By Brett Kashmere
Before settling into her new career as a university gallery director and curator, Astria Suparak traveled extensively across North America and occasionally overseas, delivering finely tuned, unpretentious video, film and audio programs to the masses and sometimes dozens. Since 1998 she has presented close to 300 screenings in 10 countries, often accompanied by performative introductions, thought provoking quizzes, and revealing audience surveys. Fittingly, this dialogue began on a café napkin in Oberlin, Ohio, resumed via postal mail, then email and telephone, and lastly, in person in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
BK: The first time I met you, you were stepping off a Greyhound bus in Montreal with one piece of rolling luggage. Although you were packing three separate video programs with screening backups in two different formats, a portable mini DV deck, merchandise, and your entire wardrobe for three months of winter and spring weather, you seemed very light on your feet. This image, of a petite, young woman criss-crossing the continent without the conventional armor or privacy of a car, was such a striking contrast to other guests I’ve organized shows for over the years. Namely, rugged guys who wouldn’t seem uncomfortable at a roadside truck stop.
AS: Maybe strangers at said truck stops don’t shove their hands down that type of guy’s pants, either. I suspect my touring experience was different, socially and psychologically.
BK: Let’s forget about hands in pants for a moment. How did you create these tours?
AS: In the early part of the century, other programmers contacted me via email after seeing my show flyers during trips to New York or reading about my screenings via the experimental film list-serve, Frameworks. It was a microcosmos, and our postings would catch one another’s eye. We’d collect and file announcements and program notes, then boldly cold contact when the time was right.
The microcinemas seemed really spread out, so if I was traveling to a mid-western state, I decided I might as well do another show two states away, since I was “in the area.” As long as it was closer to the last venue than it was to my home in Brooklyn. That was how the initial tours were plotted: According to geographical economy, not financial feasibility. The people organizing the shows expressed a need and desire for this type of work, and wanted me to bring it to them. I was up for the connection and exploration.
BK: Why did you choose to tour without a car?
AS: I didn’t own a car because I lived in New York where it would be cumbersome and insurance rates were ridiculously high. I wasn’t old enough to rent a vehicle without incurring an underage penalty fee because I was 20 when I started touring. So getting between venues required endless bus and train rides, a few flights, rides from complete strangers (sometimes from people I met the night before at the last screening), and the rare casino shuttle or four-hour taxi (paid for by a wealthy Ivy League school!).
BK: Could you talk more about the dailiness of touring, the life and work of it, the hours on the move? How did you deal with the boredom and the fatigue, the downtime alone in people’s homes?
AS: There’s a nice rhythm to the routine, where sleeping, eating, and everything essential must fit around the show and travel times. It was intense, traveling all night, arriving in a city in the morning to do a class lecture, then a group lunch, then studio visits, then a screening at night. Then back on the bus. I thought getting sick would be the death of a tour, so for a couple of years I subscribed to an elaborate routine of Emergen-C, Echinacea tea, herbal supplements, and (alcohol) abstinence. On one end of the spectrum, I toured with a health-conscious vegetarian, Miranda July, who did a spiritual retreat before we went on the road. On the other end was the Boxhead Ensemble, who downed pizza and beer minutes before hitting the stage. That tour bus smelled like smoke, beer, leather, and men.
I’m not a naturally social being, so it was hard to go weeks without ever having more than five minutes alone. Even when traveling solo, there’s always a train car or airport full of people. Meeting between five and fifty new people a day and having the same conversations over and over, can be confusing and weary. But I enjoyed the anthropological aspect of touring, seeing how other people lived and what was important in their lives. Listening to their music collections, eating at their favorite places, living their lifestyle for a moment. I usually toured by myself, and although people always surrounded me, at times it felt lonely to not share the experiences with someone else, or be able to return to anything familiar. Not having a chance to leave my toothbrush next to a sink because I wouldn’t be there later that evening.
BK: How and why did you decide to take your shows on the road?
