Friday 10.30.09 – The Politics of Abstraction!: Informe, Ecstasy, Image

Topic(s): 16 Beaver | No Comments

Date/Time: 30/10/2009 12:00 am

Friday 10.30.09 – The Politics of Abstraction!: Informe, Ecstasy, Image
Presented by Brian McCarthy
1. About this Friday
2. Films to be screened
3. Topics to be discussed/not discussed
4. About Brian McCarthy
5. About Marie Menken
1. About this Friday
What: Site specific film performance
When: Friday 10.30.09
Where: 16Beaver Street, 4th Floor
When: 8:00 pm
Who: Free and open to all
Tonight is the first in a four-part series investigating the role of abstract and affective processes in a contemporary revolutionary politics, featuring performances and experimental film and video. The evenings will mix lecture elements with screenings in order to recontextualize select works from the experimental film and video canon, and set them to work for an idiosyncratic, aleatory political activism.
The films shown in the screening tonight – selections from the American, British, and Japanese avant-gardes along with work from contemporary filmmakers such as Bradley Eros, David Baker, and Stom Sogo – will serve as didactic tools and points of departure to construct a narrative of aesthetic/political Passage, into which the writings of others – Jean Epstein, Robert Smithson, Mike Kelley, and Hollis Frampton, for example – will intervene.
Abstraction and the informe as evolutionary principles; the biological and mimetic desire; film as ritual; the timeless and political ecstasy. To trace a conceptual line between these sources as an act of paracinematic performance.
Abstract film serves here as a focal point in which to investigate the importance of the ecstatic in a contemporary revolutionary politics, with a particular focus on contemporary Marxist theory, as a continuation of some of the ideas – exodus, aesthetic autonomy, recomposition, and spiritual exhaustion – raised in Bifo Berardi’s recent seminar at 16beaver.
Later nights will include abstraction and psychedelia in the formation of intentional political communities, with films by David Cronenberg, Tony Conrad, and Ira Cohen; the alogical as a narcissistic strategy in contemporary video work; and alchemy and the transformation of heavy material.
2. Films to be screened:
Marie Menken Eye Music in Red Major
Chick Strand Kristallnacht
Bradley Eros Musique plastique
Stan Brakhage Commingled Containers
Coleen Fitzgibbon fm/trcs
Yamazaki Hiroshi Heliography
Takahiko Iimura Ai (Love)
Bradley Eros Aerodynamics of the Black Sun
Kawanaka Nobuhiro Kick the World
Marie Menken Glimpse of the Garden
Marie Menken Hurry! Hurry!
Shuji Terayama Butterflies
Stan Brakhage The Wold Shadow
Chris Welsby Seven Days
3. Topics to be discussed/not discussed:
The Dutch Tulip Bubble
Robert Smithson’s Yucatan writings (1969)
Lacan’s concept of the Sinthome
Aeon: ecology, the Timeless
Jean Epstein and Magnification
Marie Menken
Aby Warburg
William Faulkner
Visions of “structure”: Hollis Frampton
Daniil Kharms and his Circle
The Belonging Kind: Mike Kelley and human morphology
The Passage: night, day, Chris Marker
Fascism and the vitalism of the object: appropriation, Klaus Theleweit, nouveau, Capital
4. About Brian McCarthy
Brian is a curator and videographer living in Brooklyn. He has worked for Anthology Film Archives, EAI, and the Filmmaker’s Cooperative and has been involved with the experimental film and video community in New York City since 1999.
5. About Marie Menken
Marie Menken (born Marie Menkevicius, New York City, 1909) was an experimental filmmaker whose role as an inspiration for Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, and Andy Warhol (whom she taught how to use a 16mm camera) provided the material for Martina Kudlacek’s 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken. Her relationship with Willard Maas, in their house in Brooklyn Heights, served as the basis for Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

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