Literature

2002
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid

Yvonne Rainer combines a dance performance she choreographed for Mikhail Barryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project in 2000 with texts by Oscar Kokoschka, Adolf Loos, Arnold Schoenberg, and Ludwig Wittgenstein—four of the most radical innovators in painting, architecture, music, and philosophy to emerge from fin-de-siècle Vienna.

1998
The Albatross

A ship sets sail on an epic voyage through malignant natural and supernatural elements from which one man alone survives. An adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by19th Century wood engravings which are animated by scratching directly into the surface of color filmstock.

2008
All Through the Night

A charred visitation with an icy language of control: "there is no room for love". Splinters of Nordic fairy tales and ecological disaster films are ground down into a prism of contradictions in this hopeful container for hopelessness.

— Michael Robinson

2002
Anal Masturbation and Object Loss

"Ever on the lookout for learning opportunities, Reinke envisions an art institute where you don’t have to make anything, and with a library full of books glued together. All the information’s there—you just don’t have to bother reading it!"
—New York Video Festival (2002)

 

2010
as the waves play along with an invisible spine (the workers die)

as the waves play along with an invisible spine (the workers die) is a stroboscopic work that pulsates black and white at approximately 14 Hz. Buried within that field of pulsation is a 90 second algorithmically condensed version of John Huston's 1956 film Moby Dick. Huston's minimal close-ups of the doomed sailors flicker as afterimage ghosts as approximately 4Hz in the visually unstable field of alternating black and white frames.

So long as the creature lives

it must carry forth its vertebrae

as the waves play along

2001
Dara Birnbaum: Damnation of Faust Trilogy

Using Wagner's Faust as a touchstone, Damnation of Faust is a trilogy of highly structured and composed video works evoking a free-floating, non-linear dream or memory. The broad themes of the work are conflicting forms of societal restraint and the struggles to define and express personal identity.

 

1989
Blind Country

This collaborative video project is based on a short story by H.G. Wells called "The Country of the Blind"—about a man who travels to a country of blind people and attempts to dominate their sensual, feminine culture with his male, sight-derived power. Following this theme, Blind Country begins with animated fruit dancing over Mike Kelley’s body and the admonition of “Northerners” to “refill the quickly emptying sack.” In the male-dominated land of the North, candy-spurting pinatas stand as phallic symbols.

2002
Blot Out the Sun

A garage in central Portland, Oregon is the setting for this conceptual re-working of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The garage owner Jay, mechanics and neighborhood denizens serve as narrators, reading lines from the novel that focus on death, love, social inequality and the relationship between individuals and the universe.

1999
Emily Breer: Classics Exposed

Like a couple of kids pawing through a costume trunk, filmmaker Emily Breer and performance artist Joe Gibbons delight in trying on the attitudes and artifacts of culture. High culture and low —everything is fair game as far as these witty creatures of surreal collision are concerned. Breer's breezy, off-hand declaration, "I'm a postmodern superhero—watch me deconstruct!" perfectly captures the playful spoofing of academia and the anarchic spontaneity found in both artists' work...

CB
2011
CB

CB is an experimental bio-pic: its heroine, Charlotte Brontë. A collaboration between Doug Ischar and Tom Daws, CB was commissioned by the Laumeier Museum, St. Louis, for their inaugural Nightlight series.

2008

I loved and was haunted by Jon Krakauer’s book Into the Wild and found Sean Penn’s cinematic adaptation to be absurdly overwrought. My original plan for condensing it was to string together all of its grandiose slow-motion shots. I quickly realized that the result, like the movie itself, would be interminably long. A friend suggested that I leave out everything but the five-second shot that provoked me to make my video in the first place, the shot at which several audience members in the second-run theater (including me) laughed out loud.

2001
Connections: Ray Johnson On-Line

A portrait of the American artist Ray Johnson (1927-95), driving force behind the New York Correspondence School of the early 1960s. Ray Johnson was mainly known for his numerous mail art projects, involving artistic strategies like networks and collaboration. Key terms in his mail art activities were ADD TO AND RETURN, or SEND TO, inviting recipients to contribute to his work. Besides mail art, Ray Johnson worked on collages, assemblages, and performance throughout his life.

2005
Coréen 2495

In 1993 President Mitterrand visited Korea. On this visit Mitterrand promised that he would restore to Korea the 297 volumes of the Oe-Kyujanggak Archives (the royal protocols of Chosun Dynasty in Korea), pillaged by the French army in 1866 and now part of the collections in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France). As a sign of intent, he assured the interested parties that a two-volume book, the Hyikyungwon-Wonsodogam-Uigwe, would be immediately returned.

1983
Damnation of Faust: Evocation

Using “found” imagery shot in a SoHo playground, the first part of the Damnation of Faust trilogy explores the possible relations between childhood play and a woman looking on from outside. Without dialogue, the gestures of the characters become their primary mode of communication. Visual motifs of pillars and fans, achieved through video wipes, plunge the viewer into the image while building parallels of movement and feeling.

1985
Damnation of Faust: Will-o'-the-Wisp (A Deceitful Goal)

The second part of the Damnation of Faust Trilogy centers on the development of Marguerite, the female character in the Faust legend. Masterfully composing fragmentary "memory" images in elegant 19th Century Japanese compositions, Birnbaum traces the process of deception and abandonment through the heroine’s mournful description of her state of mind. Passing images are suffused with light, obscured in a blinding brightness, to suggest forgetting.