AS: After a couple of years programming a weekly film series at Pratt Institute as an undergrad student, Andrea Grover from the Aurora Picture Show in Texas contacted me to meet up during her family visit to New York. This was the first occasion where I was asked to present a screening outside of my college. It hadn’t occurred to me that I could curate elsewhere – I was really focused on creating weekly shows at Pratt and maintaining my studies. Looking back, I couldn’t have had a better introduction to the microcinema world outside of New York: Andrea offered roundtrip transportation, a place to stay, a set fee for each artist, and a curatorial honorarium on top of that! It was like winning a fully paid vacation to some exotic locale. More importantly, it represented a compassionate understanding and peer acknowledgment of the work I was doing.
Soon after, I received invites to curate for places like the New York Underground Film Festival, Starlight Cinema in Madison, and Cinematexas in Austin. The tours began thanks to the vision, awareness, and proactive engagement of microcinema programmers from afar, requesting that I bring my shows to them, work they otherwise didn’t have a chance to see.
BK: Besides your means of transportation, how do you think your experience of touring differed from others who were also traveling around the country at the same time?
AS: A filmmaker with their own prints and vehicle essentially had to cover the gasoline costs. My income was shared with the venues, organizers, and all the artists, which could boil down to a 19-way split if I was traveling with two programs.
People tried some pretty bold shit with me, probably because of my appearance and because people assume I’m a foreigner regardless of where I am. I don’t think the people touring at that time, typically white, straight, generally burly males, faced those attitudes and questions.
BK: You’ve spent extensive time touring on both coasts, in the South, and across Canada. What are some of the regional differences you’ve noticed?
AS: Generally, the South had sparser crowds, but warmer hospitality. I encountered so many unusual acts of kindness: A young, Evangelical soccer player heard about my work through his childhood friend at Basement Films in Albuquerque. He was so inspired and eager to support the cause that, without ever having met me, wrangled a free flight through a distant family member so I could get from a show in Louisiana to New Mexico. When I needed a place to stay last minute due to the rescheduling of a Zeitgeist show around a hurricane in New Orleans, Helen Hill opened her home to me, a complete stranger.
For a return visit to minicine?, David Nelson drove 240 miles, from Shreveport to Houston, to pick me up. A few months prior, minecine? had a fire; they lost a lot of equipment and theatre seats. Then, the building was burglarized of its copper wire and the rest of David’s equipment. Instead of canceling my show in the face of these terrible circumstances, David secured another raw space five doors down, and piled the debris neatly in a corner. After all of that loss, David was indefatigable, motivated by pathological generosity. At our screening, he put out a cooler full of microbrews and nice sodas, which quickly emptied. At the end of the night, when asked why nobody was operating the sales, he claimed he forgot to charge, and laughed it off.
Many of the people I met in the South juggled two or three minimum-wage jobs, went to school, and volunteered for experimental film after-hours. Some of the most emotionally rewarding shows were in the most economically and visually decimated environments.
In Chicago, Discount Cinema’s KJ Mohr gave me the keys to her car so I could drive to Normal, Illinois the next morning. Ted Passon of small change productions in Philadelphia has organized at least five shows for me, always with tremendous enthusiasm. Those screenings were full of young and excitable people. When I did a screening with you and the Antechamber Collective in Montreal, I couldn’t believe that you personally paid for a huge spread of food and supplied six specialty beer options, and then replenished the beer when it ran out. I saw you pay over $100 in beer for other people! When I asked why you didn’t charge for drinks or admission, you said, “I want people to have a good time, one they’ll hopefully remember. It’s our investment towards building up an audience.” And now Montreal has a thriving experimental film community, with frequent screenings and vibrant collectives like Double Negative.
BK: For me, what matters most, is creating memorable experiences. Experimental film and video may not speak to everyone, but a well-produced event with charm and challenging work will keep people coming back.
AS: What motivated me was the opportunity to support under-recognized artists and unique perspectives; to provide a model of self-sufficiency, to demonstrate that one could proactively take control of the life of her work; and to create individual group experiences.
