April events

April events


Chikako Yamashiro, Mud Man (still), 2017.

March 27, 2024
April events
Talks, screenings, and performances
172 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
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Join us at e-flux this April for talks, screenings, and performances featuring Shana Moulton; Michael Hagemeister; Anthony Acciavatti; Arto Lindsay, Ben Vida and Amy Gernux, Kimberly Alidio, David Grubbs, Michał Libera, and Daniel Muzyczuk; Ahmed El Maanouni and Omar Berrada; Chikako Yamashiro, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Chris Marker, Go Takamine, Futoshi Miyagi, and Hallie Ayres; Jad Atoui and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7pm
Shana Moulton: In Search of Meaning
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Weaving feminist undertones with surrealist imagery and sound, Shana Moulton’s work explores the nuances of the contemporary psyche. Her Whispering Pines series, in particular, delves into the intricacies of self-help culture, the quest for spiritual meaning, and the often comedic absurdity of personal wellness rituals. In her performances, videos, and installations, Moulton, through the experiences of her alter ego, Cynthia, writes a narrative that is both personal and universally resonant, probing the boundaries between the mundane and the mystical in the time of global digital capitalism. This screening will feature a selection of Moulton’s works: Whispering Pines Zero (2002, 6 minutes, a collaboration with Jacob Ciocci), Whispering Pines 1 (2002, 2 minutes), Whispering Pines 2 (2003, 4 minutes), Whispering Pines 5 (2005, 6 minutes), Repetitive Stress Injuries (2008, 12 minutes), The Galactic Pot Healer (2010, 8 minutes), Every Angle is an Angel (2016, 6 minutes), and the film-opera Whispering Pines 10 (2018, 35 minutes, a collaboration with Nick Hallett). These works collectively exemplify Moulton’s experimental use of video and sound to navigate themes of anxiety, technology, and consumerism in the search for meaning within the digital age. Followed by an in-person discussion with the artist. Read more here.

Saturday, April 6, 2024, 5pm
Michael Hagemeister, “The Occult Roots of Soviet Space Travel: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s ‘Cosmic Philosophy’”
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857–1935), an eccentric, half-deaf teacher of physics and mathematics in the provincial town of Kaluga, is considered the “grandfather of Soviet space travel.” At the dawn of the space age, Soviet propaganda turned him into a cult figure, censoring his publications and stylizing his biography. Little is it known that Tsiolkovsky developed a “cosmic philosophy,” and that the cosmonautical calculations and sketches that made him famous (and laid the foundations for the Soviet space program) grew out of this philosophy. This presentation by historian Michael Hagemeister will outline Tsiolkovsky’s “cosmic philosophy” and identify its roots in occult thought, the “secret doctrines” of the theosophists published in Kaluga in the early twentieth century, Ernst Haeckel’s pan-psychist theory of evolution, and the cosmic-spiritualist philosophical works of Camille Flammarion and Carl du Prel, which offer a synthesis of Darwinism and occultism. Finally, Tsiolkovsky will be discussed in the context of so-called “Russian Cosmism,” a hybrid ideological construct developed in the 1970s to provide the Soviet space program with an indigenous philosophical basis. Read more here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024, 7pm
Anthony Acciavatti, “Groundwater Earth”
This talk by Anthony Acciavatti tells the hidden history of the largest distributed mass of freshwater on the planet. The fruits of groundwater are all around us: nearly half the global population drinks it and over half of all crops are irrigated with it. Groundwater extraction technologies are as significant to farms and cities as the elevator was to the early twentieth-century American metropolis. The talk traces the preposterous, practical, and perilous experiments with groundwater. It focuses on the Indo-Gangetic plains and Sonoran Desert—two major sites of experimentation with groundwater extraction since the nineteenth century. Combining over a decade of fieldwork in the Americas and Asia, with archival research undertaken in three continents and vast amounts of data collected using remote sensing satellites, “Groundwater Earth” examines the scales and slow-motion impacts of groundwater extraction on the tilt of the earth to the shape of cities and farms. Presented as part of e-flux Architecture Lectures. Read more here.

Thursday, April 11, 2024, 7pm
Launch of e-flux journal #144
e-flux journal #144 (April 2024) is the first issue in a series exploring music as a theoretical practice defying disciplinary boundaries. The issue looks at music’s relationship to words, memories, poetry, and voice, with contributions from Kimberly Alidio, Andrius Arutiunian, Robert Ashley, Alessandro Bosetti, Michał Libera, Daniel Muzyczuk, Alice Notley, and Ben Vida. The launch event adds a further layer to the rich content of the April issue with a new interpretation of a key piece by Robert Ashley performed by Arto Lindsay; a composition by Ben Vida played in a duo with Amy Gernux; two poetry readings by Kimberly Alidio and David Grubbs centered around the expressivity of music and word; a screening of a short film by Michał Libera, and a sound projection by a classic figure of electroacoustic montage, Eugeniusz Rudnik. The evening will be introduced by issue guest-editor Daniel Muzyczuk. Read more here.

