Workshops-Lectures-Screenings LIST Number SIX  #138 - 146

October 17, 2014

I am very interested in presenting a workshop/lecture/screening. Details follow. 
I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you,
Gerry Fialka
Bio - 
What the programmers and participants are saying about Gerry Fialka

138- Don't Even Look At It - (wording from cellphone warning at mainstream movie theater) ParaMedia Ecologist Gerry Fialka's interactive workshop probes how social media is changing the viewing experience at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (=AAFF) and casting its own influence on experimental film. Having watched viewers literally cup their hands during screenings to peek at their cell, Fialka probes the hidden psyche effects of cellphones. Gerry asserts, "At my film screenings, I say to the audience 'We have decided to watch one big screen for the next two hours. Please use other screens in the other room.' Many cannot see the one big screen unless they can access their own personal screen during that two hour period."

Fialka examines multiplicity and its relationship with "user as content." We will explore the multi-screens of Abel Gance, the 1939 NY Worlds Fair, the ONCE Group, Hollis Frampton & Peter Greenaway (frames within frames), Charles & Ray Eames, Agnes Varda, John & James Whitney, Andy Warhol, Christian Marclay, Nam June Paik, Nixon and Elvis (both watched many TVs at once), David Bowie (who did the same in The Man Who Fell to Earth), Scott Stark and more. Stan VanDerBeek asserted that people can take in, associate and categorize an excess of simultaneous imagery. He said that artists are "abandoning the logics of aesthetics, springing full blown into a juxtaposed and simultaneous world that ignores the one-point-perspective mind, the one-point-perspective lens.”

Electronic billboards, GPS and cellphones (all mobile social media) are omnipresent. What does submersion in so many screens all the time do to us? Survey the services and disservices. Learn how to cope with them. "The multiplicity-of-the-media experience we have today will alienate people from identifying with any medium. So people will finally get detached from the hypnotic effect of each medium." - Robert Dobbs. How and why does this multiplicity as an artform create the collective consciousness of today?

139- George Manupelli Tribute - DR. CHICAGO AS THE AAFF - Experimental Film Historian-performance artist 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 Dr. Chicago films is a 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 Oleszko), 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. He remained active as a filmmaker, poet, collagist and political/environmental activist till his passing on Sept 14, 2014. His Film For Hooded Projector evokes the cosmic giggle ala the Duchampian inquiry of making art that is not art. He had the courage to actually destroy the fourth film is the series, Dr. Chicago Goes To Sweden by driving around town with the only copy unreeling out the window of his car. "Anything worth doing well isn't worth doing at all?"- Manupelli.

Manupelli's empathy was observed at a 1970's party to design the AAFF program graphics as George sang Marlene Dietrich's Falling In Love Again. We will analyze what AAFF director Woody Sempliner learned from George when they stood behind the screen at the Michigan Theater and saw the projected screen from behind as a form of "second sight"

George was fond of the questions that appear in Gaugin's painting: "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" Let us celebrate Manupelli's vision that continues to inspire the exploration of new questions and the mysteries of art. Let's reinvent George's axiom: "The things you think you can do are the things you can do the best of all."

Includes excerpts from a video of the comprehensive George Manupelli interview by Fialka (2010, 90 minutes), and many phone interviews between 2001 to 2013. They delve deep into George's background, ideas and the creative process.

140 - Will There Ever Be Silence?  Probe the hidden psyche effects of sound and image relationships as examined in Gerry Fialka's article in Canyon Cinemazine - and

141 - NSA - "NEVER SAY ANYTHING" - MetaData, Big Data & Hypermedia As Experimental Film - Gerry Fialka interconnects experimental filmmaker-teacher Ernie Gehr and his student, Lauren Poitras. Delve deep into her Ed Snowden film Citizenfour and its impact. Fialka probes the hidden psyche effects of the decentralized, personal and liberating electronic technologies that transcend time and space. Examine content and form. Ponder the motives and consequences of experimental films, political documentaries, accountability and whistle-blowing. Explore the dynamics of individual responsibilities and collective will.

Robert Dobbs updated Warhol: "In the future, everyone will have privacy for 15 minutes." "Only puny secrets need protection. The big ones are protected by public incredulity." - McLuhan."The elected and electorate have become the rule and the ruled." - Snowden.

