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Visiting Artists

Fall 2012 

Cinema Visitors Series

At Binghamton University

LECTURE HALL 6 AT 7:30 (Unless otherwise noted) 

All Shows are free and open to The Public

Series Sponsored by Cinema Department and Harpur College Dean's Speakers Series.


Tuesday October 9 BEN RIVERS (In Person)

"Operating in the twin realms of cinema and gallery circuit – although his chosen medium is old-school celluloid – British filmmaker/artist Ben Rivers is a geographer of real and imaginary landscapes. Rivers born in 1972, could be described as a quasi- documentarist, and is one of British film's most fascinating new names. He's at once a purposeful explorer and a distracted wanderer, heading out to investigate real people and places, but also sensitive to chance discoveries and imaginative resonances." – Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

Phantoms of Libertine 14 min. 2012 Rivers has a long-term, almost anthropological interest in those who live in isolated locations, outside of civilization and within hermetic or utopian worlds. His new body of work, Phantoms of a Libertine now showing at Kate MacGarry – a 16mm film and a series of black and white photographs- marks a slight shift, a re-visiting of earlier lines of enquiry into the power of once occupied places and the unfolding process of abandonment which renders the remains of a once animated histories into remnants of experience, mysterious and incomplete. Rivers documents the life of an anonymous subject, a friend, through the articles left in his flat a year after his death, an obscured yet oddly plain and fond presentation of a well-recorded life and what remains: a flat replete with artifacts, books and stone figurines now dominated by dust. Rivers gaze is directed at the details of a life, the small physical tokens that are left behind- a really beautiful show. – Contemporary Art Society

Sack Barrow 21 min. 2008 Sack Barrow explores a small family run factory in the outskirts of London. It was set up in 1931 to provide work for limbless and disabled ex-servicemen until the factory finally went into liquidation this year. The film observes the environment and daily routines of the final month of the six workers. Years of miniature chemical and mineral processes transform the space into another world. Towards the end an extract of The Green Child by Herbert Read describes the descent into a watery cave world.—Ben Rivers 

Ah Liberty, 20 min. 2008 In another Rivers film, Ah, Liberty!, kids run amok on a property strewn with disused machinery, while the very distinctions between interior and exterior are skewed by porous, doorless, windowless architecture and a car that's driven through water. Again, Solnit: "Children seldom roam, even in the safest places. Because of their parents' fear of the monstrous things that might happen (and do happen, but rarely), the wonderful things that happen as a matter of course are stripped away from them. For me, childhood roaming was what developed self-reliance, a sense of direction and adventure, imagination, a will to explore, to be able to get a little lost and then figure out the way back." Ah, Liberty! seems to ponder the question of--to put it crudely--what separates freedom from neglect; with this, I was reminded of Hirokazu Kore-eda's Nobody Knows. Both of Rivers' films, with their enigmatic onscreen behavior and absence of exposition, guarantee a certain disorientation and at the same time risk that their audience may never return. Much to his credit, Rivers has a strong intuitive sense, alert to that undefinable threshold of going too far.

The Coming Race 5 min, 2006

House, 5 min. 2008

Tuesday October 30 Film Scholar JONATHAN WALLEY

Prof. Walley will give a presentation entitled Expanded Cinema in Four Movements. The term "expanded cinema" covers a bewildering variety of new moving image media and practices that appeared in the 1960s, including video and TV, computer imaging technologies, holography, light shows, and film/video installation in the gallery. Cinema, for decades "contained" by the medium of celluloid film, was suddenly much more heterogeneous, raising the question of exactly what cinema was – and was not. The proliferation of new digital media that began in the 1990s has once more placed the complex questions expanded cinema raises about the art form's identity on the agendas of filmmakers and scholars alike. This talk takes aim at mapping the vast, untamed terrain of expanded cinema, both past and present, and attempts to answer the question, "How can cinema expand and still be cinema?"

JONATHAN WALLEY is an Associate Professor of Cinema at Denison University. He specializes in avant-garde or experimental film, focusing in particular on "expanded cinema" (multi-screen works, film-based performance, film/video installation, paracinema, etc.). His work has appeared in October, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, The Velvet Light Trap, and in numerous anthologies on avant-garde film and art. He is currently writing a book on expanded cinema.


Tuesday Nov 13 PETER ROSE (In Person)

Since 1968 Peter Rose has made over thirty films, tapes, performances and installations. Many of the early works raise intriguing questions about the nature of time, space, light, and perception and draw upon Rose's background in mathematics and on the influence of structuralist filmmakers. He subsequently became interested in language and made works that played with concrete texts, political satire, oddball performance, and a kind of intellectual comedy. Rose has been widely exhibited, both nationally and internationally, having been included in shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, the Centre Pompidou, and many others. He has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Pew Foundation.

Secondary Currents (1982, 16 mm, B&W, sound) is a film about the relationships between the mind and language. Delivered by an improbable narrator who speaks an extended assortment of nonsense, it is an "imageless" film in which the shifting relationships between voice-over commentary and subtitled narration constitute a peculiar duet for voice, thought, speech, and sound. A kind of comic opera, the film is a dark metaphor for the order and entropy of language and has been the subject of a number of articles on the use of language in the arts. Percussion is by Jim Meneses.

Metalogue (1996) - 3min. digital video has been described as a cross between a "speech" and a "fireworks display." Digital editing techniques have been used to reflect and refract a complex monolog about memory, time, and language. Metalogue won a Bronze Award at the New York Short Film and Video Festival and has been shown at the Oberhausen International Film Festival, the Hamburg Film Festival, and the World Wide Video Festival.

The man who could not see far enough (1981) - 33min. 16 mm film, color, sound, uses literary, structural, autobiographical, and performance metaphors to construct a series of tableaux that evoke the act of vision, the limits of perception, and the rapture of space. This film has won major awards at numerous festivals both here and abroad, including the Oberhausen, Edinburgh, American, and Sydney Film Festivals, has been broadcast nationally, and is in collections at Centre Pompidou in Paris and at Image Forum in Tokyo.

The Pressures of the Text (1983) - 17min. video, color, sound, integrates direct address, invented languages, ideographic subtitles, sign language, and simultaneous translation to investigate the feel and form of sense, the shifting boundaries between meaning and meaninglessness. A parody of art/critspeak, educational instruction, gothic narrative, and pornography, it has been performed as a live work at major media centers and new music festivals in the U.S. and Europe. The work was featured in the 1985 Whitney Biennial, won a Red Ribbon at the American Film Festival, and has been awarded major prizes at festivals around the world.

Odysseus in Ithaca (2006) - 5min. video Odysseus moors his boat in an alien architectural machine, a labyrinth with echoes of De Chirico and Escher- a place of mystery and power where the rules of visual perspective are transformed and another space erupts. Commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Indeserian Tablets (2011) - 16:20min. two-channel video installation An annotated nocturnal portrait of a vanished culture- its stories, scripture, technology, religious practice, art and poetry as reconstructed from fragments found in the archive at Kiens. Offered in the spirit of Calvino and Borges with a nod to Greenaway.-- Ed Sozanski, Philadelphia Inquirer

These artists’ screenings are co-sponsored by Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series.
Info: 607-777-4998

Last Updated: 8/25/16