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Los Angeles

USC School of Cinematic Arts

Exhibition Detail
900 W 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089

November 12th, 2010 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Death of the Gorilla, Peter MaysPeter Mays, Death of the Gorilla,
1965, 16mm film
© Peter Mays
Shoppers Market, John VicarioJohn Vicario, Shoppers Market,
1963, 16mm film
© John Vicario
Sidewinder’s Delta, Pat O\'NeillPat O'Neill, Sidewinder’s Delta,
1976, 16mm film
© Pat O'Neill
The Wormwood Star, Curtis HarringtonCurtis Harrington, The Wormwood Star,
1956, 16mm film
© Curtis Harrington
Out of Our Depth, Single Wing Turquoise Bord Light ShowSingle Wing Turquoise Bord Light Show,
Out of Our Depth, 2010, mixed
© Single Wing Turquoise Bord Light Show
< || >
downtown/east la
(213) 740-2804
USC (University of Southern California)



November 12-14, 2010

Los Angeles Filmforum, in collaboration with Visions and Voices, a University of Southern California Arts and Humanities initiative, will present the first public event in the series Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945-1980, a three-day symposium, film festival and exhibition, November 12th – 14th, 2010 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

This three-day event will highlight the seminal character of diverse creative activities in cinema art in Los Angeles in the decades following the war.

Screenings and presentations with scholars and artists will include topics such as:

  • Conceptual media in the late 1960s with a special focus on the work of artist Paul McCarthy.
  • The presence of experimental filmmakers in the Hollywood special effects industry in the 1970s.
  • Queer postwar experimental cinema in Los Angeles, with a focus on Nancy Angelo and Candace Compton's feminist performance video Nun and Deviant.
  • The collective ASCO, a group of artists whose satirical and conceptual public art practices in the 1970s challenged Los Angeles with their definitions of Chicano art.
  • Kenneth Anger’s seminal film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome and his inner circle at the time of its making: Anaïs Nin, Marjorie Cameron, Curtis Harrington.
  • Raymond Rohauer‘s unique screening series of experimental film at the Coronet Theater in Los Angeles in the 1950s.
  • Jon Jost’s quasi-documentary critiques of American culture and the 1970s art scene in Los Angeles: Angel City (1976) and Chameleon (1978).
  • The Vanguard Theater and its role in the canonization of the avant-garde as an exhibitor in the 1970s.

A highlight of the weekend will be a celebration of the work of the Single Wing Turquoise Bird Light Show, a group of visual artists—Peter Mays, Michael Scroggins, David Lebrun, Larry Janss, and others—who originally performed light shows behind many of the leading bands in the late 1960s at the Shrine Exposition Hall, such as the Velvet Underground, Cream, and the Grateful Dead.  They also staged performances on their own to prerecorded sound or music. This one-time event, especially curated for Alternative Projections, will combine historic and contemporary works and resurrect the spirit of the SWTB.

A second special screening and panel will celebrate the Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis. The Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis was an experimental film screening organization from 1976 to 1981. Founded and run by a group of filmmakers, it also functioned as a nurturing meeting place to exchange information and ideas. Oasis -- whose members included Pat and Beverly O'Neill, Morgan Fisher, David and Diana Wilson, Grahame Weinbren, Roberta Friedman, Amy Halpern, Tom Leeser, and Susan Rosenfeld -- operated as a collective where each member could suggest programming, and it held approximately one hundred fifty screenings, primarily focused on works of contemporary experimental filmmakers.

An exhibition of artifacts and archival documents will be on display at the USC School of Cinematic Arts gallery, including exhibition posters, film-making artifacts, catalogues and original artwork.

A detailed list of screenings and events is posted on the Filmforum and Visions & Voices websites at the following:

Admission to all events is free, but registration is required.

In 2011- 2012, Alternative Projections will continue with a sixteen-part screening series as part of Pacific Standard Time, the Getty-initiated celebration of art in Los Angeles from 1945-1980. This exciting series will focus on both canonical and forgotten films produced by Los Angeles artists and avant-garde filmmakers from 1945 to 1980.

About Los Angeles Filmforum: Filmforum was incorporated in 1975. Its mission is to promote a greater understanding of film as an art form and the filmmaker as an artist by providing a forum for independently produced, experimental films, which have little opportunity of reaching the general public through normal channels of commercial distribution. It showcases alternative media that aims to inspire, enlighten, and empower, as well as to entertain. By featuring the underrepresented voices and visions of truly independent filmmakers, Filmforum exposes audiences to the full range of artistic expression, cultural perspectives, and critical inquiry. It continues as the city’s longest running organization that screens experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. For more information, visit our website at

About the USC Visions and Voices Initiative: Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by President-elect C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC’s strategic plan; to communicate USC’s core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC’s core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one’s community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.  For more information, visit the initiative website at

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