Edited by Astria Suparak and Brett Kashmere
Layout and Design by Jon Sueda / Stripe SF
The intersection of sports, performance, spectacle, popular culture, and experimental media is the focus of INCITE's new double issue.
For millennia, sports have been intrinsic to daily life, physical well-being, civic identity, and social harmony. That presence has expanded in the last century to occupy entire sections of newspapers and news hours, in turn begetting 24-hour television channels, talk radio stations, and endless punditry. Lately, sports have assumed a larger, more multidimensional place in our culture, advancing, for instance, further into the fields of contemporary art and film. The traditional schism, and often times, antagonism (jocks vs nerds, square vs cool) between sports and art have been blurred. Sports are now seamlessly integrated with pop culture, celebrity culture, music, and fashion trends. Meanwhile, ancillary aspects of sports have nearly eclipsed the sports themselves. In the information age, fans are the new experts, gambling with likenesses, and athletes are sets of statistical profiles and avatars. Sports economies are shifting towards the virtual; the daily fantasy site FanDuel paid out more than $500 million in cash prizes last year, new streaming platforms have emerged for live viewing of video game play, and eSports leagues are increasingly lucrative.
In the era of flashy data visualization, instant analysis, Twitter journalism, Insiders, the rumor mill, the superfan, and the hot take, experimental media can offer a critical tool for addressing deeper meanings, concerns, connections, and contradictions. And for representing the poetics and aesthetics of athletics. A non-zero-sum game.
Contributors: Haig Aivazian, Christina Battle, Rosie Casals, Rebecca Cleman, Jason Concepcion (@netw3rk), Dan D’Amore, Sally Dixon, Cara Erskine, Russell Field, David Filipi, Walter Forsberg, Howard Fried, Brian L. Frye, Leo Goldsmith, Allison Grant, Isla Hansen, Alex Johnston, Brett Kashmere, Germaine Koh, Karen Kraven, Pasha Malla, Tara Mateik, Hazel Meyer, Cait McKinney, Cameron Moneo, Ayanah Moor, Jeff Parker, Damien K. Picariello, Jasmine Pisapia, Leila Pourtavaf, Risa Puleo, Rachael Rakes, Chris Reeves, Amy Sadao, Astria Suparak, Martine Syms, Geo Wyeth, Kim Ye, Tanya Zimbardo, Gregory Zinman
+ sportstalk from John Amaechi, Larry Bird, Jason Collins, Darryl Dawkins, Mark Gonzales, Kwame Harris, Martina Navratilova, Ronda Rousey, Sheryl Swoopes, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Zinedine Zidane
GHOSTS OF EMPIRE, a feature-length documentary essay (in-progress), unpacks the romanticized past of American football to explore its current moment of crisis. The film juxtaposes an analysis of the game’s heroic treatment in the narrative documentaries of NFL Films with a reflection on football’s concussion epidemic and its fallout. It interweaves testimonies of former pros suffering from degenerative brain disease with images and accounts of adolescents playing football today.
PITTSBURGH CENTER FOR THE ARTS, Pittsburgh, PA
15 May – 9 August, 2015
SPORTSNATION teams together new and recent works that reflect on and remix American sports culture. The audiovisual essay FROM DEEP (2013) and mixed media installation ANYTHING BUT US IS WHO WE ARE (2012) focus on basketball’s profound role in American life. Two new projects borrow from the visual language of sports. THIS IS PRO FOOTBALL (2015) appropriates hyperbolic catchphrases and poetic slogans summarizing the sport from the “voice-of-god” narrations of NFL Films for a series of amateur gymnasium banners. The vinyl floor piece GOALS (2015), created in collaboration with Astria Suparak, superimposes the goals of the major team sports into an actual scale color “field” abstraction of hollow “winning.”
FROM DEEP is a feature-length experimental documentary about the game of basketball and its shifting place within 20th century American history and culture; focusing on the evolution of basketball from its indoor New England roots, to a Midwestern small town phenomenon, to an outdoor city game, with particular emphasis on its merger with hip hop in the mid-1980s and the rise of Michael Jordan as the world's first corporate-branded athlete.
