Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live
Book Launch Celebration and Retrospective
May 28, 30 & 31

presented by San Francisco Cinematheque
download AVANT TO LIVE! publication press release here
press inquiries

San Francisco Cinematheque and INCITE Journal of Experimental Media announce the release of Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live!—five years in the making! Celebrating the life work of Bay Area underground legend Craig Baldwin our 508 page publication features contributions from over 50 writers, artists, illustrators and ideologues analyzing the artist’s films, examining the cultural impact of Baldwin’s Other Cinema curatorial project and offering personal testimonials; publication also includes filmography, a Baldwin bibliography, indices to OtherZine and biographical timeline. Our whirlwind half-week of events commences May 28 with a live launch event at the Roxie Theater—featuring a live guided tour through the book plus video clips, live readings from contributors and more. Following this launch, come back to the Roxie May 30–31 for a three-program survey of Baldwin’s greatest hits featuring the classics Tribulation 99, Sonic Outlaws, Spectres of the Spectrum and more. Craig Baldwin in person at all events! See full details on Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live! here. 

Sunday, May 28, 4pm
AVANT TO LIVE! Signing Reception
518 Valencia Street
Advance tickets here
Want a signed copy of Avant to Live!? Then join us in advance of our official launch (at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater; same day—May 28) for this exclusive pre-launch “signing reception” featuring Avant to Live! editors Brett Kashmere and Steve Polta, other contributors and Craig Baldwin himself in person. Full details here.
*NOTE: Admission to this event is by “bundled” pre-purchase ONLY.*

Sunday, May 28, 6pm
AVANT TO LIVE! Book Launch Celebration
Roxie Theater
Advance tickets here
Join us in celebrating the publication of Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live! This evening’s event includes a live multimedia tour through the book by co-editors Brett Kashmere and Steve Polta to include excerpts from films, readings by contributors and an appearance by Craig Baldwin himself. JOIN US! Full details here.

Tuesday, May 30, 7pm
AVANT TO LIVE! Retrospective Program 1
Tribulation 99 + ¡O No Coronado! + Stolen Movie
Roxie Theater
Advance tickets here
Craig Baldwin in person!
The week’s whirlwind retrospective opens with Craig Baldwin’s paranoically prescient Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1991) presented with excerpted sections from Baldwin’s first foray into “collage narrative”: the black-comic Conquistador chronicle ¡O No Coronado! (1992). Also included: the semi-world premiere of Baldwin’s newly-rediscovered “lost film” Stolen Movie (1976). Full details here.

Wednesday, May 31, 6:30pm
AVANT TO LIVE! Retrospective Program 2
Sonic Outlaws + Wild Gunman
Roxie Theater
Advance tickets here
Craig Baldwin in person!
Baldwin’s media-radical rock doc Sonic Outlaws (1995)—a polemical examination of copyright and “fair use” featuring Negativland in a constellation of culture jammers—screens with Baldwin’s 1979 video game mashup Wild Gunman. Full details here.

Wednesday, May 31, 9pm
AVANT TO LIVE! Retrospective Program 3
Spectres of the Spectrum + Mock Up On Mu (excerpts) + Bulletin
Roxie Theater
Advance tickets here
Craig Baldwin in person!
A progenitor of the “compilation narrative,” Baldwin’s Spectres of the Spectrum (1999) and Mock Up On Mu (excerpts to screen) collage original and found footage to tell apocalyptic sci-fi tales, perform interactive media archeology and envision utopian acts of resistance. Program also to include the 2015 rarity Bulletin. Full details here.


Clocking in at 508 pages, Avant to Live! documents the life and work of acclaimed filmmaker and curator CRAIG BALDWIN, an inspiring and influential figure in contemporary media arts.

AS A FILMMAKER, Baldwin’s works represent a radical fusion of form and content. Formally, his films are constructed largely from audiovisual material appropriated from pre-existing films. In this, they represent a radical stance toward media culture as a participatory field. As an artist, Baldwin engages with mainstream media as an adversary, using its languages in ironic opposition. In this way he talks back to corporately produced media and creates inspiring, wildly imaginative works which profoundly challenge the nature of one-way media consumption.

AS A FILM CURATOR, Baldwin is known for Other Cinema, an extensive and hugely influential series of film/video programs he has personally organized in San Francisco on a schedule of 36 programs per year since the late 1980s. Like his films, Baldwin’s Other Cinema represents a radically expanded approach to film exhibition, media consumption and cultural engagement in which ephemeral forms of film history coexist alongside expanded cinema performance, underground/experimental film screenings, speculative lecture presentations, in-person artists and more.

Meticulously detailed, with contributions from over 50 writers, artists, illustrators and ideologues, AVANT TO LIVE! is the first critical text to examine the artist’s films analytically as a coherent and meaningful body of work and critical artist’s statement while also examining the cultural impact of Baldwin’s Other Cinema curatorial project. For more details, or to buy a copy, click here.

Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live! is a collaborative project of San Francisco Cinematheque and INCITE: Journal of Experimental Media.


Editors: Brett Kashmere and Steve Polta
Project Archivists: Courtney Fellion and Megan Needels
Series Coordinator: India Nemer
Designer: Vivian Sming, Sming Sming Books
Project Contributors: Luisela Alvaray, Craig Baldwin, Irene Borger, Bryan Boyce, Stephen Broomer, Bill Brown, Anthony Buchanan, Joanna Byrne, Kristin Cato, Chris Chang, David Cox, Bill Daniel, Joan d’Arc, Manohla Dargis, Tom Day, Jesse Drew, Adam Dziesinski, Bradley Eros, Gerry Fialka, Adrianne Finelli, Kelly Gallagher, Max Goldberg, Sam Green, Molly Hankwitz, Joshua Leon Harper, Mike Hoolboom, Alex Johnston, John Klacsmann, Caroline Koebel, Liz Kotz, Jesse Lerner, Chip Lord, Patrick Macias, Scott MacKenzie, Jesse Malmed, Dolissa Medina, Peggy Nelson, Rick Prelinger, Vanessa Renwick, Jeremy Rourke, Catherine Russell, Lynne Sachs, Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa, Keivan Khademi Shamami, Jeffrey Skoller, Soda_Jerk, Valerie Soe, Kathleen Tyner, Federico Windhausen, Michael Zryd

Press Inquiries: Want to review Avant to Live!? Send inquiries to sfc@sfcinematheque.org.
Download AVANT TO LIVE! publication press release here
Wholesale: Resellers’ discounts available for bulk purchases. Please send inquiries to sfc@sfcinematheque.org