February 29, 2020
Chelsea Spengemann, Director of Stan VanDerBeek Archive
Screening 16 mm films by Stan VanDerBeek
Panel discussants: Geoff Winningham and Chelsea Spengemann
Saturday, Feb 29, 7:00pm
On the occasion of the Rice Media Center’s 50th Anniversary, several recently preserved films by Stan VanDerBeek including 16mm multiscreen projections, early computer films, and 35mm collage films will be presented at the Rice Cinema. VanDerBeek was the first filmmaker invited to teach at the St. Thomas Media Center in 1968 and then returned to Houston as an artist in residence at NASA in 1979. Chelsea Spengemann, Director of the Stan VanDerBeek Archive will introduce the screening and a discussion between Spengemann and Peter Lucas on VanDerBeek’s memorable multichannel experimental film performances in Houston will follow.
POEMFIELD 16mm, video, photo slides, 10 mins
The series is called POEMFIELD. All of these films explore variations of poems, computer graphics, an in some cases combine live action images and animation collage; all are geometric and fast moving and in color. These are eight films in the computer animated art series. As samples of the art of the future all the films explore variations of abstract geometric forms and words. In effect these works could be compared to the illuminated manuscripts of an earlier age. Now typography and design and created at speeds of 100,000 decisions per second, set in motion a step away from ‘mental movies.’ POEMFIELD No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 are all colorized by Brown and Olvey.” (source Filmmaker’s Coop)
Site (1964) Digital, 10min
“A 3-screen film documentary of a dance by Bob Morris and Carolee Schneemann set in a black infinite space. A man moves, carrying and moving large planes and shapes- uncovering a nude woman- metaphor of architectural and metaphysical space.” S.V.
Breathdeath (1963) Digital, 15 min
35mm, , b&w, sound. Awards: Bell Telephone Prize; Third Experimental Film Competition, Knokkele-Zout, Belgium, 1964; Midwest Film Festival, 1965; Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1964. Dedicated to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. A surrealistic fantasy based on the 15th century woodcuts of the dance of the dead. A film experiment that deals with the photoreality and the surrealism of life. It is a collage-animation that cuts up photos and newsreel film and reassembles them, producing an image that is a mixture of unexplainable fact (Why is Harpo Marx playing a harp in the middle of a battlefield?) with the inexplicable act (Why is there a battlefield?). It is a black comedy, a fantasy that mocks at death… a parabolic parable.”
Oh (1968) 16mm, 10 min
Assassination, falling down, animated drawings from the landscape of memory, mankind falling down, faces within faces, a haunting view of man drawn in brilliant animation graphics.” Made at the Media Center at St. Thomas in Houston
Moirage (1967) 16mm, 10 min
World premiere of new restoration 16mm print, restored by John Klacsmann, Anthology Film Archives
“A study in ocular illusions, pattern superimposition producing other patters and illusions of three dimensionality. A thorough demonstration of the richness and varied qualities of moiré patters by the acknowledged scientist/artist Gary Oster.” S.V.
Euclidean Illusions (1980) 16mm, 10 min,
Music by Max VanDerBeek. A fantasy film of illusive geometry, changing and rebuilding itself by computer animation, unique magic done while artist-in-residence at NASA in Houston in conjunction with Richard Weinberg.
All anniversary events are free and open to the public, to view the complete schedule visit: https://vada.rice.edu/50th-anniversary
Artist talk: February 27, 2020
2030 University Boulevard
Houston, 77005 TX