Conversations at the Edge
- Conversations at the Edge
Conversations at the Edge is a weekly series of screenings, artist talks, and performances by some of the most compelling media artists of yesterday and today. CATE is organized by SAIC's Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation in collaboration with the Video Data Bank and the Gene Siskel Film Center.
Visit CATE's blog for more information, including artist interviews, bios, additional images, and more!
- Previously in Conversations at the Edge
- An Evening with Ximena Cuevas
- 2003–10, Ximena Cuevas, Mexico, ca. 75 min.
Pioneering Mexican video artist Ximena Cuevas creates smart, playful works that mix performance, autobiography, and mass-media's excesses to explore national identity, celebrity star worship, and life’s everyday melodramas. She returns to CATE after more than a decade to celebrate the Video Data Bank’s release of her retrospective box set “Half-Lies.” The program includes a selection of recent videos, including the 2010 experimental biography, MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ, FROM TUESDAY TO FRIDAY, which follows the performance artist as she prepares for her first exhibition in Mexico. Multiple formats. (Amy Beste)
Co-presented by the Video Data Bank.
Due to travel disruptions in Mexico caused by Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Depression Manuel, Ximena Cuevas is not able to join us tonight. An additional surprise piece will be added to the lineup.
Artists in person!
- Tomomi Adachi and
- Takahiko Iimura:
- Films and Performances
- 1962–2013, Tomomi Adachi and Takahiko Iimura,
- Japan/USA, ca. 90 min.
In a rare joint appearance, filmmaking luminary Takahiko Iimura and Tokyo-based sound artist Tomomi Adachi present an evening of films and performances. Since the early 1960s, Iimura has been renowned for his groundbreaking films and videos, ranging from surreal underground narratives to elegant explorations of time and perception, many produced with performance artists and avant-garde composers. Adachi has garnered similar acclaim for his work with voice, electronics, and self-made instruments. The two will present four of Iimura’s early films, a selection of Adachi’s works, including the Chicago premiere of the ten-voice SONG FOR EVERYONE, and a new collaboration for film, voice, and electronics. Multiple formats. (Amy Beste)
Erin Cosgrove in person!
- WHAT MANNER OF PERSON ART THOU?
- 2008–12, Erin Cosgrove, USA, ca. 75 min.
Los Angeles–based artist, animator, and author Erin Cosgrove mixes pop culture and a range of historical references--Fabio, the Baader-Meinhof gang, America’s founding fathers, Bible fan fiction--to offer dark and often wickedly funny critiques of contemporary political culture, particularly the role of history and religion. Cosgrove screens a selection of recent shorts alongside her 2008 tour-de-force animated feature, WHAT MANNER OF PERSON ART THOU? Drawn in the style of a medieval tapestry, the film relates the twisted tale of Elijah Yoder and Enoch Troyer, true-believers whose faith puts them at odds with modern society. Multiple formats. (Amy Beste)
Kurt Hentschläger in person!
- Kurt Hentschläger
- 2003–12, Kurt Hentschläger,
- Various nations, ca. 60 min.
An evening with Chicago-based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger whose work explores human perception through intricate, multi-sensorial environments and live, audiovisual performances. Renowned for his immersive installations, the majority of Hentschläger’s works are generated or orchestrated by computer, employing atmospheric and drone soundscapes, figurative visuals, and strobe lights. He provides an overview of his practice and a live demonstration of his sophisticated realtime process. Multiple formats. (Raven Munsell)
Pablo Marín in person!
- Ghost Anthology:
- A History of Argentine
- Experimental Film
- 1976–2013, Various directors,
- Argentina, ca. 75 min.
Organized by Buenos Aires-based filmmaker and curator Pablo Marín, Ghost Anthology charts an eye-opening course through the last 40 years of Argentina’s rugged experimental film history, showcasing a collection of films rarely exhibited in the US. The movement exploded in the 1970s, just as the country came under the control of a military dictatorship. Forced underground, artists experimented with small, consumer-grade cameras and worked in informal collectives to produce collaborative, deeply personal, and formally dazzling works. Included here are films by such pivotal makers as Narcisa Hirsch, Horacio Vallereggio, Jorge Honik, Gabriel Romano, and Claudio Caldini, as well as contemporary artists Sergio Subero, and Pablo Mazzolo, among others. Super-8mm. (Amy Beste)
Brett Kashmere in person!
Special preview screening!
- FROM DEEP
- 2013, Brett Kashmere, USA, 85 min.
Pittsburgh-based artist Brett Kashmere presents a special preview of FROM DEEP, which looks at basketball and its profound role in American life—as an everyday street game played by millions around the country; a force in fashion, music, and mass media; and a platform for thornier issues of race and class. Drawing his imagery from neighborhood pick-up games, contemporary films, music videos, and spectacular sports footage, Kashmere charts a history of the game over the last century, including its rapid cultural rise in the 1980s. HD video. (Amy Beste)
Jodie Mack in person!
- Jodie Mack:
- Let Your Light Shine
- 2013, Jodie Mack, USA, ca. 80 min.
Jodie Mack’s handmade films are vibrant examinations of the decorative detritus that accumulates around us. With cast-off bits of wrapping paper, calico fabrics, and magazine clippings, she crafts exquisite stroboscopic abstractions and poignant fables of the pitfalls of modern materiality. The SAIC alumna returns to Chicago with a special show featuring four brand-new shorts, live songs, and the city’s premiere of DUSTY STACKS OF MOM: THE POSTER PROJECT (2013). An animated-personal-essay-cum-rock-opera, the film adapts the music of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” to meditate on the demise of her mother’s mail order poster business in the face of e-commerce’s rise. Multiple formats. (Amy Beste)
Curator Jennifer Chan in person!
- Now: The Body
- and the Screen
- 1973-2013, Multiple Countries,
- ca. 60 min + discussion
In the early days of video, artists explored the camera’s influence on the way we understand ourselves by mixing performance and the medium’s capacity for instantaneous playback. In a seminal example, Lynda Benglis directed, questioned, and even kissed a screen image of her own self in the 1973 video Now. Forty years later, video art has become a hybrid practice that spans from performance-for-the-webcam to online remixes. Curated by new media artist Jennifer Chan, this program extends Now’s themes into the era after the internet, showcasing politicized, carnal videos by artists Alexandra Gorczynski, Georges Jacotey, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Faith Holland, Eduardo Menz, Ei Jane Janet Lin, and more. Multiple formats. (Jennifer Chan)
Tirtza Even in person!
Special preview screening!
- NATURAL LIFE
- 2013, Tirtza Even, USA, ca 85 min.
For more than 15 years, video artist and documentary filmmaker Tirtza Even has created a body of work that addresses an array of complex social and political issues in Palestine, Turkey, Spain, Germany, and the US. Her latest project, NATURAL LIFE, is a feature-length documentary about six individuals who, as youths, received the most severe sentence given to convicted adults—“natural life” or life without parole. Pairing interviews with inmates and those involved in their cases (family members, attorneys, police officers, and victims) with documented and staged scenes, Even’s film is an elegant and unflinching challenge to the inequities of the juvenile justice system. Digital file. (Raven Munsell)
NATURAL LIFE was produced alongside and with the support of the legal efforts of the Law Offices of Deborah LaBelle.