June 7, 2012
The cinePimps, featuring performative projectionists Alfonso Alvarez (CCA, Great Wall of Oakland, Canyon Cinema) and Keith Arnold (Castro Theater, Fine Arts Theater), use multiple 16mm projectors and found footage arrays to layer light and meaning, creating immersive visual fields that spill on to adjacent walls and ceilings. Collaborating musicians Wayne Grim and Suki O'Kane ride the bucking broncos of each projector's optical line out to create an improvised sound track, pushed through their own sieves of rancor and redemption.
July 13, 2012
Paul Clipson & Evan Caminiti
Paul Clipson uses multiple exposures, dissolves and macro imagery to create largely improvised studies, edited in-camera on Super 8mm film, bringing to light subconscious preoccupations and unexpected visual forms. Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl, Higuma) creates sound that draws on the psychedelic, kosmische, and meditative influences. Together they create a hypnotic and ever-changing audio-visual composition.
August 2, 2012
Jeremy Rourke is a self taught animator and musician living in San Francisco. He uses paper, paint, shadows, wood, old photographs, new photographs, flowers, tape, pens, pencils, leaves, and sticks to make his animations, which are set to his own music. His work has been shown at film festivals around the country and venues all over the Bay Area and he was named 'best new animator/musician' by SFWeekly. During live performances, he and his band try really extra hard to magically enter the movie screen. He is on this earth, with the sun shining on it, floating through space, right along with you.
Sept 6, 2012
Kerry Laitala & John Davis
Multi-dimensional, award-winning, San Francisco filmmaker Kerry Laitala conjures spirits from the material of celluloid using her trove of tricks and techniques to make dazzling explosions of color, light and motion. Kerry will perform "The Color Red Bleeds Blue," an expanded cinema work, along with two new premieres of live cinematic sorcery: "Trip the Light Fantastic," a collaboration with Neal Johnson and "Velvet of Night," a collaboration with musician John Davis. Plus other surprises.
Oct 4, 2012
A poet trapped in a camcorder, Tommy Becker continuously works to feed video poems into his never-ending saga, TAPE NUMBER ONE, a collection of short videos made up of found footage, spoken word, performance, graphic design and sound collage. Join us as we witness the unfolding of TAPE NUMBER ONE into live spoken word/video performances.
Nov 8, 2012
A special cross-continental collaboration with Berlin-based filmmaker Sylvia Schedelbauer and Washington, DC-based sound artist Jeff Surak. Sylvia Schedelbauer's films negotiate the space between broader historical narratives and personal, psychological realms mainly through poetic manipulations of found and archival footage. Jeff Surak uses unconventional sound sources (dry ice, old record players, autoharp, microcassettes, etc) to layer successive walls of noise into gargantuan citadels of shimmering light.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
John Davis & Josh Churchill
John Davis works with moving images and sound, expanding their relationships through experimentation, chance, collaboration and improvisation. Current performance work investigates various sound and image delivery systems, their material bi-products, and the range of sensory possibilities that exists between them. Josh Churchill's work includes immersive site-specific sound and light installation, photography, and experimental music/noise. His dynamic works compel one to be critically aware of their surroundings by exploring the aesthetic, emotive, and structural qualities of the environments in which they are situated and/or are examining.
February 10, 2013
Jen Cohen & Guillermo Galindo
[inter] MEDIA Divinations is a new work created by video/performance artist Jen Cohen and composer/sound artist guillermo gal*in_dog. Using hacked electronic toys to create sounds and live video processing of random objects, Jen Cohen and guillermo gal*in_dog will merge an unrepeatable mélange of discreet moments in a unique and carefully randomized jam session. Jen Cohen's practice utilizes video in combination with photography, sculpture, costuming and performance in order to present possibilities of transcendent experiences both, as the performer or image in her own work as well as for the viewer. Guillermo Galindo’s artistic work spans a wide spectrum of expression from symphonic composition to the domains of musical and visual computer interaction, electro-acoustic music, opera, film music, instrument building, three dimensional installation, live performance and sound design.
April 28, 2013
Lori Varga & Paul Baker
Bay Area native Lori Varga will present Beyond the Frames of Light and Strange Sounds, Vol. 2 using 16mm and 8mm handmade collage films, experimental celluloid loops, 35mm slides and a live electronic sound collage made from old audio tape loop machines, magnetic card readers and analog cassette tapes. Paul Baker (Austin, Texas) and friends will also perform Analog Omega - a series of analog feedback loops of images and sounds utilizing VCR, TV and projector overlays, set to audio dronal and tonal experimental sound.
May 12, 2013
18 Films About Ted Serios is an ongoing expanded cinema project for the intermedia artist Jim Haynes, with the presentation for Shapeshifters Cinema being its fifth public iteration. The live video projection captures the in situ movement of manipulated glass, sand, motors, and pieces of metal through a surveillance camera, augmented by various means of illumination and a small monitor capable of video playback. Haynes also accumulates the acoustic and the electro-magnetic detritus into billowing tonal constructions and fractured minimalism.