Most of the people who have been organizing shows for a while are motivated by a genuine desire to offer something unique to their communities. To raise the cultural energy level and build momentum for the benefit of themselves and those they live amongst. Aurora Picture Show, Other Cinema, Robert Beck, minicine?, and Blinding Light!! are or were amazing endeavors, but they were personal endeavors first and foremost.
BK: Things fall apart without individual passion, commitment, and an ability to evolve, which is why you see a high rate of burnout. The same thing is happening now with festivals like the New York Underground, Cinematexas and Thaw. You can’t always count on others to carry the torch.
AS: Conversely, some people migrate to new cities and continue their support for experimental work in different capacities, like KJ Mohr at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Ben Russell in Chicago, and Scott Berry and Pablo de Ocampo at The Images Festival in Toronto.
BK: What changes did you notice between your first tours in 2000, and your last tour in 2006?
AS: I began touring with 16mm prints and individual ¾” U-Matic and Betacam SP tapes, as carry-on luggage. By 2006 I was making DVD screeners with mini-DV back-ups. With technological improvements (and post 9/11 security regulations), the load became lighter and the venues’ projection abilities changed. Ten years ago, 16mm projection was guaranteed to be of better quality than video. But then video projectors became increasingly brighter, sharper, smaller, and cheaper. 16mm equipment is now less reliable, while projectionists aren’t always trained to handle film. Early on, I hauled my own 16mm projector to some venues. But traveling without a car, by myself, made programs of only film prints an impossible proposition for me.
BK: What do you think set you apart from other touring filmmakers and curators?
AS: I ran a weekly film series for a few years, so I knew what it was like to be on the programming end: to host filmmakers, coordinate logistics, and publicize. Although the series was at an institution, I was working independently and autonomously as an undergrad student. I had to fight for a budget every semester. Also, I made 16mm films, but never screened them on my tours.
BK: Could you describe some of the differences among the microcinemas you’ve encountered?
AS: The venues had unique ways to offset costs and to involve different members of their respective communities. Magic Lantern in Providence received funding from Brown University, and they would commission a different local printmaker to silkscreen a limited edition poster for each show. Blinding Light!! received free rooms from a sympathetic hotel employee. I can’t believe they had screenings every night. Aurora Picture Show has built an incredible network of volunteers, board members, and advisors, and they have awesome fundraisers. On the back of one of their calendars they highlight interesting characters and businesses in their neighborhood, like Chino and his low-riders or The Museum of Weird.
At Bamboo Theatre Presents, it felt like all the creative people in Milwaukee were stuffed into Stephanie Barber’s living room, spilling out her front door and onto the street. Hidden away on a second or third floor, the MassArt Film Society screenings featured a consistently critical yet warm Boston college crowd. Ocularis took place in a glamorous, new (at the time) Williamsburg bar, with designed lighting along the exposed brick walls, and tall beer glasses whose breaking would punctuate each projection. Although Ocularis was run by a collective of people, it seemed to have clear phases as the main programmer changed from Dónal Ó’Céilleachair and Karyn Riegel, to Lauren Cornell then Thomas Beard.
Many of the venues that had relentless schedules, like Blinding Light!! and Other Cinema, as well as older and larger institutions like the San Francisco Cinematheque and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, weren’t able to afford the personal attention that the younger or smaller-scale microcinemas would. I felt like one person in a stream of visitors to an important and established venue.
You’ve toured to some places I’ve never been to, Brett. Tell me about the Northwest.
BK: I’ve encountered a lot of good will in the Pacific Northwest, in addition to Canada, upstate New York, and other Northeastern places. In response to a request for a place to stay in Victoria, B.C. where I was presenting my work at an (academic hockey) conference, Marilyn Brakhage offered her basement and drove me around the island. Autumn Campbell and Jeremy Rossen of Cinema Project in Portland treated me like an old friend, even though we had just met. Jeremy hooked me up with a bike, while Autumn vacated her apartment for a week so that I’d have a private place to stay.
