CUFF

GALAXIAN
Curated by Rebecca Meyers

A popular arcade game of the early 1980s, Galaxian connoted the luminous vastness of outer space as well as the accompanying danger of alien worlds. Each film and video in this program embraces the mediated otherness of video game source material, from Tomb Raider to World of Warcraft, to create ominous realms fraught with human frailty, death, and anxiety, charged by questions of identity, spirituality, and the struggle to make sense of it all. Avatars float, shift, and tremble in unnervingly desolate and preternatural videoscapes as artists redesign digital code and re-appropriate lo-fi gaming imagery, demonstrating the artistic potential for the emerging genre of machinima (where movies are created using video game technologies). Starting with a pair of haunting videos generated from Grand Theft Auto, the program builds in uncertainty and terror but ends with Total Power Dead Dead Dead’s moving call for intimacy and hope.

REHEARSALS FOR RETIREMENT Phil Solomon

Experimental Video 11:00 2007

Rehearsals for Retirement is the third part of The San Andreas Trilogy, dedicated to the memory of Mark Lapore: Untitled (for David Gatten), Faultline, Rehearsals for Retirement.

The days grow longer for smaller prizes I feel a stranger to all surprises You can have them I don’t want them I wear a different kind of garment

In my rehearsals for retirement

The lights are cold again they dance below me I turn to old friends they do not know me All but the beggar he remembers I put a penny down for payment

In my rehearsals for retirement

Had I known the end would end in laughter
I tell my daughter it doesn’t matter…

– Phil Ochs, Rehearsals for Retirement

UNTITLED (FOR DAVID GATTEN) Phil Solomon & Mark LaPore

Experimental Video 5:00 2005

“Mark and I made this film for our friend David Gatten, as a prayer, an offering, a “get well soon” card… for all three of us. It was made on the last night that I saw Mark, my best friend of 32 years.“ –Phil Solomon

AND WE ALL SHINE ON Michael Robinson

Experimental 16mm 7:00 2006

“An ill wind is transmitting through the lonely night, its signals spreading myth and deception along its murky path. Conjuring a vision of a post-apocalyptic paradise, this unworldly broadcast reveals its hidden demons via layered landscapes and karaoke, singing the dangers of mediated spirituality.” –Michael Robinson

SHE PUPPET Peggy Ahwesh

Experimental Video, 17:00 2001

“In a work based on appropriated footage from the game Tomb Raider, Lara Croft, the virtual girl-doll of the late 20th century, is recast as a triad of her personas: the alien, the orphan, and the clone.” – Video Data Bank

UNTITLED #2 Valerie Brewer

Experimental Video, 13:00 2006

“Untitled #2 exploits a glitch in the visual landscape of an online community to tease out the vague boundaries and tenuous relationships of virtual identity, property, and body.” – Valerie Brewer

STRANGER COMES TO TOWN Jacqueline Goss

Experimental Video 28:00 2006

“Stranger Comes to Town combines re-worked animation from the Department of Homeland Security with impressions from the online game World of Warcraft, journeys via Google Earth, and stories from the border to tell a tale of bodies moving through lands familiar and strange.” – Video Data Bank

HYMN OF RECKONING Kent Lambert

Experimental Video 6:00 2006

“Hymn of Reckoning explores themes of combat, torture and grief using images and sounds from the TV shows 24 and Lost, 1980s Nintendo games, and various known and unknown films” – Kent Lambert

TOTAL POWER – DEAD DEAD DEAD Stephanie Barber

Experimental 16mm 3:00 2005

“A haiku or love letter to the charm of two-dimensional images. The spectacle awaits our adoration, gives a tender intimation of collusion.” – Stephanie Barber

Rebecca Meyers is a filmmaker and programmer living in Cambridge, MA. Her film work has screened internationally at festivals including Media City, Images, the London International Film Festival, Oberhausen, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and Third Text: Images and Media Festival in Hong Kong. Rebecca received her MFA in Film/Video Production from the University of Iowa, where she founded and programmed Light Reading, a monthly series of contemporary and historical experimental film, and worked on the screening and programming committees for the (no longer extant) THAW Festival of Film, Video, and Digital Media. Before moving to Massachusetts Rebecca co-programmed Chicago’s Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival. She works at the Harvard Film Archive and continues to curate film programs at the HFA and other Boston area venues.