June 9, 2013
Josh Kit Clayton
In conversation, concept, and repetition, Afterimage by Josh Kit Clayton is an abstraction of cinema based in the matter of thought. A social zoetrope, it is a study on the transmission and persistence of idea as language shaping the machinery of the mind. The juxtaposition of discontinuities gives way to the illusion of motion as a means of reconciling separateness. And a life after the fact. Duplication. Degradation. Dispersal.
July 14, 2013
Beige is the collaborative project of filmmakers Kent Long and Vanessa O'Neill. Their work explores the transformations and dimensions of layered 16mm projection with live sound composed and performed by Long. They will be performing an extended version of Suspension (2008) by Vanessa O'Neill, a film that layers a toned and black-and-white reel creating subtle shifts of hue and tone of abstracted seascape.
August 11, 2013
Kadet Kuhne is a media artist whose work spans the audiovisual spectrum. Kadet's audiovisual works are comprised of intervals, disjunctions and suspensions of space-time, intended to heighten tensions between motion and stasis: a balanced, yet heightened "nervous system" to reflect our own. With textures of self-imposed and societal boundaries and bondages, patterns of visual information entwine with correlating sounds, and a reconstructed map of her subjects' gestures become the language itself. Kadet will be premiering Quantum Tunneling, a new video piece about penetrating barriers, along with her videos Rebound and Fight or Flight. In addition to scoring these works live, she will score to a premiere screening of a Super 8 film short by Paul Clipson, and video shorts In Motion by Alba G. Corral (based in Spain) and Unseen Sync by Krystof Pesek (based in Bohemia) who both use Processing software to generate their images. Hilary Reed and Suki O'Kane will be joining as collaborating musicians.
September 8, 2013
dyemark is Steven Dye, a multi-disciplinary artist working with sound, projection, and live performance. Much of his work is collaborative, incorporating musical and theatrical performance, live accompaniment for film, instrument building, field recordings, found footage, camera-less film making and expanded cinema techniques, and includes site specific sound and light installations. His work can be described as a direct engagement with the materials and apparatus of sound and projection. Developing dynamic compositions by manipulating sound and light to explore the relationships between what we hear and what we see.
October 13, 2013
Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker, curator and educator whose interests lie in archival retrieval and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. His weekly screening series, Other Cinema, has showcased experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, more recently expanding into DVD publishing with Other Cinema Digital in 2003. Baldwin's suite of live-cinema pieces will employ/deploy an array of 16mm projectors, putting into play the accidental synchronicites of archival/found picture and sound towards an exploration of the fleeting, ephemeral, and ambivalent poetry of representation and reality.
November 10, 2013
Utilizing harmonicas, tuning forks and looping stations, Oakland based artist Chris Duncan will create an immersive, quadraphonic sonic response to a series of videos comprised of captured natural light. The piece is an acknowledgement of the phenomena that human beings are drawn to and capture aspects of natural light via film, digital means and video, with and without real purpose. The visual portion of the performance is comprised of several interpretations of this pursuit made by Maria Otero, Ryan Wallace, Lauren Douglas and Hilary Wiedemann - people who are equally fascinated with light. This will be a meditative, immersive experience.
December 8, 2013
Inspired by the work and thought of 1940s marine scientist Ed Ricketts and the technical approach of french filmmaker Jean Painleve in the same era, INTERTIDAL, by Vancouver-based artist Alex MacKenzie, presents a submersive exploration of the tidal zones and marine life off the shores of Western Canada. Using both camera and non-camera approaches, this performance-based work presented on two analytic 16mm projectors speaks to the fragility of both the film medium and the marine environment explored. Travelling as far West as Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and North to the tip of Naikoon on Haida Gwaii, this route expressly emulates that which Ricketts and his close friend author John Steinbeck intended to revisit prior to Ricketts' untimely death in 1948. The scope and materiality of both emulsion and environment are explored using elements as wide ranging as photograms, alternative film chemistry, live manipulation, and the very movement of the tides themselves. At once personal, political, visual and ecological, the work gives equal weight to representation and abstraction. A project of process through exploration, INTERTIDAL is a marine ecology for emulsion: teeming and tenuous, fleeting and alive.
January 12, 2014
Scott Stark & Allison Holt
The ever-inquisitive Scott Stark will be presenting several pieces from his vast body of work exploring visual and cultural shifts, including Right (2008), Liberty (2014, work-in-progress) and two brand new collaborative pieces with Allison Leigh Holt: Nocturnal Symmetries (2014), a two-projector film performance exploring dream-like urban and natural landscapes, and Treasures of Big House (2014), a playful, yet manic interaction between two performers with light, shadow and sound, using toys, household objects and toiletries out of control.
