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Kasumi, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, is a genuine polymath recognized worldwide for her accomplishments as a filmmaker, visual artist, musician, writer and performer.
She creates immersive media art experiences that explore the formation of memory and our collective consciousness.
Through the synthesis of film, video, sound, animation, live performance, she has developed a unique language that resembles the stream of subconscious connections making up human perception.
Kasumi’s work is in collections and has been screened worldwide: from Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic to performances with Grandmaster Flash and DJ Spooky. BREAKDOWN, the 2010 Vimeo Remix Award winner, premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. She has created new works for the Cleveland Museum of Art, EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center), Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Württembergischen Kunstverein, Stuttgart; and her work also was featured at Art Miami, unpainted Media Art Fair, Munich, Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, Contemporary Museum Wroclaw, Itau Cultural Center, Sao Paulo, The Butler Institute of American Art, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, San Diego Museum of Art, Chroma Festival de Arte Audiovisual, Mexico, and many others. A selection of her Perpetual Series is permanently installed in DC (Donau City) Tower 1 in Vienna’s Donaucity, Austria.
NASA approached the Houston Cinema Arts Society over two years ago with the idea of forming a partnership to reach out to filmmakers and artists. NASA has an enormous archive of media that is available free to the public but until now has been difficult to access. NASA’s goal was to make this treasure trove of moving images, still images, and sound readily available to the public and they are developing a new internet portal which will help to fulfill this mission – but they needed to publicize its existence.
HCAS was looking to add a competitive element to their curated Houston Cinema Arts Festival.
A joint project between HCAS and NASA presented a mutually beneficial opportunity.
Blackchair’s Patrick Kwiatkowski, working as an advisory board member of HCAS, helped to conceive and develop “Cinespace”. Using the framework developed for Independent Exposure – Blackchair’s pioneering shorts festival, Patrick worked with HCAS Director Trish Rigdon and NASA’s Dan Jacobs to develop a shorts festival that required filmmakers to use at least 10% of NASA archive materials in their works. The festival finalists would be selected by a jury of HCAS and NASA representatives and prizes awarded by a qualified, experienced, well-known judge. The festival premiered at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November of 2015 and is now traveling to other film festivals worldwide.
The Result and Benefits:
By HCAS’ and NASA’s accounts, Cinespace 2015 was a resounding success. The festival premiered to a sell-out audience at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in November 2015. It is now traveling to other film festivals worldwide. NASA and HCAS are working on Cinespace 2016 now.
Cinespace received 194 submissions from 22 countries and 32 states. The finalists were selected by a jury of HCAS and NASA representatives including Blackchair’s Kwiatkowski and astronaut Don Pettit.
Richard Linklater (School of Rock, Boyhood, Slacker) was the judge (and returning to judge in 2016!)
300 Film Organizations, 544 Film Schools
275 in 2015
Screenings in 2016
Ashland Independent Film Festival, April 7 – 11
Bemidji State University Student Film Festival April 1 – 3
More being scheduled
image: still from
Fernando Dueñas Peña
Courtesy NASA, HCAS, Fernando Dueñas Peña
Joel Bachar’s Bites-n-Sips Blog
Bits-n-Sips is a personal project of Blackchair Co-Founder Joel Bachar.
My name is Joel S. Bachar and I love to eat and drink! Bites-n-Sips is my blog about food and drink.
I have my parents to thank for my longtime interest in food and drink. They introduced me to food and wine and cocktails at a very early age. No, they didn’t give me a Negroni with my baby food, but growing up in the Northern New Jersey suburbs in the 70’s was pretty special. My father worked in Rockefeller Center and we spent many weekends in New York City, where we went to museums and galleries and saw shows on Broadway and at the opera, ballet, and symphony. We went to many games at Yankee Stadium and witnessed the 1976-1980 era of one of the best teams in baseball history. We ate at the 21 Club, Windows on the World at the top of the World Trade Center, Tavern on the Green in Central Park, Maxwell’s Plum, Sardi’s, the Russian Tea Room, Carnegie Deli, and so many others.
Besides all of these wonderful fine dining restaurants, I have many great memories of New York street food. From the quintessential hot dog with onion gravy to dollar slices of perfect pizza to a paper bag of hot roasted chestnuts in winter, we were always eating something delicious as we traversed the city. Life was good for a young boy growing up in New York, but it got better during summer.
My father worked for a French aerospace company and had to take frequent business trips to France, including several summers when we had the good fortune of being able to join him as a family. We typically started in Paris for two weeks, where my father saw to his business obligations during the day while my mother, brother, and I took in the sights. Once finished with the business segment of the trip, we set out from Paris to travel through Provence, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Normandy, Monaco, the Riviera, and other locales throughout the countryside. Other summers, we explored Austria, England, Scotland, Wales, Morocco, Germany, and Portugal.
There are pictures in our family album of me as a baby sitting along the banks of the Seine having a picnic, at 5 or 6 years old, tasting a beer out of a huge stein in Austria, and a few years later sitting in a private tasting room at Moet Chandon we visited at the invitation of a Paris restaurant owner my father had become friends with after numerous visits. It was a huge privilege to experience all of this from a young age. I know I owe my interest in wine and international food to my parents and am forever grateful to them for showing me so much of the world during my formative years.
On the home front, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mom when I was young, serving as her sous chef and learning how to cook. We also enjoyed watching Graham Kerr’s Galloping Gourmet TV show that was popular back then. Our favorite part of the show was at the end when he selected an audience member to join him at his table to enjoy what he had cooked that episode.
My interest in food and wine developed further after the family moved to Los Angeles in the early 80’s during the era of the “fusion” and “nouvelle cuisine” and restaurants such as L’Orangerie, Ma Maison, and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. I moved one more time with my family to Boston, where I finished high school and experienced the Italian food of the North End, New England seafood, and many other local and ethnic food opportunities in the various neighborhood of Greater Boston.
After graduating from college I moved to Seattle in 1990 and was introduced to an entirely new world of food, wine and craft beer. With Pike Place Market only blocks away from my apartment in Belltown, I learned about the various seasons of different types of food such as crab, salmon, halibut, cherries, stone fruit, Walla Walla sweet onions. The wines of the Northwest were really just starting to gain momentum and I soon found myself enjoying Oregon Pinot Noir, Washington State Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and many other incredible varietals. Due to having access to such incredible local ingredients, Seattle restaurants were doing “Locavore” and “Farm to Table” well before they were a precious marketing commodity. My Northwest experience allowed me the opportunity to come into my own palate in regards to food and wine.
I left Seattle to move to San Francisco in 2001, which ultimately led me here to this blog where I will write about my experiences drinking the wines of California, from the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek, North Coast, Central Coast, Sierra Foothills, Livermore and all points in between. I will continue to seek out unique wines from the rest of the country and all corners of the world. I will explore the world of mixology that is so alive and well in this region, a skill I am learning to master at home. There are so many trends going on in this area that it would be a shame to not attempt to investigate them all. I will endeavor to Bite ‘n’ Sip on many fine victuals, from artisanal to junky, street food to fine dining, and all other stops along the way.
My name is Joel S. Bachar and I love to eat and drink. Go to Bite-n-Sips.
all images courtesy of Joel Bachar
Hard Rock Ambient Visuals Project
Hard Rock International operates over 19 hotels and casinos and 175+ cafes worldwide. Each property uses televisions extensively to broadcast music videos and current events. The challenge was to provide ambient moving image art for broadcast alongside unsynchronized music – thus expanding the visual experience while allowing for more flexibility in music programming.
Blackchair worked with Hard Rock music programmers to develop a matrix of ambient moving image art based on mood and beats per minute. We then worked with Hard Rock’s digital signage and music services to ensure that the visuals were automatically and properly programmed based on the selection of music. Each Hotel and Cafe property are “DJ’d” by a local vibe manager so our moving image art needed to be as flexible as possible.
Through the collaboration, televisions and digital signage are currently on display throughout Hard Rock Hotels, Casinos and Cafes,
exhibiting compelling moving images harmonized with some of the most captivating tunes. Increasing the visual experience beyond music videos, Hard Rock fans are experiencing an artistic “new age” twist on some of the world’s most influential music from emotional ballads to electrifying jams.
Quote from the Customer:
“As a forerunner in the curation and distribution of moving image arts, Blackchair is the perfect partner for Hard Rock International,” said John Kirkpatrick, head of music and artist relations at Hard Rock International. “Blackchair’s ability to understand our customer base and aesthetic approach produced impressive results and we look forward to continually evolving the relationship between music and visual arts together.”
Quote from Microcinema:
“Hard Rock International is an exciting venue for us to display our ambient visuals, especially as the importance of digital signage spreads across the globe,” said Patrick Kwiatkowski, Co-Founder of Blackchair Digital. “Hard Rock’s pioneering desire to generate a dynamic and changing environment via on-screen moving image art posed an opportunity to strengthen the brand while introducing an entirely new user experience.”
Works currently featured in this collaboration were created by internationally acclaimed moving image artists:
Didier Feldmann – http://www.videopaper.net/
Kasumi – http://kasumifilms.com/
Evan Mather – http://www.handcraftedfilms.com/
Scott Pagano – http://www.neither-field.com/
Suryummy – http://suryummy.tv/
Rob Tyler –http://vcr100.com/
image: courtesy of Kasumi