142 - AAFF As Place - Much like Carl Andre's maxim "sculpture as place," Gery Fialka probes the very environment and people of Ann Arbor, and their relationships in nurturing experimental filmmaking and community. He will explore the AAFF as a character. In the film Boyhood, time is a character. In McLuhan's first book The Mechanical Bride, he posits the ads and comics as characters in a new form of science fiction. Room 237 interviewee Juli Kearns says the window of the Overlook Hotel's office in Kubrick's The Shining is “a character in itself." Filmmaker Julianna Brannum says "archival footage is a character" in her documentary Indian 101: LaDonna Harris. Fialka explores the person on the street, their opinions on the Festival and the films. Retool 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." The AAFF community of filmmakers and viewers are social engineers of perpetual motion machinery who have musicalized a symphony of cinema, needling somnambulism and actualizing the "abnihilization of the etym" (James Joyce's words for making something out of nothing). The AAFF is a way of seeing the paradoxical exuberance of being through community.

143 - The Documentary As Subversive Ethnographic Art - Gerry Fialka probes the illusion of privacy and documenting life via SEL (Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab), TMZ, Vice, Joshua Oppenheimer, Lauren Poitras and more. Delve deep into the differences between cinema verite and direct cinema. Examine Gregory Bateson's "observer effect." Ponder the notions of "looking at" metamedia and "looking through" metamedia.

144 - An Experiment in Surprise - Technological fruit picker Gerry Fialka's interactive workshop is itself a "surprise." He'll probe something (the mysteries of art?) ala Craig Baldwin's axiom "Create the unexpected" and more.  This is a Genuine Fake AAFF Workshop in which GF explores how computer programs can make experimental films and even write this very workshop. He delves deep into the "android meme," as the maxim "we shape our tools then they shape us" re-imagines the opposite: "we ape our tools then they ape us." Prescience as mystic masseur?. "We must invent a NEW METAPHOR, restructure our thoughts and feelings. The new media are not bridges between man and nature: they are nature." - McLuhan. "Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. Imagine a world before the 'beginning was the word.'” - Stan Brakhage. Say what?

145 - Cinema's Sense Ratio Shifting - Gerry Fialka interrelates the five senses with the viewing experience, and the aesthetics of avant grade films. Examine Gene Youngblood's immersive "synaesthetic cinema," Manny Farber calling Godard's Weekend: "It's a film which loves its body odor," Captain Beefheart's quip: "It smells like a Robert Mitchum film in here," and Warhol's "People go to movies to see only the star... to eat him up." Fialka probes the "popcorn theory" as taught by UofM film professor Frank Beaver - eating popcorn improves the viewing experience. "I just hope they like my film as much as the popcorn." - Billy Wilder. McLuhan examined the tactility of television exemplified by Salvador Dali's TV Guide cover depicting TV screens as thumbnails. More examples to be meta-analyzed.

Delve deep into the relationships of sense ratio shifting with James Joyce's epiphany that technologies are analogical mirrors of our biological process. How and why "questions concerning the function of our sensorial organs and the way our psychic apparatus processes and interprets the signals received by our senses gained a new urgency and relevance." -  Jan Rohlf.


146 - McLuhan As Experimental Film - Gerry Fialka probes McLuhan's short film A Burning Would (made with Jane Jacobs), and interconnects how McLuhan's percepts are a new kind of cinema. "McLuhan used the transforming power of the movie camera and projector as a model of this drama of cognition. When the camera rolls up the external world on a spool by rapid still shots, it uncannily resembles the process of "making", or sensory closure. The movie projector unwinds this spool as a kind of magic carpet which conveys the enchanted spectator anywhere in the world in an instant - a resemblance of the human's attempt to externalize or utter the result of making sense in a natural effort to connect or "match" with the external environment" - Robert Dobbs.


MORE Gerry Fialka Workshops-Lectures-Screening proposals -

List One   1-17 

List Two   18-34 

List Three  35-40

List Four   41- 101

List Five   102 - 137 


"My four hour conversation with Gerry Fialka was fun and enlightening. I agree with art critic Doug Harvey that Fialka should have his own department at Cal Arts. His astute probing of James Joyce, McLuhan, Duchamp, Zappa and the hidden psychic effects of media is infectious and comprehensive." - Historian Paul Cronin