Monday, February 14, 2011

PXL THIS 10 (2000)

PXL THIS TEN - Celebrating its 10th year!
The tenth annual festival featuring videos made with the PXL-2000 toy camera premiered on Saturday, November 18 at 7:00 and 9:00pm (two different shows) at Midnight Special Bookstore, 1318 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310-393-2923, Free Admission. This unique festival featured videos made with a plastic video camcorder (manufactured 1987 -1989) that records sound and images directly onto audiocassettes. The November 18th premiere showcased record 4 hours plus of works by 27 pixelators from across the United States!

November 18, 2000 - PXL THIS 10 - complete version (Midnight Special)
February 16, 2000 - PXL THIS 10 - 90-minute "Best Of" versions (Vidiots)

COTG is now accepting entries for PXL THIS ELEVEN scheduled for 2001. For more information, please send SASE: PXL 2427 1/2 Glyndon Ave., Venice, CA 90291, 310-306-7330. Thanks to everyone who helps.

PXL THIS TEN highlights (click on links for streaming video):

Ten year-old Brady Smith utilizes the toy camera meant for his age group to create canine choreography in Dancing Dog. It's a floppy-eared fandango rendering self-reflexive hilarity.

What happens when a lonely guy finds himself instantly desirable through his computer screen? Jeff Shepherd's Cyber Spaced takes us deep into the heart of one such guy, and the computer woman he meets.

Alfred Shoots Adolf is photographer Alfred Benjamin's story of what happened to him at the age of 18 in Germany (1934) when he looked at the enemy staring back at him through his camera lens.

Songman Mark Hecht bellows a maniac love song with passion in Thinking of You.

Osteological orator Rich Ferguson renews the schizophrenic skeletal structure of his own human condition in Bones.

Post Military Era is Phil Chamberlin's astute explaination of global demilitarization, which JFK advocated as General and Complete Disarmament.

Kahlil Sabbagh vocalizes melody with muscle in Camel Jockey.

COMPLETE LIST - 7:00pm show
King Kukluele Squared - Denny Moynahan, 5 minutes
File - Josh McLeod, 12 minutes
Dancing Dog - Brady Smith, 5 minutes
Bones - Rich Ferguson, 3 minutes
Alfred Shoots Adolf - Gerry Fialka, 7 minutes
Ghost Story - Joe Frese, 4 minutes - Michael Possert, 5 minutes
Push Butt - Eli Elliott, 9 minutes
Scape - Doug Ing, 1 minute
Giggles - Farrah Rocker, 6 minutes
Donkeys, Pigs & Greens - Betsy Kalin, 6 minutes
Book of Dreams: A Trip Thru Kerouac's Lowell - Lee Randalo, 7 minutes
Blast From The Past - Paul Bacca, 10 minutes
House of Psychotic Redheads - Pet Rigot, 29 minutes

COMPLETE LIST - 9:00pm show
Closets Crushes Confusion and Sex - Irwin Swirnoff, 22 minutes
Cyber Spaced - Jeffrey SHepherd, 5 minutes
Par Avion - James Balsam, 7 minutes
Post Military Era (PME) - Phil Chamberlin, 12 minutes
Trip For Fireworks - D.J. Beard, 4 minutes
Mistake - Rich Ferguson, 2 minutes
Leonard and the Mountain - Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer, 12 minutes
Born To Hold You In My Arms - Dave Edison, 4 minutes
Pudding Didn't Do It - Farrah Rocker, 4 minute
Camel Jockey - Kahlil Sabbagh, 3 minutes
Crock - Mark Hejnar, 1 minute
Ode To A PEnis - Kate Perotti, 1 minute
Sacred Cow - Mark Hejnar, 1 minute
Trooper Authority - Mark Hejnar, 1 minute
Maggot's Cowboy Song - Mark Hejnar, 1 minute
Thinking of You - March Hecht, 4 minutes
Death Roach 2000 - Paul Bacca, 5 minutes
D.I.(Y.): No Place To Rock - Jeff Jobson, 30 minutes


