San Francisco Cinematheque presents
Dale is Dead (Remembering Dale Hoyt)

San Francisco Cinematheque presents a memorial retrospective of videoworks by San Francisco iconoclast Dale Hoyt (1961–2022), featuring punk-influenced videos created in SF's turbulent '80s.

Dale is Dead (Remembering Dale Hoyt)
Curated and presented by Steve Seid

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

7PM Doors
7:30PM Screening

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Your World Dies Screaming (1981)

Dancing Death Monsters (1981)

Ringo Zappruder (1981/82)

Over My Dead Body (1983)

The Complete Anne Frank (1985)


Braille (1986)

Transgenic Hairshirt (2001)

Don’t Be Cruel (2004)

Because (2006)

All works by Dale Hoyt.

Dale is Dead. Dale Hoyt who at age 19 was already showing his irascible works to perplexed audiences. Dale who five years in made a remarkable, sui generis video, The Complete Anne Frank, that still holds its own. Dale who, it was rumored, slept on the roof of the SFAI when his money got thin. Dale whose uncompromising ways never found welcome from grants panels of his supposed peers. Dale who left briefly to run the video program at New York’s The Kitchen, but faithfully returned. Dale who in later years haunted the Tenderloin like a sage and wily guy. Dale who left behind a chill absence where his vital life had once warmly sounded.

Dale Hoyt’s body of videowork that streamed forth for a decade, then vanished for a time, only to return in his waning years. Dale came-of-rage in a fruitful moment, the late-70s/early-80s. From the scrap heap of punk culture, he snatched an aesthetic that was low-rent, appropriative and bratty. Video art had moved on from the performative documentation of the ‘70s to cut-and-paste storytelling from the likes of Tony Labat, the Yonemotos, Ilene Segalove, Tony Oursler and others. Dale deployed shreds of narrative, shrewd iconoclasm, and cut-and-paste tech, then coerced his artist-pals into enacting their own angst. The never-faltering early works drilled into the frontal lobe of juvenile yearning, marshaling pop icons, cascading pills, viscous props and grotesque wallowing as the stuff of post-pubescent misery. Atop this heap, Dale added a miasma of sound bites, pop song lifts, and plaintive dialogue to amass an unnerving swamp of sonorities.

This memorial screening of Hoyt’s works includes Your World Dies Screaming (1981), Dancing Death Monsters (1981), Ringo Zappruder (1981/82), Over My Dead Body (1983), The Complete Anne Frank (1985), Braille (1986), Transgenic Hairshirt (2001), Don’t Be Cruel (2004), Because (2006).

Full screening details, including extended curatorial essay by Steve Seid, details of related online screening and more can be found here.


Dale Hoyt

Dale Hoyt was a video artist involved in the making, curating, teaching and criticizing of independent media for almost 45 years. His work reflected the tone and aesthetics of the peak SF punk scene he was very much a part of. He curated at the Western Front Music Festival, The Kitchen Center in NYC, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery among other spaces. He was published in the Syracuse New Times, Send, Video ’80, and Stretcher magazine and taught at the New School, CCA and the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been shown internationally since he was 19 and is in the collection of The Long Beach of Contemporary Art, MOMA in NYC and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.        


San Francisco Cinematheque

Founded in 1961, San Francisco Cinematheque cultivates the international field of non-commercial artist-made cinema through curated exhibitions, through the creation of publications and by maintaining a publicly accessible research archive. Cinematheque’s work inspires aesthetic dialog between artists, stimulates critical discourse, and encourages appreciation of artist-made cinema across the broader cultural landscape. With a grounding in non-commercial, non-narrative and non-documentary filmmaking traditions, Cinematheque’s programs broaden the public’s understanding of non-mainstream artistic filmmaking practice while expanding and challenging established art- and film historical traditions.

The Lab

The Lab believes that if artists are given enough time, space, and funding to realize their vision, the work they produce will change the way we experience the world. These are often small propositions that (like all great art) challenge the familiar ways we perceive value, and so the lab seeks out extraordinary artists who are underrepresented as a result of gender, class, race, sexuality, or geography, and whose work is not easily defined and therefore monetized. As a site of constant iteration and indeterminacy, The Lab is, above all, a catalyst for artistic experimentation. The Lab is W.A.G.E. Certified. W.A.G.E. Certification is a program initiated and operated by working artists that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations demonstrating a commitment to voluntarily paying artist fees that meet a minimum standard.

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