Monday, 23 March 2009

THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE PRESENTS: Signal/Noise: Information on Film

WHEN: 6pm, Wednesday 25 March 2009
WHERE: Room 741, 41 East 11th Street (between University Place and Broadway)
ALL WELCOME. Refreshments provided.

The theme for the Colloquium's fifth season is Information. We present aseries of experimental films that explore the status of film as medium andas information system. These innovative and challenging films explore thefollowing informatic issues: the alphabet as information system; algorithmic aesthetics; the duality of narrative and archive; genetics and bio-information; the energy and entropy of physical systems; cyborgs and the posthuman.

We begin this Wednesday with STRANGE CULTURE, by Lynne Hershmann Leeson. Starring Tilda Swinton, this experimental documentary explores the possibilities of film as a public information system. Hershmann Leeson uses interviews, animation, and dramatic episodes to recreate the case of the artist Steve Kurtz and the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). The CAE use art to explore issues of intellectual property, bio-engineering, and public health.When Kurtz's wife died suddenly in 2004, the Office of Homeland security misinterpreted his materials, which included petri dishes and biological materials, as a bomb making laboratory and arrested him on chanrges of bioterrorism. STRANGE CULTURE explores the limits of free speech in an atmosphere of public hysteria and manufactured emergency.

STRANGE CULTURE will be introduced by Howard Besser. Howard Besser is a Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU and Director of the Masters Program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation. For more than 20 years he has been working at the intersection of emerging technologies, culture, and policy.

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