4/21/17 // Craig Baldwin’s Tribulation 99 and Orphan Morphin’

Friday, April 21st, 2017
Pro Arts Gallery
150 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland
$5.00 / free to Pro Arts Members
Facebook Event

Craig Baldwin’s Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1991) PLUS a lecture-demo, ORPHAN MORPHIN’, presented by Mr. Baldwin.

This evening and special presentation is curated by the artist Tooth (Black Hole Cinematheque) and co-presented in partnership with our Oakland presenting partner Pro Arts Gallery in conjunction with their New Situationists exhibition on view from March 3 – April 28, 2017.

Craig Baldwin’s ORPHAN MORPHIN’

Among the many cinema povero practices of Baldwin’s Other Cinema is the re-purposing of older found film artifacts. Discarded by institutions switching to digital, and generally available for free or very cheaply, these motion pictures are called “Orphans” because they have no sponsors or archival shepherds. They have been abandoned by their original producers and have fallen into the public domain as obsolete cultural waste.

But, for those that valorize these sad reels, who find poetry in their abject perforated materiality, they are treasures of infinite possibility, ready to be “redeemed” by new montages and soundtracks.

Craig Baldwin’s hour lecture-demo at Pro Arts Gallery will trace the meaning of this reclamation, of this “surfing the wave of obsolescence,” towards a perverse revenge against the Society of the Spectacle, that crucial Situationist concept that grounds Mr. Baldwin’s argument.

Through spoken word, graphics, and a very many cinema clips, Mr. Baldwin will introduce a series of his crucial neologisms, including Electronic Folk Culture, Media Archeology, Availabilism, Artifactuality, Detournement, Intertextuality, Collage-Essay, Ventriloquism, Derriere Garde, and the Culture-Jam.

Through these new perspectives, he advocates for a radical re-working of marginalized film material, towards emerging forms of collage, compilation-doc, and even a makeshift speculative fiction.

Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (48 min, 16mm)

Upon its release in 1991, Tribulation 99 became an instant counter-culture classic. Craig Baldwin’s “pseudo-pseudo-documentary” presents a factual chronicle of US intervention in Latin America in the form of the ultimate far-right conspiracy theory, combining covert action, environmental catastrophe, space aliens, cattle mutilations, killer bees, religious prophecy, doomsday diatribes, and just about every other crackpot theory broadcast through the dentures of the modern paranoiac. A delirious vortex of hard truths, deadpan irony, and archival mash-ups—industrials, graphs, cartoons, movies from Hollywood B to Mexican Z—Tribulation 99 constructs a truly perverse vision of American imperialism.

Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker and curator whose interests lie in archival retrieval and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. He is the recipient of several grants, including those from the Rockefeller Foundation, Alpert Award, Creative Capital, Phelan, AFI, FAF, and California Arts Council. Over the last two decades, his productions have been shown and awarded at numerous international festivals, museums, and institutes of contemporary art, often in conjunction with panels, juries, and workshops on collage and cultural activism. His own weekly screening project, Other Cinema, has continued to premiere experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, recently expanding into DVD publishing.

Canyon Cinema is thankful for the long term support of the George Lucas Family Foundation. Dedicated project funding for Canyon Cinema 50 has been generously provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.