Sometimes overlooked is the high level of presentation and care for the work that goes on in many of these places. Cinema Project is a perfect example; they’re essentially a microcinema without a home, run on the volunteer energy of two people and a few associates. Almost every time they hold a screening they have to recreate their space from scratch: assemble a screen, hang a black curtain over the storefont windows of their borrowed venue, set up a portable, soundproof projection booth, un-stack and arrange seating, all of which then has to be broken down afterwards and stuffed into a gallery storeroom. But the projection is first rate, and they treat their guests better than most galleries or festivals.
AS: I was always amazed by people who displace themselves to accommodate me. When I’m home, I love being in my own bed in my own room, and I don’t know if I’ve ever given that up for a guest. But in some locations, I’d arrive to a bedroom prepared for me, while the homeowner would sleep on their own couch or floor. Or they would arrange to stay at a friend’s place so I’d have a private, quiet retreat after I’ve been cooped up in a bus with 60 other people. Along with buying groceries for my one or two day visit, some people would also give me the lotion they purchased earlier that day after noticing my chapped hands, or replace my toothpaste tube with theirs if I was running low.
BK: As we speak, you’re moving to Pittsburgh to start a new job as the director of Carnegie Mellon University’s contemporary art gallery, the Miller Gallery. How does this compare to the days of touring? Or, to put it another way, how does one thing lead to the next?
AS: I used to work odd jobs in Brooklyn to accommodate the touring schedule, and remained fairly mobile. I’ve had stretches of time without an apartment or a place to call home. In the last five years we’ve had seven different apartments in three states and one province, and every move seemed more cumbersome than the last. Our books and videos continue to accumulate. Now we’re close to 30 years old and renting a Cadillac with a university staff discount to move boxes! (I did request a mini-van from the car rental company, but they were out).
BK: Do you have any advice to impart on young artists or curators who are planning their first tours right now?
AS: Do as much research as you can before heading out, and realize that if someone doesn’t respond to you, they’re probably very busy, or your work doesn’t match their needs at that time. You can gently remind them, but don’t badger them. Explain concisely and clearly to artists and programmers alike what you are planning to do and what you expect of them. Anticipate and prepare for any problems beforehand, always travel with backups on different formats, bring an assortment of audio adapters, schedule enough time for snow delays, test the sound and projection thoroughly before every screening, and don’t do it to make money. The true rewards are the connections you’ll make with individuals and the experience itself.
BK: What were the most rewarding aspects of touring, and what do you remember most?
AS: What sticks out most in my memory is the strength of characters. The generosity of others is hugely inspiring. These people are making magic out of nothing, and have transformed their towns, cities, and regions. Although there were a lot of creepy and unpleasant moments, it’s fortifying to step out of the comfort zone, to be accountable to hundreds of people. Touring is also vital to audience building and information-sharing. On the road I became a messenger of news between places, with the facility to collect and disseminate strategies and tactics in a concentrated period of time.
Creating exhibitions, programs, and events is a very personal experience for me, often done in solitude and initially in the space of my imagination. I spend a long time crafting, revising and refining a program, down to the most miniscule detail, but it’s only complete when it unfurls in public, across an expanse of time. The reward is seeing a show manifest as I’ve imagined it and with the reaction of the audience. It’s an extremely satisfying process, but ultimately, my creation and labor is for the enjoyment of others.
This text was originally completed in March 2008 for the forthcoming book, A Microcinema Primer: A Brief History of Small Cinemas, edited by Ed Halter and Andrea Grover.
ASTRIA SUPARAK: SELECTED ITINERARY
2000 - 2006
2000 Tour Dates
March 22. Chicago. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Eye + Ear Series. Screening of Broken Music.
March 23. Madison, WI. The University of Wisconsin, Madison, Starlight Cinema (Series). Screening of Sexuality Malfunctioned.
March 24. Milwaukee. The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Sexuality Malfunctioned (Different line-up from March 23).
FALL TOUR (with Miranda July)
October 21. Austin, TX. Cinematexas International Short Film and Video Festival, Texas Union. Broken Music.
October 24. Bellingham, WA. Allied Arts Performance Space. Screening of Some Kind of Loving.
October 25. Vancouver, BC. Blinding Light!! Cinema. Some Kind of Loving.
