Gerry Fialka's Workshops-Lectures-Screenings LIST Number Four ( #41 - 101 )
Gerry Fialka is available for bookings as a Guest Lecturer at universities, art museums, libraries, salons, etc. Besides the many listed lectures, he can also create customized workshops.
Bio - http://www.laughtears.com/bio.html
List One http://www.laughtears.com/workshops.html (Pixelvision, Documentary, Experimental Film & more) 1-17
List Two http://www.laughtears.com/workshops2.html (James Joyce, Screenwriting & more) 18-34
List Three http://www.laughtears.com/workshops3.html (McLuhan, Beckett, Bunuel & more) 35-40
Upon reading these workshop descriptions, LA Weekly Art critic Doug Harvey declared that Fialka should have his own department at Cal Arts. Fialka has lectured at universities and art museums worldwide on:
"Gerry Fialka's Pixelvision: Electronic Folk Art As McLuhan is deeply thoughtful and very well planned. This presentation offered an enormous range of ideas and references. His ideas are well integrated and clearly stimulated critical thinking in new ways. I especially appreciate the way he involved the all forty plus students, something rarely achieved in the course of a full semester let alone during one evening. His selection of video pieces is expertly planned, both in terms of variety and in its length within the context of the larger presentation. The evening succeeded in being both a primer on the value and history of Pixelvision but also positioned it within a philosophical framework that gives it far more meaning than the work could have had on its own." - Steve Anker, Dean of Film and Video, California Institute of the Arts (CAL ARTS)
"Gerry Fialka's energized exercise in creative brainstorming AND critical thinking opens up an interactive space beyond the rote drills of required readings in the college classroom. With good humor and puns aplenty, he posits the daunting media matrix of word, sound, and image as something more like a jungle gym, and then generously invites all to climb on and play the McLuhanesque game of pattern-recognition." - Craig Baldwin
"Upon leaving Gerry Fialka’s Ann Arbor Film Festival Pioneers Workshop my first thought was: where do I go to sign up for another, because one is definitely not enough. This guy has a brain that interests me and a generosity of method that is rare as well as fecund. I watched him coax a room full of people in folding chairs into an intellectual group dynamic that showed just what the Socratic method can yield when led by a skillful master of ceremonies. Intellectual confluences of the widest description were entered into and all participants were not only invited along for the ride but also invited to have their say. I learned a lot. Gerry Fialka: that rarest of species, an original, non-institutionally-based intellect –a thinker whose natural predilections lead him to a connecting of the dots wherein both the dots and the connecting of the dots are illuminations of the unexpected and unconsidered. He makes his own way and invites you along for the ride. Before you know it, he’ll even give you a turn at the wheel." - Fred Worden, award winning experimental filmmaker and Professor of Visual Arts, University of Maryland
"McLuhan talks about media as extensions of our sense organs, and that's precisely what a workshop with Gerry Fialka is like. Gerry extends and enhances our ability to perceive the world. Did I also mention that Gerry is a hell of a lot of fun?" - Award-winning filmmaker Bill Brown
"Gerry Fialka's interaction with my students on media and McLuhan both challenged and inspired them to think outside the box. What an energizing two hours - I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, me or my students!" - Drew Pearlman, Filmmaker and Santa Monica College English Professor
"Gerry Fialka is awesome! I didn’t know that people like him – 'spiritual', intelligent, free-spirited, funny, personable, professional… even existed. He is greatly appreciated." - Andrew Papageorge, Consultant
"Fialka's animated Media Ecology Workshop acted like a Karate chop on the minds of my film/television students. It's rare for high school students to be exposed to these basic media fundamentals with the historical tracks that lead into present day truths. What a reality check for teens. The kids enjoyed the high-energy presentation and got a mental reorientation of how media plays on their day-to-day lives." - Romeo Carey, Media Director, Beverly Hills High School
41- MELIES AS McLUHAN VIA McLAREN - Fialka interconnects Marshall McLuhan and Norman McLaren's 1954 speech Homage to Georges Melies. Probe how real understanding of changes in communication comes from the artists as antennae of the race. How do these resourceful social engineers and technicians (writers, poets, painters, film and theater artists) continue to make meaning? Méliès said, ”One trick leads to another...You could say that the scenario is in this case simply a thread intended to link the ‘effects,’ in themselves without much relation to each other. I mean to say that the scenario has no more than a secondary importance in this genre of composition… I was appealing to the spectator’s eyes alone, trying to charm and intrigue him, hence the scenario was of no importance.” Nevil Maskelyne spoke on magical items: “beads held together and supported by the thread of dramatic interest.” Interactive discussion demonstrates the deep connections between Melies, McLaren and McLuhan's drama of cognition. With rare film clips.
42- THE CLOCK AS THE WAKE - Fialka probes The Clock - a 24 hour film by Christian Marclay as Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. Zadie Smith http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/apr/28/killing-orson-welles-midnight/ wrote: "What else is The Clock if not thousands of fictional interpretations of time repurposed to express time precisely. That’s why you don’t feel that you are watching a film, you feel you are existing alongside a film." Dig deep into the motives and consequences of Marclay and Joyce via McLuhan, who said "‘Art is always one technology behind. The content of the art of any age is the technology of the previous age."
43- APPS AS ART - Fialka probes technology and culture via McLuhan's "the word makes the market" as "the mobile gaming market makes the word." Examine the computer, tablets and cellphones as new art forms, and their content issues. Uncover the psychological and neuromuscular effects of apps, Wii, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, live video streaming and whatever is next. Reshape the LA Times question: "Is it possible to make games meaningful and closer to other media in their potential to reflect the complexities of life rather than smashing zombies all day? " Duh ! Is the mystery of art, technology, and new media to activate or pacify? "It's misleading to suppose there's any basic difference between education and entertainment. This distinction merely relieves people of the responsibility of looking into the matter. It's like setting up a distinction between didactic and lyric poetry on the ground that one teaches, the other pleases. However, it's always been true that whatever pleases teaches more effectively." - McLuhan, 1957. The word "pleases" evokes the word "massages," as in Marshall's book The Medium is the Massage. McLuhan hoicked up mindfulness as a path to cope with media's hidden effects by devising the Tetrad, four questions one can apply to media: 1) What does it enhance or intensify? 2) What does it render obsolete or replace? 3) What does it bring back that was previously obsolesced? 4) What does it become when pressed to an extreme, what does it flip into? McLuhan defined "media" and "technology" as anything humans invent from clothing to computers, from language to philosophy, from toothpicks to cell phones. Prominent digital artist Cory Arcangel credits Pauline Oliveros, with whom he took a composition class, for his "fascination with finding artistic inspiration in unlikely machines."
