Monday, April 23, 2018

Oporto apresenta #48

Standish Lawder
16 mm, color, sound, 16 min, 1972

Two Soups 
Fake Goulash/ Rain Soup
Recipes by Endre Tót, 1974

The  Portuguese proverb  “in April, a thousand waters", predicts that we are facing a month of tempestuous changes. It is not by chance that spring rain is often seen as an omen of change and revolution. In the movie Regen (Rain, 1929), Joris Ivens struggles to capture the essence of rain. During the two years spent filming rainy Amsterdam, he found a natural resistance of the elements to be captured on film. Slowly, Ivens began to draw a parallel between the rain, the wind and the strength of the masses, that is only revealed in times of storm.

"If one controls the weather, one controls the world" is a lapalissade that became tangible when Wilhelm Reich was arrested and died for the invention of a cloudbuster, a machine that could induce rain through the reconditioning of primal energy. Reich’s giant ray-gun contraption appears in Kate Bush and Terry Gilliam's video Cloudbusting ( 1985), charging the sky with its orgone rays. Reich was the first to subdue weather to human will and his cloud nebuliser was soon seen as a real threat to any state in the world. Although his invention was abandoned in rural America, his plans circulated widely. We dare say that its effectiveness can still be seen in the clean skies above Russian and American military parades, a clear sign that the clouds were secretly emptied before the tanks marched.

In 1981, James Broughton and Joel Singer moved to Sri Lanka to build an artistic community rooted on sincere pleasure and comunal joy. During their stay, they developed a way of harvesting, with film, an allegedly sexual energy latent in the rainforest. While re-projecting their films, they realised their audience embraced the energy unleashed by the flicker light, engaging in unbounded h appiness. 
On April 25, a date that will always be celebrated as a good day for a revolution, Oporto will exhibit the flicker film, Rain dance, by Standish 
Lawder and while the screen collects energy, a rain soup will be prepared following a recipe by Endre Tót. We hope that this rain feast will strengthen our community by promoting the joyful rise of the dark cloud, the spring of all nonconformist rain.

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plane.

Wednesday, April 25, 10.30 pm  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tempo Perdido no Oporto

Tempo perdido no Oporto
Exhibition of Oporto’s ephemera - Screening of Les Komas Peteux by Alain Baptizet- Printing session by Mike Goes West - The Red Mermaid by Gonçalo Pena  - Communal meal with João Simões

Built by a former merchant sailor union, this small theatre has been kept in its original state as a moored ship with the smell of bilge, covered with maritime murals, wooden decks, ring buoys and secret passageways. But now and then, it becomes a safe ‘port’ for night sessions of experimental films and videos, small exhibitions and occult meetings. 

Since 2007, the Oporto sessions have built up a loyal group of hardcore fans, followers of a continuum of indigestible art pieces, eccentricities and anachronisms that require a reckless taste for discomfort.  

For the programme to exist with its erratic consistency there was always a restricted group of people who lost their time at Oporto. Rather than turning it into a “cante jondo” venue to solve our financial and ideological problems, we decided to celebrate the work done by our companions to structure each séance.

On Sunday, December 10th at 20pm, we will be exhibiting graphic material from every Oporto session, from the awarded posters to the collectable flyers and publications. In the Oporto tradition, we will screen a documentary previously planned for an Occult session, that was lost in the mail. Once more by popular demand a new commemorative poster will be screen printed. We will also present a new mural to replace one unfortunately lost 14 years ago. Finally, we will drown ourselves in food and wine.

Oporto's entrance: Calçada  Salvador Correia de Sá 42, 2º F Lisboa

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oporto apresenta #47

The Vinegar Syndrome
Three contaminated films by Ed Emshwiller

- Totem (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 16’, 1963) 
- Chrysalis (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 22’, 1973)
- A Film With Three Dancers (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 19’, 1971)

To date, there is no serious study of the origin of William S. Burroughs' decaying voice. One might think that his monochordic tone was due to a risky life of rampant drug abuse and bad alcohol. But if we listen carefully, we can find the cause of this abnormal tone in his own words. 

For years, Burroughs argued that language is an opportunistic virus that comes from outer space, which inhabits the human larynx and controls all actions of the subject. The more we hear the strange flow of Burroughs’ hypnotic voice spreading his sour humour, the more it is evident that he is infected by a hedonistic being, lodged in his deep throat, melted into his vocal chords, forcing him to live under alien desire.

Acetate films are also subject to extraneous contamination. The first reports on this life form that feeds on images came in 1948 from the National Archives of India, and since then there has been a worldwide struggle to contain this epidemic. The first symptom of infection is a strong smell of vinegar, as the film releases acetic acid when under attack. Then the acid eats away the color, initiating an irreversible process of decay that ends in the complete vanish of the image.
Recently, Oporto acquired three films by the iconic filmmaker and Science Fiction illustrator Ed Emshwiller (also known as Emsh). Unfortunately, they all suffer from Vinegar Syndrome. Knowing that the deterioration process is fast and cannot be reversed, we will screen the reels before insulation in a cold film archive. To prevent further contamination, the projector will be cleaned and disinfected after the session.

