PXL THIS 18, the 18th annual Fisher Price toy camera film festival:
May 2 at http://www.oddballfilm.com in sf
May 21 at http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.
"The highlight of PXL This 18, the annual showcase of short videos made using the Fisher Price PXL Vision toy camera, is The Trimorphic Hypotheses, a 17-minute sci-fi landscape mystery created in spectacular "PXL-RAMA," described as "a devolutionary breakthrough in analog postproduction, turning the crisp, high-definition video of today’s best technology into the coarse, low-resolution of yesterday’s lost artistry." The result is a split-screen, black-and-white pseudostory about a scientist who wanders a barren landscape, analyzing and measuring the Earth, using a souped-up metal detector and other wacky devices. Made by New Zealand filmmakers Struan Ashby and Roy Parkhurst, this captivating video spoofs B movies from the ’50s and ’60s while crafting an allegory about the attempt to parse nature’s my steries with technology. It’s main charms, however, are masterful visual choreography across the three simultaneous frames and perfect sound design incorporating The Ventures’ eerie but rocking "Twilight Zone." The Trimorphic Hypotheses captures a core aspect of PXL Vision ethos, namely ethe need to return to the basics of cinema to find its power. Other notable entries in this year’s survey include Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo’s The Fruit of Love, which mixes some colorful graphics and suitably distressed PXL Vision footage to explain the history of the banana in the U.S., and Geoff and Gwyneth Seelinger’s Birdly, a combination of home movie and motion study in which a flying bird at one point disintegrates into 8-bit graphic chunks, its fluttering motion offering the only clue to its identity. Clint Enn’s An Exploration of Digital Representation offers up meditative, pulsing imagery, with vertical lines and bursts of white light to craft a quick, abstract visual treat, while Joe Nucci’s Me, Terrence and the Boss chronicles a humorous escapade in the life of a limo driver, the camera holding on the driver’s animated face throughout. The show, as always, was curated by Venice- based artist Gerry Fialk a, and is a broad, varied mix of material reflecting Fialka’s overarching agenda: like glorious PXL-RAMA, Fialka seems to yearn for the low-res in art — and in life — and its ability to spark clarity despite, or because of, reduced visibility." - Holly Willis, LA Weekly
PXL in LA WEEKLY http://www.laweekly.com/2009-
This year's entries come from New Zealand, Canada, Czech Republic and across the US. Festival Director Fialka was in New Zealand with the PXL THIS festival in Nov'08 http://www.blowfestival.co.nz /
PXL THIS 18 highlights include:
With biting wit, L.M. Sabo's MINISTRY OF OIL songfully asks new petro questions. Links for stills:
From Canada, Clint Enns' AN EXPLORATION INTO DIGITAL REPRESENTATION renders how pure ligh t is interpreted by the PXL-2000. Press ready stills at -http://i4 6.photobucket.com/albums/f104/
Will Erokan's I'M NOT BEER reconstructs Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan film with Robert Dobbs channeling five satellite conductors (including Arthur Kroker & William Irwin Thompson) unveiling the hidden effects of the news humming celebrity culture.
Geoff Seelinger's BIRDLY takes flight with otherworldly imagery.
Donovan Seelinger's WATERY CAMERA self-reflexcively enters the PXL lense through the eyes of a=2 0frisky four year old.
From New Zealand, Ashby & Parkhurst's ludic and quizzical THE TRIMORPHIC HYPOTHESES imagines what might have been like if Teshigahara had directed an episode of Lost In Space. They have developed a process of de-digitizing video using the amazing PXLvision Reduction™20system, a devolutionary breakthrough in analog post-production, turning the crisp, high-definition video of today's best technology into the coarse, low-resolution of yesterday's lost artistry. Press kit and stills available upon request from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and at http://erewhonfilms.blogspot.
Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo teach history and playfully entertain in the lively THE FRUIT OF LOVE.
