In Person: Tommy Becker, Kris T. Force, Jon Leidecker, Anne McGuire, Jon Satrom and Bill Thibault
presented in association with Canyon Cinema Foundation, Center for New Music, Oddball Film + Video and Shapeshifters Cinema
sponsored by LUNA, MUBI, Ninkasi Brewing and Vimeo
technical sponsor San Francisco Film Society
Life in the cartoons. Grace under pressure. An evening of video performance cabaret to joyously comfort the afflicted. A poet and musician trapped in a camcorder, program opener Tommy Becker croons live to two new music-video mash-ups. The Freddy McGuire Show (Anne McGuire + Wobbly, joined by Bill Thibault) present onstage performative break-down as lounge-act spectacle; video feedback and audio-collision complete the delirious nightmare. Kris T. Force’s painterly meditation Leukos fuses sound with image in graceful flowing abstraction. Finally, Chicago-based kludge artist/glitch hacker Jon Satrom takes the stage, performing real-time audio/video “prepared laptop” noise to blow our technophilic minds. (Steve Polta)
Song for Our Aquarium (2016) by Tommy Becker; digital video/performance, color, sound, 7 minutes, from the maker world premiere
Our consciousness massages our flesh and bone hoping it will stay glued to us if we treat it well. We know the importance of our physical body to our being, but there are also those invisible, external elements that sustain life that we know nothing about and others that we recognize, but are in the process of destroying. (Tommy Becker)
Song for Koko (2015) by Tommy Becker; digital video/performance, color, sound, 7 minutes, from the maker
An elephant escapes from the circus and begins a rampage down a city street. His trunk tosses aside everything in his path. We cheer for him. Why? A man sits on an alligator and attempts to tie his mouth shut. The alligator contorts his body, throwing the man off before turning to bite. We are unsympathetic. Why? We take our children to the zoo to look at the monkeys. The children complain about their inactivity and we feel a sense of betrayal as we admit to ourselves that our observations are a fraud. What’s important in these situations of conflict and captivity is that we are seeing animals as equals. They are no longer the lesser species. A life force is being held against its will or once again running wild through the streets. The moment the lion lunges at the tamer we understand his motives. We relate viscerally to his oppression as we connect to the soul of its being. (Tommy Becker)
The Freddy McGuire Show, featuring Bill Thibault
The Freddy McGuire Show is Anne McGuire and Wobbly (Jon Leidecker). Their style is a bit of sound-poetry collage battle between Anne’s voice and Jon’s samples. She looks for harmony and he tries to throw her off. They first worked together on Don Joyce’s Over The Edge radio show (on KPFA) in 1999.
For CROSSROADS 2016 (a special one-night only event!) they will be joined by Bill Thibault who will be improvising live visuals using his own computer software.
Anne McGuire paints, sings, makes the occasional video, and writes short stories and poems in San Francisco. Anne’s work has shown in galleries, museums, and festivals around the world. She and Wobbly have performed at SFMOMA, the Exploratorium, the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, as well as in Oakland, CA, Brooklyn, NY, Dublin, Ireland, and Baltimore, MD. McGuire’s video art is handled by Video Data Bank in Chicago, and LUX in London, UK; works on paper can be viewed at 2nd floor projects in San Francisco.
Jon Leidecker performs appropriative collage music under the involuntary pseudonym of Wobbly, with a long-abiding interest in the deployment of pre-recorded sounds in the context of live improvisation. Recent collaborations include album projects and concerts with Dieter Moebius, Tim Story, Fred Frith, Matmos, Sagan, Huun-Huur-Tu and Negativland.
Bill Thibault is a computer artist born in New Orleans and now living in the East Bay. His interactive software produces unique visuals with procedural geometry and captured 3D point clouds. He has presented his technical work at conferences such as SIGGRAPH and ICAD, taught Computer Science at Cal State East Bay, and performed at numerous local venues. He is currently a member of Gray Area’s Cultural Incubator program.
Leukos (2015) by Kris T. Force; live digital video, color, sound, 15 minutes
Leukos is a painterly meditation where light amplitude is collected and measured, transmuted to data and transmitted as signal where it is interpreted as image and sound. Leukos was created in San Francisco, CA. The video source for Leukos was created in an animation stage shooting macro video of brown sugar crystals. An antique bellows scope was attached to an interchangeable micro 4/3 camera body. The visual variations are from camera and light source movements. The raw video was imported into a Max for Live jitter object where selected envelope filters were applied. Three synthesizer layers were carefully programed. A light amplitude gestural midi controller transmitting over wifi was used to trigger midi events performatively, thus creating the score and image for Leukos. (Kris T. Force)
Prepared Desktop by Jon Satrom
Jon Satrom is incredibly bad at using his laptop.
Jon Satrom doesn’t need to know how to use the fucking Adobe Creative Suite.
Jon Satrom makes us slightly ashamed at how little we do with the ridiculous amount of power that we have.
Jon Satrom sometimes smiles as he invokes the demon other from the Operating system.
Jon Satrom is a kludge artist, a glitch aficionado, && a creative problem creator who problematizes technological structures, interfaces, && conventions. Satrom performs realtime audio/video noise and new-media (often w/ XTAL FSCK, I ♥ PRESETS, & Magic Missile), develops artware (in partnership w/ Pox) and brings folks together in meat-space by co-programming experimental situations w/ dirty new-media && glitch comrades (including GLI.TC/H && r4wb1t5!) across spaceship earth.
Satrom’s Prepared Desktop leverages the digital defaults and mundane functions of the computer. Scripts, presets and glitches collide as he tickles the edges of his OS.
It was very fast, very witty and very funny but it was also everything you hope will never start happening to your own computer. I felt like the performance was slapping me in the face with my worst ‘user experiences’ nightmares. (Regine Debatty: We Make Money Not Art)
Satrom’s art is a subtle critique and parody of the day-to-day struggle the user experiences when trying to make their computer work for them. The Sisyphean comic-tragedy of attempts at working to control technology can lead to a realization that in the end, it’s all futile because a new function, software variation or re-design will be created to confuse, commoditize and add complexity to the process of getting simple tasks done. (Alessandro Imperato, PhD. NMC Media-N)
Above still taken from Song for Koko by Tommy Becker
CROSSROADS 2016 receives generous support from: Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation and The Willow Foundation.