The Power Station Announces “Generations”
DALLAS, TX, October 26, 2012 – The Power Station is pleased to announce “Generations”, an all-ages art-making event produced in collaboration with Oil and Cotton and The Writer’s Garret.
“Generations” will feature an interactive, freeform booklet designed by Oil and Cotton. Visitors will complete visual and written activities within the booklet by visiting stations placed around the grounds of The Power Station. Prior to taking their one-of-a-kind booklet home, participants will have the option of scanning in pages to be featured on The Power Station’s Tumblr page.
Additionally, two workshops will be held on the 3rd floor of the building. The first is an iPhone photography workshop with artist Laura Barth Turner; organized by Oil and Cotton. The second is a poetry workshop with writer Lisa Huffaker; organized by The Writer’s Garret.
“Generations” will be held Saturday, November 10, 2012, from 2:00 – 6:00pm. Workshops will take place at 3:00pm and 4:00pm. Event is free and open to the public.
The Power Station is located at 3816 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75226. Open Fridays, 1:00 – 5:00pm, and by appointment.
The Power Station will host a screening of Anthony McCall’s “Line Describing a Cone” tonight at Angstrom Gallery, 6-11pm. Event is free and open to the public.
Angstrom Gallery, 3609 Parry Avenue, Dallas, TX 75226
Screening list for FNFD, Part 3: reMEdiations, Contemporary Video Art from the Middle East
Doron Solomons, My Collected Silences, 1996
Roee Rosen, Confessions Coming Soon, 2008
Doron Solomons, Father, 2002
Yael Bartana, Wild Seeds, 2005
Irina Botea, Auditions for a Revolution, 2006
Transcript of Jenny Vogel’s Lecture From FNFD Part 3
The idea for this session came from two experiences I had that frame my memory of the 1990’s. My mother bought our first TV after Bush Senior had issued his ultimatum to Saddam Hussein in 1990. Our small household event might seem insignificant in comparison to the start of the first Gulf War, but it was telling of the nature of the conflict. Nicknamed the Video Game War, it was fought through the viewfinders of cameras and it was witnessed by the world through the spectacles of night vision goggles on daily newscasts. War and cameras of course have a long history, whether the camera eye lends itself as a hidden mechanical spy, an image processor by which we guide our weapons, or to simply document the spectacle for posterity. But most interesting perhaps is the history of the relationship between camera (or machine) and audience, or camera and operator (the cameraman or woman).
The press witnessed the aerial bombardments of the first Gulf War from a safe distance. What the public was seeing was a beautiful fireworks display against the greenish tinted sky of night vision goggles. A panoramic scene: abstracted and removed. The effect of that firework display remained hidden from view and never became visible on our brand new TV. For some of the soldiers the experience of fighting the war was strangely similar to our experience watching the updates on the news. The enemy was engaged remotely, and always through some form of mediating camera equipment. Cold, seemingly precise and objective, the equipment spared soldiers from direct engagement.
Ten years later I was standing on a rooftop in New York City, surrounded by people with cameras, who were documenting the World Trade Center attack unfold while watching in terror; an utterly different experience of tragedy. It was close, emotional, personal, and the effects of the attack were painfully visible even if the worst was edited out. The experience was not abstract and removed; it was surreal. This experience is also reflected in the majority of footage available of the event. Shaky cameras that are running to or from the sight, surveillance cameras, so close that their vision is blocked by dust and falling debris, and stunned cries of disbelieve from the camera operators are the norm. Unlike the images of the Gulf War, there is no more absolute and no safety zone in these camera images. Their operators are also the afflicted.
Comparing the footage of these two events might not be particularly useful because the events are so different, but I believe that this change from the mechanical vision of 1990 to the emotional images of 2001 is an interesting one nevertheless. It projects a move from our understanding of camera networks and surveillance from a “Big Brother” perspective to something much closer to us and incorporated in our daily lives either through acceptance or a general ubiquity of cameras for our own usage. I would like to suggest that even though the walls of the panopticon are still standing strong, we have figured out ways to reclaim some of the usage of these camera images. In this series I would like to draw a map of this evolution in our relationship to the camera eye, by using the following Video pieces as example.