44- ROBINSON CRUSOE AS FAKE MEMOIR, NOVEL & FILM - Fialka delves deep in form and content issues via Defoe's fictional autobiography - epistolary, confessional and didactic. James Joyce, who wrote "Robins in crew so" in Finnegans Wake, noted that the true symbol of the British conquest is Robinson Crusoe: "He is the true prototype of the British colonist. The whole Anglo-Saxon spirit is in Crusoe: the manly independence, the unconscious cruelty, the persistence, the slow yet efficient intelligence, the sexual apathy, the calculating taciturnity." Karl Marx analyzed Crusoe in his classic work Capital, mocking the heavy use in classical economics of the fictional story. In Marxist terms, Crusoe's experiences on the island represents the inherent economic value of labour over capital. Crusoe frequently observes that the money he salvaged from the ship is worthless on the island, especially when compared to his tools. Discover the hidden meta-meanings via film (from Melies to Bunuel) and written word.
45- HOW TO MAKE A PIECE OF ART THAT IS NOT A PIECE OF ART - Fialka delves deep into flipping that line into HOW TO MAKE A PIECE OF NON-DUCHAMP-CLONED ART THAT IS NOT NON-DUCHAMP-CLONED ART with Tino Sehgal, Tom Sachs, Banksy & more. "The English language is the only language where a double negative is a no-no." - Alfred E. Newman. http://www.toutfait.com/issues/volume2/issue_5/articles/girst2/girst1.html
46- McLUHAN 100 - A VISIONARY'S CENTENARY - Media Ecologist Gerry Fialka surveys the meta-influences of Marshall McLuhan, whose percepts are still changing the world. Probe how McLuhan updated "the medium is the massage " to "user as content" and "the global village" to "the global theater." Fialka connects the current technology speed-ups with Understanding Media and Culture is Our Business.. "We shape our tools, then they shape us." - McLuhan. Uncover the hidden effects of what we invent. McLuhan's communication of the new and integral awareness explores why we ignore these effects. What can we do about this? Probe how McLuhan's percepts make and match humans becoming organic art forms in the future. Our "consciousness can be freed from the shackles of mechanical culture" and can "enable us to roam the cosmos." Participants can "learn the secret songs that orchestrate the universe." "Must we continue to mow down the Kennedys in order to illustrate that the hot politics of the old machines won't work on the cool and involving TV medium?" - McLuhan '69. "I should prefer to de-fuse this gigantic human bomb by starting a dialogue somewhere on the side-lines to distract the trigger-men, or to needle the somnambulists." - McLuhan '51. In 2011, many celebrated McLuhan's 100th year of living cultures as our business. With rare film clips and interactive discussion. http://www.venicewake.org/
47- PSYCHOSOMATIC CINEMA - Fialka explores the phenomenon of the psycho-activate effects of watching film. Danny Boyle's 2010 film 127 HOURS caused audience members to pass out. Harold Lloyd's suspense comedy did it in the 20's. Horror films have done it. Experimental filmmakers like Ken Jacobs and Tony Conrad have warned of their films causing epileptic seizures. Fialka interconnects the biology and science of the public film viewing experience. Can film really transform society as Joseph Beuys aspired? Can film end war, as D. W. Griffith said it would by 2024? What are the hidden effects of film? Survey the emotional, psychic, physical, nonphysical and social environments created by cinema. Poet W. H. Auden wrote that the mystery of art is that we do not know if it activates or pacifies us.
48- BUSTIN' DOUBLE BINDS - MetaCognitionist Gerry Fialka explores Gregory Bateson's Double Bind as the human condition. "Don't notice I am lying to you." "Forget that you are forgetting." "Pull the wool over your own eyes." Delve deep into cybernetic realities (moving away from the dark, toward the light, to reduce the error), Family Therapy Theory, the Techno-Sublime, Fritjof Capra, and the Bill of Rights as the ultimate antidote to Double Bind. Fialka enriches our thinking with new metaphors and questions ala McLuhan and James Joyce, who said "Remember to forget." He deepens our feelings ala Marcel Duchamp and Alan Watts, who said that Double Bind has long been used in Zen Buddhism as a therapeutic tool.
49- HOW THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IGNORED AVANT GARDE FILM - This is the title of a chapter from the book Hollywood and The Culture Elite by Peter Decherney. Fialka explores politics and the mysteries of art. "Nelson Rockefeller supposedly once told Franz Kline ('jokingly') that the only reason collectors bought art was to keep artists from becoming revolutionaries. For a while in the sixties this strategy stopped working." - Lucy Lippard. Examine the book Who Paid the Piper – The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stoner Saunders, who explores CIA connections with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Survey the work of Joseph Beuys and art's potential to transform society. Why is the mission of Bruce High Quality Foundation "examining the structures that make art what it is today with the intention of offering improvement?" Fialka interconnects politics, filmmaking and the avant garde in this in-depth inquiry. "The avant garde no longer exists. It's the media themselves." - McLuhan.
50- DOCUMENTING PARENTS - Gerry Fialka probes documentarians who tell the stories of their creative maverick parents, and what some may interpret as parental shortcomings. What are their eccentricities all about, then what are they really all about? Explore the hidden effects of child rearing. "Question authority, but not your Mother" and "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your Kids" - bumperstickers. Films to be discussed include: The Ballad of Ramblin Jack by Aiyana Elliott, Deconstructing Dad- The Music, Machines & Mystery of Raymond Scott by Stan Warnow, My Architect (Louis Kahn)- A Son's Journey by Nathaniel Kahn, Doc: The Life & Fictions Of Harold Humes by Immy Humes, Alice Neel by Andrew Neel (grandson) and more.
51- DOCUMENTING EXPERIMENTAL FILM - Avant Garde film historian Gerry Fialka probes documentarians who tell the stories of important experimental filmmakers. What are their films all about, then what are they really all about? Explore their hidden effects, their motives and consequences. "The avant garde no longer exists. It's the media themselves." - McLuhan. Films to be discussed include: In The Mirror of Maya Deren by Marina Kudlacek, Brakhage by Jim Shedden, Jack Smith & The Destruction of Atlantis by Mary Jordan, Amos Vogel & Cinema 16 by Paul Cronin, Free Radicals by Pip Chodorov, David Sherman's To Re-edit the World, Martina Kudlacek's Notes on Marie Menken and more.
