blook BAM/PFA

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Dec
01
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Reverberations :: Pamela Z on Defying or Surrendering to the Space

The Bay Area’s own pioneer of digital looping, Pamela Z is a composer, performer, and media artist who combines experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto,

Sep
15
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Epilogue for the Ciampi Effect

The art is removed, the performance ends, the audience ambles toward the exits, but inevitably the museum is left with a trace of that presence. Markers

May
05
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Deity, Demon, and Teacher :: Thoughts on an Intervention with Michael Zheng

If you’ve visited BAM/PFA’s Deities, Demons, and Teachers exhibition recently and have noticed someone mediating next to the bronze Prajnaparamita statue, that’s Michael Zheng. The conceptual

Apr
22
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Look Who's Coming to BAM/PFA :: SFIFF In-Persons

Now in its 57th year, the San Francisco International Film Festival returns to BAM/PFA with a schedule featuring thirty-three features and eleven short films. The annual

Apr
16
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Colorful Possibilities :: An Interview with Textile Artist Sasha Duerr

The Possible textile artist Sasha Duerr has been spending time in the BAM/PFA galleries, experimenting with dye plants found in the surrounding neighborhoods, conducting class sessions

Apr
09
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An Interview with Perfumer Mandy Aftel

Meeting natural perfumer and The Possible artist Mandy Aftel in her element, you’re convinced she was born to work with scent. Her home and studio, in

Aug
30
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Tobin Geideman :: An Intern's Parting Thoughts

The PFA Library and Film Study Center recently said bon voyage and good luck to one of our top-notch volunteers, Tobin Geideman. Tobin has been with

Jul
19
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Janine Antoni :: Paper Dance

On July 11, Anna Halprin phoned to say that she was bringing the artist Janine Antoni by BAM/PFA: they had something they wanted to perform. Anna’s

Jun
28
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DCP: Demanding Conversion Perfected

Last month, BAM/PFA entered the Jet Age, or is that the Digital Age. After scrimping and saving, we installed a brand-spanking new digital projector. 4K resolution,

May
24
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L@TE by the Numbers

As we count down to our 100th L@TE event (coming in the fall), we thought we’d take a look back over the past few years and

May
02
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A Well Spent Life :: Les Blank, In Memoriam

Few documentary filmmakers have worked with the tenacity and ingenuity of Les Blank to explore and document America’s diverse, often little-known cultures. “He has an ear

Apr
23
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SFIFF Update: Special Guests Just Announced!

The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival returns to the PFA Theater with a schedule of thirty features and eleven short films from thirty countries over

Apr
01
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Infor]MA[tion

On Friday, Thingamajigs Performance Group will premiere their brand-new work ]MA[ at BAM/PFA. Inheritors of the experimental, DIY spirit of Harry Partch and Lou Harrison, Thingamajigs

Mar
12
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Positively Alphabet Street: Minnesota by the Bay

PC Muñoz’s unique genre-defying projects as an artist and producer are stylistically broad, revealing a sonic explorer equally at home with quirky electronic funk, all-acoustic

Feb
22
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Silent Treatments

Silence is more than a film series and gallery exhibition: it’s also a series of three L@TE performances, one each in February, March, and April. We’ve

Feb
11
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Life as Art: Anna Halprin interviewed by Jacquelynn Baas

Legendary choreographer Anna Halprin returns to BAM/PFA after a forty-two year absence to direct the final staging of her most enduring and important dance work, Parades

Dec
07
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Podcast :: Nicolás Pereda in conversation with Robert Koehler

Last December, as part of the BAM/PFA’s ongoing series, Afterimage: Filmmakers and Critics in Conversation, young Mexican Canadian director Nicolás Pereda presented his 2007 film,

Nov
30
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Video :: Trimpin on Nancarrow Percussion Orchestra

To celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of avant-garde composer Conlon Nancarrow (1912-97), renowned artist, inventor, and composer Trimpin has created a one-of-a-kind sculptural sound

Nov
14
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Q & A :: Anna Halprin on Parades and Changes

Legendary dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin presents the final public performance of her influential works Parades and Changes at BAM/PFA on February 15, 16, and 17.

