Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 12:00 am

Teeming and Tenuous/Fleeting and Alive: Film Performances by Alex MacKenzie


Pier 17, The Embarcadero #100

San Francisco CA 94111

presented in association with The Exploratorium’s Cinema Arts Program

Renowned the world around for his sensuous and subtle long-form film performances utilizing multiple analog projectors and rich phonographic soundscapes, cinematic explorer Alex MacKenzie appears in person to present a trio of fantastical multi-screen cinematic works. Equally inspired by 1940s marine scientist Ed Ricketts and filmmaker Jean Painleve, Intertidal presents a submersive exploration of the tidal zones and marine life off the shores of Western Canada, as far West as Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and North to the tip of Naikoon on Haida Gwaii. Using both camera and non-camera approaches (including photograms, alternative film chemistry, live manipulation and the very movement of the tides themselves) Intertidal uses two analytic 16mm projectors speaks to the fragility of both the film medium and the marine environment explored. Logbook—using handmade emulsions painted onto raw celluloid and filmed with a 1923 hand-cranked camera—is a visual investigation and catalogue of past life and moments passed on a remote island mountain on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada. Presented live on a 16mm analytic projector, frames are slowed, frozen, reversed and reprised in a study and interplay of surface and subject. Finally, This Charming Couple finds magic in the emulsion of a water-damaged amateur industrial.

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