PLAY for TODAY
2018. 3. 14. – 6. 21.
Art Sonje Center B1 Art Hall
PLAY for TODAY
Art Sonje Center and Moving Image Forum will present an experimental film screening program, Play for Today commencing from forthcoming March 14 until June 21. Play for Today, a title borrowed from the historical BBC TV program aired from 1970 to 1984, will introduce various contemporary stories and forms of their images that may be easily approachable for the general audiences on a regular basis. The 5-session screening program will introduce films along with a lecture and a live music play at Art Hall, Art Sonje Center.
Moving Image Forum is an organization supports the creation of the film based project with Spacecell, an artist-run film Lab, and dissemination of moving image-based artwork by artists and filmmaker from Korea since 2004. Through a regular program of screenings, performances and lectures, and annual platform called EXiS, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of cinema. Bring together the worlds of experimental film and video art, contemporary documentary, artist’s cinema, Moving Image Forum looks to foster an ongoing dialogue a wide range of artists and audiences.
March 14, 2018, Wed, 7pm
Rediscovering Argentine Silent Cinema 1900-1928
With Live music by Alan Courtis
This film contains some of the earliest images produced by Argentine cinematography from 1900 to 1928. It compiles several short scenes that were shot in 35mm, many of them by pioneers and unknown filmmakers. Most of the works have not been screened in public for many years and it has an important documental and filmic value. The list of works were chosen by Alan Courtis, the main player of the session’s live music. In this program the sound will come from a live music performance oriented to experimental drone and abstract noise. The compilation includes images from the following short films: La Revolución de Mayo (1910) by Mario Gallo, El Ascenso del Globo Huracán, Festejos del Centenario de la Revolución (1910) -unknown-, La Pampa (1922) & Exposición de la Industria (1924) “Buenos Aires” (1924-5), “Diario La Nacion” (1925) by Federico Valle, Vistas y Actualidades (1910-1927) produced by Max Glücksmann. “Sociedad Rural Argentina” –fragment-, Arata-Pardo (1925), “A los toros”, Max Glücksmann (1928).
Historic Research: Andrés Levinson, Selection: Andrés Levinson-Alan Courtis,
Live Music by Alan Courtis
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)
Alan Courtis (a.k.a Anla Courtis) was born in Buenos Aires in 1972. He has been working in the field of sound-art, electro-acoustic music, drone, noise, improvisation and composition. His work has been also exhibited at Uplink Gallery (Tokyo), None Gallery (Dunedin), ARCOmadrid (Spain), Galería Nora Fisch and Cobra (both in Buenos Aires). His written music has been played by ensembles from England, Thailand, Switzerland, Wales, Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, United States, Spain and South America. He was commissioned by Phoenix Basel Ensemble (Switzerland), Český Rozhlas (Czech Republic) and was artist in residence at EMS (Stockholm), GRM (Paris), CafeOto (London), USF (Bergen),etc. He has more than 400 solo releases and collaborations on labels like: Mego, P.S.F., Pogus, SubRosa, RRR, Blossoming Noise, No-Fi, Antifrost, Tonschacht, 267 Lattajjaa, Quasipop, Alt.Vinyl, Riot Season, Kning Disk, Beta-Lactam, Prele, Matching Head, 8MM, Public Eyesore, Musica Genera, Porter, Smittekilde, Sedimental, Mikroton, MIE, Monotype, etc. His music has been broadcasted at radios like: BBC (UK), WFMU (USA), SBS (Australia), Resonance-FM (UK), Ö1-ORF (Austria), CJSF (Canada), WDR (Germany), Sveriges Radio (Sweden), Radio France, NRK (Norway), RTVE (Spain), WNUR (USA), Radio Nacional (Argentina), etc. Courtis has has collaborated with musicians like: Pauline Oliveros, Merzbow, Lee Ranaldo, Nihilist Spasm Band, Jim O’Rourke, Eddie Prevost, C.Spencer Yeh, Okyung Lee & Kemialliset Ystavat.
March 28, 2018, Wed, 7pm
Lecture: David Grubbs
Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording
This talk by David Grubbs is based on his 2014 book Records Ruin the Landscape. The book emerged out of Grubbs’s own practice as an experimental musician and an archivist selling records representing the practice of eras before him, as well as his questions as a music critic and educator. The book’s chief focus is on the question, “How does record culture transform understanding of the experimental and avant-garde music of the 1960s for the listener?”
John Cage disdained records, and most of the experimental musicians active in the 1960s viewed the medium with suspicion. At the time, only a small fraction of work by experimental musicians was made available for listening. Today’s listeners, in contrast, live in a world where archives make countless materials available for sale on LP and CD, while the internet abounds with information and recordings. The issues of incomplete representation (from a medium perspective) and authenticity (from an archiving perspective) in sound recordings for the modern listener/listening culture are not reducible to a simple matter of the difference between live performance and recording. Where recording has served in popular music as the most crucial medium for producers and audience alike, it was largely shunned by most practitioners of avant-garde, experimental, and improvisational music. In that sense, this lecture will focus on the history of experimental music since the 1960s as it has been transformed by the modern listening culture.
David Grubbs is a composer and guitarist born in 1967. He has released 12 solo albums and participated in more than 150 different recordings. His first involvement with bands came in 1982. Through his work with the hardcore punk group Squirrel Bait (1983–1988) and the representative post-rock group Gastr del Sol (1993–1997), which he co-founded with Jim O’Rourke, Grubbs used folk and rock as starting points in revealing his expansive interests in experimental sound. In the mid-1990s, he took part in recordings by Codein and collaborated with musicians in a wide range of genres spanning avant-garde, classical, rock, country, and folk, including Tony Conrad, Will Oldham, Royal Trux, Richard Buckner, and Arnold Dreyblatt. Grubbs’ interest in and ongoing experiments with different sounds are perhaps most evident in the three albums he has released with Swedish free jazz saxophonist Mats Gustafsson since 1999. Grubbs earned a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Chicago and currently works a professor at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He regularly contributes music criticism pieces to newspapers and journals. In 2014, he published Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording, a book that focused on the culture of recording and listening to the practice of John Cage and other experimental and radical artists, as well as the issues surrounding that culture.
April 26, 2018, Thu, 7pm
Johann Lurf (b. 1982)
★ (2017, 99min, Color/B&W, Sound)
★ is Lurf’s feature-length debut as a director, an experimental film that first appeared before the public at the Biennale Film Festival in winter 2017 and has drawn major attention in North America and Europe since its screening at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Many of those seeing it for the first time have praised it as the most important work of 2018, comparing it to Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho (1993) and Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) with its romantic rather than conceptual approach, carrying on the tradition of meta-cinematic practice by employing powerful montage techniques rather than extracting images through technical programming. Just as art historian Noam Elcott’s Artificial Darkness reminded us of the importance of cinema history’s forgotten “darkness” from a media archeology perspective, so Lurf’s ★ edits together scenes from over 500 works spanning 100 years of cinema history – including theatrical films, propaganda, educational films, and promotional films – using only those scenes that show stars in the night sky. The first things we may experience through this work include the narrative specificity and universality produced through the nighttime stars, the process of advancements in cinematic devices, and the changes in sound from mono to 7.1 surround sound.
Johann Lurf has produced works of various types with a focus on space exploration, the military-industrial complex, the spaces mediating social surveillance, structural approaches to reconfiguring the history of images, and the material qualities of film. Since his 2014 work Twelve Tales Told, a representative work of found footage cinema that reconfigures Hollywood symbols within the tradition of Austrian experimental film, Lurf has focused his attention on commercial images and the image industry, seeking out various ways of transcending the historical limitations of structural film. Lurf studied visual arts at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts and film at the Slade School of Art. In 2009, he graduated from a film class by Harun Farocki.