52 - BEYOND GESAMTKUNSTWERK - The German composer Richard Wagner first used the term "Gesamtkunstwerk" ("the total artwork") in his 1849 essay "Art & Revolution." Paramedia Artist Gerry Fialka joins with local filmmakers, poets, musicians and dancers to reinvent this multi-media, intermedia and transmedia extravaganza, aka "Gesamtkunstwerk". The one-of-a-kind interactive immersion teaches the history and future of live cinema. Expand "centers without margins" in an interdisciplinary collaboration of film, video, dialogue, theater and music. By reinventing the influences of Melies, Vertov, Warhol, Marker, James Joyce and more, participants transform the boundaries between art and science. All crew, no passengers! Explore circling the square and the mysteries of art. With anticipatory mindfulness, this multimedia synthesis shows how artists work much faster than theories evolve. Get educated as entertainingly as possible and discover what comes after the Internet. Entertrainment? "Will it be an event about a fake original or original fake?" - Peter Greenaway. They become what they behold. From Buñuel's live narration to Stan VanDerBeek's exemplary multi-media Movie-Dome to Gene Youngblood's Synaesthetic Cinema to Ann Arbor Film Festival's Pat Olesko's interactions with her filmic self, the combination of film and the physical body has been transformative. Carolee Schneemann, Sun Ra and PXL THIS's King Kukulele have used their bodies as projection screens. Fialka surveys the historical context of pioneers Jack Smith and Alan Kaprow, who dissolved boundaries between film, art and life. Fialka and participants' fun otherness probes the creative process and interrelations between experimenters and audience. The mash-ups and transformations of cinema with new media, video, computers, and performance art are deeply examined and demonstrated. Explore the creative process by retooling McLuhan's percept: "May I suggest art in the electronic age is not a form of self-expression, but a kind of research and probing. It is not a private need of expression that motivates the artist, but the need of involvement in the total audience. This is humanism in reverse, art in the electric age is the experience, not of the individual, but of a collectivity."
53 - PORTRAIT OF THE POET AS EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKER - Historian/Lit Critter Gerry Fialka's interactive workshop examines the interconnections between film and poetry. These artforms expand our notions of reality both inner and outer. How is the interior dialogue (consciousness) the essence of the human condition? How does it inform content vs. form issues? Explore Poe, the Symbolists, Hollis Frampton, Walt Whitman, William Farley, Jack Kerouac, Charles Olson, Henry Ferrini, Robert Creeley, and Beat films up to contemporary New Media makers. Drawing on witty and insightful analysis of poet/experimental filmmakers Jean Cocteau, James Broughton, Maya Deren, Marie Menken, Abigail Child, Bob Branaman, Jack Smith, Yoko Ono and Stan Brakhage, Fialka reviews first-person lyrical visions. This multi-media event includes rare film clips of Diane DiPrima, Amiri Baraka, Bukowski, Beckett, Burroughs and Gary Snyder, as well as live readings accompanied by film projections that stir up new metaphors via self-reflexive synthesis. Come into deeper awareness of synesthesia and the non-physical via spoken word and moving image art. "All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling." - Oscar Wilde. Radically change the paradigms of sense ratio shifting. Turn the eye into an ear ala McLuhan's percepts. Fialka's observations provoke the rascality retrieval of Man (Cine-poem) Ray and Curtis Harrington, who transformed Poe into cinema. "Poets understand texts better than most information technologists." - Jerome McGann. "You don't have to be a communist to be anti-capitalist. It is enough to be a poet." - Jonas Mekas, seminal experimental filmmaker.
54- INFORMATION LIVES! KILLS? - Why do humans collect information? Is it learned or hard-wired? What is this hunger and thirst? Symposiumist Fialka probes cave art to printed word to WikiLeaks to QR codes to live video streaming via interactive discussion. Analyze McLuhan's percepts on education and entertainment. "Information wants to be free...Information wants to be expensive, because in an Information Age, nothing is so valuable as the right information at the right time." -Stewart Brand. "You can never take information back once it's out there, and it takes a very little information to ruin a person's life." - Hacktivist/WikiLeaker Jacob Applebaum. " I find that the great part of the information I have acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way." - Franklin P. Adams. "Information can tell us everything. It has all the answers. But they are answers to questions we have not asked, and which doubtless don't even arise." - Jean Baudrillard. "Tis of no importance what bats and oxen think." - Emerson. "The men on the river were fishing. (Untrue; but then, so is most information.)" - E. M. Foster. Join Fialka to navigate the post-post media landscape configuring the user (and non-user) as everybody.
55- HAWBUCKIN' HOBOS - Why was dressing up like hobos for Halloween so popular for baby boomers? Cultural anthropologist Fialka explores America's affection for free spirit and the open road. Utilizing rare audio and film clips, Fialka reviews the contributions of music experimenter/hobo Harry Partch and folk singer/labor & peace activist Utah Phillips, who said "Anarchy is making rules for yourself, not others." Ride the rails and taste the Mulligan stew of the genuine tramp troubadour Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock. "My hobohemia is the place to be" - Lorenz Hart. What is the difference between a bum and a hobo? Beyond Baroquer Richard Modiano was told by Allen Ginsberg that one past Halloween, Allen and Bob Dylan dressed up like hobos and went trick or treating with Bob's kids.
56 - TANGLED UP IN BOB (IT'S ALL WRITE: MA'S MYTHICAL MOVIES) - Former Dylanologist Gerry Fialka connects the films and philosophies of Bob Dylan with Marshall McLuhan and James Joyce. In the LA Free Press-1965, Dylan was asked why he came to California. Bob: "To find some donkeys for a film I'm making." LA Free Press: "Are you going to play yourself?" Bob: "No, I am gonna play my mother & we're calling it Mother Revisited." Uncover the hidden dimensions of music, literature and film frequencies by way of rare film clips and discussion. Probe his autobiography Chronicles: Volume One, his poem/novel Tarantula, and the reasons why Dylan shelved both his feature film Renaldo & Clara, and his documentary Eat The Document. Delve deep into his relationship with the avant-composer-filmmaker Frank Zappa (who was called "the Orson Welles of Rock" by NY Times) via the liner notes on John Wesley Harding. Compare and contrast Dylan's "If my thought-dreams could be seen" to the oft-quoted inquiry into the identification of the brain police. Will Erokan's Menippean satirical short I'm Not Beer caused Will's music magazine publisher dad to retort "Don't go messin' with Bob Dylan." Why? Why did Scorsese leave out important influences (alcohol, drugs, sex) in his much overly-praised Dylan doc? The mama multi-verse breaks open with Dylan's 2009 lyric "I'm reading James Joyce." Poet Michael McClure took McLuhan to his first rock concert (Dylan), where McLuhan yelped "Gravity is like acoustic space -- the center is everywhere." When asked about the 60's, Bob answered, "Read McLuhan." This is a self-reflexive reel mutha fo ya playshop. That he not busy writing songs is busy filming.
57- NO THING (PARALLEL AMBIVALENCE - NOTHING IS WHAT WE WANT - ETHER OAR) - Zeitgeisty Gerry Fialka explores whatever happens in this no-themed interactive workshop on ambiguity. What's the best thing for a human being? That's a very good question. Fialka will not ruin it with an answer. He'll engage new thinking for new questions. Does the flutter of the hundred-and-first butterfly wing in China determine "weather" or not you are willing? The mystery of art is whether it activates or pacifies? Delve deep into Walter Benjamin's "reception in a state of distraction." Reinvent the "be hEAR now" gestalt with resonant intervals of John Cage's Lecture on Nothing to Dobbsian Percept Plunder for the Recent Future. Cross-embed and wake up to Bunuel's "fanatical anti-fanaticism" by way of subverting and homogenizing the search for freedom. We started out with nothing & still have most of it left. This paramedia yoga session was inspired by "Total Vagueness," the Total Mobile Home (Rebecca Barten & David Sherman) film screening. "God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through." - Paul Valery.
