Gray Area Reads! Expanded Cinema With Gene Youngblood

Join Gene Youngblood & Gray Area in discussing Expanded Cinema in weekly conversations.

Gray Area Reads! takes a look at some of the original works around media theory, the confluence of art and technology, and the impact of technology on society and culture. Together we will work our way through discussions around how culture and technology can engage with society. For our first edition we will start with a book enormously influential to our thinking around immersive art, Gene Youngblood's Expanded Cinema.

First published in 1970, Gene Youngblood's influential Expanded Cinema was the first serious treatment of video, computers, and holography as cinematic technologies. Long considered the bible for media artists, Youngblood's insider account of 1960s counterculture and the birth of cybernetics remains a mainstay reference in today's hypermediated digital world.

To mark its fiftieth-anniversary re-release by Fordham University Press, join Gray Area in a virtual book club and weekly conversation about Expanded Cinema, with author Gene Youngblood. This edition includes a new Introduction by the author that offers conceptual tools for understanding the sociocultural and sociopolitical realities of our present world.

A unique eyewitness account of burgeoning experimental film and the birth of video art in the late 1960s, this far- ranging study traces the evolution of cinematic language to the end of fiction, drama, and realism. Vast in scope, its prescient formulations include "the paleocybernetic age," "intermedia," the "artist as design scientist," the "artist as ecologist," "synaesthetics and kinesthetics," and "the technosphere: man/machine symbiosis." Outstanding works are analyzed in detail.

Providing an unparalleled historical documentation, Expanded Cinema clarifies a chapter of countercultural history that is still not fully represented in the art historical record half a century later. The book will also inspire the current generation of artists working in ever-newer expansions of the cinematic environment and will prove invaluable to all who are concerned with the technologies that are reshaping the nature of human communication.

Dates

April 5 – May 24, 2020
Every Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PST

Schedule

April 5: Welcome & Introduction with Gene Youngblood & Barry Threw
April 12: Part One: The Audience and the Myth of Entertainment with Michael Connor
April 19: Part Two: Synaesthetic Cinema: The End of Drama with Amelia Winger-Bearskin
April 26: Part Four: Cybernetic Cinema and Computer Films with Casey Reas & Larry Cuba
May 3: Part Three: Toward Cosmic Consciousness with Erik Davis
May 10: Part Five: Television as a Creative Medium with Tina Rivers Ryan
May 17: Part Six: Intermedia with Niki Selken
May 24: Part Seven: Holographic Cinema: A New World with Kamal Sinclair

Gene Youngblood

Gene Youngblood is an internationally known theorist of media arts and politics. His book Expanded Cinema (1970), the first to consider video as an art form, was seminal in establishing Media Art as a recognized scholarly and artistic discipline. He is also widely known as a pioneering voice in the media democracy movement, and has been teaching, writing and lecturing on the subject since 1970. Michael Parenti has called Youngblood “a leading critic of media culture.” BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast thinks he’s “a true revolutionary.” Alternative Radio founder David Barsamian notes Youngblood’s “deep and early insight into how culture is manufactured.” Film director Monte Hellman (Two Lane Blacktop) calls him “one of our great natural resources.” Actor-activist Peter Coyote says Youngblood “illuminates dark corners … reminding us that ethics and morality are essential parts of the agreement we call reality.” Paul Krassner, publisher of The Realist, says Youngblood’s writings on counterculture “capture the spirit of a time when there was an evolutionary jump in consciousness, inspiring a sense of hope that it’s happening again now.”

Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist/technologist who empowers people to leverage bleeding edge technology to effect positive change in the world. In 2019 she was an invited presenter to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s World Headquarters in Dharamsala for the Summit on Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion. In 2018 she was awarded a McArthur and Sundance Institute fellowship for her 360 video immersive installation in collaboration with the artist Wendy Red Star (supported by the Google JUMP Creator program), exhibited at the Newark Museum and ASU in 2019. The non-profit she founded IDEA New Rochelle, in partnership with the New Rochelle Mayor’s Office, won the 2018 $1 Million Dollar Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge for their VR/AR Citizen toolkit to help the community co-design their city. She is a Sundance Institute Creative advisor and alum of their New Frontiers Story Lab and Festival(AR/VR/XR/AI tech section). In 2018 she was awarded the 100k Alternative Realities Prize for her Virtual Reality Project from Engadget and Verizon Media. Amelia is the founder of the stupidhackathon.com. Amelia is Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Deer Clan.

Casey Reas

Reas' software, prints, and installations have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work ranges from small works on paper to urban-scale installations, and he balances solo work in the studio with collaborations with architects and musicians. Reas' work is in a range of private and public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Reas is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Media Arts and Sciences and a bachelor's degree from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. With Ben Fry, Reas initiated Processing in 2001; Processing is an open-source programming language and environment for the visual arts.

Erik Davis

Erik Davis is an author, award-winning journalist, podcaster, and lecturer based in San Francisco. His work focuses on the intersection of alternative religion, media, and the popular imagination. He is the author, most recently, of Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica, but is best known for his book TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, which has been translated into six languages and was recently reissued. He also penned a book on alternative religion in California and short critical volume on Led Zeppelin and magick. Erik’s essays on music, technoculture, and spirituality have appeared in dozens of books and academic collections. Davis has contributed to scores of publications, and has been interviewed by CNN, the BBC, public radio, and the New York Times. Every week, he explores the “cultures of consciousness” on his long-running podcast Expanding Mind, on the Progressive Radio Network. He recently earned his PhD in religious studies at Rice University. His next book, High Weirdness: Drugs, Visions, and Esoterica in the Seventies, will be out next year.

Larry Cuba

Larry Cuba is widely recognized as a pioneer in the use of computers in animation art. Producing his first computer animation in 1974, Cuba was at the forefront of the computer-animation artists considered the "second generation" --- those who directly followed the visionaries of the sixties: John Whitney, Sr., Stan Vanderbeek and Lillian Schwartz. While still a graduate student at The California Institute of the Arts, he was convinced of the artistic potential of computer graphics, but this was years before art schools began teaching the subject. Cuba's solution was to solicit access to the mainframe computers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and teach himself computer animation by producing his first film, First Fig. Cuba received grants for his work from the American Film Institute and The National Endowment for the Arts and was awarded a residency at the Center for Art and Media Technology Karlsruhe (ZKM). He has served on the juries for the Siggraph Electronic Theater, the Montpellier Festival of Abstract Film, The Ann Arbor Film Festival and Ars Electronica.

Kamal Sinclair

Kamal Sinclair is the Executive Director of the Guild of Future Architects and Senior Consultant to Sundance Institute. She serves as External Advisor to MacArthur Foundation's Journalism & Media Program, Creative Advisor to For Freedoms, MIT's Center for Advanced Virtuality, Starfish Accelerator and Eyebeam. Previously she was Director of Sundance Institute's New Frontier Lab Programs. She was commissioned by Ford Foundation's JustFilms to research equality in emerging media, which resulted in "Making a New Reality."

Tina Rivers Ryan

Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan is Assistant Curator of modern and contemporary art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Her focus is on the uses of new media technologies, including video, digital, and internet art. In addition to curating, she regularly writes criticism for Artforum; her essays have appeared in journals such as Framework, Art Journal, and Media-N, and in exhibition catalogs from institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center. An art historian by training, she received her PhD from Columbia and BA from Harvard.




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