"influence" magazine

"above ground - film and video in baltimore"

by Peter Walsh

"Film and Video Highlights"

A screening at the 8X10 in early 1988 featured "Transparent Smile", tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's beautfiful, sensual, and multi-layered experimental film . Knowing some of tENTATIVELY's other work, the most remarkable quality is its willingness to be openly "pretty" --bright colors, dense imagery, and technical imaginativeness work to undermine or at least push into the background the dadaist conceptualism that tENTATIVELY calls "Neoism" and that fuels most of his work. Mind you, this film is flawless in its political structure. 8"X10" transparencies were solicited from the artists through the international mail art network. These transparencies were collected into a printed neoist magazine, "Smile" and housed in a zippered two-liter soda bottle. The new "magazine" was filmed through and at, with scratching and coloring of both the negative and the positive being done later. Hence, "Transparent Smile" came into being as an international collaborative "magazine" film. Still, the most striking aspect is the visual beauty pushing intellectualism out of the picture. See if you can.


An open screening run by Chris Lamb at St. John's Methodist that, after no one showed up but a handful of filmmakers, turned into an interesting evening anyway.


tENTATIVELY: a cONVENIENCE created a visual overload epic with an hour-long piece on two monitors and one screen.


"influence" magazine - fall, 1989

by Peter Walsh

Transparent Smile 1986, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, made in Baltimore

Over the past ten years, Baltimore artist tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE has produced a large but continually changing body of work that reaches into film, video, performance, street art, body art, mail art and other less easily categorized formats. Constantly reusing and transforming previous work, it's hard to say if he even knows what works still exist, and where they may originally have started. I have chosen "Transparent Smile," an approximately 20 minute, 16mm color film, not necessarily because it is his best work or because it is his most important work, but simply because it strikes me as one of his most successfully realized projects.

"Transparent Smile" is a film "magazine," related to the neoist underground print magazine, Smile, that was made by soliciting 8"X10" transparencies through small art channels from over twenty artists around the world. These transparencies were used as the basic structure of the film by shooting "through" and "at" them. Vivid color, hand scratched imagery and an effective soundtrack make this one of tENTATIVELY's few works that could be described as aesthetically beautiful, a fact that he may actually find irritating.

At its worst, tENTATIVELY's work sabotages itself with its stubborn undergroundness. "Transparent Smile" manages to "surface" and thus makes it a fitting subject of this column: ABOVE GROUND.


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page

to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page

to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience

to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important

for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..

for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH

to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)