February 9, 2014
Artist Lori Varga returns to Shapeshifters to present an all new action-packed program featuring double 16mm film projections, stereo-optic 35mm slides set to lori's own composed music on analog synthesiser, three rarely screened short super-8mm and 16mm collage films, a dual 16mm hand processed celluloid loop set to outdated electronic aural tones and a new piece made in collaboration with local Oakland musician and film artist Sarah Brady.
March 2, 2014
SPECIAL START TIME: 9:30PM (doors at 9:00PM)
Norwary-based, veteran film performance artist Greg Pope will make a special appearance for Shapeshifters while in town on a small Bay Area tour, including stops at Stanford and SF Cinematheque. For Shapeshifters, Greg will be performing two pieces: SCORELINE, a solo film-sound performance that explores the processes of construction and destruction using a 16mm projector, black film, engraving tools and contact mics and TRANSPARENT STAVANGER, a live projection performance made with 160 photographic slides, two slide projectors and a twin shutter mechanism that suggests movement to the images while they overlap and flicker, echoing early proto-cinematic experiments using magic lantern technology. Performing with Pope is Bay Area based experimental electroacoustic improv duo Voicehandler (Jacob Felix Heule & Danishta Rivero).
April 13, 2014
Andy Puls is a video artist, analog electronics designer, and composer/musician. He runs the experimental media production studio, "Whistlehut" in Richmond, CA, where he produces his own and others' audio and visual recordings, and designs electronic audio and video devices. His video work centers around live, intuitive, "no source" visualizations. Using video hardware processing, camera feedback loops, and video synthesis, he uncovers the inner-world landscapes existing behind the scan-lines. His focus on live connection to the viewers, and his direct interaction with sound -- working both solo, and in collaboration with other live sound artists -- makes each performance entirely unique to circumstance. For this performance, he will be using newly created video devices and performing a live score using home-made, and other electronic instruments.
May 11, 2014
Merging the dynamic and often polar worlds of science and art, Oakland artist Chris Pew explores ideas of a complex cosmos and different trajectories for the unobservable universe. Utilizing various digital and analog techniques for motion and sound, these ideas are brought together and presented in an abstract narrative. Chris Pew will be presenting a 20-30 minute live performance based around fundamental assumptions for building an abstract cosmology. Afterwords he will be presenting a mix of previously shown and undisplayed video work.
June 8, 2014
Dennis Keefe & Glenn McKay
Dovetailing off recent programming at the Exploratorium, Shapeshifters is excited to present the work of pioneering light artists Dennis Keefe and (the late) Glenn McKay who are two of the artists responsible for creating the famous psychedelic light shows of the 1960s. Working together under the name of the Headlights Light Show, Keefe and McKay performed at many west coast venues, including the Fillmore, and also toured extensively with the Jefferson Airplane. The highlight of the program will be a live light art performance by Dennis Keefe with collaborators Jim Baldocchi and Lori Varga and musical accompaniment by Chris Musgrave (Lumerians) and Sarah R. Brady. We will also be showing parts of McKay's video Altered States which was created for the artist’s SFMOMA retrospective in 1999 and demonstrates his light art in various forms over the course of four decades.
July 13, 2014
Elise Baldwin is an intermedia performer and sound artist whose live cinematic works center around themes of natural history, collective memory and relationships between technology and the natural world. Using custom software instruments, physical props and circuitry, she often combines and manipulates original and archival recordings. She will be performing The Philosophy of Storms, inspired by a fascination with early American meteorology, storm watching and our cultural evolution from a faith-based society to a scientific one and Theater of Plants, a film that is microcosmic in scale yet expansively metaphoric in its examination of time, growth and decay.
August 10, 2014
TWO SHOWS! 8PM and 9:30PM
tooth is an Oakland-based artist that works in film, sound, performance and other time-based disciplines. His solo performance work (under the rubric of the project ARC) primarily concerns itself with the phenomenology of trance states and their function within a collision of cultural, political and personal realities. Framing the cinematic space of happening as an impermanent sphere of ritual and sensory research in which the apparatus and methods (celluloid projection, the movement of bodies through a room, human breath, chance occurrence, repetition, sustain, etc.) for manipulating elements (light, air) are considered less for their individual objective functions than their innumerable and unpredictable subjective reconfigurations in the perception of any given observer/participant.
September 14, 2014
Tommy Becker is a poet trapped in a camcorder who continues to feed video poems into his never-ending documentary, Tape Number One. The video work for TNO blends poetry, songwriting, performance, costuming, found footage and hand-made props. Each track of the tape is presented as a song dedication that pays tribute to a particular life experience. These personal essays have been reimagined within a video framework that mixes the sentimentality of the spoken word with classroom rhetoric and melodic pop sensibility. Becker has been an arts educator in the Bay Area for the last ten years. This evening’s show will feature a grouping of works that investigate and celebrate the high school landscape. The death of color, the vitality of lemons, the destruction of ego and the fleeting moments of teenage rebellion will be examined as PowerPoint presentations and celebrated in song.
