Love and the Epiphanists: A Scott Stark Performance

With Scott Stark

Nov 10, 2018, 12:45 PM Rice Media Center $12.00 Buy Tickets

Building in elements of humor and incongruity, media artist Scott Stark interweaves non-traditional uses of film and video with an assortment of art disciplines. Employing a variety of motion picture media, including 8mm, super-8mm, 16mm, video and digital video, Stark likes to emphasize the physicality of film while cross-referencing it to the world outside the theater, laying bare the paradoxes of modern culture and the magical nature of the perceptual experience. As both a passionate purist and a cynical skeptic, Stark’s primary interest is in pushing his work beyond the traditional viewing experience, challenging the audience to question its relationship to the cinematic experience. Stark’s presentation will culminate with Love and the Epiphanists, the first part of a 35mm film, 35mm slides, digital video, audio recordings and live spoken text. The films used are largely sourced from Stark’s collection of 35mm Hollywood movie trailers from the past 20+ years.

Special Guests

Scott Stark

Born and educated in the Midwest, Stark has produced more than 75 films and videos since 1980. Additionally, he has created numerous gallery and non-gallery installations using film and video, and elaborate photographic collages using large grids of images. Stark’s films and videos have been shown nationally and internationally, including one person shows at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Pacific Film Archive, the REDCAT (Los Angeles) Filmforum (Los Angeles) and many others. His work has been the subject of two three-part retrospectives at the Anthology Film Archives (New York, 2014) and at San Francisco Cinematheque (2001). His film Angel Beach was invited into the 2002 Whitney Biennial.  Stark lives in Austin, where in 2012, he initiated Experimental Response Cinema,  an avant-garde film screening series.

Traces/Legacy

35mm film, color/sound

Traces/Legacy uses a device called a film recorder to print a series of digital still images onto 35mm film. Discarded Christmas trees, colorfully arranged flea market finds, a museum of animal kills, microscopic views of kitchenware, and other overlooked cultural artifacts are interwoven with flickering journeys through mysterious, shadowy realms.

The 35mm projector can only show a portion of the image at a time, so the viewer sees alterations between the top and bottom half of each frame. The images also overlap onto the optical sound area of the film, generating their own unique sounds.

Country, Year United States, 2015
DirectorScott Stark
Runtime9 MINS, 00 SECS
GenreExperimental
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation, Live Cinema

Is it True What They Say

HD video, color/sound

Made for the Texas Archive of the Moving Image for "Mess With Texas" 2015. Is it true what they say uses archival films from "itinerant" filmmakers who traveled the south in the 1930s through the 1950s, documenting the local townsfolk and showing the films in a local theater. One of those filmmakers, Milton Barker, used the same script - a kidnapped girl is rescued by the local children - in every town over several years. This piece reworks that footage, presenting it as ghostly apparitions in modern urban Texas settings.

Country, Year United States, 2015
DirectorScott Stark
Runtime9 MINS, 00 SECS
GenreExperimental
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation, Live Cinema

Right

mini-dv, color/sound

A playful study of one of the U.S.A.'s most ubiquitous symbols, and an attempt to re-invent it as a thing of problematic beauty. Overlaid on top of the imagery are snippets of an email exchange I had with a person who was and remains a staunch apologist for the Bush administration's hundreds of lies leading up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, as well as for the administration's many other crimes, corruptions and failings.

"Stark, for his part, slices and dices this false idol, undermining [Mr. Right's] dead certainties with a fragmentation and multiplicity more in keeping with the existential facts of 21st century 'America.' But Right also demonstrates, once and for all, that the proper way to display the American flag is probably not at all." -- Michael SicinskiAcademic Hack

Country, Year United States, 2008
DirectorScott Stark
Runtime13 MINS, 00 SECS
GenreExperimental
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation, Live Cinema

Splitting You Splitting Me Still

8mm transferred to digital video

A selection of intimate impressions, this poetic 8mm film was made by putting the 16mm unsplit original into a 35mm still camera, shooting a series of still images, and then having the film processed and split as movie film. This dance of at times abstract images, the viewer wonders what is going to come next.

Country, Year United States, 1988
DirectorScott Stark
Runtime7 MINS, 00 SECS
GenreExperimental
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation, Live Cinema

Love and the Epiphanists (Part 1)

35mm film, 35mm slides, digital projections, music, live voice-over

"Love floats through Hollywood cinema like a flaming dirigible." - SS

Love and the Epiphanists is the first part of a 35mm film with live performance components, including wide-screen anamorphic 35mm film, 35mm slides, digital video, audio recordings and live spoken text. The films used are largely sourced from my collection of 35mm Hollywood movie trailers from the past 20+ years, using a hand-made contact printing process that allows me to repeat, reorder, reverse, double-expose, stain, misalign, twist and otherwise strangle the images. The result is a chaotic narrative and love story set against a future time known as the Epiphany – the moment in history when the effects of climate change became irreversible and undeniable.

Country, Year United States, 2018
DirectorScott Stark
Runtime30 MINS, 00 SECS
GenreExperimental
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation, Live Cinema
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