DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT/SUMMARY: This film centers around one performance, when Holland-based musicians, The Ex, visited New York to play a concert. This performance is intercut with city scenes, first from Amsterdam and then New York, of construction sites, street life, and protests against the Iraq war and the Bush administration. The construction site scenes relate to the band's dedication to music as a realm for collaborative building and creative destruction.
Chris Burden came into prominence in the late 1960s, but unlike many of the performance artists of his generation, Burden was interested in empirical and scientific investigations. His goal was to return the control of art making to the artist and to question the relevancy of more established art practices. In this documentary Burden talks about his hard-hitting performances in the ’70s that took a jaded art world by surprise and continues on to discuss the sculptural and installation works of the ’80s.
The audience's engagement with the smallest subtleties and less than (usually considered) spectacular elements of theater is impressive and speaks volumes on the patience and acuity of modern viewers. Their finely tuned sense of humor and rapt and continuous focus warms the cynics' icy exterior. Likewise, the feedback loop of mutual artistic understanding and respect from the performing elements and receptive viewers, and back again, fortifies those who wish to love art and believe it must have revolutionary value. All are satisfied and joyful in the showing of satisfaction.
To counteract the talkie I had done with graduate student the day before, this undergrad project has no dialogue but just a steady stream of images we dreamed up on the spot. A psychodrama that’s heavy on the beefcake, our picture deals with the sexual dementia of a sex addict undergoing hypnotherapy. It’s a mixture of fantasy and desire with some animals thrown in and lots of strange angles of the leading actor’s attributes.
John Cage’s work has had an immeasurable influence on 20th Century music and art, and his formal and technological innovations were tied to his desire to push the boundaries of the art world. In 1951 he initiated the first recording on magnetic tape, and in 1952 he staged a theatrical event that is considered the first Happening. His invention of the prepared piano and his work with percussion instruments led him to imagine and explore many unique and fascinating ways of structuring the temporal dimension of music.
John Cage’s compositions and performances have had a profound influence on generations of musicians and artists. In this tape, he initiates For the Third Time as author Richard Kostelanetz interviews him. “I’ve left the punctuation out, but I’ve distributed it by chance operations on the page, like an explosion,” Cage says. “You can replace the punctuation where you wish.”
In a world of Internet and high technology, there still remains something so arcane, so simple and extraordinary, so absolutely incredible as a circus of educated fleas. Marvel at Maria Fernanda Cardoso's work as the powerful Brutus (The Strongest Flea on Earth) pulls a locomotive that weighs 160,000 times his own weight. See the flea ballerinas dressed in micro-tutus, dance to the rhythms of Tango! Hold your breath as the highwire artists defy gravity on the tightrope and swing precariously on a miniature trapeze.
"Pointing at my own image on the video monitor: my attempt is to keep my finger constantly in the center of the screen — I keep narrowing my focus into my finger. The result [the TV image] turns the activity around: a pointing away from myself, at an outside viewer."
— Vito Acconci, "Body as Place-Moving in on Myself, Performing Myself," Avalanche 6 (Fall 1972)
On December 8, 1984, Linda Montano began a 7-year performance titled 7 Years of Living Art, based on the seven Hindu chakras, and performed public and private vows and tests of personal endurance. Upon completing the project, Montano began again and titled the new work Fourteen Years of Living Art. During that time she composed and performed CHAKRAPHONICS, a sonic experience for the chakras. This video can be used as a guide to meditation on the chakras.
CHANNELING is an entryway into the spirit realm and the queer body politic: a program of experimental moving image work that calls up the ghosts of the past and the specters of the future. The intent of the program is to re-imagine film and video as occult technologies that allow us to connect with the bodies, experiences, and emotions that are often invisible--ghostly even--in everyday life.
This wonderful and wide-ranging saga of New Age sensibilities in conflict with down-and-dirty urges takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride into the freak show world of actors and actresses in need of adequate direction. The cast is flamboyant and floundering in this tale of sickness and motherly love competing for the souls of the sexually ambiguous as they mature into mammals of desire and despair. Witness the majesty of digital wizardry as it attempts to zest up the zombie zeitgeist inherent in these fast-paced productions of desperate means.
In Chicken on Foot, Sobell bounces a chicken carcass as one would a child, periodically crushing eggs (fetal chickens) on her knee. A statement of the displacement of sexual desire on food and women’s bodies, and an expression of female ambivalence about motherhood.
Circle's Short Circuit is an experimental feature-length work with neither a beginning nor an end—the film can be viewed from any random point. It moves through a circle of five interlocking episodes that describe the phenomenon of interruption in contemporary communication through various forms and modes, investigating causes, consequences, and side-effects. Genres shift along the episodic path of this circle, moving from documentary to essay, through collage, simulated live-coverage, and silent film.