October 12, 2014
Cyrus Tabar is a multidisciplinary artist primarily working with motion picture and sound. He often blends a multitude of formats from 16mm found footage and digital processing to tape based musical compositions and live manipulated field recordings. Science fiction novels often influence his work, which often revolves around near-future space exploration, planetary phenomena, and time travel. With a background in immersive installation art using pure light and sound as formal mediums, Cyrus blends the experiential nature of installation with the temporal facet of performance. He will be performing past works Tempus Fluxus, Optica, The Spider and The Fly, and Terraforma in addition to his latest piece made exclusively for Shapeshifters dealing with lost identity and the path to redefine it.
November 16, 2014
[Please note special date]
Fresh from a residency at the San Francisco dump, Shapeshifters alum Jeremy Rourke will return to present new animated work created from the detritus of the material and spiritual cultures of San Francisco. Rourke creates animated films from vintage and new photographs, paint, sticks, shadows, wood, flowers, tape, pens, paper, pencils, and leaves. He is bringing a band of some kind to shapeshifters. He is looking in the bottom of the chest with them. He is looking for bits and pieces that haven't been shown in ages. He is on this earth, with the sun shining on it, floating through space, right along with you.
December 14, 2014
Brian Darr is a performer, composer and researcher who has written about silent films in print and online (including his own blog Hell On Frisco Bay) for nearly a decade. He has occasionally combined these passions by providing unconventional live musical accompaniments for silent film screenings at San Francisco venues such as Other Cinema, Oddball Film & Video, and the (now-defunct) Edinburgh Castle Film Night. In his East Bay debut, he will perform to a carefully-selected batch of motion pictures from the so-called "silent era" and beyond, using a variety of electronic and acoustic instruments. He will be joined by San Francisco guitarist Alex Xander Jacobs.
January 11, 2015
Keith Evans is an activist who has been working and performing in the Bay Area for 25 years. His artworks are translation systems, fascination devices, extra-cinematic experiences that reveal the phenomenon and the idea of cinema as an ecology and system, one that is unfixed and accreting, neither nostalgic nor utopian. Collaborator Geoff Evans is an Oaklander who has been involved in many musical projects for 25 years. the mantle degassed our water is another in a series of Evans' paranaturalist cinema systems--an arrangement of near-working and functioning pieces of electronic equiptment and formats including super-8, video arrays, record players, 3/4" tape md cassettes casio and guitar as well as objects found in field research used to explore the paracinamatic. Together they are a device and a hazard of set-ups that embraces the mechanical, murcurial and unique perceptual relationships between these things; their relationships in space as well as on the screen. the mantle degassed our water is evocative of the elemental transformative forces at work inside the earth. This electromagnetic device becomes a paracinematic journey to the underworld where locked within rare and highly compressed mineral arrangements is more water than resides on the surface. Stratigraphies and veils flatten and blur into highlights. Spectral screens carry the images, glaciers score a path of stained glass. Process gives way to image and process again. The sound and space integrate the vision while the key component of curiosity illuminates this fascination device.
February 8, 2015
Cheryl Leonard with Rebecca Haseltine and Oona Stern
Composer, musician, and instrument builder Cheryl Leonard will present four works about water created in collaboration with visual artists Rebecca Haseltine and Oona Stern. Inspired by hydrology, aquifers, and California landscapes, Watershed combines field recordings from caves, rivers and oceans with sounds played live on water, glass, shells, kelp, and sand. Frozen Over is based on aural and visual phenomena from frozen lakes, and features recordings of flanging, thumping, and cracking lakes in Yosemite National Park. Rebecca Haseltine will create live video for these two pieces using natural objects, drawing, pouring, and painting. Southern Ocean and Glugge are shorter works about the polar oceans that Leonard has developed with Brooklyn-based Oona Stern. Merging audio recordings and video footage collected in the Arctic and Antarctic with live sounds from natural objects, these pieces reflect on climate change at the ends of the earth.
March 22, 2015
[Please note special date] Filmmaker/curator/professor Roger Beebe will be making a special stop through Oakland to share his currently-touring program of multiple-projector performances featuring the six-projector show-stopping space jam Last Light of a Dying Star alongside recent award-winning work in single-channel HD video as well as the premiere of his latest multi-projector mayhem, SOUND FILM. These works take on a range of topics from the forbidden pleasures of men crying (Historia Calamitatum (The Story of My Misfortunes)) and the secret logic of the book of Genesis (Beginnings) to Las Vegas suicides (Money Changes Everything) and companies jockeying to be at the start of the phone book (AAAAA Motion Picture). New arrangements of Cody Hennesy’s soundtracks for AAAAA Motion Picture, tour/TOWER, and Can’t Stop will be performed live!