CANADA/USA, 2013-14, 88 MIN, HDCAM
Concept / Edit / Production: Brett Kashmere
Camera: Toby Waggoner
Sound: Jeremy Fleishman
Music Direction: DJ /rupture
Edited by Brett Kashmere and Walter Forsberg
Contributors: 40 Frames, Adam Abrams, Steve Anker, Rebecca Barten, Christina Battle, Scott Miller Berry, Bill Brand, Bill Brown, David Cox, Bill Daniel, Donna de Ville, Clint Enns, Bradley Eros, Kate Ewald, Flinching Eye Collective, Walter Forsberg, Brian L. Frye, Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder, Elena Gorfinkel, Sabine Gruffat, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Josh Guilford, Sarah Halpern, Ed Halter, Adelheid Heftberger, Kier-La Janisse, Michael Johnsen, Sharon Johnson Chris Kennedy, Richard Kerr, Bryan Konefsky, Christy LeMaster, Alain LeTourneau, Jeanne Liotta, Kate MacKay, Alex MacKenzie, Jesse Malmed, Caroline Martel, Theo Michael, Alice Moscoso, David Nelson, Gordon Nelson, Tara Merenda Nelson, Greg Pierce, John Porter, Melissa Ragona, Marcus Rosentrater, Ben Russell, David Sherman, Spectacle, Tess Takahashi, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, Jonathan Walley, Audrey Young
Portfolios: The Blinding Light!! Cinema, Light Industry, Magic Lantern Cinema, Orgone Cinema, Other Cinema, The Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, Spectacle Theater
Table of contents, sample articles, etc: www.incite-online.net
In September 1972, Canadian hockey pros faced the amateur Soviets for the first time ever. Played under the spectre of the Cold War, Canada’s victory in this famous series, thanks to a last-minute winning goal, has become the best known and celebrated Canadian story of all time. But the games were also marked by extreme acts of violence that are only subconsciously remembered.
VALERY'S ANKLE explodes the spectacle of hockey violence and its representation in North American media. Taking Bobby Clarke's breaking of rival star Valery Kharlamov's ankle during the '72 Summit Series as its departure point and site of research, the video uncovers a disturbing history of unforetold and abject Canadian behavior.
Edited by Chris Gehman, Brett Kashmere and Amelia Does
An artist whose biography has often eclipsed the reputation of his art, Arthur Lipsett (1936-86) was an anomaly: a radically experimental filmmaker whose films were created under the auspices of a large state bureaucracy, the National Film Board of Canada. The remarkable and challenging films that Lipsett made at the NFB between 1961 and 1970 were initially received with enthusiasm, particularly after his first self-directed project, Very Nice, Very Nice, was nominated for an Academy Award. In particular, Lipsett's unusual approach to sound-image relationships lent his early films a distinctive quality – borrowing a method from animation, he would create soundtrack first, often working from audio outtakes of NFB documentaries, and then edit the filmed images to the soundtrack.
Despite the burgeoning interest in Lipsett and the richness of his work, there has been little critical writing on him to date. This anthology, which will include both reprints and new commissioned essays, is intended to address this gap, and to offer readers insight into Lipsett's films and life, as well as access to visual materials previously unavailable to the public.
Brett Kashmere is a media artist, historian and curator living in Oakland, California. Combining archival research with materialist aesthetics and hybrid forms, Kashmere’s work explores the intersection of history and (counter-) memory, sports media, and popular culture. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation, National Film Board of Canada, Saskatchewan Art Board, and Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, his films and videos have screened internationally at the BFI London Film Festival, Milano Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives and UnionDocs in New York, the Kassel Documentary Festival in Germany, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, the British Film Institute, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Conversations at the Edge and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, The Images Festival in Toronto, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, and San Francisco's Other Cinema.
Kashmere has curated projects for La Cinematheque quebecoise in Montreal, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, New York's Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Light Cone in Paris, TIFF Cinematheque and Vtape in Toronto, the Seoul Film Festival, Portland's Cinema Project, the D.U.M.B.O. Arts Festival in Brooklyn, Synoptique Film Journal, MOCA Cleveland, the Winnipeg Cinematheque, the VIA Festival of Music & New Media, and Pittsburgh Filmmakers' 3 Rivers Film Festival. These projects include the touring expanded cinema installation and DVD-format catalog, Industry: Recent works by Richard Kerr; the multi-part film series, The Road Ended at the Beach and Other Legends: Parsing the "Escarpment School"; and the touring retrospective Arthur Lipsett: About Time, which traveled to venues in France, Belgium, England, and Canada. In addition, he contributed an entry on Lipsett to the Senses of Cinema “Great Directors” section, and provided archival research for the NFB documentary, The Arthur Lipsett Project: A Dot on the Histo-Map (2007). He is currently co-editing a book on Lipsett's films titled Strange Codes.
Kashmere's writing has appeared in journals, magazines, and anthologies such as The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Millennium Film Journal, Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), Take One, ESSE, The Brooklyn Rail, The Films of Jack Chambers, Carolee Schneemann: Unforgivable, The Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, Synoptique, Senses of Cinema, Offscreen, A Microcinema Primer: A Brief History of Small Cinemas (edited by Andrea Grover and Ed Halter), and Coming Down the Mountain: Rethinking the 1972 Summit Series (edited by Brian Kennedy). In every city he's lived in, Kashmere has generated a cultural impact, developing numerous collaborative arts initiatives over the past decade. He was a founding director of The Antechamber Art Gallery & Cinematheque, a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of emerging independent artists and filmmakers, and Syracuse Experimental, a grassroots film and media collective. He is also the Founding Editor and Publisher of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media. Kashmere holds an BA in Film & Video Studies from the University of Regina, as well as an MA in Film Studies and an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. Kashmere has taught film and video production at Concordia University's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and in the Cinema Studies Program at Oberlin College. He is currently a PhD student in Film + Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.