October 26. Olympia, WA. The Olympia Film Festival. Some Kind of Loving.
October 27. Seattle. The Little Theatre. Some Kind of Loving.
October 28. Portland, OR. The Hollywood Theatre. Some Kind of Loving.
November 4-5. Houston. The Aurora Picture Show. Broken Music.
November 7. Chico, CA. The Blue Room Theatre. Some Kind of Loving.
November 8. Berkeley, CA. Pacific Film Archive. Some Kind of Loving.
November 9. Santa Cruz, CA. The Rio Theatre. Some Kind of Loving.
November 10. San Francisco. San Francisco Cinematheque at the San Francisco Art Institute. Some Kind of Loving.
November 11. Santa Barbara, CA. Santa Barbara Community College. Some Kind of Loving.
November 13. Valencia, CA. CalArts at The Bijou Theater. Some Kind of Loving.
November 14. Claremont, CA. Pitzer College at Broad Performance Space. Some Kind of Loving.
November 16. Los Angeles. L.A. Freewaves Festival at Side Street Projects. Some Kind of Loving.
2001 Tour Dates
March 31. Chicago. School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nomads and Homesteaders Symposium. Panel discussion.
April 1. Chicago. School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Screening of Sunset in the City of God, curated by Brian Frye, including films by Jim Fotopoulos, J. Hoberman, Steve Polta, and A. Suparak.
April 17. Seattle. University of Washington. Guest artist talk with a screening of selections from various programs.
April 19. Seattle. The Little Theatre. Broken Music.
April 25. San Francisco. University of San Francisco. Class visits: “Self-Reliant Cinema” and “Documentary Film History” (Prof. Melinda Stone). Guest artist talk with a screening of selections from various programs.
FALL TOUR: U.K. and EUROPE
Notes from the Half-Light (co-curated with Braden King, live music by Boxhead Ensemble)
September 19. Amsterdam, NL. The Paradiso.
September 20. Haarlem, NL. Patronaat.
September 21. Hasselt, Belgium. Belgie.
September 22. Diksmude., Belgium. 4AD.
September 23. Paris, France. Instants Chavirés.
September 24. London, UK. The Horse Hospital.
September 25. Manchester, UK. Contact.
September 26. Bristol, UK. Redgrave Theater. Presented by The Cube.
September 27. Brighton, UK. Duke of York's Picture House. Presented by Melting Vinyl.
September 29-30. Dublin, Ireland. Doclands Festival.
October 3. London, UK. The Lux Centre. Broken Music.
October 4. Brighton, UK. The Cinematheque. Broken Music.
2002 Tour Dates
February 14. Los Angeles. El Adobe Studios. Some Kind of Loving, programmed as part of Mika Yoshitake's Awkward Seductive Organs,an evening of poetry, performance, art, and video.
March 8, 11. New York. The New York Underground Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives. Premiere screening of Keep In Touch! (co-curated with Lauren Cornell).
March 14. San Francisco. San Francisco Art Institute. Class visit: “Sound and Film.”
March 19. San Francisco. San Francisco State University. Class visit: “Documentary History.”
March 22. San Francisco. Artists' Television Access. Screening of Dirges and Sturgeons.
March 23. Santa Barbara, CA. Santa Barbara City College. Dirges and Sturgeons.
March 24. Los Angeles. C- level. Dirges and Sturgeons.
March 27. Claremont, CA. Pitzer College at Broad Performance Space. Dirges and Sturgeons
March 28. Los Angeles. Echo Park Film Center. Broken Music.
April 5. Minneapolis. Intermedia Arts. Dirges and Sturgeons.
April 9. Milwaukee. Bamboo Theater Presents. Dirges and Sturgeons.
April 11. Madison, WI. University Of Wisconsin, Madison, Starlight Cinema. Dirges and Sturgeons
April 15. Chicago. Discount Cinema at the Empty Bottle. Dirges and Sturgeons.
April 16. Normal, IL. Illinois State University, Cinema Society. Dirges and Sturgeons.
April 18. Chicago. School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Class visit: “Video II.”
April 24. Brussels. Argos Arts' Black Box Series. Broken Music.
