Oct. 30th – Utopia Variations: Gregg Biermann in Person

October 30th, 2014
@ grayDUCK Gallery (map)
$10 Door / $8 Online (Buy Tickets)

Add to Calendar 10-30-2014 20:00:00 10-30-2014 22:00:00 11 UTOPIA VARIATIONS: Gregg Biermann in Person A program of digital variations on film history, with the widely screened NY-based filmmaker in person! Full details at https://www.ercatx.org/oct-30th-utopia-variations-gregg-biermann-in-person/ 2213 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 Experimental Response Cinema admin@ercatx.org https://www.facebook.com/events/1474140079511981/ false MM/DD/YYYY

A widely screened film and video artist who has been working since the late ‘80s, Experimental Response Cinema is excited to host Gregg Biermann, who will be in Austin to present a survey of work he completed over the last decade. Often working with footage from Hollywood classics like The Wizard of Oz (1939), Rear Window (1954), North by Northwest (1959), and others, Biermann’s work takes advantage of the possibilities of digital cinema to advance rigorous compositional strategies.

“My work comes out of the avant-garde tradition of film as visual art. Avant-garde cinema is an important and relatively young artistic project. While it maintains its scrappy integrity, and while many significant works have been created in subsequent decades, current practitioners have not fully moved out of the shadow of the prodigious 1960’s and 70’s. The development of new tools has often determined aesthetic innovations. Consequently, I’ve looked to new technologies to discover vast unspoiled frontiers no longer available to small gauge filmmakers interested in exploring cinematic form. Most of these works could not have been achieved in earlier periods and are deeply rooted in digital technology. The meaning of digital technology lies in its ability to copy, alter, mask, fragment, super-impose, mutate, reflect, transmit and reframe.” – Gregg Biermann

NOTES: Barely Recognizable: The Horizons of the Digital Medium in the Work of Gregg Biermann by Jaimie Baron


The Age of Animals
35 min / digital / sound / 2014
Filmed in three locations: The Museum of Natural History, The Vatican, and The Bronx Zoo, this piece is a formally systematic meditation on the history of animal life on Earth and humanity’s role in its future.

15 min / digital / sound / 2010
Forty-one separate shots that have been appropriated and excised from the Hitchcock classic Vertigo are repeated and transformed into a composite sequence of concentric rectangles. Each rectangle appears over the last and grows larger over time. The narrative of the original is all but lost and in its place is a hypnotic and meditative display of forms and sounds.

Utopia Variations
5 min / digital / sound / 2008
In this piece, the “over the rainbow” sequence from The Wizard of Oz moves forward from the beginning and backwards from the end in half-second intercuts. This gradually builds from one screen to a “25-voice” split-screen canon in which each voice is slightly out of sync. The resulting matrix is mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic.

The Hills Are Alive
7:30 min / digital / sound / 2005
An iconic scene from the beloved Hollywood musical The Sound of Music is transformed through a contrapuntal progression of split screen effects. The resulting mosaic reveals haunting melodies and reverberating dissonance.

Another Picture
4 min / digital / sound / 2007
Another Picture is a digital age motion study inspired by the “chronophotographic” work of Etienne-Jules Marey. The finale from the Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard is split into 16 superimposed layers. Each duplicate of the scene dissolves in and out such that it is slightly offset in time from the next. The result is oddly static and hyperactive at the same time.

Crop Duster Octet
5 min / HD digital / sound / 2011
“One of the most iconic sequences in the history of Hollywood cinema (from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest) is deconstructed and reassembled to illuminate the patterns, rhythms and choreography of the original so as to break through and make for an eight banded kinetic tour de force. As the piece progresses the temporal displacement of each band gets closer and closer until they all unite into a remarkable grand finale.” –John Columbus, Black Maria Film and Video Festival

Magic Mirror Maze
5 min / HD digital / sound / 2012
The famed “hall of mirrors” sequence of Welles’ classic noir The Lady from Shanghai is seen through a succession of four algorithmic progressions of split screen patterns. The result is hypnotic, kaleidoscopic and a bit uncanny.

5 min / HD digital / sound / 2014
An iconic sequence from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is divided into nineteen vertical slices, each moving at a slightly different speed getting progressively faster from left to right. This relatively simple alteration to the original sequence yields complex visual and aural interactions.