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Abigail Child

This poetic trace was used in:
Poem 27:
I don’t get it I don’t get it I don’t get it I don’t get it

Poem 40: American Picture

ALTERNATIVE SPACES: Film Installation + Performance
Abigail Child SMFA Spring Wed 2-5 2008 TA: Lana Citowsky

Conceived as an investigation outside the (black) box of theatrical viewing, this class will examine alternative cinema practice and venues. Beginning with a look at speculative futurist scores and the Russian Kino trains of the early 20th century, we will examine drive-ins, scopitones and public screenings on boats (Jon Rubin) and walls (Bill Brand). We will discuss the Expanded Cinema experiments of the Whitney brothers from the 60s and multiple screen work by Andy Warhol, Paul Sharits, film installation by Robert Whitman, Lewis Hock and Anthony McCall. Performance work by luminaries such as Ken Jacobs, Joan Jonas, and John Jesurun as well as contemporary cinema accompaniment for dancers (Kathy Rose, Kusilja) will be explored. Other present day examples might include multi-screen work by Jem Cohen and Christian Marclay, loops by Tacita Dean, and the resurgence of 70s minimalism in films by Bruce Mc Clure and Luis Recoder. As well, we will explore the neo-narrative style as exemplified by Isaac Julien, Shirin Neshat and Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Stan Douglas’s early super-8 work, Jeremy Blake’s animations and computer generated-work and the proliferation of international collaborative groups who use multiple projectors (USCO, Wet Gate). Among our readings will be selections from the catalogue for the Whitney’s INTO THE LIGHT show, an essay from the Documenta II catalogue by Mark Nash and recent articles in Art in America. The class includes field trips, visiting artist presentations, and discussion as we ask what happens to galleries once darkness and duration enter? What happens to cinema when it is unbounded by its theatrical beginnings? How do issues of ephemera effect strategies? What might become cinema’s future? Limited to 20-25 students; no prerequisite. [Students with installations in progress should apply for the Practicum part of this course by writing a paragraph of no more than 5 sentences describing your project and leave in my box.]
Coursework includes attendance, readings and presentations of readings. Students are expected to be active in discussion. Because the class hours are short for film production and previous filmmaking experience is not required, students are encouraged to make their own installation work in the Practicum section. There will be time during the semester to present and critique these works in the afternoon class.
There will be one field trip to New York and students are expected to attend, and there will be at least one class that meets on Tuesdays at 12-30 to 2pm (in conjunction with Fritz Buehner’s Contemporary Art class.) Please plan to attend.
Readings: includes Into The Light, by Chrissie Iles, The Whitney Museum catalogue (on reserve and recommended to buy) and course packet available at the Print House in 2 volumes.
Note in packet: reader on-line supplemental references on artists and work excerpted on the web.
In addition, check out: HYPERLINK "" for more information particularly around performance projections and New York presentation spaces for same.

Course Syllabus week by week:
Jan 16, 2008: Multiple screen work (early)
Screening: Andy Warhol, Chelsea Girls
Discussion of contemporaries Barbara Rubin, presentation of CG at the Dome in NY etc.
Readings assigned:
•Koch on Warhol in Star Gazer (1991)
•Mark Nash from Documenta,
•Art in America essay from Jan 2008

Jan 30, 2008: Introduction to Expanded Cinema
Pre-cinema, the magic lantern, Futurist scores, Russian Kino trains, (cf. THE LAST BOLSHEVIK by Chris Marker), Cinerama at NY World’s Fair, Scopitones, Sensurround, IMAX.
Drive-ins and various public screenings on boats (Jon Rubin documentation) and walls (discussion of Bill Brand’s Masstransiscope), Quarter Porn Movies. Expanded Cinema experiments of the Whitney brothers from the 60s.
Readings presented: Koch on Warhol, Mark Nash from Documenta and ART IN AMERICA article
Screening: material from the web on scopitones; Brand’s and Rubin’s dvd.
Paul Sharits, Razor Blades (1965-68) two screens with sound
Readings assigned:
• Paul Sharits, descriptions, 2 publications.
• Into the light catalogue essay by Chrissie Iles,
•Anthony McCall Interview and readings.
•Robert Whitman: Shower from Into the Light

3. Feb 6th 2008: Film installation
Reading presentation and discussion from Iles piece.
Robert Whitman- shower piece –slides or photo doc.
Screening: Anthony McCall—LINE DESCRIBING CONE. Presentation: 30minutes with *smoke machine
Louis Hock- The Mississippi (if available)
Readings assigned:
•Interivews with Isaac Julien
°Essay, Criticism, interview with Shirin Neshat
•Readings on Eija Liisa Ahtila
•Interview and criticism on Abigail Child

4. Feb 13, 2008: Neo-Narrative
Isaac Julien, Baltimore Series (2003-4) Metro Pictures
Shirin Neshat —Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999) (Barbara Gladstone Gallery)
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, —series (through Gunner and Gassert )
Abigail Child’s MIRROR WORLD
Readings presented: on Neshat, Julien, Ahtila, Child
Readings assigned: on Siegel.

5. Feb 20, 2008: VISITING ARTIST: AMIE SIEGEL in person
Readings assigned:
•Round Table: The projected image….
•McClure notes
•Rushdie excerpt

6. Feb 27th, 2008: The New Formalism
Niq Brynolfson’s Planatarium Cycle.
Salterelli: BORDER
Reading presented of The Round Table, and Mc Clure/Rushdie et al
Readings assigned:
•Schlemowitz on Performance
•on Joan Jonas,

7. March 5th, 2008: Performance and Time:
Screening and presentation: Live performance with film.
Discussion including reference to Malcolm LeGrice, Casper Straake/Kusilja/Benton Bainbridge/ Julie .Murray
Readings assigned: handouts on the Biennial

8. March 12th, 2008: FIELD TRIP. NYC to Biennial et al
— this can be the Saturday before, that is March 8th 2008, if more convenient for students—
Readings assigned:
•on Stan Douglas,
•Douglas Gordon, Paul Chan, Steve McQueen.


9. March 26th, 2008: Political Points of View
Paul Chan. Scenes on Iraq in No Particular Order. 2003
Douglas Gordan left is right and right is wrong and left is wrong and right is right (2002) appropriates an
Otto Preminger film 1949 entitled Whirlpool
Stan Douglas’s – Win, Place, or Show
Readings presented. Discussion of politics and content…how affected. For example: Chan ‘s version of Beckett’s play in New Orleans this winter

Readings assigned:
•excerpts on Hollis Frampton- including recent October 109
•on Michele Smith
• Tacita Dean by Donald Godard and Meschede.

10. April 2th, 2008: - Endless Project
Discussion of Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwork, Abel Gance Napoleon, the antimonies of the daily and the endless.
Screening: Hollis Frampton’s Lemon and Magellean Project-winter and summer solstice presented simultaneously.
Michelle Smith’s weaving piece-set up on multiple computers.
Readings Presented: Frampton, Smith, Tacita Dean,
Readings assigned:
• On Conrad

11. April 9th, 2008: Performance
VISITING ARTIST TONY CONRAD TBA. Please NOTE new time and place: Tuesday April 8, 2008 conjunction with Sound and Art History Classes. 12:30-2pm in Reemis Auditorium, MFA.
Conrad to come back to class for individual questions.
Readings presented.

Discussion of Ken Jacobs’ Nervous System Performances
Also DJ Spooky and Harry Smith, Bradley Eros.
Readings and Work presented.