From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Feb 25 2009 - 13:57:04 PST
DAVID GATTEN IN CHICAGO!
Three Special Screenings March 5, 6, and 8
Conversations at the Edge, the Film Studies Center at the University of
Chicago, and White Light Cinema are pleased to welcome acclaimed
experimental filmmaker and SAIC graduate David Gatten back to Chicago for
three exciting screenings across the city.
Gatten¹s visit is made possible by the Department of Film, Video, and New
Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and by the University of
Chicago Arts Council.
David Gatten will present three programs while in Chicago. Abbreviated
descriptions are below. More detailed information about each can be found at
the following websites:
March 5 screening: Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film
March 6 screening: Film Studies Center at the University of Chicago -
March 8 screening: White Light Cinema at The Nightingale
CONVERSATIONS AT THE EDGE PRESENTS
LETTERS, NOTES: FILMS BY DAVID GATTEN
FILMMAKER DAVID GATTEN IN PERSON!
THURSDAY, MARCH 5 6:00pm
At The Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.)
³Influenced equally by Stan Brakhage and Ludwig Wittgenstein.²‹Ed Halter,
For more than ten years, filmmaker and SAIC alum David Gatten¹s serenely
beautiful handmade films have employed experimental techniques‹cellophane
tape ink transfers and optical printing‹to explore the relationships between
text and image. Gatten transforms type into sensual topographies of time
and place. The bulk of his work has centered around the books, journals, and
letters of the William Byrd II family of 18th century Virginia to express
the family¹s ideas, secret passions, and public lives in poetic and
expansive ways. This evening, Gatten will screen three of these films,
including SECRET HISTORY OF THE DIVIDING LINE (2002), THE GREAT ART OF
KNOWING (2004), and HOW TO CONDUCT A LOVE AFFAIR (2007), along with the
instructional ADVANCED TYPING TIPS PART 5 (anonymous, circa 1940) and
sublime FILM FOR INVISIBLE INK, CASE NO. 142: ABBREVIATION FOR DEAD WINTER
[DIMINISHED BY 1, 794] (2008). (19402008, Multiple artists, USA, 16mm, ca
85 mins. total)
Conversations at the Edge is organized by the Department of Film, Video, and
New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in association with
the Video Data Bank and the Gene Siskel Film Center.
Admission: $9.00 general / $7.00 students / $5 members / $4 SAIC students
and faculty and Art Institute staff
THE FILM STUDIES CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESENTS
Cinema, Nature, Ecology Series:
NATURE DELINEATED: AN EVENING WITH DAVID GATTEN
FILMMAKER DAVID GATTEN IN PERSON!
FRIDAY, MARCH 6 7:00pm
At the Film Studies Center University of Chicago (5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb
Hall, Room 307)
Part algorithmic and part lyrical, David Gatten's film techniques run the
gamut from rephotographing microscopic air bubbles in 16mm cement splices to
harvesting film strips thrown into coastal waters and nibbled by spottail
bass. His approach is subtle, and wholly independent, but his films are
staggering in their consideration of the history of the American landscape,
the history of media, and intellectual history as a whole.
Program includes: THE ENJOYMENT OF READING (2001, 18 mins., 16mm, silent);
SECRET HISTORY OF THE DIVIDING LINE (2002, 20 mins., 16mm, silent); FILM FOR
INVISIBLE INK, CASE NO. 71: BASE-PLUS-FOG (16mm, 2006, 10 mins., 16mm,
sound); WHAT THE WATER SAID, NOS. 4-6 (16mm, 2007, 17 mins., 16mm, sound);
and SHRIMP BOAT LOG (16mm, 2006, 6 mins., 16mm, silent).
About the Cinema, Nature, Ecology Film and Video Series:
From massive multiplayer video games to the multiplex, cinema and media play
a central role in shaping our awareness of ³environments². In the context of
contemporary public discourse on globalization, ecology, and society, this
role takes on new urgency. Cinema, Nature, Ecology presents a series of film
and video programs on these themes, bringing artists to talk about how these
issues have informed their film practice. Presented in conjunction with the
Cinema and Media Studies graduate student conference, April 3-4.
