Artists' Television Access

30-Hour Marathon, Program IV: Marshall Weber’s “Flatlands”

Friday, September 5, 2014, 8:00 pm, $7-$10

ATA Flatlands flyer copyCelebrating ATA’s 30th, Marshall Weber  ATA co-founder returns to San Francisco to present his  seminal 1985 stereo video piece, two channels of VHS video with  four audio tracks. Metaphorically reproducing the dichotomies of the right and left brain hemispheres, and the internal thoughts and external environments of the leading protagonist Boyd Sayjack.
Part psychedelic documentary and part psycho-drama, “Flatlands” follows the story of Boyd’s journey from the Kafkaesque maze of public health services, through his imprisonment within a hospital of scheming doctors to his oblique and colorful liberation. The piece features interviews with dyslexic artists recalling the torments of the right-handedness prejudice, the tortuous language, speech, and reading exercises, and the crude pharmaceutical treatments of the nineteen-fifties and sixties. The tape also incorporates the more humane progressive research of Dr. Joseph Rosenthal, Director of the Learning Disabilities Clinic at Kaiser Hospital in Berkeley, California. “Flatlands” is a lurid ‘psycho-delic’ trip through the astounding diversity of human cognition. It provokes complex questions regarding the normalization of of language codes and ‘literacy’. 
Produced in San Francisco, “Flatlands” also features the last major acting appearance of Pope Ondine who acts the role of Surgeon Generalisimo. Pope Ondine was one of Andy Warhol’s primary film ensemble ‘Superstars’ in the sixties and seventies. 1985, 1:40:00 min.

Selected Screenings: 

1993 -University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
1987 -L.A. Theater Center, CA
1986 -San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, CA
1985 – Focal Point Media Arts Center, Seattle, Washingto


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