POSTPONED Whole Grain: On Collaboration

A black and white film still of criss-crossing lines of light on a black background.
Film still from Rhythm in Light, 1934

This event has been postponed, check back later for updates.

Join us for a screening of four short, experimental films and videos born out of collaboration. In anticipation of the 2020 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute’s Forum with the theme of co-creation and its discontents, this program of works features collaborations between filmmakers and a painter, a multimedia artist, a musician, and an engineering research center.

  • Superdyke Meets Madame X (dirs. Max Almy & Barbara Hammer, 1975, US, 21 min., video)

  • Rhythm in Light (dirs. Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth, & Melville Webber, 1934, US, 5 min., video)

  • Warm Objects (dir. Peggy Ahwesh, 2007, US, 6 min., video)

  • Emaki/Light (dir. Takashi Makino, 2011, Japan, 16 min., video)

About Whole Grain

The Tang Teaching Museum’s series Whole Grain explores classic and contemporary work in experimental film and video.

Whole Grain is programmed by Assistant Director for Engagement, Tom Yoshikami. All events are free and open to the public.

About the Films

Superdyke Meets Madame X (dirs. Max Almy & Barbara Hammer, 1975, US, 21 min., video)
Winner of the Louise Riskin Prize at the 1976 San Francisco Art Festival, Superdyke Meets Madame X documents Barbara Hammer’s relationship with Max Almy on a reel-to-reel ¾” videotape recorder and microphone. This was Hammer’s first foray into recording with the Sony Portapak and was produced as part of a skill swap with Almy.

Rhythm in Light (dirs. Mary Ellen Bute, Ted Nemeth, & Melville Webber, 1934, US, 5 min., video)
Bute uses visual materials as a musician uses sound. Mass and line and brilliant arabesques from the inexhaustible imagination of the artist perform a dance to the strains of Edvard Grieg’s music. The visual and aural materials are related both structurally and rhythmically - a mathematical system being used to combine the two means of expression.

Warm Objects (dir. Peggy Ahwesh, 2007, US, 6 min., video)
Warm Objects was produced in close collaboration with the engineering research center MIRTHE (Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment), an organization dedicated to the development of optical trace gas sensing systems. Utilizing MIRTHE’s imaging technology, scenes of everyday incidents are transformed by infrared photography into glimpses of our world through an alien lens. Two insertions of on-screen text betray Ahwesh’s ominous implications. The first is a meditation on Rudyard Kipling’s oft-quoted “truth is the first casualty of war,” while the second takes the form of a hastily crafted e-mail, suggesting that its author has become withdrawn and pessimistic out of fear of some pending disaster. Warm Objects is a portrait of the world in uncertain and paranoid times.

Emaki/Light (dir. Takashi Makino, 2011, Japan, 16 min., video)
Emaki is a Japanese traditional narrative form in picture and text created during the 11th to 16th century. Emaki/Light is a collaboration between filmmaker Takashi Makino and painter/filmmaker Takashi Ishida. Ishida’s interests are live-picture and the process of paint, and Makino’s interest is to make a new image with extremely high speed random images. With Makino’s skills in using the telecine process, Ishida’s painted lines are rolled and scrolled, and become “the living line.” The film is maybe a chance, or maybe it is a fight. Perhaps, this film will show you both elements.

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