Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live!

Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live!


SKU: N/A Categories: , Tag:


Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live!

(standard edition)

Author/Editor: Brett Kashmere and Steve Polta


CRAIG BALDWIN: AVANT TO LIVE! Nearly five years in the making and clocking in at 508 pages, Craig Baldwin: Avant to Live! documents the life and work of acclaimed filmmaker and curator Craig Baldwin (b. Oakland CA, 1952), an inspiring and influential figure in contemporary media arts. 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.

508 pages
Paperback, 8 x 10 inches
Published 2023 by San Francisco Cinematheque and INCITE: Journal of Experimental Media
ISBN: 979-8-2180-5787-9 (SFC)
ISBN: 978-0-9857-4198-3 (INCITE)

View Table of Contents & complete list of contributions

From the Introduction:

For nearly 50 years, the Bay Area filmmaker and curator Craig Baldwin has been an inspiring figure in contemporary media arts. His acerbic, densely-packed found footage films have traveled the globe, encouraging scores of nascent collage-essayists, culture jammers, and mockumentarians to action. A welcoming presence and steadfast fixture of San Francisco’s Mission District, Baldwin has been holding it down at 992 Valencia Street for decades, in defiance of sweeping gentrification, presenting his Other Cinema microcinema screenings in its street-level storefront theater while maintaining his legendary film archive/hoarder cave/work studio in the building’s basement. Ever seeking to revise and hybridize existing modes and genres, and invent and name new ones, Baldwin’s filmmaking amalgamates cinephilic literacy and voraciousness, a sharp understanding of political and cultural history, and a sly critical polemics. His films are further energized by an encyclopedic knowledge of his own sprawling collection of cast-off educational films and B-grade features and a perverse proclivity for sourcing surreally sublime moments from industrial film effluvia. Informed by left politics, cult cinemas, agit-prop activism, structural film, the Situationists, the Yippies, Arte Povera, media archeology, compilation documentary, and other found footage forms, Baldwin’s praxis is bound by a dual commitment to materiality and aesthetics on the one hand, and disruptive action and fervent, antagonal rhetoric on the other; all the while articulating a contrarian (and at times utopian) sense of apocalyptic historiography. (Brett Kashmere & Steve Polta: Introduction: Craig Baldwin: Avant Savant)

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

Press Inquiries:
Want to write on Avant to Live!? Send inquiries to sfc@sfcinematheque.org

Resellers’ discounts available for bulk purchases. Please send inquiries to sfc@sfcinematheque.org

Photographed above by Zachary Epcar

Additional information

Dimensions 10 × 8 in