Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Invention Without a Future

Greatest Hits of PXL THIS

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

For seventeen years, the Venice CA-based PXL THIS Festival has celebrated the astounding persistence of the Fisher Price PXL-2000 camera, a plastic video camcorder that records sound and image directly onto audiocassettes. An invention without a future, the toy camera seemed dead on arrival, yet has proved itself a format that refuses to give up the ghost. Join us tonight to toast its astounding resilience as the inimitable fest-director Gerry Fialka leads us through highlights of his one of a kind video showcase, exploring the significance of this raw DIY moving image art-form with fourteen amusing PXL shorts from across the world, ranging in themes from the US involvement in Iraq as assayed by hand gestures in L.M. Sabo’s Gestures; an 8-year old’s lesson from a bee’s eye-view in About Flowers; and an aesthetic exploration of horrific dreamscapes in Struan Ashby and Roy Parkhurst’s Somnigraphic Traces of the Otherwise Undocumented Friedkin Institute for Sleep Disorder Research, and much much more. The program begins early with an interactive workshop on the wonders of the amazing device; prepare to be astounded. (Steve Polta and Jennifer Blaylock)

Download program notes