All posts filed under: Video + Film

Black To The Future Series: An Interview with Cauleen Smith

Using a title borrowed from an essay by cultural critic Mark Dery, the Black To The Future Series is a sequence of interviews with artists whose practice has started to define a new generation of work in the realm of afrofuturism and afrosurrealism. Using a pointed series of questions, these interviews have been conducted to spark conversation, to hear various points of view on something that is constantly changing and transforming, and with the hopes of allowing the practitioners to be at the center of determining what these movements are. This week we get some insight from artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith.  Cauleen has spent the past two years in Chicago researching and digging through the Alton Abraham Papers at the University of Chicago and music archives at the Experimental Sound Studio to find gems from the life of musician and philosopher Sun Ra, a key figure in the conversation around afrofuturism.  The results of her investigation can be seen in A Star Is A Seed, an installation and series of short films at the …

The Moving Image | An Interview with Amir George

It takes a certain amount of courage and vision to push the aesthetic limits of film in a way that is intriguing and unpredictable, but filmmaker Amir George‘s work does this regularly. His shorts have been screened in various different places across the city–for the crowds at the Art Institute, as well as smaller spaces like the Society For Arts in Wicker Park. If you caught some of the screenings at the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival this year, you may have seen some of his work. In his first year participating in the festival he broke records. Three of his works were included, which until this year that was unheard of.  Amir’s video for the song Get It Off My Chest by Chicago’s own Drunken Monkeee puts a new spin on the 2008 film Bronson. The video for She Wants a Man by Supertoy is a visually alluring with its inventive use of costume and editing, and the occasional familiar Chicago landscape. In one of my personal favorites, Meshes of Fear Land, he …

One State Together In The Arts | James Goggin, Director of Design at MCA Chicago

  “James is one of the most recognized and distinctive graphic designers of his generation.” – Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art At the end of May, Sixty Inches From Center attended the One State Together In The Arts Conference in Bloomington, Illinois. (See the photos taken at the event here) Every two years state-wide artists, educators, arts advocates, arts organizers and arts organizations come together in a different city to exchange ideas, share experiences and get to know the people doing great things in the arts throughout Illinois.   Around the theme Creative Breakthrough, presenters in the fields of design, music, poetry, theater and more offered their insights on what it has taken for them to take their ideas to new heights, push further and apply what they’ve learned to how they will move forward. To do our part in spreading the wealth of information found at the conference, Sixty Inches From Center requested permission to post the videos from One State Together In The Arts on our site.  The following text and videos are …

Pawn Works Presents, Clown Soldier

It has been a week since Gabriel Specter’s show ended and Nick and Seth of Pawn Works already have prepared another entirely new show featuring a print maker and street artist who goes by the alias of “Clown Soldier.” The show is called Human Cannonball and the opening took place this past Friday, June 24th. The artist was available for an interview so be sure to keep posted next week to learn more about the artist and Pawn Works. Below you will find a short slide show with images from the installation along with featured music by local Chicago band Kmang-Kmang. Clown Soldier ‘Human Cannonball’ from Nicolette Caldwell on Vimeo. For more information about Pawn Works go to www.pawnworkschicago.com If you want to see more work by the artist the show runs for the next two weeks. You may also check out the artist’s website at www.clownsoldier.com To learn more about the music featured in the slide show go to www.kmang-kmang.com Pawn Works is located at 1050 North Damen Avenue.  

What’s Your Art?: Hyde Park Art Center, Fire Arts Center, & Little Black Pearl

Sixty Inches from Center is collaborating with WBEZ as part of their Off Air Series to showcase unique art centers within Chicago. Join us on Saturday, June 4th from 1-5 pm at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, for “What’s Your Art”. Throughout the afternoon, visitors will have an opportunity to interact with representatives from Chicago Art Department, Chicago Photography Center, Chicago Urban Art Society, Fire Arts Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Lillstreet Art Center, Little Black Pearl, Rumble Arts Center, South Side Community Art Center, and Spudnik Press Cooperative. Each Center will demonstrate the creative activities that enrich their community. “What’s Your Art” is free to the public and is an opportunity for Chicago residents to experience art as a part of daily life. Visit each Center’s Collective Project page to find out more about classes and events that will be held in the months before the “What’s Your Art” event. Between now and June 4th visit any of the ten Art Centers and pick up a “What’s Your Art?” validation card, …

Tell the Next Mayor, Why Art Matters.

