16mm film, b&w, sound, 6', 1985.
"A nursery for emergent concepts."
"Land"by Maarten Ploeg
Commodore Amiga file transferred to video.Colour, stereo sound, loop, 1992
In an old edition of Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira, the entry word computer (then called ordenador) is illustrated with a vector-based drawing of a face. It shows the first computer-generated drawing, depicting the kind face of a samurai. That funny looking picture can be seen as the computer's first attempt at a self-portrait, a clear demonstration of its highly complex level of self-determination.
Maarten Ploeg was a multi-talented genius born in the flat lands of Holland. Trained as a visual artist, he was part of the punk music scene in the late seventies (Soviet Sex, Blue Murder and Astral Bodies), as well as a pioneer in computer art and in the art of TV piracy. He was co-founder of PKP TV, a channel that hacked regular broadcasting and of Park 4DTV (http://www.park.nl/), a still operational art platform.
For years he produced bright and colorful abstract paintings, halfway between geometric landscapes and bi-dimensional portraits of computer beings, a personal research into digital foolishness as a way to humanize computers. But it was with the help of a friendly Amiga computer (the Commodore Amiga 4000) that he finally found a medium that matched his multiple skills. Ploeg's computer videos are kinetic paintings embedded in mesmerizing sound, windows to a deeply immersive universe, an "O.K. World", where computers fulfill their destiny as emotional and melancholic entities."Towards the emotional digit." Alexandre EstrelaThis session would not be possible without the precious help of Ryu Tajiri, Peter Mertens, Rogier Van Der Ploeg and a large team of friends who share his memories and work.( http://maartenploeg.nl/trust/PloegisOKcompleet.pdf)Friday, June 6, 10.30 pm
by Henry Hills
16mm film, color, sound (optical), 15', 1985
The mechanical specificities of film made it by far the most adequate medium to reveal cities’ inner rhythms. In the early 20th century, a film genre coined City Symphony vividly captured on celluloid the core of cities like Berlin, Paris, Odessa and Oporto. Pioneer filmmakers such as Ruttman, Sauvage, Vertov and Oliveira were able to translate and synthesize the urban struggle towards modernity, while channeling it towards a highly subjective mechanical ballet.
The film "Money", composed by the synesthetic genius Henry Hills, might be the last of the City Symphonies. The film is a concrete collage, a masterpiece that unveils New York City’s ultra fast inner currents, fueled by the lack of money and the creativity of its inhabitants. From the remainings of a city destroyed by financial crisis, Henry Hills builds up the ultimate mechanical view of his town.
“Rapid movements for the listening eye.”
Saturday, January 21, 2012, 11 pm
by Robert Nelson
16mm film, color, sound, 33', 1970
Robert Nelson is a celebrated film-maker that turned down the glories of the avant-garde for the joys of backyard projectionism. His films are ironic constructions, open questions made for the pleasures of gathering. “Bleu Shut” fits right in the so-called tradition of participatory-film. The film is an experiment built around a guessing game, where the act of “seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees”. *
*title of book by Robert Irwin
“On the cognitive mechanisms of boat-naming and its effect on the uncertainties of the real.”
Friday, November 18, 2011, 10.30 pm
by Wallace Berman
16mm film, color,silent, loop, 1956-1966
Jorge Luis Borges describes the Aleph as a converging point of infinitude and simultaneous space, that he saw materialized on the 19th step of a staircase in an old building. In his description he mentions that this strange phenomenon can appear in other specific places.
Oporto is fortunate to have the perfect conditions to host once again an Aleph. It is a hidden staircase camouflaged by a fake desk, once used by the sailors to flee from PIDE (Portuguese fascist police). The present Aleph is a film by the visual artist and self-publication wizard, Wallace Berman; a poetic concentration of images portraying the artist's time, life, influences and work. Structured on the Kabbalah, "Aleph" is simultaneously a meditation on everyday life and a cryptic beat trip into infinite time and space.
" The narcotic to the flower"
Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 10.30 pm