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A Look Back: Chicago Film Archives’ Media Mixer

November 27 ,  8pm

Experimental Sound Studio

Admissions: FREE, $5+ suggested donation

In collaboration with Experimental Sound Studio, CFA is proud to highlight a few of our past Media Mixer pieces as part of their Quarantine Concerts series.

Chicago Film Archives’ Media Mixer is a popular annual event in which we invite six Chicago-based artists – three visual artists and three musicians – and arrange “blind dates” between each pairing, all of whom have never previously worked together. These newly acquainted artists are then commissioned to create unique works using footage and sounds from CFA’s film collection. CFA has produced the Media Mixer since 2012, and it continues to be one of our signature events, helping to breathe new life into archival material housed in our vault.

We hope this (re)introduction activates a fulsome conversation around archives and the importance of preservation, while also bringing to light these beautiful and challenging works, which audiences may have missed the first time around. We hope you will join us!

Saturday, November 27, 2021
8pm CT
Streaming on ESS’ Twitch
FREE, $5+ suggested donation (100% goes to the artists)


Film Program

Second Sighted, Deborah Stratman and Olivia Block (2014, 5min, 2 sec)

Love and Care of Pets, Jesse McLean and Sich Mang (2013, 3min 58 sec; Video Sponsor: BRMC Group)

Turn the Garden, Melika Bass and Coppice (2016, 8 min 32 sec)

Octavia, Federico Francioni & Yan Cheng and Tomeka Reid (2018 International Media Mixer, 14min 05 sec)

Whirred, Whirled, Jesse Malmed and ONO (2015, 6min, 57 sec)

Scales in the Spectrum of Space, Fern Silva and Kelan Phil Cohran (2015, 7min 33 sec)

Memoria Data, Lori Felker and Patrizia Olivia, (2018 International Media Mixer, 12min 23 sec)

The Mermaid, Jean Sousa and Kioto Aoki (2020, 7 min, 58 sec)


Artist Bios

Deborah Stratman is an artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Recent projects have addressed freedom, sinkholes, surveillance, the paranormal, sonic warfare, faith and comets. She exhibits worldwide and is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, and USA Collins Fellowships among countless other awards. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.

Olivia Block creates original sound compositions for concerts, site-specific multi-speaker installations, live cinema, and performance. Her compositions often include field recordings, chamber instruments, and electronic textures. Additionally, she performs multi-speaker electronic compositions, and compositions for inside piano and objects. Her LP/download release, Karren (Sedimental, 2013), an electroacoustic and orchestral piece performed by Chicago Composer’s Orchestra,  was chosen as “Best of 2014″ by The Wire, Pitchfork, and Artforum, among other publications.

Jesse McLean’s work is motivated by a deep curiosity about human behavior and relationships, especially as presented and observed through the mediation of found footage. McLean was the recipient of the Overkill Award at the 2011 Images Festival and the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival. She has presented her work worldwide and is based in Milwaukee, WI, where she is an Associate Professor of Film/Video/Animations/New Genres at Peck School of the Arts-UW Milwaukee.

Sich Mang is made up of Chicagoans Eric Lee Gale and Rand Sevilla. Together they produce a style of music called “wurkstep.” Chicago Reader’s Miles Raymer cleverly defines this style as Chicago juke and footwork music (the distinctive, up-tempo dance music styles born in Chicago’s South and West sides) dipped in a vat of garishly polychromatic psychedelia.

Melika Bass is a filmmaker and installation artist based in Chicago. Described as an “author of a unique cinema of atmosphere and historical reminiscences”, Ms. Bass was recently featured in a solo Profile showcase at the 2021 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Films” and was a USA Artist Nominee for 2021. Her work has been profiled and reviewed in Cineaste Magazine, Filmmaker Magazine, Timeout Chicago, Art Daily, Rolling Stone Italy, Pitchfork, and Criterion.

Coppice was founded by Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer in Chicago in 2009, as an inquiry into the capture and generation of music and its relationship to its physical sources. Its compound studies include Bellows & Electronics (prepared pump organs, shruti boxes, and tape processors) between 2009–2014, and Physical Modeling & Modular Syntheses between 2014–2018 – focusing on the interactions between direct and reproduced sound, and the perceptual links between original and emulated sources, respectively.

