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June 4, 2013

CFA Media Mixer 2013: Meet this Year’s Artists

This year marks the second year of our CFA Media Mixer event. So… what’s the Media Mixer event all about? Well, the premise is simple: three filmmakers, paired (blind date style) with three audio artists, had the full run of CFA’s vault to create some video art. We’ll premiere the finished videos on Thursday, June 6th alongside lots of other entertainment – including music provided by DJ Peter Margasak and a live set from Bobby Conn and Monica BouBou! At the core, the CFA Media Mixer is a benefit for CFA, but we like to think it’s a lot more than that. It’s also a celebration of local artists, artistic collaborations and CFA (more generally). We at CFA want our films to speak to a variety of different purposes and interpretations. We believe (really strongly!) in making the archive accessible and available for a variety of different purposes (including research and creative-based projects), to have these incredible films and collections speak to a new generation of viewers and to *hopefully* inspire artists (like our Media Mixer collaborators). Now, let us formally introduce you to this year’s artist pairings & video sponsors:

1. “Love and Care of Pets” (4 minutes) Filmmaker: JESSE MCLEAN  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. Her recent work interpolates the production, proliferation, and consumption of televisual experience, investigating how this transfer of information creates a bind of complex relationships between maker and viewer. Interested both in the power and the failure of the mediated experience to bring us together, McLean’s work asks the viewer to walk the line between voyeur and participant. Jesse 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 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam; Venice Film Festival; Transmediale; 25 FPS Festival; European Media Arts Festival; Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Interstate Projects; PPOW Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Impakt Festival; CPH:DOX; Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH. (courtesy of Video Data Bank) Sound artists: SICH MANG 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. Jessica Hopper (via Chicago Tribune) adds, “Sich Mang songs were not made for passive listening. Its current crop of remixes is more a reverent mangling of dance music; it flirts with dance, hip-hop and R&B sounds but pushes them toward something shy of mania.” Video Sponsor: BRMC Group   2. “Songs for Earth And Folk” (10.5 minutes) Filmmaker: CAULEEN SMITH   Cauleen Smith received her B.A. from the School of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University and her M.F.A. from UCLA School of Theater-Television-Film. For the past several years Cauleen Smith has produced multi-channel film and video installations that incorporate sculptural objects and text. Her interests roam from her roots in structuralist filmmaking to afro-futurist narrative strategies. Materials and form are central interests which are applied to projects as the project itself demands thereby making the body of Smith’s work unpredictably varied and diverse. Smith is producing a series of films, objects, and events (of which Fullness is a part) that explore the psychogeography of American cities in which the intersection of black cultural production and the urban landscape created significant and global musical innovation. Smith currently lives in Chicago and is artist in resident at Washington Park Arts Incubator. Recent projects include “17″ a series of hand screenprinted wallpapers which ruminate on sound. And Black Utopia LP – A Cauleen Smith movie, vinyl records accompanied by 35mm slides featuring performances by Chicago poets Krista Franklin and Avery R. Young. Her Double LP combs through Experimental Sound Studio’s Sun Ra Archives. It can be purchased from Dusty Groove Records, Threewalls, and Corbet vs. Dempsy. Sound artists: THE ETERNALS Since emerging from the sonic destruction left by the no-wave punk bulldozer Trenchmouth in the late 90s, the Chicago-based band, The Eternals (Damon Locks & Wayne Montana), have made a point of disillusioning music purists everywhere. At times they soothe, at other times they serve as a wake-up call with carefully crafted loops mixed with jagged analog synth waves and driving bass lines. No mood, no thought, no feeling is held back. Past film scoring projects from the band include Terri Kapsalis & Rob Shaw’s Noon Moons and Alix Lambert’s Mark of Cain. (courtesy of the MCA) Video Sponsor: Music Box Films and Music Box Theatre   3. “What I Want” (6.5 minutes) Filmmaker: ALEXANDER STEWART Alexander Stewart’s short films have screened internationally, including at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Tribeca Film Festival, and ImageForum (Japan). He is co-director of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, and curates a screening series at Roots & Culture gallery in Chicago. He teaches animation at DePaul University. Sound Artist: SAM PREKOP Chicago born Sam Prekop has been a fixture on the local scene for decades, as front man of Shrimp Boat and the Sea and Cake and more recently as a solo artist. Video Sponsor:  Pentimenti Films So…. when was the last time you could party with Jesse McLean, Sich Mang, Cauleen Smith, the Eternals, Alexander Stewart, Sam Prekop, Peter Margasak, Alison Cuddy, Bobby Conn, Monica BouBou and CFA!?  Come on down to the Hideout this Thursday and have some fun!  Great music, video art premieres, (really) killer raffle prizes and you’ll (in the meantime) be supporting the work of Chicago Film Archives and local artists! Purchase advance tickets (highly recommended) here & more details on the event here