May 19. Houston. The Aurora Picture Show. Joanie 4 Jackie Co-Star Tapes presents Some Kind of Loving. Plus Special Guest tapes, following Rita Gonzalez' I Saw Bones.
July 25. San Francisco. Ladyfest Bay Area at The Victoria Theatre. Premiere screening of Looking is better than Feeling you.
August 10. Washington, D.C. Ladyfest D.C. at The Sacret Heart School Theatre. Looking is better than Feeling you.
September 19. Austin, TX. University of Texas, Austin. Class visits: “Performance Art” and “Transmedia” (Prof. Michael Smith).
September 20. Austin, TX. Cinematexas International Short Film and Video Festival at The Hideout Theatre/Cabaret. Looking is better than Feeling you.
September 25. New Orleans. HURRICANE! Rescheduled to September 30.
September 26. Fort Worth, TX. 3 Billion Art Gallery. Dirges and Sturgeons, co-presented by The Video Association of Dallas. Pre-show by Paul Baker.
September 28. Shreveport, LA. Minicine at Lee Hardware Gallery. Dirges and Sturgeons, in conjunction with gallery opening, followed by live music.
September 30. New Orleans. Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center at Barrister's Gallery. Dirges and Sturgeons, co-presented by ten eighteen films.
October 4. Albuquerque, NM. Basement Films at Field & Frame. Dirges and Sturgeons.
October 10. Phoenix. Modified Arts. Dirges and Sturgeons.
October 11. Tucson, AZ. University of Arizona. “Artist and Curator,” a student workshop with Daniel Peltz and A. Suparak on the exhibition process.
October 11. Bisbee, AZ. The Earwig Factory. Dirges and Sturgeons.
October 12. Tucson, AZ. University of Arizona. Dirges and Sturgeons, co-sponsored by the Dean's Fund for Excellence.
October 22. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Bard College. Dirges and Sturgeons.
October 23. Amherst, MA. Amherst College. Class visit: Production workshop in the moving image (Prof. Liz Miller).
October 23. Northampton, MA. Smith College. Dirges and Sturgeons, presented by Films Studies and the Motion Picture Committee.
October 24. Troy, NY. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dirges and Sturgeons and talk. Plus a class visit: “Big Tools Small Tools” (Prof. Kathy High).
October 27. Boston. Berwick Research Institute, Roxbury. Looking is better than Feeling you, co-sponsored by Balagan Experimental Film and Video Series.
October 28. Williamstown, MA. Williams College Museum of Art. Looking is better than Feeling you.
October 29. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University at Harvard Film Archive. Class visit: “Experimental Strategies in Video” (Prof. Elisabeth Subrin) and screening of Dirges and Sturgeons.
October 30. Boston. School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Class visit: “Text and Media” (Prof. Abigail Child).
October 30. Boston. Mass Art Film Society. Dirges and Sturgeons.
October 31. New Haven, CT. Yale University. Dirges and Sturgeons.
November 1. Danbury, CT. Western Connecticut State University. Dirges and Sturgeons.
November 13-19. Mexico City. Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi, Bosque de Chapultepec.
November 14. Special version of Looking is better than Feeling you.
November 15. Premiere screening of Adolescent Boys, and Living Rooms, as part of the video initiative “Panoramica.”
November 21: New York. MIX: The 16th New York Lesbian/Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival at Anthology Film Archives. Special NY version of Looking is better than Feeling you, co-sponsored by Ladyfest East and Dyke TV.
December 1. Philadelphia. Space 1026. Screening of Dirges and Sturgeons, co-presented by Ladyfest Philly. Plus Open Video Call and Screening.
December 2. Philadelphia. Temple University. Class visit: “Experimental Video and Multimedia.”
December 3. Ithaca, NY. Cornell Cinema at Cornell University. Dirges and Sturgeons.
December 4. Ithaca, NY. Ithaca College. Class screening of Looking is better than Feeling you. A Cinema on the Edge event.
