16mm performance with a live soundtrack by Nathan Hill 30 minutes, 2014
Accompanied by a live synthesizer score, projected 16mm film melts and burns from the heat of a film projector. Cutting off the sprocket holes located on the edge of the film frames, the projectors forward momentum is bypassed. In the path of the bulb for longer than 1/24th of a second, the film warps, smokes, and bursts.
Individual film frames document cycles of destruction, resilience, and transformation within the Bay Area. Shots include the abandoned Parkway Theater in Oakland, closed in 2009; filmmaker Mary Helena Clark in her Berkeley studio; the Black Hole Cinematheque in Oakland, founded by Tooth; historical images of the 1906 San Francisco fire; pool tides in the remaining structure of the Sutro Baths, first built in 1896 and knocked down by arson in 1966; and the dormant Woodminster amphitheater, built in the late 1930s under Roosevelts New Deal project.
If, as Paulo Cherchi Usai argues, cinema is the art of destroying moving images,* Towards the Death of Cinema expedites this inherent process of destruction for the viewing audience to witness in real time.
*The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory, and the Digital Dark Age, British Film Institute: 2000
Special thanks to Steve Polta, Mary Helena Clark, Greg Youmans, Tooth, and the Black Hole Cinematheque.
Festivals and Exhibitions The Nightingale; Chicago, IL: 06/14 Microlights; Milwaukee, WI: 02/15 MIX NYC; Brooklyn, NY: 11/15 SF Cinematheque: San Francisco, CA: 11/16