Vito Acconci


Centers – 1971

Vito Acconci
B. 1940, BRONX, NY
Vito Acconci was born in 1940 in the Bronx, New York. He earned a BA with a major in literature from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1962. Two years later, he completed an MFA in writing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. After returning to New York, he went on to develop a diverse body of work in poetry, criticism, Performance art, sound, film and video, photography, and sculpture.

In the second half of the 1960s, Acconci’s work was centered on poetry and language. In 1969 he began using photography to document various actions, such as jumping, bending, and falling, that he executed in order to understand how his body moved in space. Also in 1969 he performed Following Piece, in which he followed passersby on the street until they entered private spaces. From 1969 to 1974 he continued to explore movement in space, using film and video and adding text panels to his photographs documenting his actions. Some of his performances questioned the nature of gender; other works interjected the private realm into public space. During the 1970 exhibition Information at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example, he had his mail forwarded to the museum and went there every day to open it. In Seedbed (1972), he masturbated, he claimed, under a temporary floor at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York, while visitors walked overhead and heard him speaking. In the second half of the 1970s, some of Acconci’s works were comprised solely of his speech on audiotape, and many of his performances forced strangers to interact with one another.

In the late 1970s, Acconci began making sculptures referencing architecture and furniture. From 1980 on, some of his sculptures demanded viewer participation: to complete pieces shaped like simple houses, for example, viewers pulled ropes that erected the four walls. Subsequent works, most installed outdoors, were meant to be sat on or played upon. The scale of Acconci’s sculptures continued to grow, until he was making public art on a grand scale. Since the late 1980s, the artist has worked with Acconci Studio, located in Brooklyn, New York. This collaborative group, which includes designers in addition to Acconci, develops several public artworks and architectural projects annually. On his own and with Acconci Studio, Acconci has produced works for several college campuses and for airports in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Personal Island, designed for Zwolle, the Netherlands (1994), and Island in the Mur, for Graz, Austria (2003), float in bodies of water; the latter includes a theater and a playground.

Acconci has taught at numerous institutions, among them the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax, San Francisco Art Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, School of Visual Arts in New York, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Yale University in New Haven.

Since his first solo show in 1969, at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Acconci has participated in numerous exhibitions. Retrospectives have been organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1978) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1980). Print retrospectives have been mounted by Landfall Press in New York (1990) and the Gallery of Art at the University of Missouri in Kansas City (1994). Acconci’s achievements have been recognized with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1976, 1980, 1983, and 1993), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1979), and American Academy in Rome (1986). He has also received the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1997) and two New York City Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design (1999 and 2004). He was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2000. Acconci lives in Brooklyn, New York.

https://www.guggenheim.org

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Michael Snow • Back and Forth (1969) – excerpt 1

Michael Snow’s extensive and multidisciplinary oeuvre includes painting, sculpture, video, film, sound, photography, holography, drawing, writing, and music. His work explores the nature of perception, consciousness, language, and temporality. Snow is one of the world’s leading experimental filmmakers, having inspired the Structural Film movement with his groundbreaking film Wavelength (1967).

Snow was born in 1928 in Toronto, where he lives and works today. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Toronto (1999), the University of Victoria (1997), the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1990), and Brock University (1975).

Snow has received several prestigious awards including: the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2011), the Guggenheim Fellowship (1972), the Order of Canada in (1982), and the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres, France (1995, 2011). There has been a great deal of scholarship focusing on Snow, including the multi-volume Michael Snow Project published in 1994 by the Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Ontario, both in Toronto, to accompany four simultaneous exhibitions at the two venues that same year.

Recent solo exhibitions include Sequences at La Virreina Image Centre in Barcelona, Spain (2015), Michael Snow: Photo-Centric at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2014), Michael Snow: Objects of Vision, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2012), Solo Snow: Works of Michael Snow, Akbank Sanat, Turkey (2012), Michael Snow, Vienna Secession, Austria (2012), In the Way, àngels barcelona, Barcelona (2011), and Solo Snow, Le Fresnoy, France (2011).