58- THE RIPE OL' AGE OF 27 - LUNAR RETURNS - How and why does the magical age of 27 produce so many innovators in every art form: Orson Welles-Citizen Kane, Einstein-Theory of Relativity, Frank Zappa-We're Only In It For The Money, Marshall McLuhan-cracking Finnegans Wake, Lord Byron-Don Juan, Percy Shelley-Prometheus Unbound, Maria Callas-Aida, Glenn Gould-Goldberg Variations, Coleridge- Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Shakespeare- Romeo & Juliet, Aretha Franklin-Chain of Fools, Jimi Hendrix-Woodstock, Billie Holiday-Lady Day, Captain Beefheart-Trout Mask Replica. In science, philosophy, art, music, cinema, theater and literature, the list goes on and on. What are the motives and consequences of the G.A.N. (the Great American Novel)? This interactive workshop explores the essential ingredients in producing innovation. "No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time."- Martha Graham. "My advice to all artists is to be ahead of their times and behind on their rent. Many set out to write the G.A.N. or Great American Song, but the greatest work is done accidentally by people trying to pay their rent!" - Kinky Friedman. "The essence of the G.A.N. is the range of its 'put-on.' It attempts to put on and wear not only its own times, but the full history of printed American literature, especially its recognized classics. Norman Mailer's problem involves the question of whether a book can compete with the other put-ons, or media, that engage the American multi-consumer. Perhaps a solution is to write a novel that puts on all the media. This was accomplished by Marshall McLuhan with his published work, especially Understanding Media, which he considered a new form of novel and a new kind of science fiction. Mr. McLuhan, starting from the premise that the daily newspaper was the great American novel, put on the competition, and did what Mr. Mailer couldn't - changed the world and the English language - all through his writing." - Robert Dobbs. Flip into the opposite with the 27 Club, which features the age 27 deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Jean Basquiat, Pigpen, Jesse Belvin, D. Boon, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. The progressed Lunar Return, a prelude to the Saturn Return, is the time when fundamental issues of self come to the fore.
59- DRAMA OF COGNITION (STAY TUNED) - This engaging interactive workshop examines the hidden effects of what humans invent and why we ignore these effects. Paramedia-ecologist Fialka repurposes Marshall McLuhan's percepts: "user as content" and "effects precede causes" to explore the services and disservices of existing and emerging technologies (Facebook, online gaming, 3-D, electronic literature, video phones, live video streaming and the next tool we have not heard of yet, but will soon all be using). Reinvent the axioms: "we shape our tools, then they shape us" and "breakdowns as breakthroughs." In this participatory ParaMedia Yoga Session, extend James Joyce's "epiphanies in everydayness" and expand Joyce's discovery "that all social changes are the effect of new technologies on the order of our sensory lives" - McLuhan. Where is the non-physical? How do we transform Bucky Fuller's "we are all crew, no passengers" into "the artists as antennae of the race?" "In mass media environments, people are molded not only by the content but by the sensory bias specific to the medium." - Robert Dobbs, whose Menippean percepts on the speed of thought transform communication of the new. Probe the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectics) and quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) merging of ituned and youtubed beyondness. McLuhan hoicked up mindfulness as a path to cope with media's hidden effects by devising the Tetrad, four questions one can apply to media: 1) What does it enhance or intensify? 2) What does it render obsolete or replace? 3) What does it bring back that was previously obsolesced? 4) What does it become when pressed to an extreme, what does it flip into? McLuhan defined "media" and "technology" as anything humans invent from clothing to computers, from language to philosophy, from toothpicks to cell phones. "Everything of any value is theatrical" - F.T. Marinetti.
60- VISIONARY SCHMISIONARY - Can one really do nothing effectively? What is over-rated? Slack? Fialka explores the motives and consequences of hoicking up innovators, pioneers and geniuses. What's the hidden motives of being the first to do something and opening up new areas? Is achievement overly praised? What does that do in the long run? "I am part Communist and part Fascist with a healthy dose of Monarchism in my Marxism, but at bottom an Anarchist with a passion for order." - Wyndham Lewis. "There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action. There is only one of you in all time; therefore this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium. The world will not have it. It will be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is, or how valuable it is, or how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, and to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction. A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others." - Martha Graham. What are the services and disservices of the work ethic and competition? "The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize." - Robert Hughes. The role of the artist is to attempt to sell out, but fail.
61 - MEDIA FAST - "We are polluting Art as fast as we are tidying up Nature. The people of the Earth are encouraged to engage in an experiment of utmost urgency. We must turn off the electric environment for a period of one week to perform a cleansing of mass-man's mind, body and spirit. We must get back to our bodies, lest we forget they are still there! Imagine the freedom to be experienced as the top-down cultural control of civilization is eradicated for even the briefest period! If everyone did participate in the Media Fast, how would we know it happened? Stay tuned..." -McLuhan. How? Why? When?
62 - OUR WAKE - Thorton Wilder & Finnegans Wake
63 - OH SEE - The influence of poets Olson and Creeley.
- Robert Creeley
What does not change
is the will to change
- Charles Olson
64 - DREAMWORKS REDUX - Fialka and crew reinvent Dreamworks Quarterly Spring '80 issue which included Chick Strand, Dusan Makavejev, Pat O'Neill, Stan Brakhage, Paul Sharits, Ed Emshwiller & Bruce Conner discussing their dreams and films. This participatory "playshop" repurposes the same theme with new filmmakers, the heirs to this stellar line-up. "To sleep - perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub." - Hamlet by ShakESPear.
65 - RA: REVOLUTION AS ART, ART AS REVOLUTION - Fialka explores politics and the mysteries of art. "Nelson Rockefeller supposedly once told Franz Kline ('jokingly') that the only reason collectors bought art was to keep artists from becoming revolutionaries. For a while in the sixties this strategy stopped working." - Lucy Lippard. Examine the book Who Paid the Piper – The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stoner Saunders, who explores CIA connections with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Survey the work of Joseph Beuys and art's potential to transform society. Why is the mission of Bruce High Quality Foundation "examining the structures that make art what it is today with the intention of offering improvement" ?
66- UNWATCHABLE FOOTAGE: The True Face of War (1914-2010) Documentarian Henry Schipper & Gerry Fialka discuss why explicit war footage is taboo, and screen archival material that makes everything you've ever seen about war look like a polite lie. Why is it forbidden to see the bottom-line truth about war? Viewer discretion advised. In the realm of Marcel Duchamp and making art that is not art (invisible paintings, motionless dance, silent music, unwatchable films), rethink the very act of screening film, and examine its hidden environments.
67 - YOU FILL IN THE BLANK WITH YOUR WORKSHOP SUGGESTION, for example: The Art of Questioning, Expanded Cinema As Subversive Art, Locative Media Ecology, Belly Button Lint Sculptures, Conscious Mediumship, EyeOn EarOff, Body Politics As Poetry, DisDisInformation (spy vs. spy vs. spy), Symbolism Ala Ensor & Redon, Telic Truth, Edward Abbey's Agrarian Anarchy, Leap Into The Say What?, How To Throw Your Own Biennial, Messin' With Mezz Mezzrow, Continental PoMoDeCon, EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY I LEARNED FROM EVOLUTIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY and ReJOYCING POE (Joyce, McLuhan & Poe) and ???
68- REWORDING APHORISMS - For example: "The historian wants more documents than he can use. The dramatist wants more liberties than he can take. " - Henry James INTO "The media ecologist wants more lecture possibilities than he can transform into the collective nitty-gritty. " - Gerry Fialka. "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes" - Andy Warhol INTO "In the future everyone will have privacy for 15 minutes" - Robert Dobbs. "The present day composer refuses to die" - Edgard Varese INTO "The present day alchemist refuses to perform wittingly" - Gerry Fialka VIA "If I have performed alchemy, then it was in the only way that is reliable today, namely unwittingly." - Marcel Duchamp. "There ain't no Santa Claus on the evening stage" - Captain Beefheart INTO "There ain't no sanity clause on the mourning stage" - Gerry Fialka. Einstein's "God doesn't play dice with the world" INTO Stephen Hawking's "Not only does God play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen. "
69- DR. CHICAGO AS THE AAFF - Experimental Film Historian Gerry Fialka surveys resonant intersections of George Manupelli's Dr. Chicago films and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. The amalgamation of innovators and sources that inhabit the Dr. Chicago films is a hybrid metaphor for the roots of the Festival. Evolution is adapting to the exploration of personal filmmaking with breakdowns as breakthroughs (Alvin Lucier's stutter), performance art (Pat Oleszo), poetry (Edgar Allen Poe), avant garde music (Robert Ashley, Pauline Oliveros, Blue Gene Tyranny), political activism (Black Panthers), contemporary dance (Steve Paxton), painting, comedy, and post-post modern collage sensibility. This participatory workshop hoicks up the very personal interactions that these myriad forms also exploit and engage. Probe the vitality and influence of George Manupelli, who founded the AAFF in 1962 and is still active as a filmmaker, poet, collagist and political/environmental activist. His Film For Hooded Projector also evokes the cosmic giggle ala the Duchampian inquiry of making art that is not art.
70- VENICE FILM HISTORY - Cultural Historian Gerry Fialka screens and discusses the history of experimental films made in Venice, California from Curtis Harrington to Andy Warhol to Dr Video to 7 Dudley Cinema. Fialka examines how the beachtown's creative atmosphere nurtured such diverse artists as Chaplin, the Beats, Warhol and current New Media-makers. Delve deeply into the motives and consequences of Venice's avant garde image art making scene. "Gerry Fialka is one of the most giving impresarios that ever landed in Venice, California. He continues to fulfill Venice founder Abbott Kinney's dream of Chautauqua's influence on people. Fialka is the glue of the Venicessance. " - Jeffrey Solomon, Historian, Venice Beach Walking Tours
71 - DOCUMENTARY FILM AS ART - Media archaeologist Gerry Fialka's interactive workshop on the documentary film and its recent rise of popularity. Examining pioneers like Flaherty, Vertov, Wiseman, Pennebaker, Leacock, Michael Moore and Chris Marker and their quest for ecstatic truth, emotional truth, intellectual truth and physical truth. Fialka incites new questions about Grierson's definition of documentary as "creative treatment of actuality." Probing the philosophies of documentarians, fresh insights will arise concerning stagings and reenactments, and the different viewpoints on degrees of involvement with the subjects. Vertov argued for presenting "life as it is" (that is, life filmed surreptitiously) and "life caught unawares" (life provoked or surprised by the camera). What is endemic to this genre and why? Wiseman calls documentaries "reality fiction, Alan King: "actuality dramas," and Richard Leacock: "historical fantasies." Why ? "I am for anyone who seeks the truth, but I part ways with them when they claimed they found it." - Bunuel.
72 - ART AS McLUHAN - McLUHAN AS ART - Media ecologist Gerry Fialka probes Marshall McLuhan's percepts on art. McLuhan’s theme of art as anti-environment is the context for exploring the impact of Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, John Cage, Henry Darger, William Pope.L, Bruce Conner, Joseph Beuys, Karl Appel, Andy Warhol, Lady Gaga and more. Gerry Fialka's stimulating soiree stirs up discussion to reveal the hidden effects of what humans have invented. Media (meaning everything from spoken word, literature, theater, music, art, film, Internet, Hypertext, etc.) shape both individuals and society. The social consequences can be relatively obvious as the auto reshapes the city. The psychic effects are more difficult to uncover, like the auto enhances private mobility and a feeling of isolation. What makes the psychic effects more difficult to assess are the blinders imposed by our preconceptions, perceptions and language. The participants and Fialka will inventory these effects and muse why we ignore them. "We must all become creative artists in order to cope with even the banalities of daily life." - Marshall McLuhan.
73- SPACE & VISIONS - NEW MEXICO MYTH, LITERATURE & EXPERIMENTAL FILM - Fialka interconnects New Mexico literature and film in this engaging workshop. Includes Tewa Myth (Pueblo Indians, 6 villages near Rio Grande, north of Santa Fe), Zuni Myth (Gallup), D.H. Lawrence's poem Eagle in NM, Carl Jung's essay on Pueblo Indians, Albq-born Leslie Marmon Silko novels & poems, Rudolfo Anaya's novel on NM Chicanos, Georgia O'Keeffe's Abiquiu, and Edward Abbey's agrarian anarchy. With NM exp & doc filmmakers and the SouthWest escapades of Hunter Thompson, Henry Miller, Hopi myth, Larry McMurty, Sam Shepard & Barry Gifford, a screenwriter who combines Emerson & Kerouac.
74- ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL PIONEERS - Gerry Fialka's interactive workshop probes the festival's history with provocative interrelations between innovators Ed Emshwiller, Carolee Schneemann, Pat Olesko and Stan VanDerBeek. Their mash-ups of cinema with video, computers, and performance art presaged New Media and Transmedia. Deeply examine its roots with the festival's web of past, present and future transformations. Fialka contextualizes McLuhan's percepts as detailed in Janine Marchessault's book Cosmic Media: "The New Media offer a freedom of movements, of creative thought and aesthetic perceptions that previous visual regimes did not. These portend an opening rather than a closing of different forms of engagement and interactivity." "The future of the future is the present" - McLuhan. "Fialka's workshops are in-depth communication of something extremely elusive - the history of the unimaginable - and his lively interpretation renders it useful." - William Farley, past AAFF Award-winning filmmaker & judge. LA Weekly calls Fialka a "cultural revolutionary."