Thursday, April 18, 2024, 7pm
Ahmed El Maanouni, Al Hal [Trances]
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Ahmed El Maanouni’s Al Hal [Trances] (1981, 88 minutes) is a classic of Moroccan cinema and a compelling introduction to it. While presenting itself as a music documentary on the iconic band Nass El Ghiwane, it is also a film about friendship and collaboration, archival memory, the anti-colonial imagination, and working-class life in Casablanca. Join us for a rare evening with El Maanouni, curated by, and in conversation with, Omar Berrada. Of all the art forms in 1970s and ’80s Morocco, music was perhaps the most potent, aesthetically and politically. Nass El Ghiwane epitomized the period, both for the way they reclaimed popular storytelling and African musical traditions, and for the way they voiced people’s desire for freedom. In Al Hal, as El Maanouni follows them through a series of electrifying concerts, documenting the kind of trance they induce in their audiences. At the same time, by showing the revered musicians in their humble quotidianness, he paints the poignant portrait of a generation. All the while, through a deft use of archival images, he traces colonial echoes in the present, giving historical depth to the narration. Both a concert movie and a free-form audiovisual experiment, Trances is pure cinematic poetry. The evening is organized as part of The African Film Institute, and is co-presented with ArteEast. Read more here.

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 7pm
Beyond Security: Approaches toward a Cinema of Okinawa. Part I
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Beyond Security is a special three-part screening that engages with Japan’s Okinawa prefecture—its history, identity, and complicated relationship to legacies of wartime and imperialism. Guest-curated by Hallie Ayres, the series consists of a range of films that trouble the impulse to speak for the prefecture, instead allowing for an archipelagic polyvocality that champions Okinawans’ right to self-define. In Part I of Beyond Security, Chikako Yamashiro’s Mud Man (2017, 26 minutes), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas: Battle of Easel Point–Memorial Project Okinawa (2003, 15 minutes), and Chris Marker’s Level Five (1997, 106 minutes) frame Okinawa through, and in light of, the imposition of occupying military infrastructures. These works not only highlight the palimpsest of forces that have determined Okinawa’s present relationship to its autonomy (or lack thereof), but also underscore the networked relationship between Okinawa and its geographic neighbors who have withstood (and still withstand) similarly violent incursions. The films implicitly call for a renegotiation of the amnesia that has allowed for the continued assault on those territories and peoples embroiled in imperialism’s wide net. More details on Parts II and III are below. A parallel screening of Go Takamine’s Paradise View (1985, 113 minutes) will be held at Spectacle Theater, our Beyond Security program partner. Read more here.

Saturday, April 27, 2024, 3pm
Beyond Security: Approaches toward a Cinema of Okinawa. Parts II and III
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For Part II of Beyond Security, Go Takamine’s genre-bending Hengyoro (Queer Fish Lane) (2017, 81 minutes) upends traditional timelines of past and present to produce a world adrift in its own resistance of categorization. Takamine’s first film since 1989 sees the director experimenting on the level of the form itself, with decomposing celluloid shot decades ago fused with contemporary HD footage superimposed with a cast of mysterious characters. Following Takamine’s distinct classification of his films as Okinawan—rather than Japanese—the film serves as both unreliable retelling of a past suffused with folklore as well as activated archive of a future unbound by imperialism. Films from Futoshi Miyagi’s American Boyfriend body of work compose the Part III of the program. One of Miyagi’s major ongoing works, American Boyfriend (2012–present) asks whether it is possible for an Okinawan man and an American man to fall in love in Okinawa. The films in this series oscillate between pre- and post-war eras, illustrating the shifting relationship between the entities that govern and the subjects onto whom these differing nationalisms are ascribed. Continuously engaged in understanding his own identity, Miyagi’s films tease out the complicated task of attributing a singular interpretation to histories that contain, inevitably, vast multiplicities. Miyagi’s screening will feature The Ocean View Resort (2013, 19 minutes), Flower Names (2015, 21 minutes), and How Many Nights (2017, 40 minutes). Read more here.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 7pm
Live performance by Jad Atoui and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
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Jad Atoui is a Beirut-based sound artist and improviser. He composes and performs electronic and electro-acoustic music and has worked with musicians like John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Anderson, Chuck Bettis, and Anthony Sahyoun. During his formative years in New York, Atoui found interest in the New York avant-garde scene. He began working closely with NYC downtown musicians and learning improvised music techniques, while also working at the Stone and the Guggenheim Museum. In 2015, Atoui spearheaded the Biosonics project in collaboration with scientist Ivan Marazzi where they used bio-sonification of behaviors as compositional tools. The project was later published in John Zorn’s Arcana Book Vol. XVIII and premiered at National Sawdust as part of The Stone’s commissioning series. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is an artist, curator, and composer who works primarily with, but not limited to, voice and modular synthesizer for sound works in the realm of spontaneous music. The marriage of synthesis and voice has allowed for a heightened physicality in the way of ecstatic music, both in his performance and recorded music. The sensitivity of analogue modular synthesis echoes the organic nature of vocal expression which lends itself to Lowe’s aleatoric process. Lowe’s works on paper tend towards human relations to the natural/magical world and the repetition of motifs. As of late Lowe has also directed focus on composition for film and television, both in solo scoring and collaboration. Lowe has collaborated with many artists including Tarek Atoui, Ben Russell, Ben Rivers, Rose Lazar, Nicolas Becker, Rashaad Newsome, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hildur Guđnadóttir, Sabrina Ratté, Philippe Parreno, Evan Calder Williams, Ariel Kalma, Susie Ibarra, YoshimiO, and more. Read more here.

Stay tuned to upcoming programs on our website, or subscribe to our Events mailing list here.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

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March 27, 2024

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