On Mother- Vinagre and its offspring æ

Saturday,  Oct 21, 10.30 pm
Oporto entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

While Darwin Sleeps / Circle of Light 06/10/2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oporto apresenta #46

While Darwin Sleeps  by Paul Bush
35 mm film transfered to digital sd file , color, stereo sound, 5', 2004 

Circle of Light
Soundtrack by Delia Derbyshire and  Elsa Stansfield for Pamela  Bone's 35 mm diaporama, (prod. Anthony Roland) color, stereo sound 32' 1972

"One day, on tearing off some old bark, I saw two rare beetles, and seized one in each hand; then I saw a third and new kind, which I could not bear to lose, so that I popped the one which I held in my right hand into my mouth. Alas! it ejected some intensely acrid fluid, which burnt my tongue so that I was forced to spit the beetle out, which was lost, as was the third one."    Charles Darwin

According to Money Mark, the famous keyboard repairman, there is a strong correlation between the sound of the crickets and room temperature. In the song, Insects are all around us, he demonstrates  that the singing rhythm of insects can be a mathematical indicator of the thermal variations of nature.
Delia Derbyshire was an electronic creator whose artificial music was a constant presence on the BBC in the sixties. After creating the futuristic sound effects for Doctor Who, setting a new sound for TV, she ventured into the open fields to make her first direct recordings. Circle of Light sums up years of research. In this soundtrack, which was originally played with Pamela Bone's multiple photo exposures, nature was captured and framed according to Delia's electronic keyboard weaving a unified artificial ecosystem. 
Paul Bush's film While Darwin Sleeps follows Darwin's fixation by beetles that was somehow the starting point of his quest for a unifying principle in Nature. This film describes an important collection of entomology showed at an above human speed. The animation reveals an ontological "meta-bug" that transmutes according to a creative algorithm.

On Friday October the 6,  the last warm night of Summer we will be exposed to the mathematical laws of the planet while listening to the acoustic  frequencies spoken by geometrical insects, birds, and arithmetical keyboards and knobs .

Friday,  Oct 6, 10.30 pm
Oporto new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oporto apresenta #45

Japon Series  by Cécile Fontaine
16 mm film, color, separate sound, 7', 1991

The dumpster left by World War II created the right environment to awaken new radical forms of art. At the edge of any convention appeared the Butoh dance, a minimal “dance of darkness” rooted in primordial and prelinguistic impulses. After the war the dancer's body ceased to be a well-tuned machine to become a resilient matter continuously responding to slow electric waves.
After redefining and subverting the conventional notions of dance, breaking all types of taboos in post-traumatic Japan, these “technician of the nervous system” migrated to France in search of a new source of unbounded energy known to be shared by newborns and poets. The bald masters of Butoh were now followers of a continuous cry started by Lautréamont, Artaud, Genet and, above all, Sade.
Around the 1980s, shots of an unknown documentary on “Sankai Juku" dance troupe were found in a garbage bin in Paris. These shots have become the core of one of Butoh's most extraordinary documents, the foun
d footage masterpiece “Japon Series”. This ultra vivid film was created by Cécile Fontaine by manipulating the 16 mm with scotch tape, a needle and a painter's knife, scratching and scraping the emulsion to reveal hidden colors in intense painterly compositions.
“fearsome technicians of the nervous system” (wikipedia)

Sunday,  June 18, 11 pm
Oporto new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tempo Perdido no Porto #3 - Miguel Soares

It was in 1998, during the Siggraph Symposium, that Paul Debevec introduced a method for integrating synthetic objects into “real-world” images. In his communication, Debevec revealed the secret of extracting light from any environment and rendering objects into this light. This simple method used a mirrored ball placed in the center of a space, which was photographed in a high dynamic range of light (HDR). By combining the resulting multiple-exposure images, Debevec created a single concave image, which functioned as an omnidirectional radiation map of the space. The HDR contained all necessary data to merge any alien object into a pre-existing background.

Today we can see a good amount of HDR images on the Internet, as empty scenarios longing for objects. In 2008, Miguel Soares used an HDR image of a Japanese interior as a starting point for his 3D animation wabane. Here the artist brilliantly inverted Paul Debevec's process and, instead of inserting a common object in the light of an HDR scenario, he places in it a floating moving mirror, that changes its shape according to sound. wabane presents a shining post-apocalyptic living mirror that reflects, in its ever-changing curved surface, the void of an abandoned room.

After a residency period in Oporto, Miguel Soares will finally give us the opportunity of seeing his HDR masterpiece projected, by far the video that best fits Oporto's dimmed/doomed atmosphere. Along with wabane we will also be exhibiting white starscience fair and his latest video, naso. This selection of very short animations, or videos from a music album, as Soares refers to them, reveal carefully designed landscapes, digital terrariums optimized for the study of unknown creatures and things, entities that live and die to the laws of sound and nostalgia.

