Artists Heike Liss and Nomi Talisman curated a one-hour program introducing videomakers from the San Francisco Bay Area. While each video deploys a unique aesthetic language, their common thread is the allegorical quality the artists bring to their storytelling. Resisting the Aristotelian definitions of "beginning", "climax" and "ending", this non-linear narrative allows for a participatory and interactive viewing experience, leaving the interpretation of the underlying subtext up to the audience.
Sarah Klein, 1999
A document of several daily activities, situated within the framework of a household and the interior landscape of the mind. The essential pairing of unexpected sound and image allows a new identity to emerge, giving a voice to the objects and hands, and translating motion into emotion.
Suspended Number II
Amy Hicks, 2004
Suspended Number II (from the Suspended Series) resides in the space where a mundane everyday drive slips from reality to fantasy and back again. The road is eliminated, the very object that cars and people rely on to get them from point A to B. Now road-less, a hypnotic fantasy of flight ensues conflicting with occasional glimpses of stop and go traffic. Number II propels forward through an abstracted timelessness, revealing the present commonness of traffic and the future potential of hovering spacecraft. The Suspended Series will ultimately include a total of five bridge-drive movies ruminating on sky (San Mateo Bridge), flight (San Francisco Bay Bridge), ground (Dunbarton Bridge), water (Richmond-San Rafael Bridge), and suspense
(Golden Gate Bridge).
Untitled Book Series
Michael Trigilio, 2001-2005
Michael Trigilio's video serial is a non-linear suite of short videos anchored in relationships to specific books. The videos vacillate among forms ranging from abstraction to portraiture, documentary, and satire. Trigilio investigates our cultural infatuation with popular media, anxiety, and narcissism, often using humor to expose and disarm otherwise delicate situations. Each video is a conceptually insular packet of cultural, literary, or personal information. These pieces, when taken together, are essentially a self-portrait - a pop abstractionist personality composite.
Trish Stone, 2004
In Snowglobes I am using video to capture the magical quality of these baubles in their best moment, when the snow is softly swirling around. Projected, these miniatures become large enough that a viewer can imagine entering these perfect worlds. I coupled these visions with a piece of music by Michael Trigilio to convey the dreamlike quality of the landscapes. I also included text which tells the story of how I aquiered each snow globe, and the associations I have with it. In this piece there is a sense that the reality I experience falls short of the one encased in the glass.
Lower East Side Bike Drum Roll
Kristin Lucas , 2004-05
Lower East Side Bike Drum Roll is a tribute piece to the residents of the Lower East Side in Manhattan who have enriched many lives through activism, poetry and prose, theatre and music, and an underground hip hop movement. "I attached a drum kit to the handlebars of my bicycle and rode through the neighborhoods of the Lower East Side, performing in traffic: a drum roll for the duration of each red light followed by a cymbal crash on green."
Monster Lip Sync
Anne Walsh , 2005
A split-screen, silent projection of two older women apparently miming some form of vocalization. The artist has employed her mother and her mother's oldest friend, both Anglo-Saxon women in their sixties, to listen to a soundtrack of monsters from films. The two women, each in a different manner, attempt to "lip sync" the beasts they can only imagine in their minds, based on the roaring, growling, muttering, screaming, preening, and struggling sounds they are listening to. Shot outdoors with a hand-held camera on Super 8 film (and transferred to video), the image frames their faces and shoulders only, following them as they move, sometimes inexplicably slowly, through their pantomime.
The silence of Monster Lip Sync asks the viewer to imagine the sounds the women are hearing, (sounds that are themselves imaginary, as monsters are), mirroring the women's own imagining of the monsters' visual form.
Brendan Lott, 2004
A reinterpretation of the 1990 Jonathan Demme film “The Silence of the Lambs”, in which all of the human sounds - speaking, breathing, screaming, crying have been removed. The result is the appearance of narrative and structure but devoid of any real content as the participants are reduced to a series of desperate glances and cold stares.
Sean Fletcher & Isabel Reichert, 2005
Fletcher and Reichert debate the evidence presented in the widely publicized and highly romanticized trial of Scott Peterson (who murdered his pregnant wife Lacy in order to pursue an adulterous relationship with a massage therapist). The video documents their arguments in familiar locations, such as a kitchen or a bedroom or the supermarket, and presses the audience to consider whether they are discussing a murder trial or trivial problems in their own relationship.
Rubber Band Ball
Ellen Lake, 2002
San Francisco legends Samir and Nabil Kishek worked for over two years from their storefront, the Pride Superette, on their quest to build the world’s largest rubber band ball.
Surface & Time #8
Heike Liss/Fred Frith. 2004-2005
Surface and time is comprised of a collection of short videos. The point of departure for the videos was an examination of sameness and difference in the techniques, perception, expectations, and forms of presentation in video and photography. The footage consists of images and sounds of everyday life. The scenes and places are so familiar and quotidian that they could easily go unnoticed. By mixing the ambient recordings with sounds that are produced in the studio, Liss and Frith aim to change the perception of familiar situations. They are especially interested in creating a discrepancy between what we see and what we hear in the work, and how a soundtrack may evoke expectations of a narrative that will never actually unfold. Surface & Time #8 was filmed while passing through a railway station in Switzerland.
Everything I knew about America I learned from the movies
Nomi Talisman, 2003
“Everything I knew about America I learned from the Movies” is a cycle of 11 short pieces, made from found footage on 16 mm film and 8 mm film, mostly home movies. The original footage was scanned to the computer, and edited digitally. Each piece relates to a film genre: a musical, a western, a Hitchcock film, etc. Everything I knew about America I learned from the Movies explores the relationship between home movies and amateur film to mainstream cinema, the society that produced them, and the people who watch them.