Artists' Television Access

FLOCK OF WORDS: the Lake Ivan Performance Group

Performance video by David Finkelstein

Saturday, June 9, 2007, 8:00 pm, $8

Finkelstein 4
From Display Devices

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David Finkelstein comes to ATA to deliver an evening of video and improv for his West Coast premiere appearance! Working out of New York with his collaborators in the Lake Ivan Performance Group, Finkelstein’s style of narrative improvisation clothed in video drag could be described as Jack Smith meets George Kuchar on After Effects. The resulting video is of course nothing you could have dreamed! 

The work is founded on the improvising actor’s art of fantasy and storytelling. Often the groundwork involves videotaping two actors on stage, gesturing and tossing brief monologues back and forth, creating a picaresque dreamscape.  Back at his studio console, Finkelstein then modulates and mutates the footage through elaborate video wizardry. The work is broadcast on Public Access cable and made available as single channel DVD releases.  Tonight’s opening performance with Finkelstein, Bay Area Action Theater artist Jenny Schaffer, and musician Steve Sandberg will reveal the beginnings of the improvisational process.  Then three recent videos will be shown and the artist will be available afterwards for discussion.

  • improvised performance for musican and two actors, 15 min.
  • Display Devices, video 25 min. (2005)
  • Agnus Dei, video 9 min. (2006)
  • Two Distinct Courses of Action, video 24 min. (2006)

In Display Devices James Martin and Finkelstein float in a digital space, trading and sparring with little tales as “tiny rectangles of pure color are combined into images which display coded messages of gender, philosophy, and their urgently personal visions. “

For Agnus Dei, Finkelstein collaborated with dancer and drag artist Agnes de Garron in the creation of a poetic and emotionally nuanced dance interpretation of Rossini’s impassioned Petite Messe Solennelle. Agnes de Garron is a choreographer, puppeteer & dancer, and a founder of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. He starred in Richard Foreman’s Permanent Brain Damage at the Foremanfest, and in the film De Profundis.

Two Distinct Courses of Action is another improvised collaboration with former Bay Area Action Theater artist Cassie Terman. “Language exhibits an uncomfortable independence from the intentions of the speaker, as subtitles detach themselves from the film frame and fly away. The Devil has a featured role, and the paintings of Pieter Bruegel are a recurring theme throughout.”  -DF

DAVID FINKELSTEIN has been making performances since 1982. He has been developing a style of improvised performance work since 1993, which he has performed at Here, Theater for the New City, the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Movement Research at the Judson Church, PS 122, The Knitting Factory, New York Improvisation Festival, and many other venues. He has taught Improvisation Technique for 3 years at Movement Research, where he was Artist in Residence in 1997. His work has been funded by The Fund for Creative Communities, The Field, Movement Research, meet the Composer, The Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BACA, and many individual donors. His video work has been featured in the PBS series “Under the Pink Carpet,” the OMA Awards, the PrideVision cable network, and numerous film festivals and screening events.

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