Federico Francioni (1988) graduated in 2010 with a degree in History of Cinema, discussing a thesis about Otar Iosseliani. In 2013 he was admitted to the National Film School of Italy, the “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia”. In 2016, he directed with his colleague Yan Cheng Tomba del Tuffatore (Tomb of the Diver), which premiered at Pesaro Film Festival. In the same year they started working on their first feature documentary, shot in China.

Tomeka Reid is a Chicago based cellist, composer and educator.  As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. A key ensemble member with more than several improvisational jazz quartets, in 2013 Ms. Reid also launched the Chicago Jazz String Summit, a semi-annual three-day international festival of cutting edge string players held in Chicago.

Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator, working in video, performance, text, occasional objects and their gaps and overlaps. He has performed, screened and exhibited at museums, microcinemas, film festivals, galleries, bars and barns, including solo presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center, Chicago Cultural Center among others.

ONO‘s members span several generations, ethnicities, and genders, but at its core the group consists of Travis Travis Travis, P. Michael Ono and Shannon Rose. Founded in 1980 and reemerging in the late 2000s, the band has been embraced by a more fertile and experimental Chicago scene. ONO’s original mission statement (1980) runs through this music more truly and deeply than ever, so to quote it in full and let it speak for itself: ONO1980// Experimental Performance, NOISE, and Industrial Poetry Performance Band; Exploring Gospel’s Darkest Conflicts, Tragedies and Premises.

Fern Silva uses film to create a cinematographic language for the hybrid mythologies of globalism. His films consider methods of narrative, ethnographic, and documentary filmmaking as the starting point for structural experimentation. He has created a body of film, video, and projection work that has been screened and performed at various festivals, galleries, museums and cinematheques around the world.  He received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, MFA from Bard College and is currently based in Chicago, IL where he teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Kelan Phil Cohran (1927-2017)was a musician and educator. He played with Sun Ra’s Arkestra and co-founded the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) before establishing the r Artistic Heritage Ensemble in 1967 which often performed at the 63rd Street beach on Chicago’s south side. A voracious consumer of world and cultural history, Mr. Cohran’s music was/is a fusion of modern funk, big band, Southern ring shouts, and experimental jazz. In 1987, he composed the award-winning music for the Sky Show at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and his music has been featured in countless venues including the Chicago Jazz Festival. The honorific title “Kelan” was bestowed on him by Chinese Muslims on a tour of China in 1991.

Lori Felker is a filmmaker/artist, teacher, programmer, and performer. Her films and videos attempt to study the ineloquent, oppositional, delusional, frustrating, and chaotic qualities of human interaction. Lori works in a variety of mediums and styles and has shown her work internationally at a variety of film festivals and art spaces. She lives in Chicago, loves to collaborate, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Film/Video programmer at Roots & Culture Gallery.

Patrizia Oliva is a singer, author, improviser of experimental music that crosses electronics, electro-acoustic, free jazz and performing arts. She has played with many musicians, including Gino Robair, Stefano Giust, Pamelia Kurstin, Edoardo Marraffa, Tommy Greenwood, Martin Mayes, Tristan Honsinger Linda Sharrock, Silvia Bolognesi, Alessandro Bosetti and many others. She has toured Italy, U.S.A, Scotland, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, amongst other countries. She has recorded an impressive number of albums with several experimental labels such as Setola di Maiale, Afe Records, Sonoscopia and many mo

Jean Sousa is aChicago-based artist. Jean Sousa works primarily in photography and film and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of two Artist Fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council and a Regional Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Awards include a Fellowship for residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Cliff Dwellers Fellowship for Artist Residency at Ragdale, a Professional Artist in Residence at Oxbow in Saugatuck, Michigan, and an Artist Residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. 

Kioto Aoki is a Chicago-based artist.  As a musician, Kioto is a taiko artist while also specializing in tsuzumi and shamisen. Performing professionally on stage since the age of 7, she has been carrying on the lineage of the Tokyo performing arts family –Toyoakimoto. She is active within the experimental and creative music communities in Chicago and the Bay Area. Kioto leads Tsukasa Taiko, the Japanese drumming program at Asian Improv aRts Midwest. Ms. Aoki’s  visual art practice includes photography, film, books, and installations to engage the material specificity of the analogue image and image-making process.


Experimental Sound Studio
Admissions:FREE, $5+ suggested donation