[Frameworks] Gatten/Ramos

From: Bernard Roddy (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Sep 07 2010 - 19:11:13 PDT

Self-reflexive programming? Light Industry lists Gatten (greater architecture to come, just four of a planned nine, massive library of colonial gentleman, proper name of note, in search of . . a lost world), then Ramos (exposing illusion, served time, refused to enlist, taped the end of colonial rule, child of the happening). I can't help but read the second event as a comment on the first. Bernie Secret History of the Dividing Line, A True Account in Nine Parts 177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn Friday, September 10, 2010 at 7:30pm Presented with Triple Canopy as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Secret History of the Dividing Line, A True Account in Nine Parts David Gatten, 16mm, 1999-2004, 97 mins David Gatten's ambitious 16mm cycle Secret History of the Dividing Line attempts a rare feat, an investigation of the borders between word and image influenced equally by Stan Brakhage and Ludwig Wittgenstein (both veterans of related pursuits). The results are formidable: Of a planned nine, Parts I through IV currently run 97 minutes, yet indeed feel like the finely constructed beginnings of a grander architecture still to come. Gatten draws from the massive library of colonial Virginia gentleman William Byrd II, with occasional dips into his daughter Evelyn's journals, producing artfully composed typographies that suss out an invisible web of connections and epiphanies. But Gatten also expresses the indigestible bulk of history's verbiage through a mobile concrete poetry. Not all his quotes allow for reading; some words flutter past too quickly to serve as more than compositional elements, while others appear in negative, close-up and grainy, like luminous alphabetic windows. Attempting to glimpse a lost world recorded through texts, Gatten offers the paper-thin screen between past and present as just one of his project's ultimately ineffable dividing lines. Secret History of the Dividing Line 16mm, 24fps, 20 mins, 2002 The Great Art of Knowing 16mm, 24fps, 37 mins, 2004 Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises or The Doctrine of Handy-Works Applied to the Art of Printing 16mm, 18fps, 26 mins, 1999 The Enjoyment of Reading 16mm, 18fps, 16 mins, 2001 Anthony Ramos: About Media 177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 7:30pm Presented with Electronic Arts Intermix EAI is pleased to present a special screening and conversation with pioneering media artist Anthony Ramos at Light Industry. Ramos belonged to the first generation of artists who used video as a tool to critique mass media, give voice to marginalized individuals and communities, and produce radically new forms of cultural documentation, combining art and activism in a series of potent but now rarely seen works. His 1977 video About Media is an astute deconstruction of television news, focusing on the media coverage of President Jimmy Carter's declaration of amnesty for Vietnam War draft evaders as well as an interview conducted by New York reporter Gabe Pressman about Ramos's own eighteen-month prison term for conscientious objection. Through repetition and juxtaposition, he contrasts the unedited interview footage—and patronizing comments of the news crew—with Pressman's final televised report. In his ironic manipulation of the material, Ramos exposes the illusion of "objective" television news. “Ramos had been a teaching assistant to Allan Kaprow, an artist known for ‘the happening,’ a spontaneous art event with no predetermined conclusion, which encouraged audience participation—the polar opposite of the newscasts' tightly scripted event,” EAI’s Rebecca Clemen writes. “If the newscast robbed Ramos of his agency, in his own tape he put himself back in the picture, in ways that playfully undermine the canned solemnity of television news and transform it into a kind of happening." Raised in Rhode Island, Ramos received an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. In the 1970s, he was a video consultant for the United Nations and traveled extensively throughout Africa, China, Europe, and the Middle East. Ramos videotaped the end of Portugal's colonial rule in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, Tehran during the 1980 hostage crisis and Beijing just prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre, continuing to explore the relationships between mass cultural imagery and subaltern identity. In the 1980s he lived in Paris, where he was a Professor at the American Center and oversaw the television cabling of ten blocks of the city for the first time, and is now based in southern France. At Light Industry, Ramos will introduce About Media and a selection of excerpts from his work in video. Following the screening, he will appear in conversation with Rebecca Cleman. About EAI Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's activities include a preservation program, viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art. Tickets to all events - $7, available at door.

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