Harry Smith: New Restorations @ International House Philadelphia by melinda shopsin

Thursday, May 4 2017 @ 7PM
Lightbox Film Center @ International House Philadelphia
Presented by John Klacsmann and Andrew Lampert

An unparalleled animator, gifted painter, and notable musicologist, Harry Smith (1923–1991) was an underground renaissance figure bar none. Smith’s kaleidoscopic experimental films have influenced generations of wide-eyed enthusiasts, and his landmark six LP compilation The Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) laid the foundation for the folk music revival of the late ‘50s and ‘60s. Today, Smith is renowned not only for his dazzlingly ecstatic and eccentric works but also for the vast assortments of curious objects that he voraciously collected throughout his colorful life. Anthology Film Archives and J&L Books recently joined together to issue two new publications focused on Smith’s most unusual collections, Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 2 and String Figures: The Collections of Harry Smith, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 2. Each book features new essays and richly detailed photographic documentation of Smith’s decidedly eclectic assembling and research obsessions. To celebrate the release of these publications we present a program of newly preserved films alongside some very rare Harry Smith audio-visual surprises.

Film Nos. 1-5, 7, 10 (Early Abstractions)
US, 1946-57/assembled ca. 1964, 16mm-to-35mm, 23 min. Restored by Anthology Film Archives and The Film Foundation with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. A premiere of a brand new 35mm print of Smith’s landmark compilation Early Abstractions. This brilliant new print was made by doing an optical blow-up from Smith’s original 16mm master. You have never seen this classic work with such vivid color and detail.
Film No. 6
US, 1950, 16mm, silent, anaglyph 3-D 1.5 minutes. New print by Anthology Film Archives. Smith’s shortest film abstraction is also his only known attempt to work in 3-D.
Film No. 15
US, 1965-66, 16mm, silent 10 minutes. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives.
In this film, Smith animates his extensive collection of Seminole patchwork.
Film No. 19
US, 1980, 35mm, 12.5 min. Completed over 15 years after the footage was shot and almost never publicly presented, Film No. 19 contains further outtakes from Smith’s abandoned Wizard of Oz adaptation. Made directly from Smith’s workprint, these captivating fragments offer a small taste of the masterpiece that Smith never finished.

courtesy Anthology Film Archives

courtesy Anthology Film Archives

FEELS GOOD @ Pioneer Works by melinda shopsin

April 12, 2017

I premiered FEELS GOOD, an LED message sign, and played guitar as part of the OptoSonic Tea 10th anniversary event.

Pioneer Works presents an evening of live visuals with live sound performance on Wednesday, April 12. Ten years after its first iteration, OptoSonic Tea will host an anniversary celebration including previous participants as well as artists new to the series. Visualists will perform simultaneously in different areas to a continuous music/sound performance by various musicians/sound artists coordinated and spatialized by Diapason Gallery founder and director of 12 years Michael J. Schumacher. Founded in 2006 by Katherine Liberovskaya and Ursula Scherrer, OptoSonic Tea was conceived as a regular series of salon-style meetings that explored different forms of live visuals as well as the different ways they can come into interaction with live audio followed by an informal discussion about the artists’ practices over a cup of green tea.

Participating Artists: Gill Arno, Miah Artola, Bob Bellerue, Causings, CHIKA, Tom Chiu, Seth Cluett Thomas Dexter, Jeff Donaldson, Luke DuBois, Bradley Eros, Michael Evans, David First, Kit Fitzgerald, Richard Garet, Shelley Hirsch, Chris Jordan, Antonia Kuo, Andrew Lampert, Katherine Liberovskaya, Al Margolis Anthony Martin, Miya Masaokal Brock Monroe, Charlie Morrow, Dafna Naphtali, Bradford Reed, Ursula Scherrer, Joel Schlemowitz, Lary 7, Lily Sheng, Jeremy Slater, George Stadnik, Hans Tammen, Ben Vida, Stephen Vitiello, Philip White, Amnon Slater, Sonia Yuditskaya

FAKED OUT @ RECESS by melinda shopsin

On March 10, 2017 Andrew Lampert and Public Opinion Laboratory will unveil the project Faked/Out, a multi-platform response to the world’s current information crises. Now that fake news is an all too real concern, it would seem that the only way to fight fire is with gasoline. Or, stated another way, the best way to understand fake news is to report it. With this in mind, Public Opinion Laboratory and Lampert will convert Recess into an office and operational hub for Fake Out News Incorporated (FONI), a news service very much concocted for the present moment.

