Hacking the Timeline: Art as Archeology
In conjunction with the landmark Pacific Standard Time exhibitionCollaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artists Space Movement, artist-run production company EZTV will host a five-week series of video screenings, live music, performances and artist talks in honor of its 32-year history as one of the world’s first video theaters, computer art galleries and independent media centers.
Organized by EZTV co-founder and Director Michael J. Masucci, this series includes a high-profile roster of seminal artists who broke boundaries and created new forms in media art. From rarely seen psychedelic video works by Dr. Timothy Leary to early computer art by members of LA-SIGGRAPH, from early desktop video by EZTV co-founder John Door to the surrealist works by multidisciplinary group Vertical Blanking, these evenings will peel back LA’s cultural fabric to reveal key voices that have been excluded from the canon of media art history. Guest speakers and performers include Barbara T. Smith,Lowell Darling, The Dark Bob, Susanna Bixby Dakin, Strawn Bovee, Michael Kearns, Kate Johnson, Dr. Ken Luey, Kate Crash, Michael Wright, David Ehrenstein and Irene Rosen.
Highlights of this series are:
ART AS ARCHEOLOGY–Wed, Oct 26, 2011, 8pm
CORE, a multimedia performance by KATE JOHNSON with S. PEARLE SHARP and KEN LUEY, PhD
Core, a new performance and media work by Kate Johnson, combines music, animation, video and spoken word to tell the story of memory, haunted tongues and disappearing histories, personal and cultural.
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF LA WOMAN, AN INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT by ROCK ‘N ROLL ARTIST KATE CRASH
LA Woman is musician/performance artist Kate Crash’s interactive documentary of a multigenerational group of female leaders in LA’s cultural scene. The projects features interviews with over 20 artists, gallerists, and art administrators, including post-modern choreographer/dancer Simone Forti, performance artist Barbara T. Smith, artist and publisher Susanna Bixby Dakin, filmmaker/actor/poet S. Pearle Sharp, conceptual artist and legal mediator Dorit Cypris, and artist and social entrepreneur Valerie Velazquez, among others.See trailer.
AN ARTIST FOR PRESIDENT–Wed, Nov 2, 2011, 8 pm
AN ARTIST FOR PRESIDENT BOOK LAUNCH PARTY and SIGNING with 18TH STREET CO-FOUNDER SUSANNA BIXBY DAKIN and SPECIAL GUESTS BARBARA T. SMITH and THE DARK BOB
In 1984 Regan was running for his second-term while pursuing what would become a relentless, multi-decades long retreat from democratic ideals. Susanna Dakin, sculptor, performance artist and High Performance Magazine publisher, had an outlandish notion: she declared with the Federal Elections Commission as an Artist/Candidate for President of the United States. Dakin’s debut book, An Artist for President, tells the story of her campaign and the surprising ideas people held about women, artists and the political process. See short film about campaign.
THE DAWN OF DESKTOP–Wed, Nov 9, 2011, 8 pm
ACTOR STRAWN BOVEE DISCUSS THE FIRST KNOWN NARRATIVE GARAGE-VIDEO FEATURE PRODUCED BY EZTV FOUNDER JOHN DORR
In 1979 EZTV’s founder John Dorr used an analog B&W bank surveillance camera to shoot the first known narrative garage-video feature. In 1982 he and a core group of artists opened the EZTV Video Gallery, LA’s first video production and exhibition space. For the opening they screened the feature, which was about Dorothy Parker and her bi-sexual husband Alan Campbell. Host and actor Strawn Bovee, who played Parker, will reflect upon Dorr’s process, the creative foment of the period and EZTV’s unique position in the Los Angeles art scene. Bovee will share short video clips from the video.
DREAM ARTIST: THE RISE OF WEHO THEATER–Wed, Nov 16, 2011, 8 pm
HOLLYWOOD’S FIRST OPENLY GAY ACTOR MICHAEL KEARNS DISCUSSES LA’S THEATER SCENE AT THE HEIGHT OF THE AIDS PANDEMIC
Writer/actor/director Michael Kearns, Hollywood’s first openly gay actor, will recount the state of affairs in LA’s late 70s–early 80s gay theater scene and his own highly influential career. He will share video excerpts of playwright James Carroll Pickett’s Dream Man, which Kearns originally starred in and has recently re-staged to critical acclaim in Ireland, Spain, Scotland and the US.
HISTORY IS THE ART OF FORGETTING–Wed, Nov 30, 2011, 8 pm
RARE SCREENINGS OF WORKS BY DR. TIMOTHY LEARY, VERTICAL BLANKING, TRANSHUMANISM AND LA DIGILANTES
Hosted by EZTV Director Michael Masucci with special guest Michael Wright, the final night in the series takes a look back at EZTV’s CyberSpace Gallery, one of the world’s first galleries dedicated to computer art. CyberSpace co-founder Masucci and LA Digilantes co-founder Wright will discuss the artists and events that surrounded the creation of the gallery. The evening also features the debut of a new video art piece by Esther Kiss as well as the rarely seen Outside Looking In–One Last Visit with Timothy. Produced by Masuci, Natasha Nita-More and members of EZTV, Outside Looking In is among the very last video interviews with Dr. Timothy Leary taped shortly before his death in 1996.
For more information on Hacking the Timeline v2.0 and the artists involved, visit: www.18thstreet.org.
ABOUT EZTV In 1979 John Dorr, in collaboration with a group of artists formed EZTV as the first video theater in the US. Originally housed in the West Hollywood Community Center, EZTV exhibited experimental videos in an intimate setting, with chairs clustered around large television monitors; the pioneering collective opened its own space in 1982. By moving video—at that time a new technology that was cheaper and viewed as more populist than film—outside an institutional museum setting, EZTV emphasized the radical, democratic aspects of small-screen technologies. Since its inception, it has promoted not just alternative media, but also queer aesthetics and politics. Throughout the 1980s, ACT UP and Queer Nation held meetings at EZTV. Eventually evolving from a microcinema to a community-based editing facility, EZTV was home to production facilities where artists created everything from feature-length narratives to short abstract works and computer art; EZTV established one of the world’s first galleries dedicated to computer art. Currently run by co-founder artist Michael Masucci and current president Kate Johnson, who came on board in 1993, EZTV is a major site of the digital desktop revolution and continues to promote methods of video distribution beyond commercial networks.