On Friday night, February 11th, 2011, SIFC partnered up with The Chicago Urban Art Society (CUAS) at their space in Pilsen. This was not just any event—it was an occasion, an opportunity for the art communities and political figures in Chicago to meet and engage in conversation with one another. Other partnering organizations included: Three Walls, Cro, New City, Chicago Reader, WBEZ Radio, Gozamos, Urban Gateways, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago Public Art Group, The Chicago Art Department, Co-Prosperity Sphere, The Institute For Arts entrepreneurship and Barrio Bonito Urban Showcase. SIFC set up shop with a video confessional booth.  We invited anyone to address the mayoral candidates by answering one question: “Why is art in Chicago important to you, and why should it be supported by our next mayor of Chicago?” Lauren Pacheco and Peter Kepha (directors and founders of The Chicago Urban Art Society) have been pushing hard for progressive citywide support of the arts. They have met with numerous aldermen and are two of the most important ambassadors of art in the city of …

In The Studio with Hebru Brantley

On March 18th, Hebru Brantley will have his first solo show at Zhou B Gallery. The show is entitled Afro-Futurism: Impossible View. As Hebru puts his show together, SIFC has been invited into his studio to document his process and explore the origins of his work through a five-part video series.
In this first video we ask Hebru to describe his influences and what he hopes his audiences will take from his show.

Sixty in 60: Episode 3 – Chicago Urban Arts Society

For the Third episode of Sixty Inches From Centers on going web series, Sixty in 60 we visited the Chicago Urban Arts Society to find out about them and their neighborhood. The Chicago Urban Arts Society(C.U.A.S.) at 2229 S. Halsted is more then a gallery, it’s a cultural hub for their community. Founded by Lauren Pacheco, and Peter Kepha in 2009, CUAS is a Not-for-profit exhibition space, residency and community center. Lauren and Peter are brother and sister who having grown up in Brighton Park felt as though many South-side neighborhoods lacked sufficient cultural organizations, so in 2009 they created The Chicago Urban Arts Society to fill that void. Back in October Sixty Inches From Center Visited The C.U.A.S. where not only was great art work on display, but a live band played, clowns performed for children, and adults were thrilled by a haunted house. While preparing for their next exhibit the “Daley Show” Sixty Inches From Center was able to speak with Lauren about The C.U.A.S’s role in the community. One of the biggest …

Sixty in 60: Episode 2 – South Side Community Art Center

Sixty in 60 EP 2 South Side Community Arts Center from Andrew Roddewig on Vimeo. In May of 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt officially dedicated the South Side Community Art Center(SSAC) at 3831 South Michigan Avenue as part of the Federal Art Project. Since that date the SSCAC is the only remaining Federal Art Project community center to remain, in operation. For over seventy years the SSCAC has been a home to artists ,and few people are more aware of the home atmosphere then current Executive Director, Faheem Majeed. Faheem was an unofficial Artist, in residence before becoming Executive Director. Faheem believes that the SSCAC is home to everyone and is always willing to talk about the center, the history of the neighborhood or anything that comes to mind. Faheem sat down and talked with us about the SSCAC and his philosophy behind operating one of the most significant yet often overlooked cultural centers in the city. The South Side Community Arts Center hosts a wide variety of exhibits and last month featured installations, projections and performances …

Sixty in 60: Episode 1 – Hyde Park Arts Center

Sixty in 60. Hyde Park Arts Center from Andrew Roddewig on Vimeo. Clarion New Media, who is sponsoring the current Media Match Drive has produced the first in a continuing web-series entitled “Sixty in 60”. Sixty in 60 is a series focused on Organizations and Institutions that are incubators for the arts in Chicago. Every episode takes a look at a specific place to discover what makes them unique. Our goal is to highlight and promote the organizations and institutions that help the Chicago art community thrive and grow. We are only able to create specials like Sixty in 60 because of support from our community so please donate to the Media Match Campaign, so we can continue to bring art to the center. Episode 1: Hyde Park Arts Center. Located at 5020 S. Cornell Avenue; Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) has a clear mission to stimulate and sustain the visual arts in Chicago. They have accomplished this mission for over 70 years through exhibitions, education and outreach. As one of the oldest alternative spaces …