PXL THIS is the name of a festival that features videos produced using the PXL 2000, a toy camera. This unique plastic video camcorder records sound and images directly onto audiocassettes. The PXL 2000 was available from 1987 to 1989 from the toy company, Fisher-Price. James Wickstead Design Associates, inventors of the technology, plan to have a new and improved version back in the stores soon. The picture is comprised of 2,000 "pixels" as opposed to the 150,000 pixels seen on the average TV screen, which makes for a very grainy but appealing quality. Filmmaker Spike Stewart is enthralled with this black and white dot matrix picture (Pixelvision) and says, "There's sort of a nouveau-Gothic image you'd see in a movie from the twenties or thirties, which you don't see anymore." Another amazing feature is its "in-focus" capability form zero to infinity. Designed to be the "lightest, least expensive (under $100) and easiest to use camcorder on the market," it empowered independent artists while the 10 to 16-year-old targeted consumers probably rejected it. Check out- for more about the PXL 2000
Check out for the Marshall McLuhan/Finnegans Wake Reading Club, moderated by Jerry Fialka
Click Pixel Pix Picks on for a review of PXL This 10 by Peggy Nelson

PXL THIS organizer Gerry Fialka says, "PXL is the essential utensil of creation. The really creative artist does a lot with nothing. PXL THIS is based on the statements, 'It is literally possible to do more with less' -Buckminster Fuller and 'Film will only become art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper' -Jean Cocteau. It's a real pencil and paper mentality. Express yourself, and don't be afraid to break some rules. Like Cocteau said, "What one should do with the young is to give them a portable camera and forbid them to observe any rules except those they invent for themselves as they go along. Let them write without being afraid of making mistakes.' But PXL THIS is for all ages." Dave Edison, who created the music video MAINTENANCE specifically for submission to PXL THIS THREE, says, "Artists can always create, but chances to exhibit our work are often hard to find. As a videomaker and PXL 2000 owner, I regard the PXL THIS festival as a unique, exciting and irresistible opportunity. "Poet Laurent Fels proclaims, "PXL THIS is a genius idea. I always love art expressing itself with cheap means because its low price enables you to be totally free to express yourself without being threatened by producers whose high costs 'oblige' you to make something commercial." Writer Erika Suderberg called the PXL 2000 " a magic toy that restores a certain human vitality to the overpowering technology of video" in the magazine INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY, winter 1991. In PREMIERE magazine April 1993, J. Hoberman wrote, "The ultimate example of cinematic pencil and paper is surely the Fisher-Price Pixelvision video camera...the ultimate in people's video.

"Clap Off They Glass Productions was started by Gerry Fialka in 1991 to support independent video-makers by sponsoring the annual PXL THIS festival, which is the oldest of its kind in the world. There are two public screenings in Los Angeles per festival; the premiere being in November, the second in February. PXL THIS TEN will screen in November 2000 and in February 2001. The two hour plus program features entries from across North America spanning many genres including documentary, poetry, experimental, drama, comedy and music. PXL THIS plays to packed houses every year.

Entry Rules: The rules for entry are the same every year. Submissions must be shot with the PXL 2000 camera, but not exclusively and entered on VHS videotape at SP (2 hour) speed. Do not send originals; no returns. All categories accepted, Deadline for entry is always Sept 22. Please include a synopsis and THREE 33-cent stamps with each entry. For more information, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope or call: Gerry Fialka 2427 1/2 Glyndon Ave, Venice, CA 90291, #310-306-7330. The Santa Monica video store, Vidiots #310-392-8508 exclusively rents various PXL THIS compilations.

Mary Beth Crain wrote in the LA WEEKLY, "The power of PXL is somehow indisputable. The medium becomes a means of alchemically altering the most mundane realities. Blurred, off-kilter black-and-white images transcend mere out-of-focus mediocrity to become captivatingly surreal. Body parts (eyes and mouths are favorites with beginning PXL artists) acquire personalities of their own. Virtually every selection on the PXL THIS program evidences an undeniable charm and talent." Jean Cocteu said, "It is vital that the camera become a pen and that everyone should be able to express themselves through this visual medium."

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