60th AAFF 2022 Proposals — Off The Screen by Gerry Fialka

60th AAFF 2022 Proposals — Off The Screen by Gerry Fialka

I offer over 300 proposals for workshops https://laughtears.com/workshops8.html

Four new ones are detailed here. And there’s even more to come, like:

AI= AAFF Influencers & McLuhan’s IA=integral awareness,

Biomimicry as Perception

Landscapes As Experimental Film

1= Meta-Manupelli

Experimental film historian/performance artist Gerry Fialka’s fun interactive workshop probes George Manupelli’s motives and consequences starting the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1963.

Survey AAFF history and future interconnecting words from George Manupelli (aka GM) who loved to quote: “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” (from the Paul Gauguin painting 1897).

George Manupelli said “We invented a festival and then it became one.” … “Anything worth doing well isn’t’ worth doing at all.” … “The things you think you can do are the things you can do the best of all.”…“Art must reduce the distance between the limitless capacity of the mind and heart to do good, and the misery of others in the context of a total lack of social justice. There are reasons to study art.” … “We want to optimize things. We want to die high. We don’t want to die low. Live to the fullest.”…”Say something you don’t already know, that’s the function of art.” … “Ignore yourself. Leave out what your ordinary instincts might be. Handwriting is very automatic. Write your name backwards and upside down. Get rid of the tendency to do it the old way.” …“The Dr. Chicago films take into accountant the audience, as if I’m talking to them, as if I’m telling jokes. They enjoy it and (are) joking back. I made the films for them. It’s not ‘Hey listen, I can teach you something and learn from watching this. It is — we are in this together. One thing I like is that every film’s reception was warm applause. They came to be enriched and see the works.” …”What to do next? Smoke a little bit more dope, take some mescaline, kiss each other’s ass & come to me if you don’t know what to do next and I’ll tell you what the next scene is going to be.” (“Love thy label as thyself”- James Joyce)

Fialka surveys the resonant intersections of George Manupelli’s creative process and his Dr Chicago films with the Ann Arbor Film Festival. The amalgamation of innovators and sources that inhabit the Dr Chicago films is a hybrid metaphor for the roots of the Festival. Evolution is adapting to the exploration of personal filmmaking with breakdowns as breakthroughs (Alvin Lucier’s stutter), performance art (Pat Oleszko), poetry (Edgar Allen Poe), avant garde music (Robert Ashley, Pauline Oliveros, Blue Gene Tyranny), political activism (Black Panthers), contemporary dance (Steve Paxton), painting, comedy, and post-post modern collage sensibility.

This participatory workshop hoicks up the very personal interactions that these myriad forms also exploit and engage. Probe the vitality and influence of George Manupelli, who thrived as a filmmaker, poet, collagist and political/environmental activist. His Film For Hooded Projector also evokes the cosmic giggle ala the Duchampian inquiry of making art that is not art. Explore the participation of past AAFF associates like Pauline Kael (judge is the first fest), rock star Nico (who attended with Andy Warhol and company), and many more including past AAFF director Woody Sempliner. We will analyze what Woody learned from George when they stood behind the screen at the Michigan Theater and saw the projected screen from behind as a form of “second sight” or “esp.”

Fialka draws upon his many comprehensive George Manupelli interviews including the engaging exchange (2010, 90 minutes), which appears in the book Strange Questions: Experimental Film as Conversation.

Fialka will also reference his many GM phone interviews between 2001 to 2013. They delve deep into George’s background, ideas and the creative process.

The text from past AAFF program booklets also illustrates GM’s motives: “The film festival supports, unqualified, the New Working Class, the Black Panthers and Huey Newton, the White Panthers and John Sinclair, the Ann Arbor Black Berets, the Chicago Seven, legalize abortions and advocates the elimination of ROTC, classified research, and the recruiting on campus. As far as ecology is concerned, the Earth is already doomed. Don’t give it a second thought.” …“There would be no tastemakers managing the festival. The festival’s main purpose would be to serve as a collaboration between filmmakers and audiences. There would be no press by the Festival mentioning one film over another, no categories, no film would ever be too long to screen, no censorship at any cost….”The philosophy of the festival has always been about ideas; art put at the service of the mind (Marcel Duchamp) and a celebration of these ideas”…”The playing of Chilean president Allende’s last taped words from the presidential palace under siege during the 1973 coup and a denunciation from the festival stage of the CIA involvement (Eugenio Tellez) was thought of as motion picture extension”…. “The one thing moving was the words. Old stories will be told in new ways, and entirely new stories will be told”…. “’Did you show a film depicting explicit masturbation?’ the University of Michigan Vice President demanded to know. ‘Well, sir, I have never masturbated, nor have I watched anyone, so I wouldn’t know what it looks like. Have you ever?’ I questioned in desperation. –GM”