Additional Sponsors: Committee on Cinema & Media Studies, Mass Culture
Workshop, University of Chicago Arts Council.
WHITE LIGHT CINEMA PRESENTS
TRACINGS AND MARKINGS: A SALON SCREENING WITH DAVID GATTEN
FILMMAKER DAVID GATTEN IN PERSON!
SUNDAY, MARCH 8 7:00pm
At The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
White Light Cinema is extremely pleased to welcome filmmaker David Gatten
for a special salon-style screening.
This program focuses on the non-representational aspects of Gatten¹s
work‹the more abstract explorations of inscription, both real and imagined,
and what even those non-decipherable marks and codes, tracings and remnants,
have to say to us.
Featured are four completed works and a work-in-progress: What the Water
Said, Nos. 1-3 (1997-98); Fragrant Portals, Bright Particulars and the Edge
of Space (2003); What the Water Said, Nos. 4-6 (2007); Film for Invisible
Ink Case No. 142: Abbreviation for Dead Winter [Diminished by 1,794] (2008);
and a work-in-progress (tentatively titled The Much-Mottled Motion of Blank
In addition to the films, Gatten will be playing selections of poet Wallace
Stevens reciting his own work and will be reading from Charles Darwin¹s
Origin of the Species to complement some of the thematic aspects of the
Admission: $7.00-10.00 sliding scale
About David Gatten (also see www.davidgattenfilm.com):
Experimental filmmaker David Gatten has been making work that is both
rigorous and intensely beautiful for more than a decade. His films, which
feel like the products of old-world craftsmen or Renaissance artisans,
combine his diverse and eclectic interests (arcane aspects of history,
literature, printing, science, and more) with formal elements that are
delicate, mesmerizing, labor-intensive, and, almost, obsessive. He creates a
sensuous fusion of image and text that speaks to both the soul and the mind.
He is best known for his on-going Byrd family series (including The Secret
History of the Dividing Line and The Great Art of Knowing), which chronicles
members of the 18th century Virginia family and William Byrd¹s legendary
library. In these films and others, Gatten foregrounds writing, text, words,
and printing‹both in his abiding interest in books and literature and in a
broader interest in the construction of meaning and ideas. His work
investigates writing as concrete referents and also as symbols, markings,
David Gatten Biography:
David Gatten filmmaker, Henry James fan, recent Guggenheim fellow and
aspiring audio book producer makes bookish films about letters and
libraries and lovers and ghosts that are filled with words, some of which
you can read.
He lives and works by the water in Red Hook, Brooklyn and on Seabrook
Island, South Carolina and teaches 16mm filmmaking/Wallace Stevens
appreciation at The Cooper Union in New York City.
Gatten¹s work has been exhibited at museums, galleries and cinémathèques
including ³The American Century² at the Whitney Museum, Pacific Film
Archive, First Person Cinema, San Francisco Cinémathèque, Art Gallery of
Ontario, Cinémathèque Française, BFI, P.S. 1, Anthology Film Archives,
Cinema Project, Swiss Institute, Helsinki Film Co-Op, Museum of Contemporary
Cinema in Lisbon, Image Forum in Japan, Art Institute of Chicago, Proteus
Gowanus, Issue Project Room, NBK Gallery, Exit Art, Permanent Gallery,
Ballroom Marfa, DC Arts Center, St. Mark¹s Poetry Project, Millennium Film
Workshop, Chicago Filmmakers, Double Negative and the Yokohama Museum of
The films have been screened at many festivals as well, including Rotterdam,
New York, London, Ann Arbor, Toronto, Seattle, Portland, Onion City, Ottawa,
Athens, Lisbon, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Impakt, Media City, TIE, Cinematexas,
THAW, Chicago Underground, Kill Your Timid Notion, PDX, Images, FLEX, and
Gatten was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1971. Shortly thereafter his
family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, where he lived for 20 years,
slowly learning the meaning of the word ³y¹all² though never himself
attempting to deploy it. Gatten received a BA from the University of North
Carolina Greensboro in 1995 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute
of Chicago in 1998. He is a former Associate Professor in the Department of
Cinema & Photography at Ithaca College. Gatten currently continues his
teaching in the School of Art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of
Science & Art in the East Village of New York City.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.