April 12, 2015
Zen Cohen with Colton Long and Zoey Vero
Inspired by the concept of shapeshifting, Bay Area media artist Zen Cohen will present a short program of video/performance works addressing gender, sexuality and digital bodies including work by Cohen as well as other artists who identify as genderqueer and who make work addressing this. The evening will conclude with a 20 minute video-performance by Bay Area artists Colton Long and Zoey Vero referencing "glitch" as a conceptual motif relating to themes surrounding gender and sexuality.
May 10, 2015
Dennis Keefe & Jim Baldocchi with Thomas DiMuzio
Dennis Keefe and Jim Baldocchi (a.k.a. Projection Art) return to Shapeshifters for an extended program of lumia art. Using a full suite of analog and digital media, including hand painted slides, digital projectors, reflective surfaces, mobile lasers and prisms, these Bay Area cultural veterans have been creating dynamic, immersive, spectral visions of light, form, color and movement for over four decades for bands including the Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Iron Butterfly, Sly and the Family Stone and many others. Joining Dennis and Jim for this performance will be Lori Varga, Kerry Laitala, Kathleen Maguire and Harold Adler on visuals and experimental electronic musician Thomas DiMuzio on sound.
June 14, 2015
Returning for a third, solo, one-woman show is Bay Area experimental filmmaker & analog lightshow artist, Lori Varga. The evening's program will feature four never-before-seen film and slideshow pieces, all accompanied by Varga's hand-assembled, abstract reel-to-reel and tape collage soundtracks. Evocative, erie, odd soundscapes merge into ambient yet absurdist film and light play and the forgotten imagery of yesteryear becomes aglow again in an other wordly new view. Four Works by Lori Varga include Where does a Squirrel REALLY Live? (piece for two 16mm film projectors), Jag ´Ar Fri (piece for four 35mm slide projectors and tape recorder), Memories of Shadows 023 (16mm film and super-8mm cartridge loop projector, dual machine and cassette tape), Will NOT Go Gently Into That Good Night (abstract, tonal, non-structural sound work for 16mm film projector and two overhead liquid projectors, reel-to-reel recorder, steel cooking pot lids & amplified voice thru toy vocoders).
July 12, 2015
Kerry Laitala with Voicehandler & Wobbly
Optical magician Kerry Laitala returns to Shapeshifters to present The City Luminous, a new body of work inspired by the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition to which cultural historians attribute, among other things, the first light show in the Bay Area. Inspired by the innovations developed for this year-long celebration one hundred years ago, Laitala will be showing several works that mix historical footage with new technology to re-ignite the magic of the World's Fair that marked the return of San Francisco after the devestating earthquake and fire that nearly destroyed the city. The program will include three new 16mm dual-projection performances in collaboration with Voicehandler (Jacob Felix Heule and Danishta Rivero): The City Luminous: Spectacle of Light Variation, The City Luminous: Aladdin’s Lamp Variation and The City Luminous: Electric Salome along with three chromadepth (3D) works: Chromatic Wheels (with live sound by Wobbly), Afterimage: A Flicker of Life (sound collaboration between K. Laitala and Wobbly) and Nine Lives Measured in Mercury (sound by Neal Johnson).
August 9, 2015
Phoebe Tooke & Wayne Grim w/Stephanie Stewart-Bailey
Phoebe Tooke is an Oakland based documentary and experimental filmmaker. The work in this upcoming show occupies a space between the poetic documentary, the essay film and experimental cinema. Working mostly with Super 8mm, 16mm and found footage, she has created works for this show that center around themes of dispossession, loss and abandonment. The show weaves actualities and storytelling elements in and out of poetic abstractions and visual landscapes. Wayne Grim is a human who makes music relentlessly. As a soloist, his focus is on continuous development as a composer while maintaining an intimate relationship with improvisation. Working with musical instruments and electronic things, his music references beauty, the failure of machines, the power of a single sound, modal harmony and the love of Pink noise. The music for this performance has special purposes; connecting the landscapes, changing your mind, feeding-back, as dynamic interpreter, to use collage, improvisation and layers of subjective design. Accompanying Tooke and Grim is Stephanie Stewart-Bailey of the Body Appropriate who will be adding another aural dimension with crystal glasses.
September 13, 2015
Alfonso Alvarez & Steve Dye
Bay Area media artists Steven Dye and Alfonso Alvarez present new material and classic gems in the form of video and film. Revealed under video and projector lamplight, this show is an immersive event complete with multiple screens, live musical accompaniment and audio field recordings. The nature of nature, raw and processed; broken down and reassembled; archival and contemporary – an exploration of land and water and what has become of these precious elements so casually exploited. This performance includes special guests Maat Valkyr and Suki O'Kane. Steven Dye is a visual and sound artist. His practice explores the interplay between sound, image, and perception in live performance, expanded cinema and installation. This includes a direct engagement in the ways that sounds and images can be produced, recorded and manipulated during presentation. It is an exploration of the physical and aesthetic properties of sound and projection, as it exists in our environment and how they can be perceived and understood in artistic practice. Alfonso Alvarez is a film and video maker trying to become a craftsman. He works with multiple 16mm film projectors to create immersive screening environments. His films are image processed via optical-printing, hand-processing and hand-coloring. His recent work incorporates both film and video as a live mash-up of projected elements to create fleeting relationships unique to each screening. Alfonso and Steve are long time collaborators. Their distinct individual styles contrast and complement each other in the service of engaging experimental cinema.
