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Pulse 2002: A Spotlight on Digital Media

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Presented by Chicago Filmmakers and Columbia College, this weekend festival focuses on digital technology, principally video. Screenings are at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark; and Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 1104 S. Wabash, room 302. Tickets are $7, $3 for members of Chicago Filmmakers, and free for Columbia College students. For more information, call 773-293-1447.

FRIDAY, APRIL 12

An Evening With Gary Winick

Gary Winick, producer of Richard Linklater's Tape, director of Sam the Man, and cofounder of the production company Independent Digital Entertainment, will screen one of his recent works and talk about digital filmmaking. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 7:00)

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

Reveries and Elegies

See Critic's Choice. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 3:00)

Electronic Encounters

Each of these six works examines the viewing experience itself, summoning our active involvement by undercutting our expectations. Musician Ron Mazurek and film- and video maker Gregg Biermann have wired a keyboard to produce different digital-video images depending on which keys are hit, a device they'll use in three live, partly improvised collaborations. I was impressed by a recent performance in New York: In Brief Encounters (2001) the repetition of images taken from a Hollywood melodrama recalls the work of Martin Arnold, but the overall form is less predictable and hence more unsettling. The actual pianos seen playing in Piano Etude (2000) refer back to the live performance, imputing almost alchemical powers to the keyboard used. On the same program, which will run about 67 minutes, are three nonimprovised works by Biermann. Durations (2001), a montage of diverse images, is startling for the extreme shifts in the size of the objects and the duration of the shots, and in Occurrences and Aberrations on Your Retina (2001) rapid changes in the abstract visual pattern create a dynamic field that's impossible to fix in memory. (FC) Admission is free. (Chicago Cultural Center, 7:00)

SUNDAY, APRIL 14

Constructing Worlds

These seven videos mostly fall into two categories, the conceptual and the visual. Among the latter are Scott Stark's meditative Slow (2001), in which people and cars pass by while magically appearing or vanishing through digital manipulation, and Leighton Pierce's lovely Pink Socks (2002), which focuses attention on the feet of pigeons in the Piazza San Marco in Venice. The more conceptual pieces include Leslie Thornton's Have a Nice Day Alone (2001), on the difficulty of communicating with others, whether by speech or gesture, and Keith Sanborn's Semi-private Sub-Hegelian Panty Fantasy (With Sound) (2001), which reflects on the threat of nuclear annihilation. Bridging the gap is Peggy Ahwesh's She Puppet (2001): mechanical and formulaic Tomb Raider imagery clashes with the literary texts spoken by the heroine, which improbably give her a complex inner life. On the same program, work by Jacqueline Goss and Alfred Guzzetti. 65 min. (FC) (Chicago Filmmakers, 6:30)

EKG: Digital Media Salon

An open screening for artists working in Flash, Director, DVD, and other digital formats. Please contact Chicago Filmmakers in advance to discuss technical requirements, at 773-293-1447 or programming@chicagofilmmakers.org. (Chicago Filmmakers, 8:30)

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