Opening: Sat, Feb 11, 10.00 pm  

Open one week by appointment
Oporto entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oporto apresenta #44

Ritual of the Fall by Kathy Rose
HD color video, stereo sound, 4'26", 2015

It is known that a small cut done underneath a corvid 's tongue will allow it to speak. It is also said that if one sews the tongue of a human, s/he will gain feathers and learn to fly. During the process of transmogrification a dance is revealed as a secret language only known to the greatest magicians. Merely a few have had the opportunity to see these supernatural creatures but, according to legend, their mute presence echoes the light of paradise. 
Kathy Rose's  training in classic animation and butoh dance gave her unlimited power to animate and transmute. For the last forty years, Rose has been using video and film as an extended medium  to attain metamorphosis.  In Ritual of the Fall she leads us to the limits of a seclude territory, to observe docile creatures, half-human birds, perform a magical dance. This exuberant video-collage with its original tempo is a reflection upon flying as a musical language.

"a meditation on simple living in a surreal environment"
Alexandre Estrela

Friday,  Jan  27, 10.30 pm
Oporto's new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Oporto apresenta #43

AhAh - Raw Sex by Adam K Beckett
Flip book transfered to digital, color, silent, loop

TV was the medium chosen by Samuel Beckett to launch his puzzling play QUAD. The video shows four squalid asexual mimes dragging their feet over the flat surface of a tiny square, all following in perpetual motion an undercurrent geometry .
It was by analysing this video and the behavior of its powerless guinea pigs, that Gilles Deleuze wrote his fundamental essay on exhaustion in which he launched the idea of ​​a new language. The Lingua III, as described by the philosopher, is "a language of empty spaces and pure images", characterized by a scenario in which everything is composed and decomposed.

If S. Beckett's Quad creates a new language while depleting the performance of its impotent characters of any sense, Adam K. Beckett's animations focus on the language itself as an autonomous entity. Zooming in the private life of words, K. Beckett draws "a perpetual coming together and falling asunder of forms". It is in the flickering blank pages of the flip-book, that this unique, gifted and truly brilliant animator reveals a psychedelic fertile world where letters freely intertwine, or better saying, intercourse in closed loops, behaving as bacteria in perpetual orgy. We are deeply grateful to IOTA center for the screening of two of Adam Beckett's lascivious flip-books, that were carefully transferred to video and preserved by his close friends after his premature death.

Cyclone of the absent sense.
Alexandre Estrela

Saturday,  Nov 12, 10.30 pm
Oporto's new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

Monday, May 16, 2016

Oporto apresenta #42

Nada by Maurice Lemaître 
16mm print, b&w, silent, 3' 1978

There is a long tradition of black abstractions in  Western art. Outbursting at a regular rhythm, its presence is by no means arbitrary. The black work of art is a necessary intermission, an unreasonable void arising from an inner urge or from society's need for regeneration. Framed by writing, film, painting or drawing the monolithic autonomous black returns, as in Kubrick's 2001, to change the course of evolution. The 16 mm film Nada, made in 1978 by the living legend Maurice Lemaître, belongs to this long genealogy of works that can be traced back to Robert Fludd's black page in the hermetic treatise Utriusque Cosmi (1617), Paul Bilhaud's painting Combat de Nègres dans un Tunnel (1882), Malevich infamous Black Square (1915), Man Ray's black photograph Ma Dernière Photographie (1929) or Dick Higgins Black Mirror (1959). Claimed by the author as the first film with no sound or image, Nada will be screened at Oporto as a three minute experience with the black void and the concrete power of its nothingness.

Once you had the first luxuriant taste of Nothing, Nothing else will do.   æ

Friday,  May  20, 11 pm
Oporto new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Oporto apresenta #41

You The Better by Ericka Beckman
16mm print, color, sound, 30', 1983

According to the futuristic film Rollerball (Norman Jewison, 1975), in two years the world will be transformed in a global corporate state. In this near future, wars will no longer exist as they will be replaced by a violent futuristic sport named rollerball, a fusion between vale tudo, basketball, skateboard, hockey and drag racing. The fully armed players, or rather gladiators, circle around an arena fighting for a metal ball, struggling to annihilate the others by all means. Rollerball teams are named after the cities in which they are based and represent global corporations. In the film one player fights for his personal freedom threatening the corporate control.
     In 1983, a group of American artists met in a sports court to play You the Better, a game invented by Ericka Beckman. The game was a distilled version of all-americana games, a mix between softball, basketball, bowling, arcade video games and casino gambling. In this Rollerball-like scenario, with colorful props and boyish work uniforms, a team led by the artist Ashley Bickerton struggles to win against an almighty oppressive "House", which stands to remind you of the futility of individual effort against the corporate world. In this "allegory of suburban conformity versus free will", the players are cheered by repetitive a cappella slogans that keep their spirits high, but as the game evolves they find themselves trapped in the surreal plot of a relentless game.
     On the evening of the 25th of April, Oporto celebrates the 1974 Portuguese revolution with the screening of You the Better. You are welcome to join us to watch the game and, who knows, help the players burn the House and its dices. At the end of the session, if odds are favourable, we'll present Maurice Lemaître's Montage (1976), setting our screen on fire.

Un coup d’état jamais n'abolira le hasard.

Monday,  April  25, 10.30 pm
Oporto new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon