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Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
7:30 p.m. Different Tongues: Film in Dialogue with Music, Literature, and Dance

Featuring PFA Preservation Films and Videos

Nathaniel Dorsky and Jim Flannery in Person

Introduced by Konrad Steiner
Konrad Steiner is a filmmaker whose Radical Light essay “Dialogue in Lyric” inspired this program.


The Bay Area has been home to pioneering artists working in many media since the midforties, most prominently in poetry, dance, music, and painting, and avant-garde filmmakers have been naturally drawn to working with many of these artists over the past six decades. “Cinema('s) basic principle of montage made it an ideal medium for collecting and arranging diverse materials and perspectives. As a composite art form without a classical Muse of its own, cinema can serve as a field in which the various muses may be coupled and combined" (Konrad Steiner). Sidney Peterson and Hy Hirsh’s Horror Dream marries camerawork to choreography, montage to gesture, and music (by John Cage) to expression. Chick Strand’s Waterfall and Steiner’s 19 Scenes Relating to a Trip to Japan combine Japanese koto music with complex streams of imagery. Bruce Conner’s Permian Strata is a little-seen visualization of a potent pop song. Joanne Kyger’s Descartes, Theresa Cha’s Re Dis Appearing and Vidéoème, and Jim Flannery’s Photoheliograph interweave and bounce off poetic texts; Nathaniel Dorsky’s segments from What Happened To Kerouac are meditative filmic accompaniments to that novelist’s recitations.—Steve Anker

Program guest curated by Konrad Steiner with Steve Anker.

Waterfall (Chick Strand, 1967, 3 mins, Color, PFA Preservation Print). Permian Strata (Bruce Conner, 1969, 5 mins, B&W, PFA Collection). Descartes (Joanne Kyger, 1968, 11 mins, B&W, Beta SP, PFA Preservation Tape). Re Dis Appearing (Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, 1977, 6 mins, B&W, DVCam, BAM/PFA Conceptual Art Study Center). Vidéoème (Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, 1976, 3 mins, B&W, DVCam, BAM/PFA Conceptual Art Study Center). Excerpts from What Happened to Kerouac (Nathaniel Dorsky, 1986, 8 mins, Color, Video, From the artist). Horror Dream (Sidney Peterson, Hy Hirsh, 1947, 10 mins, Color, PFA Preservation Print). Photoheliograph (Jim Flannery, 1995, 10 mins, Color, From the artist). 19 Scenes Relating to a Trip to Japan (Konrad Steiner, 1997, Color, 15 mins, 35mm, From the artist)


• (Total running time: 71 mins, 16mm, unless indicated otherwise)