Beton7 v_ideas/performances festival

Working Notes

Saul Levine/Phill Niblock/Matthew Doyle/Sam Wolk

 Beton7 v_ideas/performances festival

 In 1965, Saul Levine misjudged a leap from a sailboat to a buoy, falling into the Long Island Sound with his 8mm camera rolling in his hands. He’s been busy making films ever since, mostly in the inexpensive small gauge format of Super-8, and more recently in video. 

 For the past forty years Saul has been committed to life as a working artist, and in his work, we catch kaleidoscopic glimpses of incessant, inspired activity — as an organizer for the Students for a Democratic Society in the ‘60s, as an active supporter of the workers movement and the working class, and as an influential teacher at MassArt, the only publicly funded art school in the United States. 

 Saul’s relationship to labor rhymes with minimalist composer and multimedia artist Phill Niblock’s one-word philosophy – ”work”. Originally working as a filmmaker and photographer, Niblock’s The Movement of People Working series presents footage shot in many different countries (China, Brazil, Portugal, Lesotho, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, the Arctic, Mexico, Hungary, the Adirondacks, Peru). Often shown in concert with Niblock’s minimalist compositions, these films present long, uninterrupted takes of exactly what the title suggests: people working. Rather than ethnographic perspectives, the films envelop the spectator into a sensual experience of labor’s visible variety and repetition within long duration. 

 These films show their work in different ways, in different times: subjectively, objectively... sometimes playful, anarchic; sometimes glacial. Matthew Doyle is a filmmaker and musician, and tonight he will animate their conversation with incidental electroacoustic accompaniment to a program of Saul’s films and videos. Following an intermission, Doyle and audiovisual artist Sam Wolk will accompany Phill Niblock’s China from his The Movement of People Working series. 



 Part I: Saul Levine/Matthew Doyle

 Later Later Dutch Master Later (1986-91, S8, 1’19”)

 Big Stick (1967-73, R8, 9’ 44”)

New Left Note (1968-82, S8, 27’ 16”)

 Notes After Long Silence (1984-89, S8, 15’ 21”)

 Crescent (1993, S8, 4’26”)

 Note One (1968, R8, 6’28”)

 Light Licks: By The Waters Of Babylon: In The Hour of the Angels (2004, S8, 23’ 39”)

 Dream Story (2001, Video, 4’ 57”)

 – Intermission –

 Part II: Phill Niblock/Matthew Doyle/Sam Wolk

China (1988, 16mm, 1hr 45min)


> Note: The films will be shown as high definition digital transfers. 

 Saul Levine, born in New Haven Connecticut, is a maker and advocate of avant-garde film and more recently video. A figure in the avant-garde film scene of the 1960’s and 70’s, he worked in dialogue with filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage, Carolee Schneemann, Marie Mencken, George Landow, Marjorie Keller, Jack Smith and Andy Warhol. Through his different series (Notes, short pieces for friends, or the ecstatic visions of the Light Licks) his poetics use light as it moves through the world as their material, and take their beat from the rhythm of everyday life. He is currently a professor at MassArt where he has taught for over 30 years and programmed the longstanding MassArt Film Society. His work has been screened nationally and worldwide, most recently in Chicago, Los Angeles, Belgium, Brazil, and Mexico City. He is based in Boston and hardly leaves town.

Phill Niblock is an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video and computers. He makes thick, loud drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres which generate many other tones in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents films / videos which look at the movement of people working, or computer driven black and white abstract images floating through time. He was born in Indiana in 1933. Since the mid-60’s he has been making music and intermedia performances which have been shown at numerous venues around the world. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York where he has been an artist/member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at EI since 1973 (about 1000 performances) and the curator of EI’s XI Records label. In 1993 he was part of the formation of an Experimental Intermedia organization in Gent, Belgium – EI v.z.w. Gent – which supports an artist-in-residence house and installations there. Phill Niblock’s music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode and Touch labels. A DVD of films and music is available on the Extreme label.

Matthew Doyle was born in Boston in 1989, and now lives in Los Angeles. An interdisciplinary artist and musician, Matthew has presented multichannel sound installations and live improvisations most recently at the Swiss Insitute (NYC), MassArt (BOS), FARAGO, and Human Resources (LA). Matthew is an M.F.A. candidate at UCLA’s Design | Media Arts program. He is currently finishing his first feature film, a musical/documentary starring his family entitled ‘Doylesong’.

 Sam Wolk is an experimental filmmaker and audiovisual artist currently roving between Los Angeles, CA, Cambridge, MA  and Berlin. His work is particularly focused on hybridizing biological, analog and digital media for the purposes of constructing and exploring generative systems.  His practice moves fluidly between text, performance, 16mm film, digital video, sculptural and interactive installations, computational design for audiovisual improvisation, analog field recording, data visualization, computational biology, and other fields. His work has been shown internationally at locations including the dA Center for the Arts Pomona (Los Angeles, USA), Pehrspace (Los Angeles, USA), the UCLA Design and Media Arts Program (Los Angeles, USA), the Deutsche Film- und Ferneshakademie Berlin (Berlin, DE), the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Cambridge, USA).














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