Jamestown Baloos (1957) [SLYT] by Robert Breer [PDF] (previously) "is a frenetic, three-part stop-motion animation that features an army of everyday forms and figures — geometric shapes, a piece of string, newspaper clips, a pin-up girl, even Napoleon Bonaparte — flashing across the screen. Placed in increasingly compromised situations and choreographed to a jingoistic tune, the figures essentially become puppets of their former selves. Such unrelenting visuals recall not only Fernand Léger’s early experimental film, Ballet Mécanique (1924), as Breer himself has mentioned, but also early twentieth-century Dadaist collage. Dada artists like Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch created witty, unapologetic works that reflected the chaos and violence of modern existence. Jamestown Baloos serves, as their works did, as a pointed indictment on the absurdity of war."
Processing the Signal == Part 1 - Bill Viola// Part 2 - Nam June Paik// Part 3 - The Medium// Part 4 - Technology// Part 5 - Audience// [more inside]
UbuWeb has converted all of its rare and out-of-print film & video holdings to on-demand streaming formats. via WFMU.
A video broadcast of György Ligeti's Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes (AVI, French), with helpful background on the controversial piece located here. For those who know French, you may also be interested in 1993's György Ligeti: Portrait, A Documentary by Michel Follin, showing Ligeti as "the displaced cosmopolitan", through the metaphor of train ride through the European countryside. These and many other avant-garde films can be found at Ubuweb, including features with William Burroughs, a recent "performance" of Cage's 4'33", and Varése and Le Corbusier's 1958 World Fair collaboration Poême électronique, a 400-speaker soundspace installation predating later, more experimental feedback pieces.
“The Emperor Jones was a landmark drama, not only in conception but also in production: a black actor, Charles Gilpin, was permitted for the first time to enact the leading role in a New York drama.” James Earl Jones and collaborators discuss and rehearse a later production. Currently Elizabeth LeCompte directs Kate Valk, a middle-aged white woman in blackface, in a contemporary production from the Wooster Group. They’ve courted this type of controversy before. The NYTimes loved the show, this review isn’t as glowing.
DIVA 2006The Digital & Video Art Fair just opened in New York (nytimes) some highlights if you don’t live in the New York area, or have a better way to spend $10: Martin Sastre’s BOLIVIA 3: Confederation Next (Barney represents Matthew Barney, see here he is slaying Sastre with a lightsaber) part of his Iberoamerican Trilogy; Vincent Goudreau’s Sub-Paradise – about sugarcane farming in Hawaii (excerpted .mov here); My Favorite – ‘Panoscopic’ images by Luc Courchesne. more inside.