Cutting edge video art from FACT
Date September  8, 2005    
Curator Eddie Berg

Concept Note

The Apeejay Media Gallery in association with the British Council presents ‘Crosstown Traffic’ showcasing cutting edge video art from FACT, UK, the Foundation for Creative Art and Technology at Liverpool from the 8th to 10th and 16th to 17th of September 2005. The show ‘Crosstown Traffic’ opens on September 8, 2005 at 7:30 pm at Apeejay Media Gallery.

FACT began in 1988 as a small arts organization, funded by the regional arts council, but has since grown to become one of Europe’s leading arts centres, commissioning, presenting and supporting British and international artists’ work in film, video and new media. The organization was also responsible for creating the Video Positive biennial. In 2003 it opened its own purpose-built centre at Liverpool, receiving over 1 million visitors since its launch.

Eddie Berg was Founder and Chief Executive of FACT from 1988-2004. He is now the Artistic Director of BFI(The British Film Institute) South Bank in London where he is leading the next stage of development of the National Film Theatre and the British Film Institute’s other cultural centres on London’s South Bank. He is also the curator of Crosstown Traffic.

To quote Eddie Berg:

 “Crosstown Traffic consists of a selection of work commissioned or presented by FACT since its inception in 1988 to the opening of the FACT centre in 2003. The exhibition focuses on the work of artists who have contributed significantly to the development of film, video and new media cultural practice both in the UK and internationally.

The title, Crosstown Traffic, is a reflection and acknowledgement that we are in a time of so-called ‘media convergence’ which has been largely brought about by the arrival of digital technologies. The ‘crosstown traffic’ between film, art, new and emerging media forms and other manifestations of popular culture is a defining feature of the project. The title also refers to work produced at different times and across generations, and explores and celebrates the intersections and relationships between key areas of practice over the past 15 years. It demonstrates the impact and influence that video and media art has had on the worldwide artistic community during that time; from video/media art being regarded as a marginal activity, it is now firmly established in the mainstream.

From David Hall’s Stooky Bill, which references the first ‘character’ ever presented on British TV, to Kristin Lucas’s playful take on the aspirations of young women in pop music, Celebrations for Breaking Routine, each of the featured projects reflects both technological developments as well as artistic trends. With contextual information in the forms of books, CD’s and DVD’s, and interviews with a number of the artists whose work has been commissioned by FACT, the exhibition also offers an opportunity for audiences to explore the relationship between an arts organisation and cultural practice, as well as the work itself.”

And a masterclass on video installations led by Judith Goddard.
Date Sept 10, 2005   : 11pm - 3.00pm.

Participating Artists
David Hall - Stooky Bill TV (1990)
Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller - Manual (2002)
Kristin Lucas- Celebrations for Breaking Routine (2003)
Dryden Goodwin - Wait (2000)
Mark Lewis - Algonquin Park, September (2001) and Algonquin Park, Early March (2002)
Judith Godard - The Garden of Earthly Delights (1991)
Superflex - Superchannel : The Tower Block (2000)

City Livin' (Screening Programme)

Selections from the SEEN Programme at FACT, 2003-2005

"FACT grew up and out of Liverpool. Once a city of stupendous wealth, it was the second city of Empire , the principal point of embarkation and immigration from and to the UK . This legacy is most apparent in the city's architecture, grand neo-classical and Edwardian buildings that stretch across the cityscape. This political and social legacy informs the character and identity of the city as well as the artists and the cultural organisations which inhabit it. As it moves from a post-industrial past to a future as an international cultural centre, the landscape and fabric of the city appear to change on a weekly basis.

The work in this programme was presented in a screening series that took place every week in Liverpool between 2003 and 2005. Against the backdrop of a city in radical transformation, many of the works in the series took on an additional resonance. The selected works in this programme stood out the most strongly in my mind. It is work that dealt with life in the city as it is, or as we would like it to be, drawing inspiration from the human habitat in all its forms. "

- Michael Connor

Jonathan Hodgson ( Liverpool) - Nightclub  ( 1983) 4 min

A hand-painted and evocative animation of Liverpool's nightlife in the early 1980s. The piece launched a brilliant animation career for Hodgson, now of Sherbet films. Presented at FACT as part of Liverpool Animation in the 1980s, curated by Ray Fields/Martin Morris.