December 6. Buffalo, NY. Squeaky Wheel. Looking is better than Feeling you, co-sponsored by Central New York Programmers' Group, Experimental Television Center, the Instructional Support Committee of the University at Buffalo (Dept. of Media Study), SUNY Buffalo (Dept. of Women's Studies), SUNY Buffalo Media Study Grad Student Assoc.
2003 Tour Dates
March 4. Chicago. Video Mundi at The Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theatre. Screening of Ladies and boys and touching: Selections from recent shows.
March 8. Chicago. Video Mundi at Heaven Gallery. Ladies and boys and touching.
March 12. San Francisco. San Francisco Art Institute. Class visit: “New Genres” (Prof. Jon Rubin).
March 12. San Francisco. San Francisco Art Institute. Dirges and Sturgeons.
March 13: San Francisco. Artists' Television Access. Ladies and boys and touching.
March 17: San Diego. The Museum of Photographic Arts. Looking is better than Feeling you, part of "Here's Looking at you, Babe!" with SMOOCH: a kissing workshop for women, with Tracy Bartlett of Good Vibrations
March 20. Los Angeles. Echo Park Film Center. Looking is better than Feeling you.
March 24. Winnipeg, MB. University of Manitoba. Dirges and Sturgeons.
March 25. Ottawa. Available Light at Club SAW. Dirges and Sturgeons.
March 27. Montreal. Concordia University. Dirges and Sturgeons, presented by The Antechamber Collective.
March 28. Montreal. Concordia University. Public talk/discussion with Brett Kashmere.
March 29. New Haven, CT. Yale University, School of Architecture. Special U.S. screening of Adolescent boys, and living rooms, part of the festival “Moving Landscapes, Capturing Time” (participants include Jem Cohen, Roger Connah, Natalie Jeremijenko, Braden King, A. Suparak).
April 22. New York. School of Visual Arts. Class screening of Adolescent Boys and discussion in “Video Culture” (Prof. Shelly Silver).
April 26. Normal, IL. Illinois State University, Center for Visual Arts. Arts and Activism Workshop. Hands-on, in the streets street postering workshop lead by A. Suparak. Also, Screening of Looking is better than Feeling you, followed by a Q&A session on independent videomaking and distribution. Sponsored by ISU United Students Against Sweatshops, the Indy, and the ISU Cinema Society.
April 27: Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon University. Looking is better than Feeling you, part of “splice: cutting edge film festival.” Also, launch of BOREDOM NOTEBOOK, made by CMU students and A. Suparak with drawings by Prof. Melissa Ragona.
April 28. Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Broken Music.
July 18: Los Angeles. Outfest 2003: The 21st Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival at The LA Gay and Lesbian Center's Village.Adolescent boys, and Living rooms.
July 25: San Francisco. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Opening Night Party. Two screenings of Looking is better than Feeling you. Followed by a six-week run, screening continuously every day in Yerba Buena’s Screening Room.
2004 Tour Dates
February 5. Montreal. Concordia University. Class visit: “Advanced Video Production” (Prof. Rae Staseson). Plus, a quiz, research and videos
March 2. Montreal. Concordia University. Class visit, in the form of ESPN’s sports commentary program Pardon the Interruption: “Video Production” (Prof. Leila Sujir). Plus, a quiz and research.
March 13. Houston. Fotofest Biennial 2004, at The Aurora Picture Show. Boxhead Ensemble: Stories, Maps and Notes from the Half-Light. Improvised music performance and film screening (curated with Braden King).
April 6 and 13. Montreal. Concordia University. Studio critiques: “Video 300” (Prof. Leila Sujir).
April 22. Philadelphia. Swathmore College. Screening of Let’s get tested.
April 23. Philadelphia. The St. Charles Church Roller Skating Rink. Let’s get tested. Presented by Small Change.
May 3. Oberhausen. The 50th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Screening of brand new show, Let’s get tested. Commissioned for the special program, “Prospektive.”
May 7. Normal, IL. Illinois State University. Let’s get tested, part of the Thai Film Festival.
June 24. Santa Fe, NM. Girls Film School at The College of Santa Fe. Let’s get tested.