75- THE ACTOR AS CONCEPTUAL ARTIST - In the Global Theater, examine the appearances of Andy Warhol on Love Boat and Bravo TV Reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. With Dali, John Cage, James Franco, Crispin Glover, Timothy Agoglia Carey and Andy Kaufman.
76 - FINNEGANS WAKE AS POLITICS - Media ecologist Gerry Fialka delves deep into the motives and consequences of James Joyce's epic living organism Finnegans Wake as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, Facebook, I-Ching, journalism and enterTRAINment. Why must it be read out loud with a group of people? Explore the differences between rights and responsibilities, rebellion and revolution, and much more."The best fiction is far more true than any journalism." - William Faulkner. "I should prefer to de-fuse this gigantic human bomb by starting a dialogue somewhere on the side-lines to distract the trigger-men, or to needle the somnambulists." - McLuhan '55. http://www.venicewake.org/
77- GERITOL FIALKASELTZER AS MUSSEY GADFLY- Beyond formal self-analysis, self iconography and self-contextualization, GF probes if art can be ego less. Re-mirror McLuhan's memes: "To define is to kill, to suggest is to create" to "Evolution is adapting to exploration." Dig infinity and the eternal now.
78 - MANUFACTURED MEMORY AS HEAR SAY, HERE SAY? - Guy Maddin and Mike Kelley in Artforum, art criticism as pop culture, from Rosalind Krausness to Snooki-speak & Sheenology to Clement Greenbergism.
79 - THE BOOK AS LIVING ORGANISM - Media ecologist Gerry Fialka delves deep into the function of literature. Navigate "the book" as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, Facebook, I-Ching, journalism, live video streaming and enterTRAINment. Could "the book" be Finnegans Wake, or The Book by Alan Watts, or Watt by Samuel Beckett or what? "The best fiction is far more true than any journalism." - William Faulkner. "I should prefer to de-fuse this gigantic human bomb by starting a dialogue somewhere on the side-lines to distract the trigger-men, or to needle the somnambulists." - McLuhan '55. How and why are the new forms of literature becoming hybrids of the book and the blog?
80 - PRATFALLS: INJURY AS ART - Fialka digs deep into Buster Keaton, Chris Burden and the Jackass movies.
81 - YOU'RE DRIVING ME SANE: INTERNAL VISIONS - Fialka explores sanity in art-making. "You can't prove you are sane unless you have discharge papers from a mental institution." - McLuhan. From Outsider art (Van Gogh, Dubuffet, Henry Darger, etc) to Wild Man Fischer to Ezra Pound to Wilhelm Reich to Elmer Fudd and much more. Jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden's schizophrenia may have played part in his freewheeling improvising, which is the essence of jazz. Examine visionary art versus folk art. "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher." - Ambrose Bierce. Decode hidden languages. "Loonley in me loneness" - James Joyce.
82 - AUDITORY PERCEPTION: MISHEARINGS - Fialka reinvents McLuhan's question "why don't we have ear lids?" Upon hearing an Oscar nominated filmmaker interviewed on the radio, Fialka misheard him to say "Form should eliminate content." Indeed what the filmmaker learned from studying with Brakhage was that "form should illuminate content." "The best music doesn't want to be recorded." - Tom Waits. "All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music." - Walter Pater. "I'm always looking for sounds that are pleasing at the time. The sound of a helicopter is really annoying until you're drowning, and it's there to rescue you. Then it sounds like music." - Tom Waits.
83- THE ART & SCIENCE OF CONSTRUCTIONISTS - Compare and contrast the "constructed situations" of the British-German artist Tino Sehgal (who creates Conceptual and Appropriation art without material evidence of any kind: no photographs, etc) with Heinz von Foerster (from the film The Net), who as a Constructivist, maintains that scientific knowledge is constructed by scientists and not discovered from the world. Constructivists claim that the concepts of science are mental constructs proposed in order to explain our sensory experience. Another important tenet of Constructivist theory is that there is no single valid methodology in science, but rather a diversity of useful methods. Constructivism is thus opposed to positivism, which is a philosophy that holds that the only authentic knowledge is that which is based on actual sense experience and what other individuals tell us is right and wrong. "Alchemy and constructionism are two ways of saying that you take the things laying around as detritus, as litter, and you make something that is formal art out of it." - Larry Jordan. Examine cybernetics and historical engineering versus social engineering
84- SLACKIN' SACKIN' SACHS - Slackmeister Fialka explores artists Tom Sachs (Damien Hirst and more). Fialka can't even spell "job." He does nothing effectively. Examine the role of "slack" in artmaking. The role of the artist is to attempt to sell-out, but fail. "We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living." - Bucky Fuller. "The more efficient you become, the less effective you get" - an explanation of Gresham's Law. http://www.rickliebling.com/2011/11/01/tom-sachs-culture-and-ten-bullets/
85 - AD AGENCY AS ART - Repurpose the Multi-Verse's Greatest Ad Agency: PPP http://laughtears.com/PPP.html (Perfect Pitch Pop-ups) (aka Probing Percepts Plunder ... For the Recent Future). Reinvent the percepts of Marshall McLuhan, James Joyce and Tony Schwartz to help sell products and services? Tetrad management uncovers the hidden environments of effects precede causes. Reimagine these four word clichés into archetypes: "Raid kills bugs dead" - Lew Welch, poet. "Take my wife please" - Henny Youngman, comedian. "They'd advertise - you know" - Emily Dickinson, poet. Create campaigns and slogans that merge the social engineering of Joyce, McLuhan and beyond to cause mythic monetary returns. "The best ads do not tell the viewers anything. They surface their feelings and provide context for them to express their feelings." - Tony Schwartz. "The content of a political commercial is not what's in it; it's the resonance between what's stored in the viewers mind and the stimulus that evokes it. " - Tony Schwartz. "My first kiss was with a Coke in my hand. Coke is about my life, not about taste" - ad executive. Edgar Allen Poe invented the detective novel, and reasoning backwards. This spawned "effect precede causes" and the Symbolists, James Joyce, the Beats, the Rock poets (Dylan, Patti Smith, Jim Morrison) and advertising. It's not the meaning of the word that's important, it's the feelings it evokes. "I know that 50% of the money I spent on advertising is wasted; unfortunately, I don't know which 50%" - Henry Ford. "People don't read advertising, they read what they are interested in and sometimes it happens to be ads. The consumer isn't stupid, she's your wife." - Howard Gossage, author of The Book of Gossage. Explore McLuhan's advertising probes, Confessions of an Ad Man by David Ogilvy, and Patterns That Connect by Edmund Carpenter.
86 - POLITICS AS POETRY - Cultural revolutionary Gerry Fialka interconnects politics and poetry. With LIVE READINGS by local poets. "When Philosophy raised a dialectic, a debate toward what it calls Truth; Poetry raised a theater, a drama of truth." - Robert Duncan. "You don't have to be a communist to be anti-capitalist. It is enough to be a poet." - Jonas Mekas. Fialka will discuss Daniel Berrigan, Sonia Sanchez, Ed Sanders, Audre Lorde, Jack "Red Poet" Hirschman, Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron and more. This fiery interactive workshop will also cover the motives and consequences of the acclaimed 1965 film of urban terrorist insurgency The Battle Of Algiers, which was obligatory viewing for the Black Panthers, and was used as a training film for Bush's Pentagon's special operations chiefs in 2003. Pauline Kael wrote " Gillo Pontecorvo is the most dangerous type of Marxist - a Marxist poet.""I should prefer to de-fuse this gigantic human bomb by starting a dialogue somewhere on the side-lines to distract the trigger-men, or to needle the somnambulists." - McLuhan. "Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance." - Robert Frost.
87 - LET'S AX LIKE WHITE PEOPLE - HOLD MY JAMMIE WHILE I GO PEE? - Mackdaddy founder of avant-funksters Black Shoe Polish, Gerry Fialka probes the whys of whites emulating blacks. Shoe fly in da buttermilk. Trading dozens. If ya can't dazzle'em wif yer brilliance, baffle wif yer bullshit. Gwine up to Hebbin. Louie Armstrong's white pot dealer Mezz Mezzrow writes that from the moment he heard jazz he "was going to be a Negro musician, hipping [teaching] the world about the blues the way only Negroes can." "I'm playing dark history. It's beyond black. I'm dealing with the dark things of the cosmos." - Sun Ra. "We just play Black, We play what the day recommends." - Miles Davis. "In my kosmos, there will be no feeva of dischord." - Krazy Kat. "I've got a move that tells me what to do." - James Brown.
88- HOW & WHY LITERACY CAUSED COPYRIGHTING - Explore in depth intellectual property and fair use. Did Girl Talk revamp it? "Everything is in public domain" - Oscar Wilde.
89 - THE BOOK OF A SALESMAN - Zeigeisty Gerry Fialka and performers supply the live soundtrack and reword a famous documentary on book salesmen. In the tradition of Woody Allen's What's Up Tiger Lily? and Mystery Science Theater, they will overdub the film's soundtrack with original dialogue. Not only will they make fun of the original in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery, but will also provide epiphanies on current events.
90 - $PILTERACY - Fialka deeply explores Mary Jane Shoultz's probes into the death of the visual, linear straight-jackets of books as a plus. Shoultz, education professor, founder of the "open" school movement and a close advisor to Marshall McLuhan, Norman Mailer & Ivan Illich, updates our consciousness with the electric environment as the major learning tool. "Our young people are not illiterate, they are post-literate. Today's students want immediate roles, not far-off goals." - McLuhan. The "S" in SPILTERACY is spelled with a dollar sign $. "The trouble with a cheap specialized education is that you never stop paying for it." - McLuhan
91- HEAR COMES - Examine Michael Moore ("Here Comes Trouble" - his 2011 book) and Gerry Fialka ("Here comes everybody" - James Joyce) - both were born in the early 50's in Michigan, aspired to be priests and turned into social critics and filmmakers. Moore criticizes globalization, large corporations, war, American health care system, capitalism and more. Fialka studies the hidden effects of human inventions (ala McLuhan & Joyce) and why humans ignore these hidden effects. "Understanding is not having a point view" - McLuhan. For baby boomers, it's not what you did in the 60's, it is what you'll do in your 60s. How has DIY (do it yourselves) become DIO (do it ourselves) ?
92- ADDICTION EXEGESIS - Fialka probes the word "addiction" via Gregory Bateson's Double Bind, Vincent Peale, direct experience, McLuhan's drama of cognition, impulse, simultaneity, percept vs. concept, fear of the unknown, hypnosis, mantras, and more. Is addiction not a disease? "The word is now the cheapest and most universal drug." - McLuhan. "At any rate, in experimental art, men are given the exact specifications of coming violence to their own psyches from their own counter-irritants or technology. For those parts of ourselves that we thrust out in the form of new invention are attempts to counter or neutralize collective pressures and irritations. But the counter-irritant usually proves a greater plague than the initial irritant, like a drug habit. And it is here that the artist can show us how to 'ride with the punch,' instead of 'taking it on the chin.' It can only be repeated that human history is a record of 'taking it on the chin.' Emile Durkheim long ago expressed the idea that the specialized task always escaped the action of the social conscience. In this regard, it would appear that the artist is the social conscience and is treated accordingly! 'We have no art,' say the Balinese; 'we do everything as well as possible.' " - McLuhan.
93- MUSIC AS MENIPPEAN SATIRE - How can instrumental music make one laugh? Explore Thelonious Monk, Igor Stravinsky, Spike Jones and more. "Laughter is the reconciliation of yes and no" - Gurdjieff. "Music will not save your soul, but it will make your soul worth saving." - Korla Pandit.
94- HONING THE HUMAN MICROPHONE - Examine the motives and consequences of the Occupy Movement's use of the human microphone. "Mic check" has been utilized as a protest tool. Zeitgeisty Fialka interconnects James Joyce's requirement of reading Finnegans Wake out loud with a group of people and the hidden effects of the human microphone. Includes the history of music amplification and repetition. Probe the live talks and writings of Slavoj Zizek and George Lakoff. "I don't know what I think until I've said it." - McLuhan.
95- VISIONARY ART VS. FOLK ART - Fialka probes the mysteries and paradoxes of art. Richard Ellman wrote that visionary art concerns matters of prophecy, the relations of the time world and daimonic timelessness. Or it concerns the human enterprise, the relations of people with each other or with their own secret hopes and ambitions. May this second description apply to "folk art?" Why does art matter to us and how does it emotionally and perceptually affect us?
96- DARKER AMERICA - How and why we ignore the ability to adapt to moonlight with the prevalence of an over-lite environment?
97- LIVE EVIL - Inspired by Miles Davis' funky album Live Evil, rapscallion filmmaker Gerry Fialka incites understanding of the relationship between live cinema (from Jack Smith to Sam Green) and "evil" ("I've always considered movies evil; the day cinema was invented was a black day for mankind." - Kenneth Anger). Considering that words evoke more than their meaning, fun is the key. Historian Kevin Brownlow called silent films with live music "live cinema." Fialka probes the movie projector's shutter as machine gun. Have we made a Faustian deal with the "blockbuster?" How and why is using the word "evil" a value judgment? Everything we invent has both services and disservices. In order to uncover their hidden effects and cope with them, we need to get the big picture: comprehensive awareness through pattern recognition. "Every time we see a great or nearly great film we are Theseus in the labyrinth. In mazes that can seem measureless, we are guided by the frail trustworthiness of an Ariadne thread (our own thoughtwork, patiently paid out) as we approach the maze's heart. There stands the Minotaur: the monster we must confront, the tragedy or mystery we must solve, the cathartic challenge we offer ourselves up to. " - film critic Nigel Andrews. In the 21st century, how can we "transcend, transfigure, translate and transform" cinema (the four Ts of photographer Julius Shulman)? George Orwell believed that we would be destroyed by the things we fear. Aldous Huxley thought that we would be undone by the things we love. " I don't care if I missed him with the tranquilizer; I could always shoot him with the camera!" - Firesign Theater. "Film is evil, radio is good." - Richard Foreman. "Live cinema" includes travelogues with live narration, Jason Reitman's live film script readings and more.
