2009

Twelfth Annual Festival of Sound Art
: Tony Conrad

23five Incorporated, SFCinematheque, and the Graduate Division of San Francisco Art Institute present the annual Activating the Medium festival, showcasing the work by the legendary minimalist and filmmaker Tony Conrad.

Friday, April 3
The San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture Hall

Tony Conrad: Lecture
Flickering Jewel - Window, Perspective, Shadows
presented in association with SFAI's Spheres of Interest Lecture Series
5:00 PM
Free

Saturday, April 4
The San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture Hall

Tony Conrad
Brendan Murray & Paul Clipson
sound and video performances
8:00 PM
$15.00 general admission
$10.00 members of SFCinematheque
free to SFAI students and staff

Sunday, April 5
The San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture Hall

Tony Conrad
Flicker and Process Films/Works on Video
films include Redressing Down and Tony's Oscular Pets
7:30 PM
$10.00 general admission
$6.00 members of SFCinematheque
free to SFAI students and staff

Elemental to Tony Conrad's oeuvre is his work as a violinist, in which primal, enveloping drones create an oscillating ritual theater. In 1962 he co-founded the groundbreaking ensemble known as the Dream Syndicate. Wielding a drone both aggressively confrontational and subtly mesmerizing, he and his collaborators - including La Monte Young and future Velvet Underground co-founders John Cale and Angus MacLise - created some of the most revolutionary music of that (or any) decade. Utilizing long durations, precise pitch and blistering volume, Conrad and company forged a "Dream Music" that articulated the Big Bang of "minimalism." With his return in the 1990s to recording, publishing and touring, Conrad engaged an entirely new generation of listeners with his unique and uncompromisingly antisocial, raging music. -- Steve Polta / SFCinematheque

We hungered for music almost seething beyond control - or even something just beyond music, a violent feeling of soaring unstoppably, powered by immense angular machinery across abrupt and torrential seas of pounding blood. Walt Whitman wrote that 'all music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments.' So it must be my conscious blood, in my veins, that swells behind my eyes on the unstanchable tide of the music's careening violence; a voicelessly shrieking glee, gushing and unfulfilled; anger coming from somewhere; sweetness of virulence, energy, heated eyes, tension unrelenting, shrill shuddering lust endlessly recalculated in its spasm; focus of power. - Tony Conrad

Brendan Murray is a self-taught musician living in Somerville, MA. He has actively recorded and performed with electronics since 1999. He regards his music as a balance between spontaneous sound making and compositional rigor, with an emphasis on drones and repetition. ÊHe records and processes instruments and tapes until all traces of instrumentality are blurred, leaving only large blocks of pure sound. Murray has also toured extensively throughout the United States as a solo performer and as a member of various improvising ensembles. He is actively involved with long distance collaborations with musicians and sound artists such as Seth Nehil, Richard Garet and Chuck Bettis. He is also a founding member of the group Ouest, with longtime friends and collaborators Jay Sullivan and Howard Stelzer.

Paul Clipson has shown his films internationally in various galleries, festivals and performance venues in Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and Russia, as well as throughout the U.S. and in the Bay Area, including at the Pacific Film Archive, the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, Artists Television Access, The Exploratorium and the San Francisco Art Institute. He works primarily in film, video and works on paper. Since 2003, Clipson has collaborated on film/music performances, documentaries and short films with sound/music artists such as Tarentel, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Joshua Churchill, Robert Rich, Jim Haynes and Metal Rouge, projecting largely improvised in-camera edited experimental films employing multiple exposures, dissolves and macro imagery, that bring to light subconscious preoccupations and unexpected visual forms.