May 24, 2018, Thu, 7pm
Aldo Tambellini (b. 1930)
Black Film Series
Black Is (1965 4min, 16mm, B&W, Sound)
Black Trip #1 (1965, 5min, 16mm, B&W, Sound)
Black Trip #2 (1967, 3min, 16mm, B&W, Sound)
Blackout (1965, 9min, 16mm, B&W, Sound)
BLACK TV (1964-1968, 10min, 16mm, B&W, Sound)
“Someday, Aldo’s Black TV will be a classic.” – Nam June Paik, 1969
“Tambellini’s work is about the perception of the intermedia network. It convincingly shows the process of manufactured perception at the level most of us experience it in the modern environment” – Gene Youngblood, 1970
Aldo Tambellini released the Electromedia Performance series, an organic combination of painting, film/video, poetry, light, dance, sound, and live music. In 1966, he co-founded the off-Broadway Gate Theater, which showed work by avant-garde film directors; there, he would work until midnight every night on the regular program. In addition to experimental film work by Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, Robert Breer, Bruce Conner, Stan Brakhage, and the Kuchar Brothers, it also introduced Japanese experimental film through the work of Takahiko Iimura. In 1967, Tambellini and Otto Piene of the ZERO Group founded Black Gate, New York’s first theater for multimedia performances and installations. The first program was titled BLACKOUT, a multimedia event involving the projection of hand-painted film and various slides on a wall surface. Black Gate would subsequently host performances by Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman, as well as early performance works by Takehisa Kosugi, Preston McClanahan, and Yayoi Kusama. Purchasing one of the Sony CV-2000 cameras first marketed in 1966, Tambellini created his first videotape works using the movements of light and sound feedback. He would later work with video flight engineers on his second work recording feedback from electronic signals.
Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, New York. As a young child, he traveled with his Italian mother to live in Lucca, Tuscany. He studied briefly at an arts school in Lucca before returning to New York in 1946 after World War II. After studying painting at Syracuse University in 1954, he received a master’s degree from Indiana’s University of Notre Dame in 1959. From there, he moved to New York’s Lower East Side, where he became involved in different activities as a planner and artist at the center of the underground resistance culture from the mid-1960s. It was around the same time that he began producing short experimental films created by hand-applying different materials and objects (including chemicals, scratches, and paints) to transparent film, along with videotapes using electromagnetic signals and sound feedback. Black TV (1969) is considered his most representative work, winning the Grand Prix at the 1969 Oberhausen International Short Film Festival.
June 21, 2018, Thu, 7pm
Ulises Carrión (1941-1989)
A Book (1978, 7min 52sec, Color, Sound)
The Death of the Art Dealer (kanaal zero) (1982, 19min 57sec, B&W, Sound)
Chewing Gum (1983, 8min 51sec, Color, Silent)
The LPS File (1985, 5min 39sec, Color, Sound)
Bookworks revisited. Part 1: a selection (1987, 36min 33sec, Color, Sound)
Hailed since the 1960s as an important conceptual artist in the international avant-garde movement, Ulises Carrión established the concept of the modern “artist book” through writings such as The New Art of Making Books, Bookworks Revisited, and From Bookworks to Mailworks. In recent years, various exhibitions and projects have been staged to rediscover his writings and works. In addition to exhibitions such as Ulises Carrión: We Have Won! Haven’t We? (Museum Fodor, Amsterdam, 1992), Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners: Works by Ulises Carrión (The Showroom, London, 2010), and Dear Reader. Don’t Read (Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2016), he was also commemorated with the program The Society of Friends of Ulises Carrión at 2017 documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany.
Ulises Carrión was born in 1941 in San Andrés Tuxtla, Mexico, and died in 1989 in Amsterdam. After studying literature and philosophy at the National University of Mexico, he moved on to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. From there, he continued his studies in Great Britain and Germany before settling in Amsterdam in 1972. That year, he co-founded the In-Out Center (1972–1974), Amsterdam’s first artist space, where he shared the concepts and art movements that were then beginning to emerge. Between 1975 and 1978, he ran Other Books and So, a bookstore/gallery exhibiting and selling artist-made books and different forms of documents; in 1980, the location became the “Other Books and So Archive.” Carrión’s interest in print culture and media naturally led him into performance and video art. Involved in continued explorations of alternative forms of distribution and spaces for communication, he also produced various works of sound, concrete poetry, mail art, film, and video as an artist.
Alan Courtis, Aldo Tambellini, David Grubbs, Johann Lurf, Ulises Carrión