seconds
This video was part of a multi-media installation project designed for the DeNormandie Library in the deCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA. “Chapter Three” combined animated video, book arts, and sculpture; the central metaphor of the piece formed around the idiom “snake eyes.” The work was exhibited in the deCordova’s Biennial exhibition, 2012.
04_MICHAEL PAUL LOPEZ
Some Southern Country, 2014
7 minutes 00 seconds (excerpts)
Three excerpts from a thirteen-part video collection wherein a teenage boy experiences sexual adventures and overcomes obstacles of the heart atop a generic American 80s world determined to perpetuate tribal war in a southern jungle.
Deer Hallway, 2013
1 minute 59 seconds
Deer Hallway is a piece about violence in slow motion. Playing with visual language of video games, it’s reacting against the tradition of 3d bodies disappearing after the 3d body has been hit. The camera motion is derived from a first person shooter perspective, but the autonomy of a game has been taken away emphasizing an inevitable confrontation with the looming struggling body.
Go Bezerk, 2008
7 minutes 40 seconds
A music video for Chicago performer Drunken Monkeee. Through the dark streets of Pilsen, Drunk and his followers run amuck. Wreaking havoc and going bezerk!
Drunken Text Messages from an Oak Tree, 2012
1 minute 54 seconds
A series of drunken text message conversations document uninhibited exchanges between an oak tree and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.
5 minutes 00 seconds
AGOD (Acronym for animated gif of the day) is an organic horror video about the terror of entropy. A layer was added onto this video every day. It is organic is the sense that it has no solid state. The same version of this video will never be exhibited twice. It gains a stamp from every exhibition. As the video grows more complex, the form retains less meaning. The inevitable entropy of the aging mind parallels the decay of the accelerating universe and the speed of information in the digital age.
09_JAKE MYERS & TEAM OCTAGON
Celestial Bodies, 2013
8 minutes 00 seconds (excerpts)
Science Fiction, aerobics and comedy collide in this experimental narrative. Over 70 Chicago artists, actors, filmmakers, comedians and musicians collaborated on this project. The story follows Carl, Dward, E-grit, Fabz, Dr. Doug and Omni as they try to discover fitness secrets in a dystopian universe.
Kodak, 2013 B-roll, 2013
5 minutes 25 seconds
B-roll is a selection from a larger body of work, Kodak, 2013, where I film contemporary queers and queers of color as they work through poses and gestures that, to them, articulate the ideals of their own identity expressions. B-roll transports this work into the space of the Chances Dances-hosted MCA’s First Friday event, and documents the interactions between me and attendees as I ask them to dance in increasingly slower motion. From the vantage point of the camera’s preview thumbnail screen, this video reveals the tools of production to frame the tense, vulnerable, and productive spaces where trust is built on-screen.
The Ooli Moves, 2014
8 minutes 11 seconds
The Ooli Moves is an afrofuturist music video created for Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble. The song, and the album “Intergalactic Beings”, is inspired by Octavia Butler’s “Xenogenesis” novels. The video explores though imagery and music the tension of repulsion and sensuality between the olli and humans.
Apple Computers, 2013
2 minutes 28 seconds (excerpt)
An open letter to Apple + experimental prosumer manifesto on the issues of planned obsolescence, upgrade culture, technological self-reliance, control and copying. A [re]mix/make of Phil Morton’s 1976 video tape ‘General Motors’, in which contemporary Chicago [dirty] new media artists explain their love && hate relationship with the ‘default art computer’. by Nick Briz, copy<it>right 2013
We are No Longer Brave Enough to Leave, 2014
11 minutes 47 seconds
We Are No Longer Brave Enough to Leave by Christy LeMaster is a portrait of utopian impulses: past and present, real and re-imagined. And learning new skills—moving from watcher to maker. This video invites specific artistic communities working in Chicago to re-enact an intentional or utopian community from American history: Sequence 1: Summer Forum 2012 Residency as Robert Owen’s New Harmony Socialist Society (1825, New Harmony, Indiana); Sequence 2: The Nightingale Cinema as The Source Family (1970’s, Los Angeles, California). Here are the two opening segments of an on going project.