“You don’t have to be a communist to be anti-capitalist. It is enough to be a poet.” — Jonas Mekas … “I am for anyone who seeks the truth, but I part ways with them when they claimed they found it.” — Luis Bunuel …”Cinema is much too rich a medium to be left to storytellers.” — Peter Greenaway… “To define is to kill. To suggest is to create.” — Mallarme…. “Narrative is born among the “animal necessities of the spirit” because we are “waiting to die.” — Hollis Frampton. …La Poste writer reacts to Lumiere Cinematographe film screening Dec 30, 1895: “When these gadgets are in the hands of the public, when anyone can photograph the ones who are dear to them, not just in their motionless form, but with movement, action, familiar gestures and the words out of their mouths, then death will no longer be absolute, final.” …”You mean my whole fallacy is wrong?” — McLuhan. “Harun Farocki’s mastery begins by identifying cinema as a historical meeting point between technology and seduction. Cinema has always been the name of the machine for merging warfare and entertainment, propaganda and pornography.” — http://www.e-flux.com/journal/editorial-harun-farocki/

Film is approximately 130 years old, and AAFF is one half that — 60 years old. Deeply examine the roots of experimental film with the festival’s web of past, present and future transformations. Fialka contextualizes McLuhan’s percepts as detailed in Janine Marchessault’s book Cosmic Media: “The New Media offer a freedom of movements, of creative thought and aesthetic perceptions that previous visual regimes did not. These portend an opening rather than a closing of different forms of engagement and interactivity.” “The future of the future is the present” — McLuhan.


2= The Human Gaze in Experimental Film

Gerry Fialka’s fun interactive workshop on the sense of sight and eye contact in experimental film. Is the human gaze more innate or more invented? Probe the rich history of non-verbal perception:

“Female gaze” — Laura Mulvey, Judith Butler, Deborah Kampmeier, Nina Menkes.

“Male gaze” — John Berger.

“Postcolonial gaze” — Edward Said.

“Oppositional gaze” — bell hooks.

“Medical gaze” — Michel Foucault.

“Zoom gaze”- Are you looking at me with attentive eye-contact or surfing the net?

Explore the role of Jean-Paul Sartre, Derrida, Lacan and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaze

We delve deep into visual language and how kinetic-visual-sonic modalities mirror and echo the simplex simultaneity in moving image art. Break the Finnegans Wake code: “what can’t be coded can be decorded if an ear aye seize what no eye ere grieved fore,” and “Television kills telephony in Brothers’ broil. Our eyes demand their turn.” “We are led to believe a lie, When we see with not through the eye.” — William Blake. “Pull the wool over your own eyes.”

“Go where the eyes go” -Andrei Platonov, Russian writer. “But that the white eye-lid of the screen reflect its proper light, the Universe would go up in flames” — Luis Bunuel. “The poet was the archive of the tribe, then came the alphabet causing the body and soul of the collective mind to collapse into abstract phonetic symbols for the single eye.” — Robin Carter. “The artists that I’m interested in are the ones that make a picture of the times they live in….The eye always craves what it doesn’t see.” — Marilyn Minter

Examine the relationships of sense ratio shifting with James Joyce’s epiphany that technologies are analogical mirrors of our biological process. How and why “questions concerning the function of our sensorial organs and the way our psychic apparatus processes and interprets the signals received by our senses gained a new urgency and relevance.” — Jan Rohlf.


3= Dream Awake

Fialka’s fun interactive workshop expands on the Dreamworks Quarterly Spring ’80 issue which included Chick Strand, Dusan Makavejev, Pat O’Neill, Stan Brakhage, Paul Sharits, Ed Emshwiller & Bruce Conner discussing their dreams and films. This participatory “playshop” repurposes the same theme with AAFF filmmakers, the heirs to this stellar line-up. “To sleep — perchance to dream; ay, there’s the rub.” — Hamlet by ShakESPear. “Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the mind while awake?” — Leonardo da Vinci

“Every film is narrative simply by virtue of the fact that one frame must follow another in time. Our minds are such that we are obliged to make a story out of everything we experience, obliged to frame things to make them comprehensible. We constantly tell ourselves stories that allegedly interpret the play of light and shadow in the screen of the mind. Story is absolute basic essential of waking, we dream that we are awake, imagining past and future, telling ourselves elaborate stories about both. We invented cinema deliberately as a devise to allow us to dream while waking, and to give us access to areas of the mind that were previously only available in sleep. “ — Andrew Noren in PA Sitney’s Eyes Upside Down.