“The Spoken Word: Flower of Evil?” - McLuhan. "Ah star of evil! star of pain! Highhearted youth comes not again " - James Joyce.
98- CLONED ESP - EDGAR SAM PERCEPTIONS - Fialka interconnects Edgar Allan Poe's A Descent into the Maelstrom and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. "I readily believe that there are more invisible than visible Natures in the universe " - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
99 - CRITICAL THINKING COURSE - Fialka's course explores the process of thinking critically and guides students in thinking more perceptively. Concrete examples from students' experience and contemporary issues help students develop the abilities to solve problems, analyze issues, and make informed decisions in their academic, career and personal lives. Substantive readings, structured writing assignments and ongoing discussions help students develop language skills while fostering sophisticated thinking abilities. Via Duchamp, Cage, Joyce and McLuhan. "Tide of technological revolution... so captives, bewitch, dazzle, and beguile man that the calculative thinking may someday come to be accepted and practiced as the only way of thinking." - Heidegger.
100 - CREATIVE THINKING COURSE - Fialka's course explores the process of thinking creatively and guides students in developing perceptual probing, opportunities to work on a variety of projects and activities requiring creative thinking, and personal appearances by creative people discussing their work. Via Duchamp, Cage, Joyce and McLuhan. "Just because the sensory offering is meagre, the sensory response is full. As we grow older, we dim down the sensory responses, and increase the sensory inputs, turning ourselves into robots. That is why art is indispensable for human survival. Art perpetually dislocates our usual sensory responses by offering a very abstract or meagre and selective input." - McLuhan
101- DELVING DEEP INTO DELVING DEEP - Fialka probes the very process of going below the surface when examining a particular subject. Deep sea divers do not always get the surface epiphanies that skimmers do? Does Wikipedia and Google cause "power browsing?" What are the services and disservices? Tactile Situation Awareness (TSA) refers to the act of pilots acting so fast, there's no time to really read data and respond accordingly. They focus on the center of the cyclone. Likewise, we are engulfed in sensory overload. Can we ever really get deeply involved? For self-preservation, we cannot really specialize. Or can we? Can we really multi-task? Maybe we are never really deeply involved in any one medium? McLuhan described the "content" of a medium as a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. "Message to deep-sea diver: Surface at once. Ship sinking." - McLuhan. "We all know the same truth and our lives consist of how we choose to distort it." - Woody Allen.
for more Ann Arbor Film Festival related workshop proposals,
Information on Gerry Fialka's new pbook, ebook and sbook (blog meets book) entitled
INNER VIEWS (aka ANY COMPLAINTS TALK TO THE PROJECTIONIST)
on Avant-garde Film & the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Most recent interview additions include: Bill Brand, Martha Colburn, Tony Gault, Alexandra Cuesta, Vera Brunner-Sung, Laura Bouza, Natasha Mendonca (top prize winner at Ann Arbor Film Fest 2011), Vincent Goudreau, Javier Martinez and Jessica Sarah Rinland. And at Experiments in Cinema (New Mexico): Scott Stark, Wago Kreider, Peter Snowdon, Julie Perini, and Anthony Buchanan. Also Jeanne Finley, Marc Olmstead, David Meltzer & ruth weiss in SF in Oct 2011, And LARRY JORDAN, ROBERT NELSON, NINA MENKES, BETZY BROMBERG, THOM ANDERSEN, KARL KROGSTAD in 2011.
"I am inspired and excited that Gerry Fialka, who holds an affinity for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, is writing a history of it. Having attended several of his AAFF workshops, I can testify he is intimate with experimental cinema and media philosophy, and is deeply dedicated to the exploration of new knowledge. " - Leslie Raymond, Professor of Art & New Media, University of Texas.
"Fialka is a damn good interviewer. His questions are sometimes so precise that it tickles and sometimes so grand and thought provoking that one feels on the edge of a new spiritual awareness." - Lynne Sachs, award-winning filmmaker
"Being interviewed by Gerry Fialka was a real high point in my film career. His questions are wacky, discursive, cosmic, probing, thought provoking and, yes, experimental and avant garde. I left brimming with a renewed passion for the wide world of film and ideas. Gerry's enthusiasm and restless intellect are contagious." - Mark Street, award-winning filmmaker
“Fialka’s questions are challenging and thought provoking. These questions rattled me for days.” -Mary Jordan, filmmaker of Jack Smith documentary
"Fialka's interview with me was an invigorating, pleasurable, philosophical, specific, awakening journey." - Harry Northup, actor and poet
Fialka's new book project - AVANT GARDE FILM & The ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL HISTORY BOOK - Gerry Fialka is writing a history of the Festival via extensive research and interviews. The book (which will also be published as an e-book) covers the ONCE Group roots, creative motivations, philosophies, innovations, live performance art & music, lobby art, the early Old A&D location, Michigan Theater location, and much more. Delve deep into its inner workings and transformative longevity. Fialka's 50 plus interviews (and still growing) include founder George Manupelli, Chick Stand, Pat Olesko, Jay Cassidy, Joe Wehrer, Harold Borkin, Frank Mouris, Bill Brown, Leslie Raymond, Jason Jay Stevens, Morgan Fisher, Ben Russell, Bryan Konefsky, Owen Land, Craig Baldwin, Blue Gene Tyranny, Hugh Cohen, Frank Beaver, Jeanne Liotta, Peter Rose, Fred Worden, Lynne Sachs, Mark Street, Jay Rosenblatt, Alfonzo Alvarez, Jesse Lerner, Steve DeJarnatt, Frank Pahl, Terri Sarris, Lisa Marr, Paolo Davanzo, Gary Schwartz, Chris McNamara, Oren Goldenberg, Jesse Drew, John Cannizzaro, Danny Plotnick, Scott Nyerges, Rebecca Barten, David Sherman, Joe Tiboni, Victor Fanucchi, Roger Beebe, William Farley, Jeremy Benstock, Georg Koszulinski, Erika Suderberg, James Gillespie, John Nelson, Pip Chorodov, P Adam Sitney, Fred Camper, Tom Gunning, Chris Felver, Bill Daniel, Kate Perotti, Simon Mercer, Leland Auslender, Ralf Schmerberg and many more. Fialka served on the AAFF Screening Committee from 1977 to 1980. He was the Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival Director from 1977-80, and on the 8mm Screening Committee from 1975-80. Since 1971, Fialka has attended many AAFFs, and presented several workshops: