The Secret Society: Historical 16mm films at PICA this week
Andrew Ritchey is presenting a phenomenal lineup of 16mm experimental films this week at The Works, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s temporary venue for TBA:13. September 25-29 at 2470 NW Raleigh St., Portland, Oregon.
From PICA’s site:
For the better part of a century 16mm was the medium of choice for a coterie of artists dedicated to expanding the parameters of what was then called “film art.” This medium and its project are now historical. The works that remain are the dwindling trace of a once practicing Secret Society. That society was Cinema.

This exhibition presents a survey of 16mm film esoterica in four parts: Rebus, Number, Chronicles and Erotic Miscellany. The quality of the projection cannot be guaranteed. The artists will not be in attendance.

N.B.: For each of the four programs, the 3rd film will be unannounced. The programs of the Secret Society are for educational and informational purposes only. All patrons driven by other motives will be barred from the screening room at the start of each program.


Rebus (September 25, 6:00 p.m.)
Zorns Lemma (Hollis Frampton, 1970, 60 min.)


Number (September 26, 6:00 p.m.)
Future Perfect (Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren, 1978/80, 14 min.)

Time and a Half (James Benning, 1972, 17 min.)

The third film is unannounced.


Chronicles (September 27, 6:00 p.m.)
Duo Concertantes (Larry Jordan, 1964, 9 min.)

Theory of the Leisure Class (Paul Arthur, 1985, 8 min.)

The third film is unannounced.

1857 (Fool’s Gold) (R. Bruce Elder, 1981, 24 min.)

Taste It Nine Times (Jennifer Reeves, 1992, 5.5 min.)


Erotic Miscellany, Part I (September 28, 2:00 p.m.)
Soma Sema (Jeanne Liotta, 1988, 13 min.)

Oblivion (Tom Chomont, 1969, 4.25 min.)

The third film is unannounced.

Flesh of Morning (Stan Brakhage, 1956/86, 21 min.)

House of the White People (George Kuchar, 1968, 17.5 min.)

Blazes (Robert Breer, 1961, 3 min.)


Erotic Miscellany, Part II (September 29, 12:30 p.m.)
Soft Fiction (Chick Strand, 1979, 55 min.)

Miwa MatreyekProjector Performance at TBA:11

Cinema Project presented a program at TBA:11 featuring projector performances by LA’s Miwa Matreyek and Canadian film artist Alex MacKenzie. Matreyek’s Myth & Infrastructure exhibited her usual deftness as an animator which would have been more than enough to hold an audience’s attention. Add to that a precisely choreographed narrative using two projections plus a live, silhouetted performance by Matreyek and you can bet that minds were blown!


Alex MacKenzieProjector Performance at TBA:11

Cinema Project presented a program at TBA:11 featuring projector performances by Canadian film artist Alex MacKenzie and LA’s Miwa Matreyek. MacKenzie used a hand-cranked film projector (listen for it) to perform the wooden lightbox: a secret art of seeing. My video excerpt hints at the subtle light manipulations of MacKenzie’s performance but more importantly captures the hypnotic drone of the soundtrack. I’ll follow up with a clip from Matreyek’s performance tomorrow.


Shana Moulton & Nick HallettTBA:11

Shana Moulton and collaborator Nick Hallett presented a live version of Whispering Pines 10 at PICA’s TBA:11. This video is just a short excerpt— be sure to catch the performance in your town! Until then, check out some of the previous entries into Moulton’s Whispering Pines series.


TBA:11Jesse Sugarmann

Jesse Sugarmann did a series of live performances at TBA:11 today. This footage is from the 4:00 p.m. performance. Jesse had an impressive exhibition at Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland a few months back and I’ve eagerly awaited his TBA appearance. Well worth the wait!


Time-Based Art Festival – September 8–18, Portland, OR

It’s that time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) is unveiling the TBA Festival and energizing the city with performances, videos, music, and installation projects from around the globe. I always look forward to the TBA Festival, not because all of the work is terribly groundbreaking but because there is so much of it to absorb in such a short time.

TBA:11 is once again based in Washington High School, a beautiful decommissioned public building, as well as a variety of satellite venues across Portland. As in years past, video and film are abundant. The following list highlights projects at TBA:11 that prominently feature moving images. My list may be incomplete because I am working solely from descriptions contained in the TBA:11 catalog. I will make an effort to see as much work as possible over the course of the festival and report some of my favorites on The Moving Index. Click on the links for specific show times and venues.

Kate GilmoreSudden as a Massacre

In a private performance for the camera, a quintet of women will tear apart an enormous cube comprised of more than 5,050 pounds of wet clay. The above image is a still from Gilmore’s video.

Alex Mackenziethe wooden lightbox: a secret art of seeing

Presented by Cinema Project. A home-built, hand-cranked projector presents turn-of-the-century cinematic prototypes and long-forgotten ideas surrounding the moving image and its early promise.


We’d apologize, but that’s sort of our goal every time we do what we do—you know, create an empty vessel you can fill with your own nonsense. Go ahead, knock yourself out. Is that a joke? Uh, no, not that I’m aware of.

Miwa MatreyekMyth & Infrastructure

Miwa Matreyek steps behind the video screen to enter as a shadow into a world of her own animation.

James BenningRuhr

Benning explores duration and the cinematic industrial sublime in a series of masterfully composed long-take shots of Germany’s Ruhr Valley.

Experimental ½ Hour

Experimental 1/2 Hour, a biweekly cable access program produced by Eva Aguila & Brock Fansler, presents a night of video and live multimedia music performances produced for stage and television.

Shana Moulton & Nick HallettWhispering Pines 10

Comic, contemplative, and surreal, Whispering Pines 10 is a one-act, live-performance, video opera featuring Moulton’s alter ego, Cynthia.

Laura PoitrasO’Say Can You See

Drawing upon images and sounds recorded in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, O’Say Can You See evokes the experience of disorientation and loss that continues to haunt the nation.

DisorientalismReady Mix

Presented by Pacific Northwest College of Art. Disorientalism’s preoccupation with junk culture translates into junk food, as Ready Mix stirs up the story of Aunt Jemima’s century-long makeover from “slave mammy” to “modern working mother.”

It’s All a Blur

Presented by Pacific Northwest College of Art. Three West Coast masters—Guillermo Gómez Peña, Dale Hoyt, and Tony Labat—who have pioneered an intellectual, multifaceted approach to identity and art as means for social justice in the post-Bush era.

Tim DuRoche & Ed PurverThe Hidden Life of Bridges

For this live event, video projections on the river piers of the Morrison Bridge and audio compositions from the Hawthorne Bridge will bring the two structures to life.

Dean & Britta – 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests

A live, cinematic concert of songs scored by Dean & Britta for 13 of Andy Warhol’s famous black and white Screen Tests.

Mona Vatamanu & Florin TudorRite of Spring

Each spring, Romanian children set mounds of white poplar fluff aflame in the street gutters. The sparks and small fires in the film suggest the numerous catalysts for social change around the world.

Cristina LucasEuropleasure International LTD., TOUCH AND GO

Lucas’ video makes a sly commentary on the diaspora of Western factories to the Third World, through an encounter with one such British company, Europleasure International LTD.

Sarah DougherFin de Siécle

Three experimental poem-plays by the late Leslie Scalapino, staged with a small ensemble of instruments and singers.

Rachid OuramdaneWorld Fair

World Fair blends movement and video to present the body as a bank able to record, erase, or register different ingredients of modern reality and national identity.

zoe | juniper – A Crack in Everything Installed

A meditation on the moments that divide people’s lives into linear experiences of time, played out through 3-D animation, atmospheric lighting, and compelling choreography.