presented by San Francisco Cinematheque in association with Gray Area
Admissions: Early Bird $10; Presales $15; Door $20 / Cinematheque members $8 (DOOR ONLY)
Advance tickets here.
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SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE and GRAY AREA present PERPETUAL MOTION, the largest convergence of international, multi-generational performance cinema practitioners ever assembled in the San Francisco Bay Area. The series is presented September 16–December 7, 2016. All performances at Gray Area.
Performance Cinema: an exciting and emergent genre of avant-garde moving-image art which represents a crucial attack on the sterility of the contemporary, digitally-located media environment, arguing for the embodied, collective consideration of real-time, site-specific media experiences. Through mis-used or modified analog film projectors, live video synthesis and physical interaction with the media interface, performance cinema practitioners variously burn, etch, mutilate and destroy projected film, machinery and the image itself. Performance Cinema practitioners create immersive spectacles of sight and sound, opening a space for questioning and contemplating visual culture through direct activation of the senses. As a dynamic, regenerating and resurrecting media experience, Performance Cinema exists only in the moment of perception and is truly an art of its time. Full series information available here.
Bruce McClure (Brooklyn) / Greg Pope (UK/Norway) + Sult (Norway/Oakland)
Perpetual Motion goes out with a bang! As centerpiece to this conclusive program, Greg Pope (UK/Norway)—known for his exhilarating and masterful projection performance collaborations with various notables of the Scandinavian noise underground—returns to the Bay with Oslo/Oakland acoustic noise trio Sult to perform Skeleton, a dance macabre in four movements, conjured from a battery of slide projectors and hand-cranked flicker devices. “A darkened room—our cinema cave—our shelter and religion. Ghosts dance in the flame, images are cast and the wood splits. Sound waves and light waves radiate and refract. Skeleton comes to life…” Program is opened and closed by Performance Cinema powerhouse Bruce McClure (Brooklyn). Fresh from an extensive mid-career retrospective at the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam, McClure presents two performance sets of Rotorattlers—deconstructive prepared projector performances for flickering film loops, optical sound, effects pedals and 3000 watt Atomic strobes. While many have attempted (and even succeeded at) “stripping cinema to its absolute essentials”—light, darkness, sound—only in the work of McClure are these constituent parts so finely chopped, blended, pureed and synesthetically fused. “After all, wreckage is often more interesting than structure.”—Bruce McClure
Bruce McClure is a licensed architect living in Brooklyn. In 1994 he began experimenting with metronomes and stroboscopes and started using 16mm film projectors threaded with patterned film strips to lay out timed intervals of light and optically generated sound signals. Since 1995 his film and live projector performances have been exhibited at numerous venues and festivals around the world., including: Rotterdam International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival’s Views of the Avant-Garde, Whitney Biennial, Walker Art Center, and Wexner Center for the Arts. In 2011 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2015 McClure was subject to a 8-program, partial retrospective at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. “I don’t use optical printers. I don’t need a camera. I don’t need lights. I don’t need actors or actresses. I don’t need a producer. I don’t need a sound man.” (Bruce McClure)
Greg Pope is a British media artist and filmmaker who currently lives in Norway. After dabbling in punk rock bands and absurdist performance, Pope founded film collective Situation Cinema in Brighton in 1986 and Loophole Cinema in London in 1989. Working collaboratively and individually, Pope has made video installations, live art and single screen film works since 1996. These works include live cinema performance pieces Light Trap and Cipher Screen as well as 35mm film productions. His collaborations include working with sound artists Lee Paterson, John Hegre, Lasse Marhaug and Okkyung Lee.
Sult is an acoustic noise ensemble with members from Oslo and the Bay Area. Their music reflects the noise genre’s concern with layers of sonic texture, though completely performed on acoustic instruments. Individual sounds run precariously aside one another as independent streams, and alternately blur into a unified mass. The trio has been working together since 2006 and has regularly toured Europe and America. Their third album, Svimmelhed, was released in November 2014 and a following album in collaboration with Lasse Marhaug is in progress. Members of the trio have collaborated with musicians such as Bill Orcutt, Fred Frith, Maja S. K. Ratkje, Okkyung Lee, Michel Doneda and Gino Robair.
Perpetual Motion is a presentation of San Francisco Cinematheque in partnership with Gray Area and is supported by generous funding from the Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund/Grants for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation and by generous donations from Cinematheque’s individual donors and members.
pictured above: Greg Pope—Skeleton