About Us

Shapeshifters Cinema is an experimental microcinema located in Oakland, CA. Our mission is to provide a venue and support for contemporary artists working with experimental and artist-made film, video, sound, music and other types of mediated performance. In addition to regular, live events, we offer workshops on experimental moving image and sound production and a storefront shop specializing in print publications, sound recordings and other artist-made media. 

Staff

Gilbert Guerrero - Co-director
Kathleen Quillian - Co-director
Ellie Vanderlip - Workshop Coordinator/Administration Assistant

Membership

The Shapeshifters Cinema Membership Program is a critical way for us to continue as a sustainable, creative, arts-focused venue in Oakland. For questions about membership, or to sign up, please contact us directly.

Address

567 5th Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Our building is wheelchair-accessible and has one wheelchair-accessible bathroom.

Hours

Our building is temporarily closed to the public, except for special pop-up events. You will find our programming for the foreseeable future on-line.

Show Your Support

Make a donation to support Shapeshifters Cinema


Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, San Francisco Cinematheque, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Cinema

Our intimate, 40-seat cinema is able to host a range of performances and events by contemporary artists working in film, video, sound, music, multimedia and performance. Along with screenings and performances, you will also find workshops, salons, artist talks and lectures. Our focus is primarily on experimental and artist-made.

Upcoming Programs & Events

Retrospectroscope, by Kerry Laitala

Kerry Laitala and Jonathan Walley on Expanded Cinema and Cinema Expanded
Sunday, January 31, 2021
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel
Co-presented with Canyon Cinema

Artist and filmmaker Kerry Laitala (San Francisco) and cinema scholar Jonathan Walley (Columbus, OH) engage in an illustrated conversation about expanded cinema, including Laitala’s recent 16mm film projection performance Fire Fly EYE (hand-processed 16mm Ektachrome and B&W film, dual projection) and the iconic paracinematic work Retrospectroscope (1996). Walley will also discuss his book Cinema Expanded: Avant-Garde Film in the Age of Intermedia, published last year by Oxford University Press, the first comprehensive historical and theoretical account of expanded cinema published since Gene Youngblood’s landmark book Expanded Cinema (1970). Laitala will also share documentation of her studio, which will be the basis for a discussion with Walley about the role of studio spaces and practices in the creation of expanded cinema works. Q&A will follow. Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on January 31st at 7pm PST to watch the livestream.

Workshops

Our workshops emphasize a DIY approach to art-making. Each one is taught by a different guest artist who shares practical, hands-on lessons in a variety of media and creative practices using materials and resources you probably already have, or are otherwise easy to acquire. Learn something new or enhance your own established art practice. Everyone is welcome!

collage by Faith Arazi

Cut & Paste: Collage As a Means of Experimentation & Play
Instructor: Faith Arazi
Sunday, February 7, 2021
1-4pm PST
Meeting via live video

Collage is a simple creative act that anyone can learn to do easily, and the possibilities it provides are endless! In this one-day workshop, led by Faith Arazi, participants will be introduced to a variety of tools, mediums and styles to discover and develop their own unique voice and aesthetic. Together we will: discuss various sources for finding materials; talk about design motifs and ideas in collage theory; approach digital, analog, and hybrid processes; determine applications outside the standard frame; and look at the integration of collage into different genres, including animation and found footage filmmaking; all while practicing our mantra — play, play, play! Register now!

Shop

Shapeshifters' store is now open for business (on-line only, currently)! Our store features an eclectic range of DVDs, books, CDs and other artist-made items. Browse the selection here

Suki O'Kane 2020

Suki O'Kane, August 16 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

John Davis 2020

John Davis, September 20, 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

Killer Banshee 2020

Killer Banshee, September 13, 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

Ether Ship 2020

Ether Ship, January 11, 2020 at Shapeshifters Cinema

elena-pardo-2019-2048w

Elena Pardo, December 6, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema

lynne-sachs-2019-2048w

Lynne Sachs, November 10, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema

minoosh-zomorodinia-2019-2048w

Minoosh Zomorodinia, October 13, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema

jeremy-rourke-2019

Jeremy Rourke, September 20, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema



Connect

Announcements

Shapeshifters receives an Oakland CARES grant!
We are very grateful to have received a grant through the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Non-Profits, made possible by the city of Oakland Economic & Workforce Development Department, Cultural Affairs Division and administered by Center for Cultural Innovation. These funds ensure that we can continue our (modified) operations during these challenging and uncertain times.

Summer Solstice Pop-up / Guillermo Galindo live webcast / Sunday, June 21st
We have been working behind the scenes to re-configure the model of how we plan to continue operating, given the circumstances of the current state of the world. Visit us on Sunday, June 21st for a special popup event followed by a live performance streamed online. Read the announcement

Thank you to all of our donors
We rely on individual donations to support artists and operate our cinema. We are immensely grateful for their contributions. View the list of donors


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