Fake Out News Inc. (FONI) is a global, all-media information agency dedicated to the creation and distribution of unvetted news for an unreal world. As the premiere source of artificial journalism in the post-truth society, FONI is the leading supplier of tailored misinformation about today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Founded in 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, FONI manufactures words, pictures, and moving images to fabricate stories that have yet to be reported. With a wide range of multimedia divisions that cover headline, world, technology, business, finance, and entertainment news, FONI supplies dozens of millions of readers with fanciful, real-time coverage 20 hours a week.

While FONI is committed to falsifying the world as events unfold, the various activities offered under the umbrella of Faked/Out will attempt to scrutinize our general conception of what it means to be fake. Rather than go on the attack and decry the fake as a malice, this project operates from the premise that fakeness and fake news can provide an optimistic space for wish fulfillment and self-actualization. Facts must always be interpreted, and they beg to be questioned. Alternative facts and alternative fictions are possible daydream spaces that might serve as portals to hopeful futures and unobtainable realities.

Throughout the month-long Session, FONI staff, reporters, and guest contributors will be onsite and working from afar to investigate, write, film, and disseminate breaking news stories. A series of writing workshops, guest speakers, and film screenings will contextualize fake news within a significant, cross-disciplinary tradition of fakeness and will create opportunities for visitors to alternately interrogate and experiment with the practice of faking it in their own lives.

At the core of this Session rests an impulse to spark public consideration of a series of topical questions: Is it possible to find renewed faith and positivity in fake news? Is this what half of America and much of the world are already doing? Why subscribe to false agendas when we can make our own? And finally: Does accepting fake news as a given rather than a problem provide us with the impetus we need create the world we want?

FONI staff and contributors will include: Brian Belovorac, Sean Berman, Dawn Cerny, Howie Chen, Whitney Claflin, Caroline Golum, Rin Johnson, Owen Kline, Carolyn Lazard, JoJo Li, Dave Miko, Nour Mourbak, Steve Paladinsky, Scott Ponik, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Jordan Rathus, Edward Steck, and Angie Waller.

LESSER HAZARDS @ International Film Festival Rotterdam by melinda shopsin

January 29, 2017

A rover of mediums who favours formal structures and humorous ruptures, Andrew Lampert’s slippery live shows disrupt expectations of concept and execution, intention and results. This new entry in his unruly Projector Destruction series will – to give fair warning – not go as planned. 

Andrew Lampert: “When invited somewhere I ask my host to gather as many half-working projectors as they can find and then I ceremonially sentence them to death.” Bringing unscripted and chance elements into cinema's veneer of control, and often working in front of the audience, he foregrounds the contingency of film as a medium. Revelling in cinema as a performative environment, Lampert reclaims this space from a mass media culture to emphasize its potential for immediacy and accident – and to make each of his screenings and performances a one-of-a-kind event. 

Part of the exposition Nuts & Bolts, Thu 26 Jan to Sat 4 Feb, 11:00-20:30, Het Atelier, free admission, performance by Andrew Lampert on Sun 29 Jan, 17:00.

For all exhibitions, performances, video works and (interactive) installations, also see FFR.com/expo


I reprised my projectionist role at Tate Modern on January 18, 2017 in a performance of Tony Conrad's FIFTY FIVE YEARS ALIVE ON THE INFINITE PLAIN.  Rhys Chatham (long string instrument), Angaharad Davies (violin) and Dominic Lash (electric bass) accompanied a recording of Tony Conrad's violin as recorded by Jim O'Rourke at an earlier performance. Over the course of 90 minutes four 16mm projections slowly, almost imperceptibly merge into one overlapping image. Focus shifts and other occurrences happen along the way. 

Photo by David Daniell

Live @ Festival Aural 2016 by melinda shopsin

Okkyung Lee and I performed an untitled one-time only piece at Festival Aural in Mexico City on November 30, 2016 at the invitation of Blank Forms. Our show inlcuded a conversation about boy bands, visits to the Far East, a cameo gchat appearance from C. Spencer Yeh, and much more. There was a little music and a lot of everything else.

