Friday, April 3, 2009

Tony Conrad: Flickering Jewel

Program One: Window, Perspective, Shadows Lecture

San Francisco Art Institute

Presented in association with SFAI’s Spheres of Interest Lecture Series.

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Immersive Cinema is a series of concentrated, multi-part artist residencies. Begun in Spring 2008, each season’s chapter has surveyed the work of an active film/video artist, allowing them to creatively present new, previously viewed and in-progress work in personally significant contexts. Each series has featured the artist in-person and has been accompanied by a specially created, limited edition commemorative publication, available free at screenings. Following the March 2008 presentation of Jennifer Reeves: Light Work and the October 2008 presentation of Leslie Thornton: Tuned Always to a Shifting Ground, Cinematheque is proud to conclude the series with Tony Conrad: Flickering Jewel.

Time, time, time. Life should be abundant enough for each person to feel what it is to have their greatest pleasure in wasting time. – Tony Conrad

Radical filmmaker, composer/performer, artist and theorist, Tony Conrad has been at the forefront of experimental media arts since the early 1960s. Long associated with “minimal” music, underground film and collaborations with such iconoclastic figures as Henry Flynt, Jack Smith and LaMonte Young, Conrad is a true cross-disciplinary media artist. Working extensively with time as his true medium, he has made significant contributions in the fields of film, video and music and has developed, over the decades, complex and powerful theories on the libratory potentials of duration and the relationship of music theory to regimes of power. No mere academic, the visual and sound based work of Tony Conrad bristles with dizzying energy and always strives to transcend the intellect as it reaches towards the sensual.

While his work frequently bucks against the confines of linguistic restrictions, Tony Conrad is a prolific theorist, a stunningly witty ideologue and a captivating lecturer. Commencing the Flickering Jewel series, Conrad will present Window, Perspective, Shadows: Performances and Installations Reflecting on Cinema Space and the Renaissance, a discussion of his recent installation work and his continued engagement with the entrenched assumptions of Western art history. This presentation includes documentation of his pieces Window Enactment, Laughing at Leonardo and Brunelleschi. [Steve Polta]

See also: program two and program three.