William Rees & JoEllen Martinson's TAPE ELEVEN artfully combines fashion and PXL. http://candyeyefactory.com/
Chris Bentley's FOOM-GODZILLA VS COMMUNISM rocks out with Boston's Foom. www.cbimage.com/foom_still.jpg
From the Czech Republic, Michael Koshkin's DOES THIS LOOK SEXUAL? follows the transformation from prey to predator of a guy who happens to be at the wrong place at the right time. Edited in Prague, this Chicago Post-Neorealist film stars three experimental Chicago poets. The film also includes music by indie folk artist, Peter and the Wolf. Stills are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
Mr. TV's POSTCARD FROM HELL features ex-Saint of the Church of the SubGenius Janor Hypercleats as a slick street puppeteer conning pinks. Mr. TV's SELECTION '08 finds Venice Boardwalk performer Janor Hypercleats (contributor to The Book Of The Subgenius ) exposing political corruption.(stillsavailable upon request from Ned Sloan email@example.com)
A PXL THIS first, a found pxl audio cassette RACING CAR revs around the track.
Author George Russell contributes SCREEN SHADOW, a disquisition on creativity through membranous int er connectivity.
Guitar avatar Edward LaGrossa' s ONE GOD unifies.
Jerron Paxton's UNTITLED BLUES returns to bare bones music making.=2 0
Gerry Fialka's REMAKE THE SUBTLETIES OBVIOUS? uncovers how the low definition of dada photography creates high involvement. Bio-http://www.venicewake.org/
Atton Paul's APPROACHING STARS ventures into celestial meditation.
Jo e Nucci's ME, TERRENCE AND THE BOSS is the second in a trilogy of colorful limo driver recollections.
Experimental pioneer Douglas Katelus HEY BABY challenges the viewer with nervous system stimuli.
Preteen Juniper Woodbury's BIG BAD WOLF merges a classic with spontaneous storytelling.
Doug Ing's MAIL ART reveals the doings of postal paste-u ps.
Inspired 18 year old Sunny War astounds with punk-folk guitar picking and enthralling lyrics in FREE LOVE.
Denny Moynahan, as King Kukulel e, interacts with his filmic self in the soothing KING'S HAWAIIAN LULLABY.
"Gerry Fialka's PXL THIS festival snaps, crackles and pops off the screen with the funky, user-friendly en ergy of real first-person cinema. Goofy, gorgeous, and altogether groovy, his provocative program of pieces produced with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy video camera is not only downright entertaining, but more, its blipping and buzzing b lack 'n' white picture-bits coalesce into a veritable inspiration to all those who cherish the playful, spontaneous gestures and low-cost of electronic folk art. " -Craig Baldwin
"PXL THIS...Surprising beauty...Fialka deserves credit for his unflagging belief in the potential of the PXL camera to render something amazing. All the PXL THIS videos reflect festival organizer Gerry Fialka's commitment to the freedom produced by making art without financial constraints. PXL THIS is a welco me highlight in the Los Angeles media scene celebrating the rich lexicon available in a tool which might initially seem rather limiting. PXL THIS represents Fialka’s20dedication to showcasing unheard voices and supporting a truly democratic art form" - Holly Willis, LA Weekly.
"PXL THIS is something that has to be seen and experienced at least once in a lifetime ." -Santa Monica Mirror
"PXL is the ultimate people's video." - J. Hoberman, Premiere Mag azine
"Gerry Fialka's enthusiasm for Pixelvision movie-making is incredibly contagious, and he's an absolute pleasure to work with." - Ed Carter, Director (Lumen) www.lumen.org.uk
Establ ished in 1991, Clap Off They Glass Productions supports independent do-it-yourself video-making by sponsoring the annual PXL THIS Festival, which is the oldest of its kind in the world. The first ever genuine fake film festival prides itself with no corporate sponsors, no color brochures, no big shot movie director board members, no ticketmaster access and no competition. PXL THIS, featured on PBS, IFC and NPR, has screened at MIT and other major venues across the US. PXL THIS spans many genres: documentary, poetry, drama, art, music, political activism, cinema povera, comedy and the avant-garde. The unique Fisher-Pri ce toy camcorder PXL 2000, which records sound and image directly onto audio cassettes, continues to empower artists. This failed to y was only made in the US from 1987 to 1989. The magical PXL 2000 restores a certain humanity to the overpowering technology of video. The irresistible irony of the PXL is that the camera's ease-of-use and affordability, which entirely democratizes movie-making, has insp ired the creation of some of the most visionary, avant and luminous film of our time.