Snow’s work has been included in countless group exhibitions, most recently including the Canadian Biennial (2012), Videosphere: A New Generation at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY (2012), 1969 at MoMA PS1, NY (2009), and the Whitney Biennial, NY (2006), as well as exhibitions held for the reopening of both the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005), the latter at which three works are currently installed. Snow’s work is in various private and public collections throughout the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Ludwig Museum, Austria and Germany; the Musée National d’Art Modern, Centre Pomidou, France; the Musée des Beaux Arts, Canada; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; and the National Gallery of Canada.

Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Snow since 2004. Solo exhibitions held at the gallery include Michael Snow: A Group Show (2015); Michael Snow: In the Way (2012); and Michael Snow: Powers of Two (2004). Snow was also included in several group exhibitions at the gallery including Works on View (2009), Imposition (2005), and A Charge to Keep (2004).

http://www.jackshainman.com

Pi … faith in chaos

adaptive-images.php

Plot Synopsis: Max is a genius mathematician who’s built a supercomputer at home that provides something that can be understood as a key for understanding all existence. Representatives both from a Hasidic cabalistic sect and high-powered Wall Street firm hear of that secret and attempt to seduce him.

π was written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, and filmed on high-contrast black-and-white reversal film.

In 1996 Aronofsky began creating the concept for his first feature film “π”, a psychological sci-fi thriller. After the π script received great reactions from friends, he began production. The film re-teamed Aronofsky with Sean Gullette, who played the lead. During production, Aronofsky and crew realized they didn’t have enough money to complete the film. Associate Producer Scott Franklin came up with the idea to raise completion funds by asking every person they knew for $100. Later in production certain individuals put in more cash, which let Aronofsky complete the film. After π was completed (with a budget somewhere around $60,000), it premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and Aronofsky won the Directing Award. The film was picked up by distributor Artisan Entertainment and released in selected cities. The film later won an Independent Spirit Award and the Open Palm. $100 investors were said to be subsequently re-paid with $150. However, certain crew members complained that they were never paid at all. Crew members confronted Aronofsky about this, and he claimed he was suing his distributor. Use of the SnorriCam is one of Darren Aronofsky’s trademarks, as featured in π.

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Tony Conrad


The Theater of Eternal Music performing in 1965. From left, Mr. Conrad, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and John Cale.
FRED W. MCDARRAH / GETTY IMAGES

Tony Conrad Was Such a Good Minimalist, He Was Almost Forgotten
By WILLIAM ROBIN
MARCH 24, 2017

In February 1963, a 22-year-old experimental violinist named Tony Conrad stood outside Philharmonic (now David Geffen) Hall in New York wearing a signboard that read “Demolish Lincoln Center!” With the composer Henry Flynt and the filmmaker Jack Smith, Mr. Conrad formed a three-man picket line that spent a day marching at the center, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They were protesting, Mr. Conrad later recalled, “the imperialist influences of European high culture” and gesturing toward “the dismantling and dispersion of any and all organized cultural forms.”

Anti-authoritarian actions soon became typical for Mr. Conrad, whose significant legacy in music, film and performance remained relatively unknown when he died last April at 76.

“Tony Conrad is as punk rock as anyone who ever had the audacity to call themselves punk rock,” said the writer and musician Henry Rollins, formerly of Black Flag, who moderated a post-screening conversation for the new documentary “Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present” in Los Angeles earlier this month. On Friday, March 31, the film has its American theatrical premiere at Anthology Film Archives in the East Village.

At the time of the Lincoln Center protest, Mr. Conrad was playing a formative role in the sound of Minimalism as a performer in the improvising ensemble Theater of Eternal Music. The next year, he and his roommate, John Cale, were recruited to join a rock group with Lou Reed known as the Primitives, the precursor to the Velvet Underground. Rather than joining that band, Mr. Conrad moved on to other art forms, becoming a pioneer in structural film with “The Flicker” (1966), a trippy juxtaposition of black-and-white frames that reportedly caused some audience members to become physically ill.

“It seemed to be the thing that drove almost everything: There was just an incredible resistance to authority,” the new documentary’s director, Tyler Hubby, said in a recent interview. “It got very deep, the idea of resisting these established institutionalized ideas. Why does it have to be that way? Why can’t we do something different? Why can’t we make something new or see something in a different way?”

continue reading https://mobile.nytimes.com

Stan Brakhage


Stan Brakhage, “Mothlight” (1963)

Stan Brakhage
American filmmaker who brought a unique eye to his craft
Ronald Bergan
Friday 14 March 2003 21.23 EST

Those who consider cinema a narrative art form, and believe that films should have a beginning, a middle and an end – in that order – will have problems with the work of Stan Brakhage, who has died aged 70. His films were difficult also for those not willing to shed the conventionalised illusion, imposed by rules of perspective, compositional logic and “lenses grounded to achieve 19th-century compositional perspective”.