John Smith ( London) – The Girl Chewing Gum (1976)12 min

As the camera slowly surveys a busy London street, people and cars enter the frame seemingly directed by the command of an omnipotent director. With increasingly absurd instructions we realise the role of the director is to describe rather than to prescribe and the fantasy of his cinematic power is humorously exposed. 
 Presented at FACT as part of John Smith Retrospective, curated by OpenEye gallery.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster ( Paris) - Plages ( 2001) 15 min

This melancholy sequence offers a mesmerising aerial panorama of a very crowded Copacabana beach at six a.m., illuminated by camera flashes and fireworks. Presented at FACT as part of Anna Sanders Film Tour, curated by Mathieu Copeland/Forma.

Lucy Purdon ( London) - Douglas (2003) 9 min 15 seconds

Douglas used to run a cinema, showing action movies from his home in Riruta village, Nairobi , Kenya, he called it "Studio America". To Douglas the 'American dream' represents "absolute freedom". Purdon's short documentary is a portrait of a Hollywood-mad electrician. Presented at FACT as part of Tonight we are Golden, curated by Michelle Cotton/S1 Artspace.

Saki Satom – From B to H

Saki Satom's interventions into the world of commerce occupy a space between celebration and critique. In From B to H, Saki Satom transforms an office lift into a private ballet studio. Presented at FACT as part of Transparent Eyeball, curated by Michael Connor/Diamond Projects.

William Raban   â€“  Sundial ( 1992) 1 min
colour 16mm part of 'Under the Tower' trilogy

Raban's homage to the bankrupt Canary Wharf tower - London 's conspicuous monument to the Thatcher years - ironically suggests it might have found a purpose as a means of telling the time. As his camera repositions itself to track the sweep of the sun, Raban incidentally documents the old East End, which the dockland's development was supposed to replace. - David Curtis. Lightworks catalogue, Sidney and Melbourne, March 1994.

Presented at FACT as part of Selections from Luxonline, curated by Lucy Reynolds/Luxonline.

Saki Satom ( London) – M Station Run (1997-8)

Saki Satom continues her intervention into the world of the Japanese businessman in M Station Run. In this work, the artist holds a sign reading 'Trains this way' and leads a throng of business people running to catch a train in the Tokyo subway.Also showing by Saki Satom: From B to H.

Presented at FACT as part of Transparent Eyeball, curated by Michael Connor/Diamond Projects.

Patrick Keiller – Valtos (if Robinson in Space is not shown) - 1987 11 minutes

Valtos is a story told from thirty years hence, in the last moments of its narrator, who awoke one day in 1987 'with the knowledge that I had been duplicated during the night, and that I was an inferior replica of myself'. There follows a relentless, epic, pursuit of an absconding phantom - his 'original' - which ends in catastrophe at Valtos, a place at once ethereal and terrifying.

'...a sort of molecular exchange between kinds of chaos, in the human mind and the world at large.' - Caroline Collier, British Art Show 1990 catalogue

FACT Screening: April 2004 as part of Luxonline

Presented at FACT as part of Selections from Luxonline, curated by Lucy Reynolds/Luxonline.

Media Artist Scanner will also be performing at the opening on 8 September and will lead a workshop on the 9th of Spetember at the British Council' at the end of the screenings.

British artist, Robin Rimbaud - creates absorbing, multi-layered soundscapes that twist technology in unconventional ways. From his early controversial work using found mobile phone conversations, through to his focus on trawling the hidden noise of the modern metropolis as the symbol of the place where hidden meanings and missed contacts emerge, his restless explorations of the experimental terrain have won him international admiration from amongst others, Bjork and Stockhausen. Scanner is committed to working with cutting edge practitioners and has collaborated with artists from every imaginable genre: musicians Bryan Ferry and Laurie Anderson, The Royal Ballet and Random Dance companies, composers Michael Nyman and Luc Ferrari, and artists Mike Kelley and Derek Jarman. As well as producing compositions and audio CDs, his diverse body of work includes soundtracks for films, performances, radio, and site-specific intermedia installations. He has performed and created works in many of the world’s most prestigious spaces including SFMOMA USA, Hayward Gallery London, Pompidou Centre Paris, Corcoran Gallery DC, Tate Modern London and the Royal Opera House London