Music

1996
Coal Train in 2/4 Time

Filled to capacity, each car of a 157 car train sounds a percussive note in this homage to John Coltrane. And not one coal train, but two.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

1999
Jem Cohen:  Early Works

This compilation features several of Cohen’s pieces from the late 1980s and early 1990s: a paean to both the physical and mental aspects of the New York City landscape, an exploration of cinematic genres from narrative to music video, a sensual and romantic portrait of swimmers at a water hole, and a sound and image piece inspired by a telephone confession line.

Total running time 1:15:00.

1983

The Commision is an ambitious narrative in operatic form that blends video effects and electronically manipulated sound with stylized docu-drama. Based on the real-life drama of Niccolo Pagnini, the 19th Century violinist and composer (Ernest Gusella), and his contemporary, Hector Berlioz (Robert Ashley), the work addresses the exploitation of genius, the artist as tragic hero, and the historical exploration of inspiration in the Romantic tradition.”

—Bob Riley, FOCUS: Steina and Woody Vasulka (Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1986)

1996
Cecelia Condit Videoworks: Volume 1

Though the use of fairytales and dark fantasies, these works combine the commonplace with the macabre to construct a new world of the subconscious.

2002
Ben Coonley: Trick Pony Trilogy

The Trick Pony Trilogy is a series of parodic instructional videos hosted by the artist and a talking mechanical hobbyhorse. Human and pony present lessons on a series of rule-based systems including Texas country dancing, the film editing principle known as the “Kuleshov Effect,” and football strategy. The pony serves as sidekick and foil to Coonley’s stuttering pedantic Everyman, disrupting his academic demonstrations with songs, whinnies and frequent requests to be brushed.

2010
Debbie and the Demons

Dan Carbone sings Debbie and the Demons.

1974
Divided Alto

Utilizing a four-way split screen, Divided Alto documents Landry’s improvised flute performance—focusing on the harmonics of the instrument as he plays double and triple chords. The camera centers on the elements that make the music—the mouth and fingers of the musician—as the music moves from counterpoint to synchronization, establishing rhythms that ebb and resurface.  The tape is double-tracked in stereo, video, and audio.

2001
DJ Spooky: An Interview

Paul D. Miller (b. 1970) is a conceptual artist, writer, and musician better known as DJ Spooky. A popular and prolific recording artist, he has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Butch Morris, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth), Kool Keith, and Killa Priest (of Wu Tang Clan). Miller’s work uses a wide variety of digitally created music as a form of postmodern sculpture.

1991
Drink Deep

Drink Deep is a lyrical vision of friendship, hidden secrets, and desires. Cohen uses several types of film image to add texture to the layered composition. Beautiful shades of grey, silver, black and blue echo the water, reminiscent of early photography and silverprints. Cohen says, "The piece was constructed primarily from footage I’d shot of skinnydippers at swimming holes in Georgia and rural Pennsylvania. It’s about water and memory and stories just submerged. It is also, in part, a response to thinking about censorship.

2006
Kent Lambert "Dudley Pippen"

Commissioned for the Ocularis curated Free to Be…You and Me Invitational compilation, which premiered at Brooklyn’s Galapagos Art Space and also screened at Chicago Filmmakers, where Mercedes Landazuri and I performed a banjo and synth rendition of “It’s Alright to Cry” (the song that followed Dudley Pippin on the compilation).

2009
The Elektra/Vampyr Variations

A fantasia that makes twisted use of elements from the Elektra myth and vampire stories. Imagine a woman listening to Richard Strauss's Elektra while watching Carl Dryer's Vampyr and the dream she might then have that night. The protagonist imagines herself as Elektra. She has an unhealthy obsession over her dead father Agamemnon. She also passionately despises her mother Clytemnestra, as she is the one who murdered her father. Elektra exhumes the ax used to kill her father in his bath.

1991
finally destroy us

“But these meetings, these partings, finally destroy us.”

—Virginia Woolf, The Waves (New York: Harcourt, 1978)

2010
The First Four Sorrows: Mike Kuchar

Performance artist and playwright Dan Carbone belts out four spooky songs in a room filled with mummy dusted lunacy.

2006
The Flag

"The Flag is the second part of a video series about the state-controlled national day ceremonies of the Turkish Republic. Shot during the April 23rd Children’s Day celebrations, which mark the establishment of the new Turkish Parliament, and hence the official demise of the Ottoman Empire back in 1920, this split screen film documents a pompous patriotic performance devised by elders to be performed by children.

2007
Flesh of Fury

This is a colorful fable of many foibles involving a man of the cloth who wishes to shed those accouterments for something of a more sinister fabric. The plot tumbles unrelentingly toward a sci-fi tone when a time machine is thrown into the vivid melange and our anti-hero gets caught up with an ancient soul who has the hots for less ancient hunks. There’s spectacle on a budget and young and old doing their best to put on a big show about the sacred, the profane and the goofy.