Films featured in past PXL THIS festivals are archived and available for viewing at the Academy Film Archive in Hollywood. For viewing appointme nts and informat lineion, please call (310) 247-3016 x 387, or visit the archive's web site at www.oscars.org/filmarchive.
"In past years, PXL THIS gave us some fascinating work...definitely an out-there experience.20In the last few years, PXL videos have made it to such h allowed domains as the Whitney Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance, and the London Film Festival, where they have been admired for their characteristic spontaneity, highly personal perspective, visual uninhibitedness and raw, grainy truths." - Mary Beth Crain, LA=2 0Weekly.
"PXL THIS is worthy of praise...spellbinding. The shifting bricks of light20and dark that form the Fisher-Price PXL 2000's picture lend themselves well to personal essays, creating an invigorating mesh of ambiguity and intimacy in every frame." - Paul Malcolm, LA Weekly.
"Since the start of the 21st century, I've attended the annual screenings of the PXL THIS toy camera festival at San Francisco's OTHER CINEMA. I have discovered several patterns of Pixelators that are similar to the pioneering video artists of the 60's. One, they reclaim film as a one-person project. Contrary to the popular belief that filmmaking must be collaborative, the solo vision is dominant and documented here. Two, in PXL-land, personal and deeply individualistic20issues - frequently in the form of confessionals - are dominant. Pixelvision forms a quiet sub-genre within the larger category of the 'personal ess ay' film, an inti mate art-world of privacy, whose entries frequently resemble message-in-a-bottle intimacies. These patterns show that expanding the vocabulary of moving image art is still possible - and, indeed, is growing." -Steve Polta, San Francisco Cinematheque curator.
According to filmmaker Bryan Konefsky: "Pixelvision is the haiku of cinema: the minimum of means delivering the maximum of meaning. The PXL2000 toy camera's limited image-quality forces moviemakers to focus on essentials, and thereby to produce a richly connotative cinema tic experience. In fact, PXL may be the be st instantiation of Stan Brakhage's lu minous quote: 'The true meaning of cinema can be found between the frames.'"
"In the spirit of Andy Warhol's experimental films, the PXL THIS Festival inspires independent artists to create, explore, and discover t he magic of cinema.& nbsp; As a video gallery installation, these works were a curious and wonderful revelation to museum visitors." - Charles Gentry, Curator of Film & Video Art, Flint Institute Of Arts, screenedThe Best of PXL THIS from March 6-April 1, 2007.
In spirit, the PXL-2000 toy camera resembles the cheap throwaway still camera, known as the Holga. Writing in ESQUIRE, Joshua Liberson called the Holga: "The world's most unserious serious camera...the Holga takes strangely beautiful, dreamlike pictures. Its two-part interlocking design allows light to bleed through constantly from the sides, making it almost impossible to take a boring picture, regardless of the subject matter."
"Most exciting art movements have been reactions against technical sophistication. Many have gone 'backwards' to find honesty and truth, the essence of things. " - Guy Maddin
Andrea Nina McCarthy's 2005 MIT thesis "Toying With Obsolescence: Pixelvision Filmmakers & The Fisher Price PXL 2000 Camera" is essential reading.
PXL THIS 18 also screens a t the Unurban in Santa Monica 3-09-09, at Echo Park Film Center 5-14-09 & in San Fran TBA.
BEST of PXL THIS 13-16 screened at http://www.chicagofilmmakers.
PIXELVISION: ELECTRONIC FOLK ART workshop and BEST20 OF PXL 13-16 (both available for bookings) screened at the Mendocino Film Festival http://www.
SF Cinematheque hosted the workshop and screening of BEST OF PXL 13-16 on Feb 10 '08 at Yerba Buena Arts Center http://www.sfcinematheque.org/
BEST of PXL THIS 13-16 screened at http://www .antimatter.ws/ Sept 23, 2007. In March '07, Gerry Fialka lectured at the Ann Arbor Film Fest aafilmfest.org and on PXL at flintarts.org on March 17 ..
CALL FOR ENTIRES: We are now accepting entries for PXL THIS 19. Visit indiespace.com/pxlthis for details. Contact: Gerry Fialka 310-306-7330 firstname.lastname@example.org
20 YEARS OF PXL by Gerry Fialka
The 17th annual PXL THIS Film Festival was dedicated to Andrew Bergman and Tommy Heidt, both of whom have passed away. They helped inventor James Wickstead (available for interviews at phone:973-267-2007 email@example.com) design the PXL 2000 toy video camcorder, which Fisher Price released from 1987 to 1989.
Artists pursue childlike innocence in the creative process. Starting off with a kids camera is a step towards achieving these youthful=2 0dreams. " Genius is childhood recalled at will." - Charles Bauderlaire. "Ask questions a child would ask." - Albert Einstein. Pixelators combine instinct and accident in producing astonishing films.
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. The festival celebrates a tool for making moving image art. Critic Amy Taubi n wrote "Artists want to do things t hat break the rules of the mainstream. Just using this camera (the PXL2000) is breaking a kind of rule about what an image should look like." Jean Cocteau declared, "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." PXL THIS 17 brings together the latest work by past PXL masters and exciting new talents from near and far (New Zealand, UK, Canada) ranging in age from 4 (our youngest ever) to 59 years old.
"Much of the most exciting and important part about tomorrow is not the technology or the automation at all, but that man is going to come into entirely new relationships with his fellow men. He w ill retain much more in his everyday relations of what we term the naivete and idealism of the child. This will be completely justified and no t exploited=2 0or exploitable in any way. I think then that the way to see what tomorrow is going to look like is just to look at our children." - Bucky Fuller.
In the NY Times article "Unblinking Eye, Visual Diary: Warhol’s Films," Manohla Dargis seems to be describing Pixelvision: "These home movies work short and dauntingly long, silent and sound, scripted and improvised, often in black and white, still as death and alive t o its moment. Awkward, beautiful, raw, spellbinding, radical — they are films like few others, in part b eca use, first and foremost, they are also sublime art....Warhol seems to grab hold of time and hold it still, capturing the moth moments before it fluttered too close to the flame....Warhol explained that Pop artists 'did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognize in a split second E2 comics, picnic tables, men’s trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, Coke bottles — all the great modern things that the Abstract Expressionists tried s o hard not to notice at all.'...Yet in Warhol’s films the illusions of Hollywood, with its seamless narrative s and industrial imperatives, are self-consciously replaced by other illusions, notably those pertain ing to identity."
In the Film Comment 9-07 article, Chris Chang writes: "Mike Kelley said 'an adolescent is a dysfunctional adult, and art is dysfunctional reality' and keeping with this line of thinking, an artist could be perceived as a permanent adoles cent which is about as close to eternal life as anybody can ever get."
"Dig Infinity" proclaimed Lord Buckley , who has influenced PXL THIS. He subverted comedy from within, much like=2 0what PXL THIS has accomplished for 17 years. It is a genuine fake film festival with no entry fees, and no competition. PXL THIS deconstructs the post-post modern "tainted toy" and flips it into its opposite - recalling the Rodgers & Hart musical "Babes In Arms" as a template for kids, but really for adults.
"If you look too closely at the TV, all you see are dots." - Sarah Silverman.
