Sunday, May 30, 2010

West Coast: PBL plays Hollywood!

Here's a shot that Adam Hyman took of us just before our Los Angeles Filmforum gig at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.  We played the Spielberg Theater on the lower level for a lovely audience and were honored to have present some members from the pioneering live cinema artist group Single Wing Turquoise Bird, known for their liquid light shows in the mid 60's-early 70's.  We performed from the front row, with our gear set up on the narrow ledge that divided us from the pit.  Our set felt solid, and we concluded with a lively round of discussion.

Another important thing I want to mention is the fantastic tech assistance we had at the Egyptian!  We came prepared with our gear & extra cables, but were treated to expert in-house support. Adam can remind me of our guru's name-- he exuded confidence when we decided to set up in front, and had a long run of ethernet cable(!) that we ran the video signal through.  Nice to be introduced to new solutions!  Let's hear it for the well-adjusted, fully capable, friendly variety of tech support people!  YAY!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

West Coast

The Academy was PACKED to the gills, it being raining and a Monday (when other museums are typically closed).  Though I felt oppressed by the crowds, the dioramas were definitely worth it.

This is me sitting in a bronze replica of the chair from the famous photograph of Huey Newton where he is holding a shotgun in one hand and a tribal spear in the other.  The piece is called "Monument to Huey Newton for the Alamada County Courthouse."

With its integration of art, natural and cultural history, and innovative "interactive" elements, the Oakland Museum has the freshest take on exhibitions that I've seen in a loooong while.  

PBL and Craig Baldwin outside Pakwan

It's always such a treat to see Craig!  Just prior to our outing for a Pakistani meal in the Mission, Craig entertained us in his basement lair with an amazing clip from a 16mm film about avant-garde art from the late 60's-- one of many new reels in his collection rescued from an educational library in the process of decessioning its celluloid.

The excerpt we watched was of Len Lye showing off his sound sculptures!  I had no idea that he was making anything like that. The reel looked to be a good 40 minutes... I wonder what other gems lie therein.  This one is destined for Craig's special "pink trunk" which contains the few films in his collection to be spared from the editing room. 

Jay with Chris Kubick on top of his strange studio building

After many many months of envisioning this place in my mind's eye, we finally visited with Chris at his studio, housed in a nearly vacant research facility that has been undergoing a long process of dissolution.  Hallway after hallway of empty laboratories and offices with rooftop greenhouses devoid of life envelop the creative vital force contained within Chris' studio.

Tiebe and Anne

Our trip featured lots of family action, with many new babies making the scene alongside reconnections with old friends who have been building families for a few years now.

Jenna, Oliver, and Jay at an M&A project on the LACMA grounds

After a night of gallery hopping in Culver City, we ended up at the La Brea Tar Pits and were treated to a visit with this recent Materials & Applications project, Promiscuous Production:  Breeding is Bittersweet. With bitter melon set to grow up on one side of the structure and sweet melon on the other, the two fruits have been set-up for interbreeding.

Gerry Fialka and me

My friend Vera Burner-Sung shot this one.  We drove out to Venice to visit with Gerry and had a great talk about the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the making of art, and the creative impulse.  He made us a fruit salad for lunch.  Hanging out with Gerry is consistently gratifying, and invariably built around heartfelt, intelligent debate.