1.) Technology initially used during war will sooner or later infiltrate civilian life. Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine II looks at footage produced by cameras implanted in machines. The traditional man/machine distinction dissolves, as cameras substitute the human eye. Run by image processing software the cameras also substitute the operator and simulation and reality start to blend.
2.) In Heatseeking, Jordan Crandall explores the erotic and violent tension of watching and being watched. Shot on 16 mm as well as miniature stealth cameras and infrared thermal visions the body and the senses are adjusted, oriented and armed. The combination of cinematic formats with the “strategic seeing” of the surveillance cameras drives the narrative and reflects our entanglement in visual networks.
3.) The Surveillance Camera Players are a New York City based theater group that stages scenes from plays, books and films through the unique medium of surveillance camera monitors. Turning the idea of Bentham’s panopticon on itself, the players use available surveillance cameras to play George Orwell’s 1984 for Big Brother himself: the police and security personnel potentially watching the cameras on their monitors.
4.) Natalie Jeremijenko and the Bureau of Inverse Technology take invasion of large systems a step further, by flying a BIT plane, a radio controlled model airplane equipped with a micro-video camera, over Silicon Valley’s no-fly zone. Though it does not necessarily gather any useful information, BIT plane does draw attention to the militarization and lack of transparency of big technology companies, by turning their own research against them.
5.) In Kristin Lucas’s Host the camera eye or machine is not only a passive observer, or impassionate navigator but a personal advisor. In the video, Lucas participates in a fictional online-therapy session, directed by the system operator of an ATM machine. As Lucas indulges in a virtual conversation about a relationship, the session turns into an amalgamation of daytime television and tabloid, wherein the surveillance camera eye takes on human form.
6.) Perhaps the video that most effectively breaks through the one-way relationship of the camera eye is Jill Magid’s Trust. In 2004, Jill spent 31 days in Liverpool, during which time she developed a close relationship with Citywatch (Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council), whose function is citywide video surveillance- the largest system of its kind in England. The videos in her Evidence Locker Series were staged and edited by the artist and filmed by the police using the public surveillance cameras in the city center. Wearing a bright red trench coat she would call the police on duty with details of where she was and ask them to film her in particular poses, places or even guide her through the city with her eyes closed in the video Trust. The most amazing aspect of this video is, that instead of submitting, subverting or agitating the eye behind the camera, Magid acknowledges the human beings behind each system and convinces them to collaborate with her.
I should note that I do not attempt to be inclusive or chronologically correct about the work presented, instead I put this program together as a thought experiment and I hope you will enjoy it as such.
Screening list for FNFD, Part 3: Between Two Wars: Video Art and Surveillance in the 1990s
Eye Machine II, Haroun Farocki, 2002
Heatseeking, Jordan Crandall, 2000
George Orwell’s 1984, Surveillance Camera Players, 1998
BIT Plane, Bureau of Inverse Technology, 1999
Host, Kristin Lucas, 1997
Trust, Jill Magid, 2004
Screening list for FNFD, Part 2: The MTV Era: 1980s Video Art
MIKE, Michael Smith, 1987
Go For It Mike, Michael Smith, 1984
Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry, Dara Birnbaum, 1979
Technology Transformation: Wonder Woman, Dara Birnbaum, 1978
30 Second Spots: New York, Joan Logue, 1982
Joan Does Dynasty, Joan Braderman, 1986
Joan Sees Stars, Joan Braderman, 1993
Screening List for FNFD, Part 1: Building a Better Machine: Moving Image Works From The 1970s
Remedial Reading Comprehension, Owen Land, 1970
Articulating the Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals (Finale), Tony Conrad, 1975
A Chair and Blinking, Takahiko Iimura, 1970
Vocabulary, Woody Vasulka, 1973
Berlin Horse, Malcom LeGrice, 1970
N:O:T:H:I:N:G, Paul Sharits, 1968
Local Breweries Participating in FNFD Video Series
The Power Station is pleased to announce that two DFW-area breweries have generously agreed to provide beer for 3 of our 4 “Four Nights, Four Decades” video screenings. We are thrilled to be able to partner with two local businesses.
Martin House Brewing Company is based in Fort Worth and will be at the September 6 and 13 video screenings. Armadillo Ale is based in Denton and will be at the September 20 screening.