PXL THIS 18 tour dvd http://www.laughtears.com/
1- BIRDLY - Geoff Seelinger, 3minutes
2- MINISTRY OF OIL - L.M. Sabo, 7m
3- THE YET TO BE TITLED BLUES - Jerron Paxton, 4m
4- I'M NOT BEER - Will Erokan, 6m
5- THE FRUIT OF LOVE - Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo, 4m
6- APPROACHING STARS - Atton Paul, 3m
7- BIG BAD WOLF- Juniper Woodbury, 5 m
8- FREE LOVE - Sunny War, 3m
9- WATERY CAMERA - Donovan Seelinger, 2m
10- AN EXPLORATION INTO DIGITAL REPRESENTATION - Clint Enns, 2m
11- TAPE ELEVEN - William Rees & JoEllen Martinson, 4m
12- MAIL ART - Doug Ing, 2m
13- MR. TV's SELECTION '08 - Janor Hypercleats, 3m
14- FOOM-GODZILLA VS COMMUNISM - Chris Bentley, 4m
15- DOES THIS LOOK SEXUAL? - Michael Koshkin, 9m
16- REMAKE THE SUBTLETIES OBVIOUS? - Gerry Fialka, 4m
17- ONE GOD - Edward LaGrossa, 4m
18- SCREEN SHADOW - George Russell, 4m
19- HEY BABY - Douglas Katelus, 4m
20- WONDERSTRUCK - Paul Bacca, 3m
21- ME, TERRENCE AND THE BOSS - Joe Nucci, 7m
22- KING'S HAWAIIN LULLABY - Denny Moynahan, 5m
23- RACING CAR - Anonymous, 8m
(And on seperate DVD) THE TRIMORPHIC HYPOTHESES - Struan Ashby & Roy Parkhurst, 17m
PXL THIS 18 - Dec 6, 2008 - Sponto Gallery, Venice CA http://www.laughtears.com/
1- BIG BAD WOLF - Juniper Woodbury, 5 minutes
2- FREE LOVE - Sunny War, 3m
3- SCREEN SHADOW - George Russell, 4m
4- SMEAR THE LENS - Donovan Seelinger, 1m
5- WATERY CAMERA - Donovan Seelinger, 2m
6- CANNED ETE BALLS - Donovan Seelinger , 2m
7- BIRDLY - Geoff Seelinger, 3m
8- REMAKE T HE SUBTLETIES OBVIOUS? - Gerry Fialka, 4m
9- MINISTRY OF OIL - L.M. Sabo, 7m
10- ME, TERRENCE AND THE BOSS - Joe Nucci, 7m
11- THE YET TO BE TITLED BLUES - Jerron Paxton, 4m
12- ONE GOD - Edward LaGrossa, 3m
13- TAPE ELEVEN - William Rees & JoEllen Martinson, 4m
14- CHOOSE BLUES - Edward LaGrossa, 3m
15- KING'S HAWAIIN LULLABY - Denny Moynahan, 5m
16- THE FRUIT OF LOVE - Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo, 4m
17- THE TRIMORPHIC HYPOTHESES - Struan Ashby & Roy Parkhurst, 18m
18- PIXIE VISIONS - Steve Binder, 5m
19- I'M NOT BEER - Will Erokan, 6m
20- AN EXPLORATION INTO DIGITAL REPRESENTATION - Clint Enns, 2m
21- PXL PHIL - Douglas Katelus, 6m
22- HEY BABY - Douglas Katelus, 4m
23- APPROACHING STARS - Atton Paul, 4m
24- MAIL ART - Doug Ing, 2m
25- READING - Doug Ing, 5m
26- FOOM-GODZILLA VS COMMUNISM - Chris Bentley, 4m
27- DOES THIS LOOK SEXUAL? - Michael Koshkin, 9m
28- POSTCARD FROM HELL - Janor Hypercleats, 3m
29- MR. TV's SELECTION '08 - Janor Hypercleats, 3m
30- WONDERSTRUCK - Paul Bacca, 4m
31- RACING CAR - Anonymous, 8m HOME