Saturday, April 26, 2008

Media Archeology

Here's Andrea Grover, Aurora Picture Show Artistic Director, introducing Negativland at Rice University. What's that super-fashionable headband thing on her head? Its a special blindfold handed out to everyone at the door in order to block out all of that distracting knob-twiddling to enable full surrender to the aural cut-and-paste extravaganza of Negativland's 2-hour live-broadcast set.

Found sound montage on God and religion punctuated by regular radio-announcer-style interruptions, reminding listeners that we were tuned in to "Its All in Your Head Radio." The highlight of the show was getting to see Mark Hosler behave like a monkey.

Brent Green performing at the Orange Show, a historical folk art treasure obsessively built by a man who worshipped the orange. The space is just right for the flavor of Brent's story-telling alongside his animations, backed up by his band-- charming, coarse around the edges, spontaneous, and full of humor and poetry.

Brent being interviewed after his show by someone sporting one of those flip video cameras. Talking with the camerawoman a little later, she raved about the ease of use and surprisingly good quality of the video image.

The top-notch gaffer job laid by Guy, #1 Volunteer Worker Bee of the Aurora Picture Show. Notice the precise parallel of the cables running across the brickwork, then up the side of the performance ring, held spot on by three perfect tape strips. Once inside the ring, the cables turn to spaghetti.

Last visit to the EAI library in NYC, I had the good folks there pull a respectably long list of material for my viewing mission, most memorable were the episodes from Shana Moulton's 'Whispering Pines' series. Her live performance, 'Cynthia's Moment,' at black box theater Diverseworks, expanded the strangely unique digital kitch of that single channel work into the present moment.

And finally, 'Putting the Balls Away' is a meticulously executed tennis match by Tara Mateik in which s/he reenacts parts of the infamous Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs match to the original audio of the sports broadcast coverage of the 1973 Houston game. Mateik's smart and impressively implemented performance brings into play contemporary aspects of gender struggle.

An awesome and much appreciated showcase of contemporary moving image practice curated by Nick Hallett and Andrea Grover-- I can't wait until next year's Media Archeology installment!