For Brakhage, the goal of cinema was the liberation of the eye itself, the creation of an act of seeing, previously unimagined and undefined by conventions of representation, an eye as natural and unprejudiced as that of a cat, a bee or an infant. There were few filmmakers – film director is too limiting a description – who went so far to train audiences to see differently.

“Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective,” he wrote in Metaphors On Vision, first published in the journal Film Culture in 1963, “an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception.

“How many colours are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of ‘green’? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects, and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of colour. Imagine a world before the ‘beginning was the word’.”

To a large extent, Brakhage realised this innocent world in his films, restrictively labelled avant-garde or experimental, existing in a parallel universe to the multiplex ethos. His signature was as figurative as it was literal – he would scratch his initials directly on the film’s emulsion at the end credits. Like a painter or sculptor, he worked manually on his material, often scratching, dyeing and altering the celluloid itself, making today’s push-button digital technology anathema to him.

He would hand-paint blank frames of 16mm film, and glue objects to them in a collage. In Mothlight (1963), for example, he pasted moth wings on to strips of film and, when projected, the bright light seemed to bring the insects back to life.

Brakhage was born Robert Sanders in a Kansas City orphanage, and adopted two weeks later by Ludwig and Clara Brakhage, who named him James Stanley. He performed on radio as a boy soprano, attended high school in Denver, Colorado, and, at 19, dropped out of Dartmouth College after two months to make films.

Among his early influences were Jean Cocteau and the Italian neo-realists but, after arriving in New York in 1954, he joined the flourishing avant-garde scene, drawing inspiration from artists and filmmakers like Maya Deren, Marie Menken and Joseph Cornell. He admired Ezra Pound, and was a close associate of poets like Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan, and abstract expressionist painters such as Willem de Kooning, with whom much of his work has an affinity.

In 1957, he married Jane Collom, and the details of their lives together figured prominently in his work. In Window Water Baby Moving (1959), he unflinchingly and poetically documented the birth of the first of their five children.

In 23rd Psalm (1966), he contrasted scenes of his tranquil life in rural Colorado with footage of the second world war. The quick cuts of the first part, depicting a world menaced by chaos, give way to the contemplative passages of the second, suggestive of a quest for the roots of war – particularly the Vietnam war, then at its height.

Brakhage’s most famous film, Dog Star Man (1964), one of the key works of the 1960s American avant-garde, experimented with the use of colour, painting on film and distorting lenses, while depicting the creation of the universe. It ends with superimpositions of solar flares and chains of mountains over his wife, as she gives birth to their child.

During five decades, Brakhage made nearly 380 films, most of them shot in 8mm or 16mm, and ranging in length from nine seconds to four hours. With a few exceptions, they were made without sound, which he felt might spoil the intensity of the visual experience. He preferred to think of his films as metaphorical, abstract and highly subjective – a kind of poetry written with light.

Brakhage taught film history at the University of Colorado from 1981 until last year, when he retired to Canada with his second wife and two sons, who survive him along with the five children of his first mariage. It is a tragic irony that he seems to have been killed by the art he loved. According to his widow, doctors believed that the coal-tar dyes he used in his filmmaking may have contributed to his bladder cancer, which was diagnosed in 1996.

· James Stanley Brakhage, filmmaker, born January 14 1933; died March 9 2003

Hans Richter


RHYTHMUS 21 – (1921)

Hans Richter
born 1888 Berlin, Germany
died 1976 Locarno, Switzerland

Johannes Siegfried Richter was born into a well-to-do Jewish family in Berlin. Although he wanted to be a painter, his father decided he should pursue architecture and thus Richter spent a year as a carpenter’s apprentice. Between 1908 and 1911 Richter studied art at the Academy of Art in Berlin, the Academy of Art in Weimar, and for a brief period at the Académie Julian in Paris.

