CalArts, Bijou Theater
STRUCTURING STRATEGIES, Tues April 16 - 7:00 PM
Recent series THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY TWO and other works.
THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY TWO:
FOURTEEN SHORT FILMS ABOUT CHICAGO AND SUN RA
(TRT: 78:00 min, 2010-2012)
Cauleen Smith's recent experimental psychogeographic films on Sun Ra, improvisation, and creative music, THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY TWO premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in May 12-Sept 16, 2012.
Cauleen Smith will be in residence and giving a workshop in the School of Film/Video April 15-19. See Patti Palmer for information.
“In African and African-Diasporic cultural production, improvisation signifies mastery. The substitution of one thing for another can sometimes represent a concept more effectively than the thing itself. My recent work has been guided by research into Sun Ra’s creative production process and the very nature of his melodies. The time that Sun Ra spent in Chicago was formative. He rehearsed his Arkestra, he wrote some of his most delicate and gorgeous big-band compositions here, and he engaged in intensive historical and linguistic research, in cooperation with other autodidact scholars with the aim of revising history. Sun Ra and his cohorts found ample evidence in primary sources that African thought and spirituality was central to all modern thought and science; and they aimed to prove it through research, through writings, and through art. My recent work is a celebration of Sun Ra's success in this endeavor as well as a way of expanding his legacy to include his deep and abiding love and commitment to African-American youth, to the underdog, and to the outsider.”-- Cauleen Smith
Cauleen Smith is a filmmaker and artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the black imagination. She grew up in Sacramento, California, received her B.A. from the School of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University and her M.F.A. from UCLA School of Theater-Television-Film. For the past several years Smith has produced multi-channel film and video installations that incorporate sculptural objects and text. Her interests roam from her roots in structuralist filmmaking to Afrofuturist narrative strategies. Materials and form are modified from project to project, thereby making the body of Smith's work unpredictably varied and diverse. She is currently teaching as a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago while exploring the intersection between art, protest, commerce and community on Chicago's southside.
Smith’s narrative low-budget feature length film, Drylongso, earned her a 2001 Movado Someone To Watch Award from the Independent Spirit Awards, as well as awards from many festivals including SXSW and Urbanworld. In 2012, Smith was named Outstanding Artist by the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. She has received grants from the Film Arts Foundation, American Film Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. Her experimental, installation and narrative work has shown at The Kitchen, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art as well as in film festivals and markets in Milan, London, Paris, and Berlin.
Still: Nicolai and Regina Series 01, 2012