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The Arts
August 2-8, 2006

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Cinema

Performative, Live, Distributed, and In Progress


Performative Cinema

Performative cinema can be described as a hybrid connection between art, film and the Internet; a cinema of processes that express the ever-changing continuum of the space we live in.

Michael Lew, Junkyard of Dreams
Club Glo, 396 South First St. Wed, Aug 9, 7pm Ticket Price: $15.00
Presented by ZeroOne San Jose and the Canadian Film Centre's Habitat New Media Lab

Junkyard of Dreams is the world premiere of an improvised film-performance with a live band and live narration by Michael Lew. It is Lew's latest improvised film performance about the tension between imaginary Hollywood and street life Hollywood, seen through the eyes of a French urban anthropologist.

Recent years have witnessed an impressive surge of new live visual practices, enabled by the computer's ability to manipulate high definition images in real time. Just as sound once transformed film, today the ability to store an entire film on a hard disk means that it can be edited on the fly. Lew has built a machine that allows him to do precisely this, halfway between a visual music instrument and a novel motion picture editing tool.

The filmmaker arrives at the venue with all the footage on a disk and assembles the film in front of the audience as a live performance. Narrative intelligence and database design are programmed in such a way that the computer keeps track of the progression of the story, while leaving improvisational freedom to the interpreters.

Junkyard of Dreams requires us to see interactive cinema in multimodal terms — as an experience that hovers between jazz, interactive film and non-linear programming.

Morten Schjodt, Switching
Camera 12, Thu, Aug 10, 7pm — Director's Cut / 9pm — Audience Cut Ticket Price: $15.00
Presented by ZeroOne San Jose and the Canadian Film Centre's Habitat New Media Lab

Danish director Morten Schjødt presents the U.S. premiere of his interactive film, Switching, winner of the Prix Möbius Nordica 2005 in France, and the Cyberloup Prize at the Festival International du Nouveau Cinema et Nouveau Medias 2003 in Montreal. Switching is a love story that allows you to slip into a storytelling labyrinth where you simultaneously unfold and disrupt the narrative. Released on DVD in April 2003, Switching is one of the first commercial successes to radically insert interactivity into storytelling and narrative technique.

Frida and Simon live together, but something has changed. They can't really communicate any more. One night, Frida turns on the light in their bedroom to try and understand what is wrong. Frida starts the difficult process of creating a new story around herself and Simon. A process in which we often feel that ourselves and others are adversaries. As a user of the film, you are drawn into this game. The process - the creation of a story - is therefore an important part of the experience.

Speculative Cinema

Adriene Jenik, SPECFLIC 2.0
Martin Luther King Jr. Main Public Library
Wed, 9pm—11pm Free

SPECFLIC is a series of performative media events set in 2030.

Taking place in and around the MLKJ Library in, San Jose, SPECFLIC 2.0 portrays a future of the public library in simultaneous story-layers that provoke the audience to consider the future of reading, writing, the book object and storytelling.

SPECFLIC 2.0 portrays 2030 as a time in which audio-visual media dominate, even as written communication and reading retain important, though narrow functions. The factorial explosion of information and information flows has catalyzed new forms of categorization of material and the next generation of students and scholars is developing within this constantly reconfigure-able InfoSphere. Hierarchies of access and control of information are taken for granted, and while the public library has a function, it is distinctly different from the lending library of yore.

SPECFLIC 2.0 is distributed cinema; a "story-event" created by layering different media forms. Bring your cell phone cameras & laptops to become part of this distributed cinema event!

Collaborators include performers Allison Janney, Richard Jenik, Praba Pilar and Melissa Lozano, science fiction author Rudy Rucker and IT developers Andrew Collins, Ganapathy Chockalingam & Luke Wylie. Photo: SPECFLIC 1.0: Outside by Mulloy Morrow

Live Cinema

Night Culture: Live Cinema Nights
An international series of live audiovisual performances
Club Glo, 396 South First Street, San Jose
Tue, Aug 8, Wed, Aug 9, Thu, Aug 10
Doors open 9pm, Performances 10pm — 1:30 am
Tickets: $20 online; $25 at the door;
$45 3-day pass | www.livecinemanights.org

What happens when you take cinema out of the confines of the movie theater, you wrench the film reel off the projector, and you start editing the images and sound live, in front of the audience? Live cinema.

On August 8-9-10, during ISEA2006 and ZeroOne San Jose, the Club Glo in downtown San Jose will host some of the most avant-garde live video artists from the Bay Area and around the world, in a 3-night program of sound and moving image fusing electronica with live experimental video. Artists curated in collaboration with Pixelache (Helsinki), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam) and Club Transmediale (Berlin) include:

* Sue Costabile & Laetitia Sonami, I.C. You, which features a live cinema stage built around a suitcase and a live foley stage built around another suitcase, employing dry ice and sensors.

* Joshua Kit Clayton, electronic musician and inventor of jitter, will perform an underwater piece called Aquavision, with live camera, sand and an aquarium.

* Finnish experimental filmmaker O Samuli A will be showing his mechanical furry piece Silmukka.

* Jarryd Lowder from New York City will play a video requiem for those killed in Iraq, showing found images of improvised explosive devices through an obsolete video security system.

* Barcelona-based cultural agitator Solu will do a solo video improvisation called taxi, take-off and landing.

* Media artist Ran Slavin from Tel-Aviv will reveal his experimental narrative piece Cinema Cycles 07.3.

* Sound designer Guillermo Galindo & Gustavo Vazquez from Mexico will present a live version of their installation Glance.

* French collective RYBN will bring over from Paris their proprietary Smell-O-Rama technology for a multisensorial immersive experience of desolate urban landscapes.

* META.AM will perform a live audiovisual improvisation.

* Cenk Ergün will be playing on a video by Kendra Juul.

* Many star VJs well known in contemporary art will be seen at work late at night: Vanessa Gocksch aka Pata de Perro (Colombia), Nuutti Koskinen (Finland), Tim Jaeger (San Diego) with Alex Dragulescu (Romania).

Critical Documentary

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Strange Culture
A work in progress special showing
Camera 12, Fri at 6pm Ticket Price: $20
proceeds will go to support the Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund

Strange Culture is a documentary feature film based on the arrest of Steve Kurtz, an Associate Professor of Art at the State University of Buffalo and a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble, and Robert Ferrel, a geneticist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. (www.criticalart.org)

On May 11, 2004 Steve Kurtz's wife Hope died in her sleep of cardiac arrest. Medics arrived, became suspicious of Kurtz's art supplies that were out in his home, as he was working on an upcoming exhibit, and called the FBI. Within hours, Kurtz was charged as a suspected bio-terrorist as dozens of agents in hazmat suits sifted through his work, impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, his cat, even his wife's body, and resulted in Kurtz and his collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, former Chair of the Genetics Department at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, are being charged with bio-terrorism and mail fraud, each potentially carrying a sentence of 20 years.

Strange Culture features a remarkable cast including Tilda Swinton, Peter Coyote, Thomas Jay Ryan, Josh Kornbluth and Steve Kurtz. Written, directed and edited by Lynn Hershman Leeson and shot by Hiro Narita, an original score by the Residents, the film also features Greg Bordowitz, Steve Dietz, Robin Held, Claire Pentecost, and Nato Thomson. Produced by Lynn Hershman Leeson and Lise Swenson.

Strange Culture will be preceded by a special showing of Patrick Wilkinson's work-in-progress, Disown It: A Film About Art, Software, and Intellectual Property.


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