November 8, 2015
Greta Snider is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who is particularly interested in experimental nonfiction and exploring the boundaries between documentary and document. She will present a set of all-new films and slide projects that explore the relationship between words, images, and bodies. The program titled Pictures, Texts, Notes, Bodies will include: "Prayer for the Torture Memos" (HD, with 35mm projected film), a new film that imagines a reckoning between word and flesh, forcing an emotional dialogue onto the unforgiving, endless parsing of the legal documents generated between 2001 and 2009 regarding the US torture policy; "Inversion Layer" Light, Shade, and heat in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. (Half frame film, projected in 35mm film with a live narration in Chinese); "Gloria" (35mm stereoscopic slides) a 3D slide projection piece exploring missed connections between women in classic cinema melodrama; and "Human Rights Karaoke" (HD, with live singing) which will offer a chance for audiences to engage in a vulnerable way with the texts that protect, liberate, or control our very existence on the planet.
December 13, 2015
viDEO sAVant (Charles Woodman, live image mix; Zachary James Watkins, guitar and electronics) presents Wavelength 12.13, a live improvised audio/visual performance. The work begins from the idea of "pure signal," images and sounds derived directly from electronic inputs, then moves outward. The performers will dance with the electronic serpent, responding to each other and to the current flowing between them. Charles Woodman is an artist working in video and expanded media. He has been a Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cincinnati since 1989. Recent projects have concentrated on the creation of multi-image video installations for museums and galleries, and the integration of video with live performance, often in collaboration with musicians or dancers. Zachary James Watkins is an Oakland based sound artist who earned degrees in composition from The Cornish School and Mills College. Zachary has received numerous grants and commissions and presented works in festivals across the United States, Mexico and Europe.
January 10, 2016
Elia Vargas and Andy Puls with Marie Hoff
A signal exchange by Elia Vargas and Andy Puls, Light Shapes ii: grass wool signal scan, engages audience and image in a collaborative drifting terrain of light and sound. The multi-projector performance explores different signal paths and landscapes enmeshed on multiple transparent projection surfaces. We combine signals as we combine terrain to shape a new body. Light Shapes ii occurs in 3 acts: Act i - signal formation, a construction of sounds and image; Act ii - signal adaptation, a live video adaptation of the zine NZ is Terrible written by Marie Hoff while researching wool in New Zealand; and Act iii - signal resolution, a sustain of feedback.
February 14, 2016
The Freddy McGuire Show
For this special Valentine's Day performance, Anne and Jon will entertain you by working out their personal problems in song, so that you can relax and forget about your own. In order for this to work, they both understand that their personal problems are going to have to be so hideously unpleasant and unbearable as to dwarf those of any one individual in the audience, and in that in the currently healthy climate of social justice activism, to even consciously attempt this feat is an act of unforgivable emotional violence. But that, in short, is how much these two people care about you, and they plan on a public display of that love on this, the loneliest of all lonely days. When Anne was quoted as saying "I want this to be my best show ever", there will be only one physical way to learn exactly what she meant by that. Since the late eighties, Anne McGuire has been making films, and Wobbly (Jon Leidecker) has been making electronic music. Together, Anne and Jon form the duo more widely known as the Freddy McGuire Show. Anne and Wobbly first worked together on Don Joyce’s Over The Edge Radio Show in 1999. That show can be heard here: http://www.detritus.net/wobbly/mp3s/FreddyMcGuire/. The show will include 3D visuals by Bill Thibault.
March 13, 2016
"Nexus Projects Us" is a satellite event of the Timeless Motion gallery exhibition currently on view at SOMArts Cultural Center through March 23rd. Timeless Motion is a celebration and convocation of the experimental moving image community that reconfigures the elements of the cinematic form to examine time, image, sound and movement. This special collaborative performance for Shapeshifters includes visual contributions by Timeless Motion artists Paul Clipson, Keith Evans, Kerry Laitala, Kathleen Quillian, Scott Stark and Mark Wilson with sound by John Davis. Oscillating between darkness and light, stillness and movement, sound and silence, the performers, through a variety of formats and media, will use their legerdemain to conjure and transform sounds and images in a cinematic séance. Using the syntax of an exquisite corpse, the Temescal Art Center will be illuminated, haunted, fractured and activated through the synchronies of chance operations and the summoning of ephemeral, audio-visual conversations dialed in through magnetic frequencies and celluloid alchemy.