June 25. Santa Fe, NM. Girls Film School. Visiting Artist Series. Presentation on work as a curator.
July 27. New York. Participant, Inc. Premiere screening of Elusive Quality (co-curated with Lauren Cornell), in conjunction with LTTR’s new issue, “Practice More Failure.”
September 18. Liverpool. Liverpool Bienniale of Contemporary Art, at FACT Center. Two screenings of Elusive Quality, followed by one-month exhibition of the program in the Mobile Cinema at the New Bird Street Warehouse.
November 8. Columbus, OH. Columbus College of Art and Design. Visiting Artist Series. Let’s get tested, and a talk.
November 9. Columbus, OH. Columbus College of Art and Design. Class visit: “Video II,” presentation on work and working.
November 16. New York. Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. Premiere screening of How To Be A Canadian (co-curated with Brett Kashmere), with Canadian-to-American dictionaries, annotated maps, and Canadian beer. Followed by a performance from Montreal A/V duo Skoltz_Kolgen.
November 19. Philadelphia. Vox Populi Gallery. How To Be A Canadian, part of “The U.S. Without Us,” presented by Small Change. Followed by Dance Party for the Apocalypse, with DJ Julia Factorial and Miss Meow.
November 26. Winnipeg, MB. Video Pool. Let’s get tested.
December 3. Napoli. Independent Film Show, 4th Edition. Let’s get tested.
2006 Tour Dates
March 1. Montreal. Concordia University. Class visit: “Filmmaking II / Experimental” (Prof. Brett Kashmere). All Presentations/Lectures on this tour cover three points:
1) How to start a film series
2) What is curating (+ why, how, what)
3) Tips for submitting your work (to festivals, juries, etc.)
4) Video clips from Quantum Leaps and other shows.
March 6. Houston. Aurora at Clark's. Premiere screening of Quantum Leaps. The touring of this program received support from the Canada Council for the Arts. Suparak was Aurora's Guest Curator, January-March 2006.
March 7. Shreveport, LA. Minicine. Quantum Leaps.
March 8. Ruston, LA. Nomad Nights at Lewis. Quantum Leaps. Opening band: The Upstairs Divine.
March 9. College Station, TX. Texas A&M University. Quantum Leaps.
March 11. Houston. Aurora Picture Show. Video Feedback with A. Suparak (critiques with local artists).
March 13. Providence, RI. The Cable Car Cinema. Quantum Leaps,presented by Brown University and Magic Lantern Cinema.
March 14. Boston. School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Lecture with video clips and a special printmaking poster project made in collaboration with students (Prof. Jennifer Schmidt).
March 15. Boston. Mass Art Film Society at Massachusetts College of Art. Quantum Leaps.
March 16. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania. Lecture with video clips.
March 16. Philadelphia. The University of the Arts's Paradigm Lecture Series. Lecture with video clips.
March 17. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania. MFA studio visits.
March 18. Philadelphia. Vox Populi. Quantum Leaps, presented by Small Change.
March 20. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Bard College. Quantum Leaps.
March 21. New York. The Kitchen. Quantum Leaps.
March 22. Troy, NY. iEAR Presents! Quantum Leaps, co-sponsored by The Sanctuary for Independent Media.
March 23. Syracuse, NY. Syracuse University. Class visit: “Video Art History” (Prof. Tom Sherman). Lecture with video clips.
March 24. Syracuse, NY. Spark Art and Performance Space. Quantum Leaps.
March 27. Buffalo, NY. University at Buffalo, SUNY. Studio visits (Prof. Caroline Koebel).
March 27. Buffalo, NY. University at Buffalo, SUNY North Campus in Amherst NY. Quantum Leaps.
March 30. New York. NYU 's Visiting Artist Series. Studio Visits.
March 30. New York. NYU 's Visiting Artist Series. Lecture with video clips.
March 31. Washington, DC. National Museum of Women in the Arts Theatre. Quantum Leaps.
April 3. Baltimore. Johns Hopkins University. Quantum Leaps.
July 9. Saratoga Springs, NY. Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Quantum Leaps.