Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7pm
An Evening with Craig Baldwin

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

As part of a barnstorming tour of New York venues, including a retrospective at Metrograph and a pair of related shows at UnionDocs, Light Industry presents an evening with Craig Baldwin, found-footage filmmaking virtuoso, longtime proprietor of San Francisco's legendary Other Cinema, and one of the pillars of alternative film culture in America. As Other Cinema’s impresario, Baldwin has played host to generations of experimental filmmakers and artists, and continues to celebrate a panoply of “marginalized genres like ‘orphan’ industrial films, home movies, ethnography, and exploitation,” presenting them as “media-archeological core-samples, and blows against consensus reality and the sterility of museum culture.”

Trippy fact-fiction hybrids, Baldwin’s own films remake history by plundering the celluloid dumpsters of decades past, and embrace seemingly outré frameworks in their analysis of culture and politics: Mock Up on Mu (2008) launches Scientology conspiracy theories into space, Spectres of the Spectrum (1999) grooves on fringe science, Sonic Outlaws (1995) documents copyright insurgents Negativland via Baldwin’s own poaching from The Wizard of Oz, and Tribulation 99 (1992) links alien invasion to US intervention in Latin America. Each took years to complete; Baldwin begins from massive accumulations of ideas and footage around a central concern, then whittles down his materials into episodic collages of sound and image, extending the Bay Area bricolage of pioneers like Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, and Jess into the postmodern age. “My movies are very much like pulp serials,” Baldwin has said, “because there’s cheap special effects, starts and stops, graphic interludes, and no pretense to realism.”

Baldwin’s endeavors at Other Cinema bleed into the collecting and compiling of his film work. At the theater, audiences are sometimes treated not only to Baldwin’s curatorial idiosyncrasies, but also the highly theatricalized persona he can adopt to present films. Channelling the spirit of a mad professor, Baldwin might launch into stream-of-consciousness lectures that deliver “delicious dollops” of media history in a style that’s part punk rant, part revival-tent sermon. For his event at Light Industry, Baldwin will deliver an artist’s talk entitled “Industrials, Orphans, and Essays: Archival Anomalies from Baldwin's Frisco Basement,” which will feature a PowerPoint slideshow on his own lo-fi working methods, a volley of VHS clips, hits from Baldwin’s “Industrials Amok!” series on 16mm, feverishly scrawled whiteboard diagrams, and previews of his latest work.

“This is perhaps the promise of an electronic folk culture that Bay Area found-footage makers hold forth,” Baldwin writes. “Concomitant with a cautionary acknowledgment of—and negotiation with—image overload, ours is a refreshing affirmation of relative autonomy, personal ingenuity, and creative agency to discover and share our own uses for things. The radical imagination can still find its way through this bewildering forest of signs. THIS is what is Beat-ific, what is supremely ironic, and what is powerfully redemptive about this activity. Saint Francis returns as Emperor Norton: the holy fool found his captain's hat in a free bin, and now he's calling the shots.”

Tickets - $8 suggested donation, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.