April 10, 2016
is it safe to go outside? is a three-part media performance by Killer Banshee exploring queer identity in development, question and crisis. Get your head busted on the sidewalk, celebrate a relationship that nobody thought would be, and fight to finish healthcare 20 years in the making! A live media exploration into the obstacles and experience of dedication through video projection, image manipulation and sound. Killer Banshee (Eliot K Daughtry and Kriss De Jong) interprets technology and identity, combining material from personal and public archives to explore gesture, time, and place. They expose hidden meanings within media constructs in unexpected ways.
May 8, 2016
Sarah Rosalena Brady
Sarah Rosalena Brady is an Oakland based media artist and filmmaker that uses concepts of shamanism through art and technology. Her works offer activation through elements, light, motion, sound, programming and generative algorithms. Her goal is to transform Western ideological systems through audio/visual stimulation to produce new paradigms. She will be performing new works with generative software to drive multi-image projection in real time using sound and light data. She will also be showing her interactive piece Seer and previous experimental films. Her work has been presented at Gray Area Art and Technology, SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco Cinematheque, Fylkingen (SE), and the de Young Museum.
June 12, 2016
Gustavo Vazquez & Guillermo Galindo
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending 50's and 60's retro fashion, greasy food, immoral dances, contagious rhythms, hedonism, sex, borracheras and unnecessary violence. They’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing their rascuache morals. They’re uncontrollable. But some, like artists Vazquez and Galindo I assume, are good people.” -- Donald Trump. Grrrr!...Gustavo Vazquez + gal*in_dog (Guillermo Galindo) reunite to present the 20/20 sound/visual pus-retro Mexican rendezvouz (Estar Guars Too). Bootleg illegal movies, telenovelas, invade the USA. Suggestive dances and mambo erupts into transcendental techno cunnilingus y puro reventón. El sound galindog y el video Vazquez collide with the percussive rhythms of AK 47s as Trompitas cries for help.
July 10, 2016
Suki O'Kane will present a new, site-specific work "Sweeping, Swept, Out of My Head" for Shapeshifters at her familiar intersection of film, music and public art, this time with new inventions in microcinema, movement, and a powerful desire to banish imagery that exists in her subconscious. For this performance she will be accompanied by Wayne Grim, Adria Otte, Alfonso Alvarez, Ian Winters, Sasha Hom, Amy Rathbone and Jeremy Rourke. Suki O’Kane is a classically trained mallet percussionist, composer and instigator working with artists from a wide array of of music, movement, expanded cinema and public art genres. She has composed for Theatre of Yugen and inkBoat, performs in the ensembles of Dan Plonsey, and is a member of Thingamajigs Performance Group. She is a student of monumental and durational forms, and is currently composing for What A Stranger May Know, Ehn’s 32-play cycle remembering the victims of the Virginia Tech Massacre while developing new site-specific work for the Illuminated Corridor, a nomadic public art project that creates streetscapes of live experimental music and performative projection in West Marin (2017) and San Francisco (2018).
August 14, 2016
Kit Young & Lori Varga
Kit Young and Lori Varga are both experimental visual artists and absurdist/avant improvisers. For this very special show at Shapeshifters Cinema they will be joined by the remarkable synth/electronic music talent of Thomas Dimuzio. Young and Varga will present three pieces, each aproximately 15 to 20 minutes long, titled Coagulated Portraits, Stereoscopic Ridge Run, and The Anthropological Study of 21st Century Sexuality. The artists will be utilizing both high and low tech systems of digital and analog imagery to showcase their esoteric world view, using candid social commentary, human anatomy, psychedelic views on forests, and animal energies vs. sexual chakras. Tonal and dronal electronic soundscapes will accompany hand-shot and edited video and apropriated celluloid compositions. Varga and Young's collaborative works are a fine blend of infinite improvisation and finite structure. 16mm film projectors will be stationed beside an array of modular video synthesizers and robotic armed video feedback cameras. Dimuzio and Young will share signals from their synthesizers to create rhythmic audio-visualizations.
September 11, 2016
Thad Povey & Mark Taylor
The Octoplayer is a sound and performance sculpture that plays eight vinyl records at once. The machine simultaneously (and independently) came in dreams to artist-tinkerers Thad Povey and Mark Taylor in late 2010. After comparing their separate visions and sketches, the two decided to collaborate on the design and fabrication of the shared hallucination. This program, titled Chronicle of a Dream Device, features a selection of recent videos by Povey and Taylor, some newly imagined with live Octoplayer accompaniment. The evening includes a special guest appearance by improvisational keyboard wunderkind, Henry Plotnick.