CINEMA (April 4-10)
This program is an expansive approach to considering “Cinema,” exploring various approaches to image acquisition, format, manipulation, presentation, and reception. It moves beyond the simple binary of film-video (one that is increasingly meaningless for many artists) and looks at hybrids and utilizations of new (and old) technologies. twohundredfiftysixcolors (the six minute preface is showing here) compiles hundreds of examples of the now-ubiquitous .gif file type, from the mundane to the sublime, and connects this simple “moving image” format to 19th century pre-cinema inventions and toys. Errata uses the image reproduction (and degradation) possibilities of non-film machinery (the photocopy machine) to create the raw material for a study in abstraction and movement. Similarly, Pastoral uses a circuitous process of copying and degrading the cinematic image, staring with a DVD of an experimental film by Stan Brakhage (already transferred in HD from the 16mm original and then compressed for DVD release) and subjecting it to transfers to video, digital file, editing program, online, digital file and back to 16mm (further complicated for this showing by downloading the exhibition file from online yet again). Author Myth takes the technical possibilities and limitations of a DSLR camera as its subject, as it moves through the range of available aperture settings, implicitly suggesting that even in the seemingly boundless world of the digital art-making is still circumscribed by its tools. Elements of the Essay Film is an example of a new breed of online video as criticism and commentary. Here, this Internet essay form becomes meta, looking back at its essay-film progenitors and teasing out what in fact makes an essay-film (or video). 2013-O (^。^) is one of an on-going series of short videos and video sketches that reduces moving images to Jean Miro-like circles, ovals, and blobs. Digital intervention allows for minimalist renderings of the most maximalist of the arts. 100 Force Quit Noise Cancel Calculators takes the familiar landscape of the computer desktop as its canvas and varying computer applications as its palette to create a visual cacophony of technology pushed to the limit. For the Record is a witty riff on 1960s and ‘70s structural filmmaking, a flicker film that equates identity with purchasing power. Damage Control delights in its false starts, abrupt stoppages, repetition, and fragmentation of iconic cartoon characters. An art brut “Fractured Fairy Tale” for the TV generation. PAUL (FOR PETER AND LUKE) takes a very different moving image icon and fixes him in time and fixates on him as a timeless object of desire. (Patrick Friel)
2011 Trailer (2010/11, 1:38 min, Video)
Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus
twohundredfiftysixcolors (preface) (2013, 6:20 min, Video)
This is the first 6 minutes of twohundredfiftysixcolors, which is a 97 minute long film comprised entirely of animated GIFs. Crafted from thousands of animated GIFs, twohundredfiftysixcolors is an expansive and revealing portrait of what has become a zeitgeist medium. Once used primarily as an Internet page signpost, the file type has evolved into a nimble and ubiquitous tool for pop-cultural memes, self-expression, and artistic gestures. The film is a curated archive that functions as a historical document charting the GIF’s evolution, its connections to early cinema, and its contemporary cultural and aesthetic possibilities. (Amy Beste)
Errata (2005, 6:05 min, 16mm)
Errata is an experimental film in which I used a photocopier to generate frames of animation. I began with a blank sheet of paper, and I made a copy of that sheet, and then a copy of each resulting copy. The photocopied pages were then shot onto 16mm film, so that each frame of the film is a photocopy of the previous frame. Both black & white and color photocopies were used to make this film, approximately 4,600 copies total. (AS)
Pastoral (2008/2012, 2:17 min, 16mm)
Digitally altering Mr. Brakhage’s painted vision of the night sky into a glitchy earthbound landscape. Work Flow: Criterion DVD to Vidster to Windows Movie Maker to .wmv file to Vimeo to .mp4 file to 16mm (shown on .mp4 file downloaded from Vimeo)) (JBM)
Author Myth (2013, 6:38 min, Video)
A DSLR explores its aperture range next to a vacant strip mall. (CG)
Kevin E. Lee
Elements of the Essay Film (2013, 8:10 min, Video)
What is an essay film? This video explores how essay films use sounds, images, words and editing differently than other forms of cinema. (KEL)
2013-O (^。^)(2013, 1:46 min, mp4. Vimeo clip to .avi file to Windows Movie Maker to .wmv file to Vimeo to .mp4 file)
Library Art. Part of the Idlecolor Series. (JBM)
100 Force Quit Noise Cancel Calculators(2013, 5:49 min, Screen Recording
for ((i = 0; i<99; i++)) do open -n /Applications/Calculator.app; done
After launching 100 calculators, Satrom’s desktop implodes and is littered with applications, operating system elements and screen recordings. Are 100 calculators more effective at calculating? What does a screen shot sound like when it’s fired? Can noise be cleaned? The kludgy routine layers onto itself at the end and hypothesizes the equation. Jon Satrom’s ‘Prepared Desktop’ works have been performed in many localizations including: the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam NL, transmediale in Berlin Germany and in Chicago at the Nightingale, the Empty Bottle, The Graham Foundation and the Gene Siskel Film Center. (JS)
For the Record (2003, 7:40 min, 16mm)
For the Record was made from a discarded roll of security camera film from a grocery store. The camera photographed the customer and their check simultaneously, creating a kind of ‘natural’ flicker film. (CF)
Damage Control (2010, 4 min, 16mm)
This film began as an experimental restoration of a hypothetical parody; Jay Ward’s Bullwinkle does Peter Kubelka. Re-spliced and rebuilt several times, this film at times became more of a restoration process than a creative one. In a sense, the film represents a work of experimental archiving. (AP)
PAUL (FOR PETER AND LUKE) (2007, 3:32 min, Video Loop)
Inspired by Greek Orthodox icons and Mexican Muralist painters, Paul Newman’s face in Hombre (Martin Ritt, 1967) serves as a screen to project my feelings of loss over relationships that ended. I extracted every frame from a DVD copy of Hombre and put each one through the same Photoshop filters, allowing compression artifacts to manifest near-painterly textures onto Newman’s iconic face and create a tension between representation and abstraction. This video mural was projected as a loop for the 2009 and 2013 Texas Biennials. (IL)
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