Part of Summer 2004
Guest curated by Maïa Cybelle Carpenter, San Francisco Cinematheque (In Person)
“Art Jones’s provocative music videos, documentaries on hip hop history, and vj collaborations with Soundlab, DJ Spooky, and Anti-Pop Consortium, all question the powers and politics invested in pop culture. From his work as a member of Not Channel Zero in the early 90s to digital cross-pollinations with the new media collective ITEL, Art Jones challenges stale academic critiques of American commodity culture. Screening tonight are two of his music video trilogies: Love Song #1 (2001) with music from the Delfonics, Cibbo Matto and Ol’Dirty Bastard and Love Song #2 (War Songs) (2004) featuring the sounds of Radiohead and Earth, Wind & Fire. Completing the evening Art Jones will perform a live audio accompaniment to his most recent work 7/11, a documentary essay made during a trip to Hong Kong for a media conference where Jones’ was trying to be a good tourist in a moment of perpetual doubt. It’s the romance of the East, loving and hating your country, and finding your inner American at the convenience store.” (Maïa Cybelle Carpenter)
Love Songs #1, video, 12:00 min., colour, sound, 2001
Love Songs #1 is composed of three pieces that pose questions about urban culture, race, and politics. Found footage images are manipulated and juxtaposed with popular music; the effects are unsettling, ironic, and sometimes humorous.
1. Blow #2
A description of digitized female forms juxtaposed with text and set to a Delfonics classic. The pixelated visual environment eventually crystallizes into an image of potential violence and beauty.
Nurture is a meditation on the anthropomorphic trends in “hardcore” hip-hop. In the video, rappers become animals, animals become rappers, all in a context of mediated nihilism and the environmental trend toward self-destruction. Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s classic 1996 song “Brooklyn Zoo” is the engine for our discovery channel nightmare. Riotously ironic and self consciously deployed, the director poses the question: “Where my dogs at?”
3. Over Above
Over Above is about the physical and social distances through which everyday horror is seen. Airplanes, buses, helicopters: these provide the windows that filter our perceptions of early 21st century America, where not-quite-seeing has become the dominant mode of vision. The visual “effect” is two fold: The first, composited through a helicopter window, is the beating of Thomas Jones by the Philadelphia police on July 12th, 2000. The second is a view of a scene from a bus window. Music by Cibo Matto.
7/11, video, 62:00 min., colour, sound, 2003-4 (Canadian Premiere)
A meditation on tourism, voyeurism, terror, the twilight of the “American Century” and the dawn of the new global empire. This piece combines documentary material of a brief journey from the United States to Hong Kong and back with stylized graphic segments and music and is narrated from the perspective of a citizen of the ‘overdeveloped world’ in search of the exotic.
Love Songs #2 (War Songs), 15:00 min., colour, sound, 2004 (World Premiere)
Music videos for our zeitgeist. Including songs by Radiohead and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
Art Jones works with film, digital video, interactive CD-ROM, and live media. He works individually and collaboratively (as a member of the Not Channel Zero television collective in New York, a participant in Soundlab audio/visual events, and the ItelMedia digital design group), producing narratives, documentaries, music videos, and graphics .His films/videos, cd-rom’s, live audio/video-mixes, and installations have been exhibited throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Japan. As a VJ he has performed with a variety of international musicians and artists including DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, DJ T-Ina, Amiri Baraka, DJ Singe and MC Verb, Anti-Pop Consortium, Femmes with Fatal Breaks, and Alec Empire and Phillip Virus. He is from the Bronx, New York and recently moved back there after teaching film, video, and new media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the past several years. Selected Exhibitions: Whitney Biennial (NY), Thaw Festival (IA), Musesum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL), Studio Museum of Harlem (NY), Bronx Museum of the Arts (NY), Flaherty Seminar (NY), European Media Arts Festival (Germany), Ars Electronica (Austria), VideoEx (Switzerland), MOMA (NY), Anthology Film Archives (NY), and Nagoya Multimedia Center (Japan).
Maïa Cybelle Carpenter is a curator and moving-image artist currently residing in San Francisco where she works for San Francisco Cinematheque and The San Francisco International Film Festival. She is very excited to have spent her summer in Toronto as a visiting artist at LIFT, helping out at Phil Hoffman’s Film Farm and guest curating tonights programme for Pleasure Dome! firstname.lastname@example.org