October 9, 2016
Greta Snider returns to Shapeshifters to present new work in film and 3D in Seen and Unseen. "A Small Place" (35mm/HD) is a meditation on the experience of solitary confinement. This film originates as a 35mm "scroll" of sorts, and explores the gestural quality of language and script, of silence and of time. She uses the marks of human hands to ask us to connect with those others, unseen and unheard. An as-of-yet-untitled piece (hand processed 3D slides) shows how memories bring some things into sharper focus and occlude others. Sound design created by Kiri Lewallen. "Rendition" (projected video and 3D) is an exploration lamenting the officially sanctioned torture techniques of sensory deprivation and transportation. Our inner landscapes are beautiful and compelling to visit, but most of us are relieved to wake up from dreams and to be oriented by a horizon. Sound design created by Kiri Lewallen. Greta will also be showing some older work from her archives.
November 13, 2016
Facing West Shadow Opera
Facing West Shadow Opera hybridizes art forms to create unique performances, each akin to a live graphic novel with euphoria-inducing chamber music. Facing West Shadow Opera is a collective of artists, puppeteers, filmmakers and musicians hybridizing art forms to create magical acts of rebellion as small scale experimental art that is sustainable in the current gold rush climate of the Bay Area. FWSO combines analog shadow theatre with original animation, video projection of found footage and Baroque Opera performed live. FWSO depicts stories drawn from the cultural, political, and natural history of California and the American West, re-imagined with unique visual storytelling to create surprising experiences for the audience by seamlessly combining the old and the new. Their current production, The Euphoria of Walt Whitman, is a live baroque puppet opera exploring queer poet Walt Whitman’s obsession with the traveling operas of the wild west and gold rush era. Part of the program will also include two shorts by FWSO Artistic Director Lydia Greer, Hysteria, a new short video, and an excerpt from her animation, A Self Made House.
December 11, 2016
Anna Geyer & Collin McKelvey
Cameraless, non-representational work has been the emphasis of much of Anna Geyer's recent effort, although she frequently describes her work as, “experimental with a narrative bent”. Live, multi-projector loop sets, often performed in collaboration with local musicians, combine the technology of the past and present and include abstract imagery, live action work and degraded digital imagery of the digital age. She is an award-winning filmmaker and writer and teaches cinema classes at City College of San Francisco. For this performance Anna will be accompanied by musician Collin McKelvey, a San Francisco-based multimedia artist working primarily in time based media. McKelvey has shown work at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Southern Exposure, Kala, Royal Nonesuch Gallery, ATA, Human Resources, The Lab, Guerrero Gallery, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, The Geffen Center at MOCA and other artist spaces throughout the United States.
January 8, 2017
Do you know anyone who has trouble with maintaining focus, rigid thinking, managing their impulses, a heightened sensory experience, recognizing social cues, or expecting people to know what's inside their heads without imagining others' perspectives? Neurodivergent Media will reveal experiments in media art by individuals who diverge neurologically, like those on the autism spectrum. Witness the ripped video flesh of Psychic Anatomy, multidimensional machinima, mediajammed Ponies, and randomized DADA processing. Allison Leigh Holt teaches experimental digital media to artists on the spectrum, and mentors one-on-one; she will give us a tour of this heightened mode of perception, Empathic Pedagogy, and reveal how, by degrees, we are allneurodivergent. Neurodivergent Media has been developing at Gray Area Art + Technology’s Cultural Incubator Program. In her research-based art practice, Allison Leigh Holt’s work describes perspectives that propose radical shifts in anthropocentric, cultural, and Earth-based biases, at a time when human behavior determines our planet’s survival.
February 12, 2017
Fired! group screening
Fired! is Shapeshifters Cinema’s first group screening, organized as part of 100 Days Action a coordinated response by the Bay Area artist community to Trump’s 100 Day Plan. Fired! includes short works by Bay Area-based moving image artists Kate Rhoades, Tijana Petrovic, Kit Young with Alison Holt and Lori Varga, Allison Holt with Patrick McGee and Justin Enteman, We Rise and Tommy Becker that address the new political landscape through live sound, moving image and performance. Some of the work addresses the Trump administration directly, calling for empathy and inclusion of minorities, people with disabilities and others living outside the mainstream. Other works explore politics and society more generally in an effort to deconstruct, through a critical lens, those aspects that shape and define us, for better or worse. Using the language and tools of constructive creativity, we will fight fire with Fired!, adding our voices to the resistance of a shady incoming administration whose only motives are power and profit.
March 12, 2017
Inspired by early stereo imaging and the clash and collusion of socioeconomic forces, Apparitions by Vancouver-based filmmaker Alex Mackenzie is a two-projector film performance that seeks to dismantle cinematic codes while foregrounding projector and light as sculpture: a conscious corruption of and interference with the apparatus to evoke the unexpected, reshaping representation into the realm of material and space. Using colour gels, masking, lens interference and projector movement in tandem with an exploration of binocular disparity, perspective, patterning and the film surface itself, Apparitions explores the transitional space between image and abstraction, nature and culture.