Re: amazing ZKM show on Centre for Media Study at SUNY Buffalo: Frampton, Conrad, Sharits, Blue, Steina, Vasulka, Weibel, O'Grady

From: saul ostrow (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Feb 28 2007 - 19:34:30 PST

is there a catalogue?

On Feb 28, 2007, at 10:15 PM, zryd wrote:

> Hi Frameworkers,
> There is an EXTRAORDINARY exhibition that you should see--or at
> least know about: MindFrames: Media Study at Buffalo 1973-1990, at
> ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie/Centre for Art and
> Media) in Karlsruhe Germany. It covers 7 artists (James Blue, Tony
> Conrad, Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, Steina, Woody Vasulka, and
> Peter Weibel), and the pioneering figure in media education who
> brought them all together, Gerald O’Grady. This is by far the most
> interesting integration of film, video, and other media in a museum/
> gallery setting I’ve ever seen, comparable in quality to Chrissie
> Iles’s “Into the Light” show, and rivaling it several times in
> scope. It’s ironic that an exhibition on the Centre for Media Study
> at SUNY Buffalo should take place in Germany, but the connection is
> Peter Weibel, who runs ZKM and was a faculty member at SUNY Buffalo
> after Frampton’s death.
> The exhibition is massive, encompassing installations, film, video,
> music, documents, and, appropriately for a show on a Centre for
> Media Study, a number of original research resources that
> especially appeal to anyone with a scholarly interest in these
> artists and their context.
> Installations (selected): Steina’s beautiful Allvision; and Mynd, 2
> of Woody Vasulka’s Brotherhood apparati; Sharits’s Epileptic
> Seizure Comparison (digital version), 3rd Degree (on film), Razor
> Blades (digital), and Apparent Motion (film); Conrad’s Articulation
> of Boolean Algebra or Film Opticals (film loop); Weibel’s Dumb Show
> and Kruzifiktion der Identitat. There are some other single channel
> installations that screen works by the other artists. The
> installations are very smartly presented, as the curators have been
> careful to isolate some and to allow others to spill into the main
> space and ‘overlap’ in interesting ways.
> There are 4 rooms presenting time-based material by all of the
> artists (and some of the documentary interviews that O’Grady
> created): a Film Room, Video Room, Concert Room, and Document Room.
> The genius of the show is that all of this material has been
> digitized (in generally excellent transfers) and so can be
> presented in a schedule that is clearly legible (screens outside
> the rooms show what's on and to come for the next 4 hours, and
> other screens in the exhibition present a master schedule of
> screenings). In this way, the exhibition has solved the annoying
> problem of how to avoid presenting all time-based work as video
> loops. Instead the spectator can plan a program of screenings, the
> only frustration of which is the sheer bounty of material to see!
> The Document Room is especially impressive, presenting (rare) video
> interviews with all of the artists.
> In addition, each of the 8 figures profiled in the exhibition has
> been given a resource room that presents yet more material, both
> artistic and contextual. Each figure is given a computer terminal
> which contains Texts (usually writings but also reproduced
> production notes, drawings, and ephemera), Images (still images
> that might be artworks or more informally document the SUNY Buffalo
> scene), and Video (almost all of the films and videos in the show
> can be viewed at the spectator’s command, calling them up from the
> show’s central computer server). In addition, there is a video
> jukebox in each room that allows you to screen selected films and
> videos on a 2 metre high screen, everything from Frampton’s
> Palindrome or his Q&A after a Zorns Lemma screening at the New York
> Film Festival, to Conrad's activist cable access shows, to
> interviews between O’Grady and Gunvor Nelson (and many others).
> Finally, there are some unique computer “analysis” machines that
> have been devised for the exhibit: frame analysis for Frampton; a
> single frame sequence generator that allow you to make your own
> Sharits flicker film, incorporating colour, text, and modulating
> frame rate; and signal modification functions that allow one to
> tweak several pieces by Steina and Woody Vesulka---all in keeping
> with the literally experimental nature of the SUNY Buffalo "lab"
> context.
> This show is a model for how to present a truly multi-media museum/
> gallery show that not only respects the integrity of the medium-
> specific artworks being presented but also explores how media inter-
> relate productively. And it is all shown to us with historical
> context that itself presents new research material on the artists
> and period. The show raises important questions about film and
> media history, the relation between creativity and ‘research’, and
> clearly marks the Centre for Media Study, the first of its kind, as
> the remarkable crucible that it was (and still is to some degree—
> Conrad still teaches at SUNY Buffalo).
> Karlsruhe is a long way to go for many people, but it is worth the
> trip if you can afford it. It is an hour from Frankfurt and Baden
> Baden airports (I’ve heard rumours of $1 Ryan Air flights from
> London). ZKM is a 15min walk from the train station.
> Finally, there is a second extraordinary show at ZKM, The
> Algorithmic Revolution, which has everything from Fluxus to the
> video game Pong, and shows us the future (for better or worse).
> If you can, check it out. It closes 25 March 2007.
> --
> Michael Zryd
> Associate Professor
> Department of Film, CFT 223
> York University
> 4700 Keele St.
> Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, CANADA
> tel: 416-736-5149
> fax: 416-736-5710
> email suppressed
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> --
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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.