Friday, February 29, 2008

Let There Be...

Hot news! The first press release for my and Thomas Beard's new exhibition project Light Industry went out tonight, and the website is up! Full press release below with all the details.

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Light Industry

Contact Thomas Beard for further information :: (646) 420-0359


"The Blazing World," a screening to be held on March 25, marks the beginning of Light Industry, a new venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York. Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project will begin as a series of weekly events this spring and summer, each organized by a different artist, critic, or curator, including Peggy Ahwesh, Cory Arcangel, Rebecca Cleman, Ben Coonley and Michael Smith, Bradley Eros and Brian Frye, eteam, Kendra Gaeta and Laris Kreslins, David Gatten, Lia Gangitano, Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Nick Hallett, William E. Jones, Andrew Lampert, Dennis Lim, Mark McElhatten, MTAA, Marisa Olson, Jacob Perlin, Seth Price, Jennifer Reeves, Eddo Stern, and Dan Streible, among others.

Conceptually, Light Industry draws equal inspiration from the long history of alternative art spaces in New York as well its storied tradition of cinematheques and other intrepid film exhibitors. Through a regular program of screenings, performances, and lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of time-based media. Bringing together the worlds of contemporary art, experimental cinema, new media, documentary film, and the academy, to name only a few, Light Industry looks to foster a complex dialogue amongst a wide range of artists and audiences within the city.

For its opening seasons, all events will take a place on Tuesdays at 8PM in Industry City, an industrial complex in Sunset Park, Brooklyn that's home to a cross-section of manufacturing, warehousing and light industry. As part of a regeneration program intended to diversify the use of its 6 million square feet of space to better reflect 21st century production, Industry City now includes workspace for artists. In addition to offering studios at competitive rates, Industry City also provides a limited number of rent-stabilized studios for artists in need of low-cost rental space. This program was conceived in response to the lack of affordable workspace for artists in New York City and aims to establish a new paradigm for industrial redevelopment--one that does not displace artists, workers, local residents or industry but instead builds a sustainable community in a context that integrates cultural and industrial production.

More information, including program schedules, location, and directions can be found at


The Blazing World
Curated by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter

March 25, 2008 at 8pm
55 33rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY
Ticket Price - $6

"A map of the world that does not include utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which humanity is always landing." - Oscar Wilde

30/73: Coop Cinema Amsterdam, Kurt Kren, 16mm, 1973, 3 mins
Swamp, Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, 16mm, 1971, 6 mins
Victory Over the Sun, Michael Robinson, 16mm, 2007, 12 mins
Possible Models, Jenny Perlin, 16mm, 2004, 11 mins
Wildwood Flower, Keewatin Dewdney, 16mm, 1971, 4 mins
Berenice, Michael Gitlin, 16mm, 1996, 51 mins

Light Industry's inaugural event brings together a group of films that ponder the vicissitudes of utopian scheming and the search for new ground. Juxtaposing the heady, exploratory optimism of the Aquarian age with the more sobering observations of contemporary artists, The Blazing World attempts to embrace the complexities inherent in what Light Industry sets forth to support: the ongoing social experiment in community that undergirds moving-image art-making.

Beginning on a reflexive note, Kurt Kren's rarity Coop Cinema Amsterdam documents three weeks in the life of the legendary Dutch venue The Electric Cinema, condensed into a frantic hallucination through single-frame shooting. In Swamp, artist Nancy Holt attempts to navigate her way through a grassy, muddy stretch of New Jersey wetlands, guided only by the sights of her Bolex and Robert Smithson's verbal cues. Michael Robinson's Victory Over the Sun revisits the abandoned sites of World's Fairs in the service of subtle, sci-fi psychedelia, while Jenny Perlin's hand-drawn film Possible Models compares the communitarian dreams of Victor Gruen, architect of the first shopping mall, with his hypercapitalist spawn: the Mall of America, Dubailand, and the "Freedom Ship," a proposed libertarian tax-shelter-of-the-seas. Back on dry land, Keewatin Dewdney's Wildwood Flower offers up a folk-crafted vision of bucolic innocence that could only have emerged from 1971.

Anchoring the lineup, Michael Gitlin's Berenice provides a richly psychological costumer set during the decay of an upstate New York utopian community in the 1830s. Partially adapted from the Edgar Allen Poe tale of the same name, blended with texts on phalansterist socialism by Charles Fourier and letters from the Transcendentalist commune Brook Farm, Berenice wends a tale of an old, weird America in search of new social harmonies through visionary ideals.

About Thomas Beard

Thomas Beard is a curator based in New York. >From 2005-2006 he was Program Director of Ocularis, a series for artists' film and video in Brooklyn. He also served as a programmer at Cinematexas as well as a programming consultant for the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, and has organized screenings and exhibitions at Art in General, Aurora Picture Show, the New York Underground Film Festival, Mass Art Film Society, the Museum of Modern Art, and Pacific Film Archive. Most recently he is the editor of Live Cinema: A Contemporary Reader, which will be published by San Francisco Cinematheque later this year.

About Ed Halter

Ed Halter is a critic and curator living in New York City. His writing has appeared in Arthur, The Believer, Cinema Scope, Kunstforum, Millennium Film Journal, Rhizome, the Village Voice and elsewhere. From 1995 to 2005, he programmed and oversaw the New York Underground Film Festival, and has organized screenings and exhibitions for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cinematexas, Eyebeam, the Flaherty Film Seminar, the Museum of Modern Art, and San Francisco Cinematheque. He currently teaches in the Film and Electronic Arts department at Bard College, and has lectured at Harvard, NYU, Yale, and other schools as well as at Art in General, Aurora Picture Show, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, the Images Festival, the Impakt Festival, and Pacific Film Archive. His book From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games was published by Thunder's Mouth Press in 2006.

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