Nov
13
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Q & A :: V. Vale

Few figures are as important to the early San Francisco Bay Area punk scene as V. Vale. As publisher of the late seventies zine Search &

Oct
31
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A Soviet Treasure Trove :: Georgian Film and the Publications of Sovexportfilm

For the average American student of film, such as myself, Georgian film does not come up too often, if at all, so when I landed an

Oct
22
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Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel

A new book, simply titled Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, features decades of significant work the two photographers collaborated on between the 1970s and 1990s. An

Oct
16
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Camille Paglia :: Glittering Images

On October 24 BAM/PFA hosts social critic and intellectual provocateur Camille Paglia for a special evening copresented by Berkeley Arts and Letters. Paglia will be discussing

Oct
05
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An Army of Phantoms :: J. Hoberman on Fort Apache

The following passage is excerpted from J. Hoberman’s An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War, published by The New Press.

Oct
03
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Plastic Verities :: Bay Area Student Film Festival 2012

Mining the rich cultural rolodex, Universal, Unique, Untouched: Bay Area Student Film Festival 2012 features recent video projects from fourteen budding Bay Area student filmmakers, who

Jul
19
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Portraiture :: Some Images from the Films of Raj Kapoor

Our much-anticipated Raj Kapoor series, The Eternal Poet: Raj Kapoor & the Golden Age of Indian Cinema, starts this evening with one of his greatest-looking films,

Jun
12
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Q & A :: Bonnie Ora Sherk and the Performance of Being

Bonnie Ora Sherk is a San Francisco and New York-based environmental performance sculptor, landscape architect, planner, educator, and founder of A Living Library, a project

May
07
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Highway '71 Revisited :: Judy Bloch on Eleanor Antin

In this post, former BAM/PFA Publications Director and current SFMOMA Managing Editor, Publications, Judy Bloch explores Eleanor Antin’s 100 Boots, which is featured in the current

Apr
26
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From Graduation to Cannes :: An Interview With Ryan Lattanzio

Ryan Lattanzio, a student theater assistant at the PFA Theater, has been selected to serve as a jurist at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Lattanzio, who

Apr
20
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42 Films in Fourteen Days :: SFIFF Special Guests at PFA Theater

The 55th San Francisco International Film Festival returns again to the PFA Theater with a schedule of 42 features, shorts, documentaries, and experimental films from over

Apr
10
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Video :: Robert Warner on Ray Johnson and the "Bob Boxes"

In 1988 New York-based display artist and optician Robert Warner initiated a correspondence with the renowned collagist, mail artist, and formative Pop artist Ray Johnson (1927-95),

Mar
19
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Mr. Ricco :: Dean Martin, Bullets, and BAM/PFA

A patron recently clued us in to the existence of this trailer for Mr. Ricco. The film stars an aging Dean Martin in the title role

Feb
16
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Paul Kos Displays His Ambidexterity

Artist Paul Kos joined us recently for Catch Up with Conceptual Art, a special members’ class with Adjunct Curator Constance M. Lewallen. The morning kicked off

Nov
18
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Video :: Richard Misrach Gallery Talk

Artist Richard Misrach discussed the current exhibition 1991: The Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath, Photographs by Richard Misrach at BAM/PFA on October 12, 2011.

Nov
15
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Sneak Preview :: Return of the Long String Instrument

Catch a behind-the-scenes look as Ellen Fullman gets ready for her return to L@TE this Friday. The artist will again be performing on her Long String

Nov
07
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Collecting Memories :: Community Photographs of the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Hills Fire and its Aftermath

In conjunction with the exhibition 1991: The Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath, Photographs by Richard Misrach, currently on view at BAM/PFA and also the Oakland Museum of California,

Oct
31
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Reverberations :: Laetitia Sonami on Entrapped Sounds and Complex Austerity

Laetitia Sonami’s sound performances, live-film collaborations, and sound installations focus on issues of presence and participation. She has devised her own gestural controllers for performance, and

Sep
21
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Reverberations :: Grouper on Subtle Blooms in the Periphery

Portland-based artist and UC Berkeley alum Grouper (Liz Harris) explores quietude and interiority in her music and art, and enjoyed a breakthrough success with her album

Aug
29
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Reverberations :: j.frede on Colliding Lines and a Beautiful Interruption

The work of Los Angeles-based artist j.frede has run the gamut from sound art and performance to installation, sculpture, and photography. His work has been presented

Aug
09
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Reverberations :: David Wilson on Transcendence and the Invisible Frame

Oakland-based artist David Wilson has been making unsanctioned installations in Bay Area groves and woods, as well as related gatherings incorporating art, music, film, and

Aug
02
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Q & A :: Going Underground with George Chen

Anyone who has an even modest interest in music at the outer fringes in the Bay Area has—whether knowingly or unknowingly—encountered George Chen. Since the

Jul
21
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Katherine Sherwood and Lawrence Rinder Debate Create

The following is correspondence between Katherine Sherwood, Professor of Art Practice and Disability Studies, UC Berkeley, and BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder, concerning the exhibition Create, a

Jul
15
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Reverberations :: Larry Ochs (Rova Saxophone Quartet) on Improvisation in the Cloud

Rova Saxophone Quartet explores the synthesis of composition and collective improvisation, creating exciting, genre-bending music that challenges and inspires. Rova (Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley,

Jul
08
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Eiga Stars IV :: Hideko Takamine

Our Eiga Stars: Portraits of Japanese Divas in Fan Magazines of the 1950s continues with a look at Hideko Takamine, former child star, muse of Kinoshita

Jun
29
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Eiga Stars III :: Kinuyo Tanaka

Our Eiga Stars: Portraits of Japanese Divas in Fan Magazines of the 1950s series continues with a profile of Kinuyo Tanaka, Japan’s most popular actress of

Jun
24
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Eiga Stars :: Machiko Kyo in Japanese Film-fan Magazines of the 1950s

Periodically Blook will be featuring blog entries drawn from the PFA Library and Film Study Center’s exceptional collection of film-related magazines, press kits, and ephemera. Today

Jun
21
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Reverberations :: Jon Leidecker (Wobbly) on Rolling Drones, Feedback, and the Imaginary Audience

Jon Leidecker performs his own music under the pseudonym Wobbly. Collaborations include recordings with Matmos, People Like Us, Negativland and Huun-Huur-Tu. In 2009 he was commissioned

Jun
16
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Eiga Stars :: Portraits of Japanese Divas in Fan Magazines of the 1950s

Periodically Blook will be featuring blog entries drawn from the PFA Library and Film Study Center’s exceptional collection of film-related magazines, press kits, and ephemera. Today’s

Jun
02
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Michael Bernard Loggins Delves into Your Fears

One of the first sights visitors to the Create exhibition are confronted with is an enormous wall-sized reproduction of Michael Bernard Loggins’s list poem Fears of

May
06
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Machine Project's Confuse-a-tron Enlightens More than It Obscures

The Los Angeles-based art performance and installation space Machine Project produces events and programs that make rarified knowledge more accessible. Machine Project’s first L@TE event Confuse-a-tron

May
02
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Newly Acquired Glen E. Friedman Photographs Capture the Searing Energy of the Nascent Hardcore and Skateboarding Scenes

The photographs of Glen E. Friedman encapsulate the blistering tension and improvisation of the late 1970s and early 1980s California underground scene. Arising from very specific

Apr
29
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Preserving the Hans Hofmann Collection: New Grant Ensures Conservation for Next Generations

We are honored to be a recipient of an award from the federal grant program Save America’s Treasures to conserve the museum’s remarkable collection of paintings

Apr
22
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SFIFF Returns to PFA Theater: Special Guests

The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival returns to PFA Theater with a schedule featuring 34 films over a span of two weeks. We get started

Feb
07
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Q & A :: Filmmakers Helen De Michiel and Sophie Constantinou and Berkeley's School Lunch Revolution

At many public schools, students gobble up greasy, mass-produced tater tots and pizzas, courtesy of their school district’s lunch program. In the 1990s, Berkeley parents, educators,

Jan
27
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Q & A :: Educating High School Film Curators with Dharini Rasiah

Since 1999, a small group of students have curated Screenagers, an annual festival of film and video works made by high school students throughout the Bay

Jan
13
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The Dangerousness of the 12 inch Politician (or the Half Million Dollar Arts Administrator)

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Chuck Mobley at SF Camerawork. More than a month ago, following the censorship of an edited version of

Dec
15
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BAM/PFA Responds to National Portrait Gallery Censorship

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) strongly opposes the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s removal of video content from its exhibition,

Nov
15
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Nao Bustamante as seen on TV!

Nao Bustamante may look familiar because you are a Californian, an art enthusiast, or someone on the cutting edge of all things local and provocative. Or

Nov
03
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Q&A :: Judith Rosenberg and the Craft of Improvisation

Judith Rosenberg, a renowned dance musician, has composed and performed scores for faculty and students at Mills College for over thirty-five years. Since 2001, her improvisations

Oct
21
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Video :: Getting Hauntological with Scott Hewicker and Larry Rinder

What is hauntology? In this video, author, playwright, poet, and occasional Blook contributor Kevin Killan probes Hauntology co-curators Scott Hewicker and Larry Rinder about the exhibition,

Oct
18
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Last Night on 60 Minutes

The mystery behind a short silent film of San Francisco’s Market Street made in 1906 was the subject of an October 17 report on 60 Minutes.

Oct
14
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Radical Light :: Form from the Fog

The following is excerpted from Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000, co-published by the University of California Press and

Oct
11
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Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video Has its Moment

Called “a long overdue reappraisal” by Artforum’s David James, Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000 makes the case for

Sep
22
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Q&A :: Talking Digital with Nancy Goldman

Nancy Goldman, Head of the PFA Library & Film Study Center, went to the 66th Congress of the International Federation of Film Archives /Fédération Internationale des

Aug
12
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Video :: Gamelan Sekar Jaya

The Bay Area collective Gamelan Sekar Jaya performed to a rapt L@TE audience on July 30. The evening showcased Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s musician’s performing on two

Aug
06
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Q&A :: Projection, Kurosawa, and Technicolor with Craig Valenza

As part of our massive Akira Kurosawa retrospective, BAM/PFA will host a screening of a new print of Dodes’ka-den, the filmmaker’s first experiment with color film.

Jun
24
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Rosita Arenas and the Aztec Mummy

This weekend is filled with sci-fi and horror pictures from Mexico’s silver age, as curator Steve Seid presents El Futuro Está Aquí: Sci-Fi Classics from Mexico

Jun
15
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Sondra Gilman and the Warhol Polaroids

The very great kindness (and business savvy) of the Warhol Foundation’s Photographic Legacy Program has blown Warhol’s Polaroids far across the land. BAM/PFA is one of

May
19
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Video :: Laetitia Sonami's River of Sound

On May 14th, sound installation artist Laetitia Sonami presented Ghost Rivers, a sculpture and performance adapted to the unique architecture of the museum for a special

May
17
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Video :: Green on Gravity

Sculptor and filmmaker Brent Green is perhaps one of the ultimate DIY practitioners. Green produces his own stop-motion animated movies; sculpts, draws, and paints the characters

May
17
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Morris Graves

I was invited by the artist and curator Jarrett Earnest to present a program of poems about Morris Graves for an event at the Meridian Gallery,

May
05
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Brent Green

Brent Green, whose exhibition in Gallery 1 opened May 2, was born in West Virginia and now lives in Schuykill County, Pennsylvania. He is a master

May
04
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Walter Salles at BAM/PFA; SFIFF Rolls On

In addition to spotlighting films by dozens of up-and-coming directors each year, the San Francisco International Film Festival provides an opportunity to honor the work of

Apr
20
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SFIFF Update: Confirmed Guests

The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival arrives at PFA Theater today with a schedule of 36 films from 21 countries, taking place over a span

Apr
20
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Berman and Son

The work of Wallace Berman (1926-1976) seems to be getting more and more popular every time I turn around—or is it that a body of work

Mar
29
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Dirk Bogarde Season

In showcasing the films of Joseph Losey, the PFA has been giving us a mini-retrospective of one of England’s most interesting actors, Dirk Bogarde. At one

Mar
22
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Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans showed works on paper at the Berkeley Art Museum in 1997 and called the show, “Premonition.” The cognoscenti knew what he was capable of,

Mar
10
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Slides :: Meet Caroliner

Since 1982, sound pioneers, Caroliner, the singing bull memorial band (or Caroliner, for short) has been expanding our sonic registers with their hypnotic performances. Part

Mar
01
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The 2010 Oscar de Low-Renta Awards

On March 7th many of Hollywood’s best and most finely manicured will spill out of limos onto the red carpet outside of the Kodak Theater with

Feb
25
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Slides :: Skank Bloc Recap

What do you get when you mix fencing, Marxist pop, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and a 1,500 sq. foot orange blob? You get Skank Bloc Bologna

Feb
19
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Slides :: Collectors' Circle Studio Visits

On February 6 BAM/PFA Director Larry Rinder, Chief Curator Lucinda Barnes, and MATRIX Curator Elizabeth Thomas joined 25 members of our Collectors’ Circle for a

Feb
18
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Slides :: Marker Dance Party

On February 12 nearly 500 people (well—475 to be exact) gathered in Gallery B for an exercise in communal art making. In collaboration with the

Feb
11
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Q&A :: Skankin' with Anne Colvin

Anne Colvin is a Scottish artist based in San Francisco and a guest programmer for L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA. Her L@TE series, Skank Bloc Bologna

Feb
09
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Slides :: Ahmet Ögüt Plays Favorites

In the latest Matrix exhibition, Ahmet Ögüt constructs a sprawling international metropolis, drawing structures from Turkey, Ireland, India, Yugoslavia, Great Britain, and the United States,

Feb
03
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Video :: Ari Marcopoulos spills it.

As he prepares his first mid-career survey for its next destination, Ari Marcopoulos looks back on his trajectory, from the first inklings of photography to the

Jan
21
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Video :: Botero Talks Abu Ghraib

Powerful, intense, emotional, and disturbing: these four words frequently crop up in written comments left by visitors in conjunction with the exhibition, Fernando Botero: The Abu

Dec
14
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Video :: Conrad Ruiz takes Miami

BAM/PFA Collection Artist, Conrad Ruiz, shares his first experiences at Miami Art Basel, and picks some highlights from the NADA Art Fair. His painting of a

Dec
09
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Jancso & Pasolini

In a 1992 interview with John Gianvito, Hungarian filmmaker Mikolos Jancso speaks about his friendship with filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. Read the full interview article on

Dec
03
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Video :: Museum as Instrument

Get a sneak peek behind the process of composer Ellen Fullman and her architectural approach to experimental sound. You can check out her performance at the

Nov
30
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Slides :: Preminger's Saint

This 1957 exhibitor manual had everything you needed to promote Preminger’s new movie for your local venue.See the entire United Artists Corporation Saint Joan exhibitor

Nov
30
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Video :: Poetique, Policier, Politique

You could say Jean-Luc Godard’s work is part film, part art, and part rhetoric. So it’s appropriate that Kaja Silverman, UC Berkeley professor of film, rhetoric,

Nov
05
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Introducing :: blook.

Blook is for those who crave inspiring art, film, and cultural experiences. Think of blook as a destination for intriguing information and two-way dialogue on global

Nov
05
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Black Magic

Edison, Muybridge, Lumière, and … Black? A contemporary of those better-known moving-image innovators, Alexander Black is a film forefather who deserves to be rediscovered. In the

Nov
04
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Slides :: A Glimpse of Desiree Holman

On the eve of her upcoming Hammer Projects exhibit at the UCLA Hammer Museum, BAM/PFA collection artist, Desiree Holman, sounds off on her working process,

Nov
03
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Slides :: Fall Celebration: It's Delicious

BAM/PFA’s Development Staff unveiled its signature snack at the 2009 Fall Celebration. It’s a buttery, cheesy, crunchy thing made by our friends at Strada. While

Oct
30
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Zine Mart: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Two weeks only! Take a look at the East Bay’s rich D.I.Y. culture during Zine Mart, a special pop-up shop of ‘zines and other self-produced multiples.

Oct
19
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Slides :: Inking the Ari Marcopoulos Catalog

It’s fitting that the photographer Ari Marcopoulos would have a hand in designing his BAM/PFA exhibition catalog, Ari Marcopoulos: Within Arm’s Reach. It turns out

Oct
16
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Stanford Students Behind Bars

Well, not really. In 1971, Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo transformed the basement of the university’s psychology building into a mock prison. (See it in the documentary

Oct
14
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Introducing :: FYI

FYI is an acronym for “for your information” and we plan to give you just that! Info, the dish, the dirt, the skinny, including art and

Oct
12
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Introducing :: L@TE

What are you doing on Friday? In November, we launched L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (or later) most Fridays. L@TE

Oct
10
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Introducing :: On the Road

We have named the travel section of blook “On the Road” as a tribute to the Bay Area’s beat-era roots and our Berkeley heritage. “Jack Kerouac