D.H. Lawrence wrote of Cezanne: “It’s the appleyness, which carries with it the feeling of knowing the other side as well, the side you don’t see…The eye sees only fronts, and the mind, on the whole is satisfied with fronts. But intuition needs all-aroundness, and instincts needs insideness. The true imagination is forever curving round to the other side, the back of presented appearances.”


4= Rooted Not Retro Redux

Gerry Fialka hosts a panel of AAFF alum and interconnects their favorite films with past and current times. Including: Connie Crump (Quasi at Quackadero), John Johnson (Lelouch’s Rendezvous), Clark Charnet (Selective Service), Leslie Raymond, Dan Gunning, Vicki Honeymoon, Woody Sempliner, Jay Cassidy (good way to acknowledge past directors too) and many others. Fialka comprehensively surveys the meta-influences of the AAFF nurturing the arts community, new filmmakers and new ways to view avant-garde film. With fiery interactive discussion.

“Fialka’s workshops are in-depth communication of something extremely elusive — the history of the unimaginable — and his lively interpretation renders it useful.” — William Farley, past AAFF Award-winning filmmaker & judge.

“I have attended several of Gerry Fialka’s workshops in Ann Arbor. He is willing to enter in new discussions even if they go against his current views. Fialka’s multilayered delivery of ideas encourages the search for new questions and new paradigms that extend beyond. He is well-informed, off-beat and articulate — one of the most fascinating people I’ve met.” — Keith Jeffries, Ascalon Films

“Any presentation of Fialka’s is guaranteed to rate as a mind-bending affair. . . It’s a veritable stampede of visual strangeness, theoretical acrobatics and sociocultural redefinition, all delivered through the singular prism of Fialka’s self-defined prime directive: ‘exploration of the hidden psychic effects of human inventions.’ . . . Sure to set your cerebellum a-rattle.” — Jonny Whiteside LA Weekly 1–11–13


GERRY FIALKA: Artist, writer, and paramedia ecologist lectures world-wide on experimental film, avant-garde art and subversive social media. Praised: “Deeply dedicated to the exploration of new knowledge” — Leslie Raymond, “the multi-media Renaissance man” — LA Times, “a cultural revolutionary” — LA Weekly. His PXL THIS Film Festival celebrates 31 years of electronic folk art in 2021. Check his writings in magazines: Canyon Cinema, OtherZine, CineSource, & his book: Strange Questions: Experimental Film as Conversation.

IMAGE-PHOTO = https://laughtears.com/hi-res-pics.html

“Gerry Fialka Moving Image Probe2 Ann Arbor Film Festival” (6 min, 2021) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9mE-I8navE

GF’s Moving Image Probe (15 minutes 2020) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKy9z0a8a1Y&t=53s

Program notes: http://laughtears.com/moving-image-probe.html

Gerry Fialka’s essay “Film Fest Fugue” on the Ann Arbor Film Festival 2020 http://laughtears.com/fugue.html

GF essay for aaff2021


Gerry Fialka has attended the Ann Arbor Film Festival (started in 1963) since 1971 over 30 times. Fialka served on the AAFF Screening Committee from 1977 to 1980.

Fialka has presented workshops:

* 2001 — “Best Of PXL THIS” workshop & screening of Pixelvision Fisher Price PXL2000 Toy Camera Festival, and produced the performance art piece “Moon Over Weeki Wachee” with Suzy Williams and the after party with Stormin’ Norman & Suzy

* 2006 — Three different workshops on Documentaries, Culture Jamming and Experimental Film

* 2007 — “AAFF Pioneers” workshop

* 2008- Two different workshops: “AAFF Innovators” & “Kick Out The Jams” on live music at the AAFF

* 2009 — “AAFF Pioneers” workshop

* 2010 — “Dream Awake” workshop on James Joyce & Experimental Film

* 2013 — “Rooted Not Retro” — Fialka moderated the panel on AAFF history & issues — present & future with Leslie Raymond, Pat Oleszko & Ruth Bradley

* 2015 — “Dr Chicago As AAFF” — Expanding Frames workshop

* 2016 — PechaKucha presentation — “Moving Image Probe Zero”

* 2017 — PechaKucha presentation — “Moving Image Probe One”

* 2018 — “Experimental Film as Psychogeography” — Off the Screen!

* 2020 — (scheduled for a Film Art Forum presentation, but canceled due to Covid)

* 2021 — Film Art Forum — “Moving Image Probe 2”

ALSO: Gerry Fialka ran the infamous Ann Arbor Film Co-op from 1972 to 1980. He was the Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival Director from 1977–80, and on the 8mm Screening Committee from 1975–80. He has curated film in LA since 1980, earning praise: “Gerry Fialka is Los Angeles’ preeminent underground film curator.” — Robin Menken

More info: Gerry Fialka pfsuzy@aol.com Laughtears.com

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