Film or Videomaking

2012
Ken Kobland, Film Work 1975-2011 Ken Kobland

Ken Kobland has been working in various aspects of film and video since 1971, creating productions in collaboration with performing artists such as Philip Glass, the Wooster Group, Elizabeth LeCompte, and Spalding Gray. His work explores a variety of themes and issues, often embracing a photographic aesthetic within the context of video. Beautifully edited, his work merges diaristic and documentary categories, presenting an art of video that approximates photo-journalism. 

This 7-DVD box set contains the following titles from the artist:

Disc 1

2007
Final Thoughts, Series One

I just got this tattoo — you can see it's still healing, the edges are raised like some sort of fancy business card — to mark the completion of this, Series One of my on-going project, Final Thoughts. So, on one wrist, facing fistward, a skull and, on the other, still tender and healing, a ghost. Let them be the mascots for the series, little cartoony avatars.

2012
Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 2

Jim Finn’s films and videos have been described as “Utopian comedies.” In the four works that comprise Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 2, the comedy that emerges through Finn's (not so) exaggerated interrogation of the products and symbols of authoritarian State identity gives way to a more solemn and ominous look at the machinations of the State as it seeks the domination and pacification of its publics.

1973
Five-minute Romp through the IP

In 1973, Dan Sandin designed and built a comprehensive video instrument for artists, the Image Processor (IP), a modular, patch programmable, analog computer optimized for the manipulation of gray level information of multiple video inputs. Sandin decided that the best distribution strategy for his instrument "was to give away the plans for the IP and encourage artists to build their own copies.

2004
Forbidden to Wander

Forbidden to Wander chronicles the experiences of a 25-year-old Arab American Christian woman traveling on her own in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the summer of 2002. The film is a reflection on the complexity of Palestinian existence and the torturously disturbing “ordinariness” of living under constant curfew. The film’s title reflects this, as the Arabic words used to describe the imposed curfew “mane’ tajawwul” literally translate as “forbidden to wander”.

2005
Fountain

Cutting to the core of cinematic realism, Fountain presents the plot-less character of human encounters. In a string of moments with the people who have presented themselves to Cumming’s camera for over twenty years, Fountain allows the accidental and the absurd to dominate our impressions. Storytelling is evacuated in the process.

1979
Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield, Hollis Frampton: An Interview

In the 1960s and '70s, Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) emerged as one of the most important experimental filmmakers, creating structuralist works such as Zorns Lemma (1970), Poetic Justice (1972), and Nostalgia (1973).

1971

German filmmaker Valeska and her crew—soundwoman Constanza and cameraman Albert—arrive at Maple Tree Farm during the Thanksgiving holiday of 1971 to film a piece for German TV on the Videofreex. In this video, the Videofreex turn the tables so to speak, making the Germans’ filming process—and the artificiality of the filmmaker’s prefabricated shots—their subject.

1975
Fur of the Field

The windy adventures of a dog in a sea of grass beneath blue skies.

1991
Game of Death

Using footage from the legendary Bruce Lee’s last, unfinished, film, Fulbeck turns the subtitled martial arts movie on itself—levelling criticism and commentary with the genre's own tools, and examining the various representative functions of the late actor.

2002
Joe Gibbons: An Interview

In this 2002 interview, filmmaker Joe Gibbons (b.1953) discusses his early work and the path that led him to an interest in both narrative and experimental film. Gibbons recalls how exposure to P. Adams Sitney’s Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde while at Antioch College would compel him to begin making his own structural films. Describing his appreciation for the directness and immediacy of experimental filmmaking, Gibbons discusses a subject’s relationship with the camera as one characterized by intense intimacy.

1976
The Girl Chewing Gum

“In The Girl Chewing Gum a commanding voiceover appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasized, we realize that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes—not prescribes—the events that take place before him. Smith embraced the ‘spectre of narrative’ (suppressed by structural film) to play word against picture and chance against order.

2003
The GODmother

This crime drama made with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute is a mixed bag of colorful misadventures featuring a wayward member of the clergy and a corrupting, femme fatale with bangs. The couple open a casino of ill repute with money acquired during their murderous rampage upon the population of a small community of churchgoers. The action is fast and cheap because of the $400 budget, and the cast attractive because youth itself is always beautiful.

2009
Great Man and Cinema

Kim Jong Il, the Stalinist David O. Selznick, runs the state film studio as a way of promoting his own and his father's cult of personality. The film's title, Great Man and Cinema, comes from a propaganda booklet filled with stories of how the Dear Leader has written, edited, produced and given acting advice in films for the last 40 years. This film succinctly synthesizes the Dear Leader's directing philosophy with his feelings toward the imperialist beast at his heels.

2002
The Guzzler of Grizzly Manor

Film festivals are in progress as this video takes the viewer from the autumn rich colors of a Washington State movie event to the Virginia countryside of flaming, October foliage. In between bouts of waterlogged imagery we hear the peeps and exhortations of those in front of and behind the screens that plaster this geography with tribal dreams. Water sloshes and spurts freely in the chilly air, unfrozen by stage fright, while wineglasses clink to the coming winter. Featuring festival goers Nicholas Cage and Guillermo Gomez-Pena.