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Oct 142014



This Thursday is a busy night for art in Nashville. At the monthly Thursday Night Things at OZ, photographer and recent Nashville transplant Michael Weintrob is presenting his collection of 75 photographs dubbed InstrumentHead. Weintrob photographed Nashville musicians with their instrument of choice replacing their head. Full disclosure: I’m one of the musicians featured. For my portrait, I went with one of the first toys I circuit-bent, a sleep machine that plays sounds of the ocean, ticking clocks, chimes, etc to help people fall asleep. I bent it to make all sorts of crazy noises back in 2007. It was just something visually-interesting that I had handy at the time of the photo.

Many of the musicians profiled will perform Thursday evening, including Brian Siskind, Black Cat Sylvester, Roy Futureman Wooten, Jeff Coffin, Sam Bush, and more. The show opens at 6:30 p.m.with Brian Siskind kicking things off. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Over at Third Man Records, the Light and Sound Machine returns with the Czech mindfuck Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. I was lucky enough to see this at a private screening James Cathcart hosted for his birthday a few years back. I can’t say I loved it, but it’s definitely an experience. Tickets are $10 at the door. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Thursday night also marks the premiere of a new art series at Adventure Science Center’s Sudekum Planetarium. For years, I’ve been hearing people talk about what an amazing space our planetarium is … followed by wishes that it get used for more than star maps and laser light shows. Someone at ASC seems to be listening.  From the ASC press release:

What happens when you turn art and music loose … in a planetarium?

To find out, the Sudekum Planetarium at the Adventure Science Center is opening Dome Club Nashville. This monthly event will showcase immersive programs and artistic experiences designed to envelop visitors within the unique fulldome planetarium environment.

Wait, what’s “fulldome”?

“Fulldome” refers to technology that covers the entire surface of a planetarium dome with graphics. Seated within our 63-foot diameter dome, you’ll be surrounded by visuals in front of, above, and even behind you. Without the rectangular frame of a TV or movie screen, you’ll feel a part of the scene. Powerful surround sound adds to the effect.

The Sudekum Planetarium presents fulldome science experiences every day. Dome Club provides a venue for alternative programs. These may include immersive cinema or visualization projects, dance, games, or concerts … anything that takes advantage of the fulldome environment. Dome Club is also a place to connect and enhance the lines between the art of science and the science of art.

The grand opening of Dome Club Nashville will be on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at 7:30 pm. This first night will feature Home Grown Dome, a 45 minute compilation of fourteen short works created by students, artists, and animators from around the world. These pieces were finalists in the annual DomeFest fulldome film festivals between 2004-2009.

Hell. Yes. Learn more at sudekumplanetarium.com/domeclub.

Jun 192014



Lately, I’ve been neglectful of the amazing film series the Light and Sound Machine hosted by Third Man Records and curated by the Belcourt‘s James Cathcart. Rest assured, whether I post about it or not, every entry is worth attending.

Tonight’s screening of The Strange Little Cat is no exception. The Belcourt page has the details:

In the hands of masters like Jacques Tati, Lucrecia Martel, and Chantal Akerman, cinema that at first appears to merely observe and record is in fact masking intricately constructed commentaries, built from seemingly mundane experiences. In the case of The Strange Little Cat, an extended family-dinner gathering becomes an exquisitely layered confection ready for writer-director Ramon Zürcher’s razor-sharp slicing. A mother desperately trying not to implode and her youngest daughter who explodes constantly form poles between which sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, cats and cousins weave in and around each other in the tight domestic space of a middle-class Berlin flat. Fans of Béla Tarr and Franz Kafka will find much to love, as will devotees of The Berlin School, of which this film represents a third-generation evolution. A comedic examination of the everyday that has been captivating audiences since its premiere at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival. -New Directors New Films 2014

Preceded by two video artworks by Nashville talent Mika Agari, whose subversions of commercial spaces interrupt antiseptic shopping environments with manifestations of bizarre psychological distress.

SECURITY SPACE | Mika Agari & David King, USA, 2014, 3 min., NR, HD
A performance piece utilizing surveillance screens as formal devices within commercial spaces. I wanted to insert myself into the recorded space and call attention to the constant gaze of the security camera and how it functions as a two-way mirror.

WALMART | Mika Agari, USA, 2013, 3 min., NR, HD
A video installation using an advertisement screen in a Walmart. It is an attempt to subvert the purposes of the advertisement which sells an idealized product and lifestyle by replacing it with a video of myself recorded in a private, domestic space.

As a part of Company H, Agari is also helping organize a video art exhibition at Track One tomorrow. I wrote about it here. Catch both shows and make it an experimental film weekend.

Feb 182014

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I’m torn. Thursday, February 20th features at least two must-see events in Nashville, and they overlap.

At 5:30 p.m., the swanky new art space Oz will host the very first “Thursday Night Things,” a series of art collaborations. This one features the immensely-talented musician Chancellor Warhol performing his new album in its entirety and collaborating with Theatre Intangible and Circuit Benders’ Ball participant Benton C. Bainbridge and filmmaker and Fort Houston founding member Jonathan Kingsbury. What will it be like? Since Jonathan runs a photo-booth company and Benton has been prototyping a video portraits system, I expect it may involve portraits of the audience. But who knows? What I do know is it’s your only chance to see Benton Bainbridge in the foreseeable future. Now that he’s moved back in New York City, he’s busy making art, directing music videos and vj-ing at One Step Beyond at the American Museum of Natural History.

“Thursday Night Things” is scheduled to run until 7:45 p.m., which means you’ll have to choose between it and the 7 p.m. screening of Bruce Baillie: Cinema of the Senses at Third Man Records’ The Light & Sound Machine. This is heartbreaking because series director James Cathcart called the retrospective “perhaps the program I’ve been most proud to present.” More from the press release: “Despite having been a cornerstone of the emerging cinematic avant-garde of the 1960’s—as well as a co-founder of Canyon Cinema and the San Francisco Cinematheque—Bruce Baillie has escaped recognition from all but the most committed film enthusiasts and scholars. His oft-imitated, rarely paralleled style of sensuous, nature-tethered cinema has inspired generations of filmmakers, most recently 2010 Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. This program presents seven of Baillie’s rarely screened masterpieces from his most fruitful period.” Film Comment columnist Chuck Stephens will introduce the show.

As if the choice isn’t hard enough, you also have Greg Bryant, Paul Horton and Justin Cromer performing at F Scotts and Body of Light, French Lips, Dr. Jungle Cat and Commitment Bells performing at The East Room.

Oh Nashville, sometimes I hate you. But I love you. But I hate you. But I love you…

Jan 162014


Third Man Records and the Belcourt Theatre bring another wonderful selection to the experimental film series Light and Sound Machine. Tonight’s film is legendary underground filmmaker George Kuchar’s The Devil’s Cleavage preceded by his short Hold Me While I’m Naked. Read the below quote, watch the trailer for the enormously-entertaining Kuchar brothers doc It Came from Kuchar, and be at Third Man tonight!

“George Kuchar’s lovingly farcical re-creation of those (Forties and Fifties) melodramas, THE DEVIL’S CLEAVAGE, is a camp parody that sometimes directly steals from the genre, sometimes burlesques it, and often travesties it. As you might expect, it soon begins to mock all kinds of cinematic references, from Hitchcock to Preminger. But leave the exact details to pedants, laughter’s the thing here . Kuchar manages terribly well in terms of imagination and inventiveness, and just plain terribly in terms of such humdrum details of filming as using a light meter and tape recorder. Technical ineptness aside, we end up with a marvelous hybrid, as if Sam Fuller and Sternberg had collaborated in shooting a script by Tennessee Williams and Russ Meyer. Which is to say that excess is the most basic element of Kuchar’s method, even when (almost paradoxically) it’s an excess of cliche (‘Such language! Bite your tongue!’ ‘Bite it for me!) Douglas Sirk tells us, ‘Cinema is blood, tears, violence, hate, death, and love.’ Kuchar reminds us that cinema, like life, is also bedpans, earwax, sleazy fantasy, ineptness, compromise, and laughter.” — Chuck Kleinhans, Film Center program

Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 in advance for Belcourt members.

As always, thanks to Ben Swank and James Cathcart for putting this on!

The Light and Sound Machine presents The Devil’s Cleavage
Thursday, January 16th, 2014. 7 p.m.
$10 at door or $8 in advance for Belcourt members.

@ Third Man Records
623 7th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203