Bruce Conner Conversation @ MoMA by melinda shopsin

Revisitations: An Evening with Michelle Silva
Friday, September 30, 7:00 p.m.
The Museum of Modern Art

Michelle Silva of the Conner Family Trust will share rare films and clips that feature Bruce Conner in front of the camera, including selections from Conner’s unfinished feature length documentary SOUL STIRRERS (1984–), George Kuchar’s Tempest in a Tea Pot (1990), Ben Van Meter’s Me & Bruce & Art (1967), and more. Following the screening, Silva will be joined by artist, archivist, and curator Andrew Lampert. This event accompanies the exhibition BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE as part of the screening series Movie in My Head: Bruce Conner and Beyond.

PATENT PENDING @ Issue Project Room by melinda shopsin

@ Issue Project Room
September 29 2016

My muckraking solo performance piece PATENTS PENDING premiered as part of the series After 9 Evenings: A 50th Anniversary Celebration on a bill shared with LoVid. Special thanks to Lauren Rosati, Christopher McIntyre and Bob Bellerue.

From September 25 to October 1, 2016 ISSUE Project Room presents After 9 Evenings: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, a dynamic series of performances, talks, screenings, and workshops to mark the 50th anniversary of 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering (1966).

For the second performance of the series, LoVid premieres a new performance work, Interplayce. This piece stems from their ongoing project "Reaction Bubble," an installation that utilizes homemade electronics, analogue video, audio­visual synthesizers, and ceramics activated by performers. Drawing inspiration from the study of proxemics, which is concerned with the distances between people depending on the relationships and contexts in which they interact, “Reaction Bubble” examines the relationship between the body and architectural instruments. Interplayce is a collaboration with artist/engineer Tyler Henry and dancer Sally Im.

A rover between mediums who favors formal structures and humorous ruptures, Lampert’s slippery live shows disrupt expectations of concept and execution, intention and results. Tonight, Lampert premieres a new video performance that takes as its subject the culture of corporate "technology, ownership, registration, royalties, and patents."

PERFECT MAKES PRACTICE @ ANX in Oslo by melinda shopsin

A collaborative performance with Greg Pope
Performed at ANX in Oslo, Norway
As part of @ Ultima Contemporary Music Festival
September 14, 2016

Greg Pope and I reunited for the first time since 2011 as POPE/LAMP for a performance dedicated to Tony Conrad, whose pants played a prominent role in the proceedings. This was our non-descriptive blurb:

The end times aren’t here yet, but let’s start preparing. First thing you’ll need to assemble is an all-purpose survival kit: Unchewed bones, triple fried rice, positive thoughts, edible paper, guilt-free love, freckled vegetables, canned applause, serpentine movements, pre-faded genes, speckled light, one silver glove, and ‘some idea swimming in the blue gelatin of the reptilian brain, seeking out the gossamer-thin difference between illusion and the real’*

Infinity will be a blast. At long last there will be time to re-read favorite books, listen to stacks of records, organize hard drives, leaf through photo albums. The eternal means eating without consequences so enjoy another pizza. Don’t forget, there will be orgies.

* Baudrillard, Fragments, 1997. Although we don’t subscribe.

BRAKHAGE SYMPOSIUM by melinda shopsin

I was an invited guest at the 2016 Brakhage Center Symposium: A Tribute to George Kuchar
held at the University of Colorado Boulder on March 4, 5 and 6. My program featured rarely screened class productions staged by Kuchar at the San Francisco Art Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Cal Arts. In addition, I moderated a panel featuring Nancy Andrews, Denah Johnston, Donna Kerness and Mike Kuchar.

Mike Kuchar and Nancy Andrews

Mike Kuchar and Nancy Andrews

THE HOT SEAT @ TRANS-PECOS by melinda shopsin

THE HOT SEAT is my new talk show. It isn't a podcast, it's not being streamed, it won't be broadcast. I ask my special invited guests a lot of questions. There is a theme song and a monologue. It happens live. Tonight marks the world premiere.

Feb 4th, 2016
8PM Doors, 9PM Kickoff
@ Trans Pecos (915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood Queens)

• Sergei Tcherepnin/Woody Sullender

• Andrew Lampert

• Cecilia López


Okkyung Lee (composer, cellist) and Andrew Lampert (artist, filmmaker)
premiere their new audio-visual hybrid performance WANTS AND DESIRES .

Friday, January 29 at 7:30pm
35 Wooster Street, New York, NY, 10013
1 212 219 2166
$10 at BrownPaperTickets.com

Okkyung Lee and Andrew Lampert

Okkyung Lee and Andrew Lampert

Fridays and Saturdays in late January and early February, The Drawing Center will present Basement Performances curated by renowned composer and performer John Zorn. The six cutting edge multi-media performances in our Lab will bring together improvised music with expanded cinema and feature some of Downtown New York’s most adventurous musicians and visual artists including: Okkyung Lee and Andrew Lampert; Raha Raissnia and Panagiotis Mavridis; Bill Laswell; Kenny Wollesen and Julia Elsas; Ela Troyano and Uzi Parnes; and Ikue Mori.

