Pitzer College Hosts Series on the Future of Independent Media Arts

CLAREMONT, Calif., Oct. 12, 1999(PRIMEZONE) -- Pitzer College, a member of The Claremont Colleges, today announced that it will host inMEDIAte Future, a weeklong media event featuring internationally known artists and independent filmmakers.

The series, which runs from Monday, Oct. 25, through Friday, Oct. 29, will focus on the future of independent media arts in the United States. The series will feature lectures, performances, film screenings and music by B. Ruby Rich, Miranda July, Craig Baldwin, and Shu Lea Cheang. All events take place on the Pitzer College campus, 1050 N. Mills Ave., Claremont, Calif. 91711, and are free and open to the public.

This series is part of a visitor-in-residence program made possible by a grant from the E. L. Wiegand Foundation to advance the understanding of the media and their role in society. Also participating in this program are Claremont consortium members Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pomona, and Scripps colleges and the Claremont Graduate University.

Schedule of events open to the public:

Monday, Oct. 25 4:15 P.M. Lecture: B. Ruby Rich, Broad Performance Space

7:30 P.M. Film: Miranda July will screen "Nest of Tens," McConnell Living Room

Tuesday, Oct. 26 4:15 P.M. Performance: Miranda July will perform "Love Diamond" (multimedia), Broad Performance Space

7:30 P.M. Film: Craig Baldwin will screen "Spectres of the Spectrum," McConnell Living Room

Wednesday, Oct. 274:15 P.M. Lecture: Craig Baldwin, "Press Play to Agitate: Pirate, Plagiarists and Prank Documentaries." Lecture includes film clips. Broad Performance Space

7:30 P.M. Film: Shu Lea Cheang will screen "Fresh Kill," McConnell Living Room (http://brandon.guggenheim.org/shuleaWORKS)

Thursday, Oct. 28 7:30 P.M. Website Demonstration: Shu Lea Cheang, McConnell Living Room

Friday, Oct. 29 9:30 A.M. Panel: A discussion on the future of independent media art with Shu Lea Cheang, Miranda July, Craig Baldwin, B. Ruby Rich, and Pitzer professors Alex Juhasz and Jesse Lerner, Broad Performance Space

About the Artists

Ruby Rich began her career in film exhibition as founder of the Woods Hole Film Society in 1972 and went on to become associate director of the film center at the Art Institute of Chicago. After a stint as a film critic for the Chicago Reader, she moved to New York City to become the director of the film program for the New York State Council on the Arts. Since 1992, she has lived in San Francisco and taught documentary film and queer studies.

A working critic since the mid-'70s, Rich has been closely identified with a number of important film movements, notably feminist film, Latin American cinema, independent film in the U.S. and Europe, and the most recent phenomenon of the New Queer Cinema, a term she coined. She is known as a champion of films and film movements, who lobbies on behalf of filmmakers and cutting-edge work, rather than simply passing judgment. Duke University Press has just published her book, "Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement."

She is a regular contributor to the Village Voice as well as the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound. She's been a contributor to Elle, Mirabella, the Advocate and OUT, and edits film/video review for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Craig Baldwin earned his MA in 1986 at San Francisco State University. He studied under Bruce Conner in the university's department of cinema and became increasingly drawn to collage film form.

His interest in the recontextualization of "found" imagery led him to the theories of the Situationist International and to various practices of mail art, 'zines, altered billboards, and other creative initiatives beyond the fringe of the traditional fine-arts curriculum.

His desire to liquidate the formal distinctions between "public" and "private" categories through a proliferation of discursive modes expressed itself in several photo-essay, installation, video, and super 8 projects previous to his first 16mm production of "Wild Gunman" (20 min., 1978).

Baldwin's audiovisual argument against neo-colonialist ideology was further developed in "RocketKitKongoKit" (30 min., 1986), which utilized several narrative voices in an accelerating cinematic broadside.

His next film was "Tribulation 99" (48 min., 1991), a satiric psycho-political rant on millenarianism, xenophobia and CIA covert-action in Latin America. His following project, "O No Coronado!" (40 min., 1992), intercut live-action conquistador vignettes with archival footage, video-to-film effects and a time-warped musical mix in a black comic critique of the Conquest. Most recently, Mr. Baldwin completed production of "Sonic Outlaws," an experimental documentary on the emerging "electronic folk culture," exploring the legal, political and artistic implications of the audio-collage work of culture-jamming collectives like Negativland, the Tape-Beatles, the Emergency Broadcast Network and the Barbie Liberation Organization. Baldwin is currently working on a satirical science fiction film utilizing early kinescopes as a platform to criticize the militarization of the electronic technologies.

Shu Lea Cheang, once a New York-based media installation artist and filmmaker, is now living a digitalized version of a drifter.

Her video installations, structured to activate cross-cultural collaborations, include "COLOR SCHEMES" (1990, Whitney Museum, New York), the "AIRWAVES PROJECT 9" (1991, Capp Street, San Francisco), "Those Fluttering Objects of Desire" (1993, Whitney Museum Biennale Exhibition, New York). Her feature film "FRESH KILL" (80 min., 35mm), was premiered at Berlin International Film Festival (1994) and included in the Whitney Museum Biennale Exhibition (1995).

Over the past few years, she has done installations that traverse actual and virtual spaces. These included: "Bowling Alley" (1995, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis), which net-links a local bowling lane with the Walker Art Center's gallery space and cyber-bowl site; "Elephant Cage Butterfly Locker" (1996, Atopic Site Exhibition, Tokyo); and "Buy One Get One" (1997, awarded 2nd prize and permanent collection, NTT/ICC Biennale Exhibition, Tokyo).

Her current Web project, "BRANDON," a one year narrative (1998-1999) with multi-author upload, is the Guggenheim Museum's first commission of Web art projects and is produced in association with DeWaag: Society for Old and New Media, Amsterdam; Banff Center for the Arts, Canada; and the Institute on Art and Civic Dialogue, Harvard University.

Miranda July began writing and directing plays as a teen-ager in Berkeley, Calif. In 1994, at the age of 21, she relocated to Portland, Ore., and began making movies and creating performances in collaboration with the art-rock band The Need. This involvement with the music community in the Northwest evolved into a solo recording/performing career.

July has performed her "one-woman live movies" in venues across the country and recorded two performance albums on the Kill Rock Stars record label: "Ten Million Hours a Mile" (1997) and "The Binet-Simon Test" (1998). Currently, July is performing a two-act multimedia work, entitled "Love Diamond," with accompaniment by Zac Love.

In 1995 July established Big Miss Moviola, which produces an on-going series of non-selective "Video Chainletter" compilations that provide women film and video artists with a non-commercial context in which to view each other's work.

July also makes movies. "Atlanta" (1996) and "The Amateurist" (1998) have been presented in festivals around the world. This year, July directed a video for the girl-rock band Sleater-Kinney and collaborated with the electronic band, ICU, on a 12-inch single.

Pitzer College-a private, undergraduate, coeducational liberal arts institution-is consistently ranked among the best such colleges in the country. Located in Claremont, Calif., a city about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, Pitzer is an intimate college backed by the resources of The Claremont Colleges. Blending classroom instruction with fieldwork, Pitzer engages a student's mind, heart and spirit by integrating educational resources on-campus, abroad and in the local community. Pitzer offers a curriculum that spans 40 major fields and focuses on interdisciplinary, intercultural education with an emphasis on social responsibility and community service.


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