This kaleidoscopic collection of essays, interviews, photographs, and artist-designed pages chronicles the vibrant and influential history of experimental cinema in the San Francisco Bay Area. Encompassing historical, cultural, and aesthetic realms, Radical Light features critical analyses of films and videos, reminiscences from artists, and interviews with pioneering filmmakers, curators, and archivists. It explores artistic movements, film and video exhibition and distribution, artists' groups, and Bay Area film schools. Special sections of ephemera—posters, correspondence, photographs, newsletters, program notes, and more—punctuate the pages of Radical Light, giving a first-hand visual sense of the period. This groundbreaking, hybrid assemblage reveals a complex picture of how and why the San Francisco Bay Region, a laboratory for artistic and technical innovation for more than half a century, has become a global center of vanguard film, video, and new media.
Among the contributors are Rebecca Solnit and Ernie Gehr on Bay Area cinema's roots in the work of Eadweard Muybridge and others; Scott MacDonald on Art in Cinema; P. Adams Sitney on films by James Broughton and Sidney Peterson; Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Lawrence Jordan, and Yvonne Rainer on the Bay Area film scene in the 1950s; J. Hobeman on films by Christopher Maclaine, Bruce Conner, and Robert Nelson; Craig Baldwin on found footage film; George Kuchar on student-produced melodramas; Michael Wallin on queer film in the 1970s; V. Vale on punk cinema; Dale Hoyt and Cecilia Dougherty on video in the 1980s and 1990s; and Maggie Morse on new media as sculpture.
Copub: Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Steve Anker is Dean of the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts. Kathy Geritz is Film Curator at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley. Steve Seid is Video Curator at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and coauthor of Ant Farm: 1968–1978 (UC Press).
"A superb collection, as exciting, in many ways, as the works it chronicles."—Akira Mizuta Lippit, author of Atomic Light (Shadow Optics)