In commemoration of the passing of one of the greatest cross-pollinators of the avant-garde, the festival pays tribute to Tony Conrad with an evening of immersive open-air projections and live music. Building around Conrad’s seminal 1965 film “The Flicker,” the program explores the long cinematic heritage spawned by the film. Exploring film at its most fundamental unit, the single frame, Conrad’s experiment pushed the perceptual limits of the medium to unseen places, attacking the phi-phenomenon of motion and releasing an entire secondary world of retinal impressions and flickering illusions. While the effects of the film have rippled out through cinematic history—forever pushing these concepts to the forefront of filmmaking—the film remains an apt metaphor for Conrad’s entire career: an initial exploding assault, yet the further you’re willing to look, and the longer you’re willing to hold that gaze, the more and more you will find there is to see.
A pioneering musician as well, Conrad produced a lifetime of performances and recordings that worked to push ever-forward a modern conception of music, often nourished by the same mathematical and physical concepts as his films. With an interwoven display of live music and film projection, we hope to celebrate and pay respect to an artist who definitively reshaped field for all, and who literally opened up new ways of seeing. Thank you, Tony!