The Basement Performances are produced by Brett Littman, Executive Director.

Saturday, January 30 at 7:30pm
Raha Raissnia (artist) and Panagiotis Mavridis (artist, musical instrument maker)

Friday, February 5 at 7:30pm
Bill Laswell (record producer, bassist)

Saturday, February 6 at 7:30pm
Kenny Wollesen (percussionist) and Julia Elsas (artist)

Friday, February 12 at 7:30pm
Ela Troyano (filmmaker, actress) and Uzi Parnes (photographer, performer)

Saturday, February 13 at 7:30pm
Ikue Mori (improviser, composer)

ALBUQUERQUE by melinda shopsin

premiering in the exhibit NEVER TWICE
at Mircoscope Gallery
Performance on Sunday December 20, 2015 @ 7PM

Microscope is extremely pleased to present “Never Twice”, an exhibition of live moving image performance in the context of what is usually referred to as expanded cinema: works free from the constraints or presenting alternatives to the traditional theatrical screening setting – single projection on a screen before an audience. The title of the exhibit, a reference to the quote from Heraclitus “one cannot step into the same river twice”, emphasizes the ephemeral character of this art form, one always intrinsically connected to a “here” and “now”, a multi-sensorial experience that although it may be performed again, it cannot ever be replicated.

“Never Twice” features eight New York artists recognized for their extensive work with this performative practice, many for decades, including Ken Jacobs, who participated in the “Festival of Expanded Cinema” as it was described on the poster for the event 50 years ago at the Filmmakers’ Cinemathèque run by Jonas Mekas. In some cases, other terms were or are preferred by the artists to describe their works such as “paracinema”, as used by Jacobs, or “contracted cinema” as presented by Bradley Eros.

The exhibit will unfold over the course of the month with gallery hours 1pm to 6pm Friday through Monday during which the artists have the option to be present to set up or take down equipment, rehearse and engage in other activities around their live performances on that Sunday night. On Mondays the remnants of the previous night’s performances will be on view.
Among new works in the exhibit are Black Space by Ken Jacobs, a 3-part work in which the audience, seated in total darkness, is guided by the artist’s voice until surround sound and strobe flashes take over; Barbara Hammer’s Outside/In, where the artist armed with portable projectors moves about the space aiming at an inflated balloon and the artist’s collage that incorporate personal photographs and medical x-rays; and Lary 7′s performance involving 35mm film loops loaded on his ”Yeep-yop” machine, an open projector tipped on its side in which the shutter opens only when the film advances, causing light bursts and syncing mishaps.

Other new works include an untitled performance by Andrew Lampert using video and broken films in broken projectors; Bradley Eros’ Screens <>, a projection based performance and installation made of colored gels, defraction grating, mylar, glass, to be viewed from both sides and in relation to Duchamp’s 1918 “To Be Looked at (from the Other Side of the Glass) with One Eye, Close to, for Almost an Hour”; and a performance and installation work by Joel Schlemowitz An Alchemic Amalgam presenting triptychs of projections in 35mm slides, 16mm film, magic lantern and overhead projector with images sourced from alchemy illustrations, moiré patterns, science films and new footage shot and developed at the gallery during the preceding days, all with live electronic accompaniment by Enrique Paoli.

Also on view are Bruce McClure’s performance for shoeless projector previously presented in Paris at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Textiles Through the Ages (2014), involving a found 16mm film projected through an Eiki projector from which the artist has removed film shoe and bracket assembly to allow the filmstrip to be pulled in front of the aperture completely disengaged, and “Aldebaran” by Rose Kallal, featuring original 16mm film loops containing imagery of video synthesis, film and computer animation accompanied by a live modular synth score.

A round table discussion about the practice of expanded cinema as well as its definition both historically and today, will be held on Monday January 4th, 7:30pm at the gallery. Several of the exhibited artists will be joining the discussion, as well as other guests TBA.

MOBY DICK by melinda shopsin

I was invited to the Whitney Museum of American Art on November 14, 2015 to participate in MOBY DICK: A MARATHON READING. The entire Herman Melville novel was read over the course of two days in the space of Frank Stella's retrospective exhibition.