Sonic Cinema with Steve Cossman

A special film screenings and talk with New York filmmaker, Steve Cossman, in response to From Scratch: 546 Moons - sonic experiments that delight both eyes and ears. Steve will present RELAY, a collaborative documentary made with Japanese sound artist, Ei Wada, and CLIMBER made with musician Ryan Marino of Imminent Frequencies.

Steve will be presenting in person to discuss how the projects came to pass and share evidence of process with the audience. While in Auckland, Steve will also be giving a special presentation at the Audio Foundation of his optically printed 16mm works on film.  Steve's visit to New Zealand is in conjunction with the Govett Brewster Art Gallery exhibition Free Radicals: Cinema on the Wrong Side of the Tracks, a survey of experimental filmmakers including Oscar Fischinger, Steve Cossman and Jodie Mack demonstrating work beyond the limits of conventional filmmaking.

RELAY:  An observational document of the visual environment created by artist Ei Wada (Sony Music, Japan). Wadasan re-wires Braun-tubed TVs to function similar to a theremin. Performing in the dark, he creates a unique audio/visual experience using broadcast signal and VHS tapes. Playing multiple televisions like a drum-set, he uses his own hands to control amplitude. Based on our conversations, I created this short piece that emphasised his grassroots approach to instrument making and reflected his own concepts about performance as art. This film was shot entirely on Super 8mm film with recorded sound performance in Osnebruck, Germany and Tokyo, Japan at Bye-Bye Broadcasting (a two-hour performance taking place beginning one hour before the end of analogue broadcasting).

CLIMBER:  To expedite the transfer rate and load time of images online they are assigned a low resolution of 72 dpi. In this de-resolution process, a considerable amount of visual information (richness/depth) is labeled unimportant and discarded. The resulting image, typically a thumbnail, is deemed acceptable by its ability to appear recognisable. Noticing parallels in related texts and lectures dating back to the 17th century concerning the decay of language, I wanted to draw attention to a similar phenomenon happening in visual culture through systems of digitisation; the transference of visual information through the web.

Steve Cossman is Founder and Executive Director of Mono No Aware (est. 2007); a Brooklyn non-profit cinema-arts organization whose annual cinema-arts festival exhibits the work of contemporary artists that incorporate live film projections and altered light as part of a performance, sculpture or installation (Expanded Cinema). In 2016 the festival presented the work of over 150 artists for 21 nights at 18 institutions across New York (Electronic Arts Intermix, Center for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, Anthology Film Archives and more). In 2015 he oversaw the acquisition of a Dallas-based film lab allowing the organization to expand upon the wet-lab facilities and begin building the nations first non-profit motion picture laboratory dedicated to artists and filmmakers. His first major work on film, TUSSLEMUSCLE, earned him Kodak’s Continued Excellence in Filmmaking award. He has completed residencies at MoMA PS1 as part of Expo 1, at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto and Brooklyn Magazine named Cossman one of the ‘Top 100 most Influential persons of Brooklyn Culture.’ In 2015 he was nominated for the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Steve Cossman currently lives and works in Brooklyn as a filmmaker, and activist.

Image: Steve Cossman, RELAY (film still detail), 2014

Wednesday 16 May, 7pm

Lopdell Theatre, 418 Titirangi Road
Doors open 6.30pm. Koha welcome
          

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