Thursday, March 29, 2012

As Against the Fevered Distance: Landscape Film and the Poisoned Sublime

Liminal Space

presented in association with Liminal Space and One Loves Only Form
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…The direct star-blast from vectors and signals, from the vertical and the spatial. As against the fevered distance of the cultural gaze. Joy in the collapse of metaphor […]. The exhilaration of obscenity, the obscenity of obviousness, the obviousness of power, the power of simulation. As against our disappointed virginity, our chasms of affectation. Sideration. Star-blasted, horizontally by car, altitudinally by the plane, electronically by television, geologically by deserts, stereolithically by the megapoloi, transpolitically by the power game, the power museum that America has become for the whole world. (Jean Baudrillard, America)

The wide open spaces of the American West, banality born of extreme distance. Inspired by America, Jean Baudrillard’s infamously Continental adaptation of the freewheeling Karouacian beatnik jaunt, this program exalts the lure and love of American spaces, laments the end of adventure on the open road, and presents troubled fantasies of freedom made impossible within our Google-mapped, GPS-ed, infinitely surveilled landscape. Program begins with Deborah Stratman’s In Order Not to Be Here—”images of suburban surveillance and violence that push up against the limits of the real”—and concludes with Steven Matheson’s Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel, a masterful mystery narrative of environmental illness and truck stop subcultures with pirate radio broadcasts wafting across the poisoned planes of the American west. The films between: Landscapes in Alphabetical Order by Katherin McInnis, the map and the territory, rationalized; Trypps #7 (Badlands) by Ben Russell, crystalline depiction of desert dissolution; SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby) by Philipp Lachenmann, in which the stars shine bright over the old carceral home; Olivo Barbieri’s site specific_LAS VEGAS 05, the desert oasis rendered as a micro-panoptic toy; and the final “lost film” by Will Hindle, the lyrical road film Trekkerriff. (Steve Polta)