By 1913 Richter had joined the mainstream of the expressionist circles of the avant-garde, meeting artists associated with Herwarth Walden’s Sturm Gallery in Berlin, and the radical expressionists who formed the Brücke in Dresden and the Blaue Reiter in Munich. In 1914 he became part of Die Aktion, an association of expressionist artists and writers gathered around Franz Pfemfert’s journal of the same name, who shared socialist and antiwar sympathies. In his graphic work for Die Aktion, which consisted of woodcuts, linocuts, and drawings, Richter began to make a decisive break with representational art. Though these works were often portraits of political or literary figures associated with the journal, their emphasis was on the stark impression made by juxtapositions of black and white shapes. The connection established in the context of Die Aktion between abstraction and engaged politics would be present throughout Richter’s life and work.


GHOSTS BEFORE BREAKFAST (1928)

When Richter was inducted into the army in September 1914, he and his friends, Ferdinand Hardekopf and Albert Ehrenstein, made a pact to meet again in two years at the Café de la terrasse in Zurich. A few months later, Richter was severely wounded while serving in a light artillery unit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Partially paralyzed, he was sent to recuperate at the Hoppegarten military hospital in Berlin, and in March Richter was officially removed from active duty. After his marriage in late August, Richter and his wife traveled to Switzerland to consult with physicians about his back injuries. There, on September 15, he stopped by the Café de la terrasse, where his two friends were waiting. They introduced him to members of the Dada group—Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, and Marcel’s brother Georges, who were sitting at a nearby table.

From 1917 to 1919 Richter was closely involved with Dada events, exhibitions, and publications, showing his paintings with the dadaists for the first time in January at the Galerie Corray. Throughout 1917 he also produced a series of paintings at a pace of three or four a day that he called “visionary portraits.” Depicting Dada friends but so abstract as to elude likeness, Richter deliberately painted these portraits at twilight in a trancelike state, in order to escape from the visible world. According to him, these pictures then “took shape before the inner rather than the outer eye,” transcending the particularity of the visible in order to attain a universal image. A series of woodcuts called “Dada heads,” also made during this period, continued Richter’s graphic exploration of abstract portraiture.


Dreams Money Can Buy (1947)

In the early spring of 1918 Tristan Tzara introduced Richter to Viking Eggeling, a Swedish painter who had developed a systematic theory of abstract art. Richter, who had been experimenting in his Dada heads with opposing black and white, positive and negative, found in Eggeling a friend and fellow theorist of abstraction. In 1920 they coauthored “Universelle Sprache” (Universal Language), a text defining abstract art as a language based on the polar relationships of elementary forms derived from the laws of human perception. For Richter, the central tenet of this text was that such an abstract language would be “beyond all national language frontiers.” He imagined in abstraction a new kind of communication that would be free from the kinds of nationalistic alliances that led to World War I.

Richter and Eggeling also produced an entirely new kind of artwork–the abstract film. Developed out of their theorizations of a universal language of forms, Rhythmus 21 and Rhythmus 23 introduced the element of time into the abstract work of art. Now classics of the cinema, the films show geometric shapes moving and interacting in space and set to a musical score. Richter’s 1927 film, Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts before Breakfast), which he developed from Dada ideas, shows everyday objects in rebellion against their owners: derby hats, potent symbols of bourgeois propriety and stability, take on lives of their own, parodying their inept masters.

In 1923 Richter began publishing G, a magazine that drew together the work of artists, architects, and writers associated with Dada, De Stijl, and international constructivism. His films were censored as early as 1927 when the object rebellion of Ghosts before Breakfast was understood as subversive of the social order. As a Jew, a modern artist, and a member of the political opposition, Richter was forced to leave Germany. He eventually emigrated to the United States, where he taught at the Film Institute of City College in New York. In 1962 he retired and returned to Switzerland.

https://www.nga.gov

Appropriation & Culture Jamming – Ricardo

Part of a continuing series on Remix Culture.

Culture Jamming @Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_jamming

Sources for this clip:

Channel Zero: Lewis Cohen/Stephen Marshall
archive.org/details/baldwin

Sonic Outlaws
othercinemadvd.com/sonic.html

Multiple clips from Internet Archive
archive.org/index.php

Soundtrack:

Blanketship live on WFMU
blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2008/06/blanketship-liv.html