Tag Archives: p. adams sitney

why yes, i did meet kate millett

…I also saw Barbara Hammer outside of the IFC screening of her new documentary Maya Deren’s Sink.  Oh yeah, and I’ve seen Maya Deren’s sink.  Like, the actual artifact.  And I have a few of Joseph Cornell‘s paperclips.  (AND HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I’VE PEELED ASPARAGUS WITH ROBERT BEAVERS?  Cause yeah.  That too.  And gotten tipsy with P. Adams Sitney.)

But seriously.  The extent to which I can name-drop in the small but self-loving world of experimental and avant-garde cinema seems astounding to me, and maybe to a handful of people who I hope are reading this blog, but it probably won’t get me far in the “real world” — whatever that might be.

I would, however, like to take a moment to acknowledge the kind of eerie fact that in the last week or so, since having the great honor of returning some film reels from Anthology to famed feminist (and filmmaker) Ms. Millett and her partner, Sophie Keir, the search terms for The Semioptician have included hits for three distinct Kate Millett-related searches, two of which include my name as well.  Which, given that I hadn’t yet blogged about this lucky encounter, was at first rather disconcerting.  It seemed as if WordPress or some unseen search-bot was predicting my blogging predilections.

Then of course I remembered that I had, in fact, tweeted about it.  And Facebook-chatted my friend Rebekah with a rather enigmatic “also do you know who Kate Millett is??”  In light of these remembrances, it’s no longer totally unprecendented that I had a strange deja-vu-ish moment of looking at my blog stats (and yes, I do that, sucker for numbers and ego boosts that I am…) and wondering — did I mysteriously write a blog post that I’d been thinking about writing and then completely forget that I had…?  So thank you, whoever (all three of you?) searched for Kate Millett and found your way here.  It made my (several) (unheimlich) day(s).

weekly update (like snl, but on thursdays)

Ten days have elapsed since my last blog post, but they have been far from uneventful.  In the course of a rather ambitious psychogeographic expedition, I had the opportunity to became intimately acquainted with both the former sites of the Berlin Wall and the German health care system.  I saw Robert Beavers and P. Adams Sitney go head-t0-head, as it were, at the Arsenal Cinema screening of four of Beavers’ films, in a slightly tense but fascinating juxtaposition of the critic and the artist, and had the immense pleasure of seeing the entire first reel of Early Monthly Segments for the second time in the space of a few days — there is truly something to be said for repeated viewing, especially when it comes to avant-garde cinema.

The following day, I returned to Robert and Ute’s to spend a wonderful, inspiring, and thoroughly enjoyable several hours discussing film, Japan, and life, watching Ute’s latest cut of her film Young Pines (working title), cooking a delicious dinner of salad, potatoes, white wine, and white asparagus (I’ve never had it in the states…so good!!).  I often feel that as a student, there is a sort of impenetrable veil between my status as a student and the ‘real world’ of working artists and publishing scholars and people who are not in a strange transitionary phase between child and adulthood that we call college.  But spending that evening with Robert and Ute felt like that wall was shattering (how appropriate, in Berlin…) — being engaged as, if not a peer exactly, at least a fellow member of this small but dedicated community of people who care about experimental cinema and unique critical and aesthetic ways of approaching the world, as an initiate into part of the world of artists and thinkers that I intend to live my life among.

Since my last entry, I have also survived a psychogeographical experiment in wakefulness lasting 41 hours and producing several pages of automatic text and roughly 700 similarly ‘automatic’ photographs, I have survived the trip to Copenhagen (where we are now comfortably situated for the remaining week of our European adventure), I have survived The Rapture (although not without the intriguing appearance of bleeding holes in both of my palms…), and I have survived my very first real interview, with John Mhiripiri, the director of Anthology Film Archiveswhere I will be working as an intern this summer!

All this is to say, it’s been quite the week or so, on top which is of course the release of the newest Lady Gaga album, Born This Way, which I have listened to approximately 37 times already, in its entirety, and follows nicely on the iPodic heels of the audiobook I just finished last Wednesday, Tina Fey’s Bossypants (both of which are, as aural texts, seminal to the current debates that compromise quasi-4th-wave feminism, and on which I would love to expound in a later post…).  Clearly, my brain is swimming in critical and artistic commentaries and revelations and epiphanies, some of which will hopefully be shared on this forum for thought, but in the mean time, I am also swimming in media projects, the least of which is a massive-ish personal book of photography, theory, and musings from these ten weeks in Europe, which I am theming around the word and concept ‘traces’ (nod here to Derrida, of course).  It will, handily enough, have an online incarnation, so look forward to that in the near future (this is NOT an empty promise — I’m working with a deadline!!), but in the mean time, forgive me in advance for another probable lapse in blogging, and certainly let me know which of the many fascinating recent events of my visually cultured experiences you want to hear about at greater length!

Now to charrette — as John Schott always says, ‘ANDIAMO!’

so many outstretched hands

Robert Beavers shows us his workspace — so, so inspiring.

Being in Berlin, we’ve had the chance to brush shoulders with the likes of P. Adams Sitney, Robert Beavers, and Ute Aurand on several occasions — which if you’re at all conversant with avant-garde and experimental cinema, is a BIG, BIG deal.  Check out my post for the trip blog here to read about our time with Beavers and Aurand, and my classmate Josiah’s post about the talk that Sitney gave at American Academy in Berlin.