Space Program: MARS, or War Huh Yeah What Is It Good For Absolutely Nothing Say It Again, 5/1/2011

Crossroads by Bruce Conner (36:00, 16mm, 1976)

SPACE PROGRAM presents
MARS, or War Huh Yeah What Is It Good For Absolutely Nothing Say It Again

Sunday the 1st of May at 7:30pm
at Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport, Chicago, IL (map)
$5 suggested donation
this space is unheated, so bring warm clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, etc
curated by Ben Russell

**this space is unheated, so bring warm clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, etc

“ Oh, rust-surfaced sphere, with your receding polar ice caps and optical illusion canals!  If not for your half-mass, your eccentric orbit, and your global dust storms, we would call you sister or cousin; but it was your fiery red-lit temperament and your thin atmosphere that led the Romans to name you after their God of War, and we at SPACE PROGRAM shall do the same.  We shall land our newest craft upon the peak of your Olympus Mons, and from that vantage point (highest in the solar system) we shall survey the entire galaxy stretched out before us.  Unlike the 2/3rds of failed Mars voyages that left before us, we shall traverse your Valles Marineris with the understanding that the power of Mars as the power of War is a power best used to secure the peace.  Our childhood wargames (Geissler/Sann), our damaged soldiers (Single Spark Film Collective), our flicker destruction (Sharits), our media paralysis (Smith), and our transcendent explosions (Conner) are herewith submitted as evidence.  With a question on our lips we shall raise our flag upon your soil, its single dollar/Euro sign fluttering in the solar wind: Oh, Mars – if it costs $309,000 per kilogram to land upon your basalt surface, what (pray tell) is the average cost of peace? ” — BR

FEATURING:
Fuck the War by Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann (4:00, video, 2007)
Winter Soldier by Single Spark Film Collective (20:00, 16mm, 1971)
T, O, U, C, H, I, N, G by Paul Sharits (12:00, 16mm, 1968)
Frozen War by John Smith (11:00, video, 2002)
Friendly Fire by Thorsten Fleisch (7:30, 16mm, 2003)
Crossroads by Bruce Conner (36:00, 16mm on video, 1976)
TRT 90:00

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MARS PROGRAMME DETAILS
Fuck the War by Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann (4:00, video, 2007)
The film is, on the one hand, a con­tem­po­rary Lord of the Flies, which evokes the ongo­ing sense­less­ness of vio­lence and war, bring­ing the mes­sage home by allow­ing Ger­man (rather than Iraqi or Sierra Leonese) chil­dren to explore the giddy chaos of mil­i­tary power. At the same time, it speaks to the innate instincts and prim­i­tive impulses that remain only shal­lowly buried beneath our civ­i­lized surfaces.

Winter Soldier by Single Spark Film Collective (20:00, 16mm, 1971)
Vietnam vets give testimony at the Winter Soldier tribunals. Vet after vet talks about what he personally experienced in Vietnam, what he was made to do as a soldier in an imperialist army. Revealed by nightmarish firsthand account are the atrocities committed against the Vietnamese people.

T.O.U.C.H.I.N.G. by Paul Sharits (1969)

T, O, U, C, H, I, N, G by Paul Sharits (12:00, 16mm, 1968)
“Merges violence with purity.” – P. Adams Sitney

Frozen War by John Smith (11:00, video, 2002)
A disorientating experience while attempting to watch the TV news in an Irish hotel room triggers a spontaneous response to the bombing of Afghanistan.

Friendly Fire by Thorsten Fleisch (7:30, 16mm, 2003)
Friendly Fire (2003) literally burned what you could see, and it was the light of the fire, the projector’s beam, that played out in stunning violence onscreen. With so much attention dedicated to the preservation of film, FriendlyFire proposed a cathartic alternative: ruined figures of melted celluloid and crackling ash. in death film comes alive, more vital, reborn by the very forces that destroy it. (Genevieve Yue ‘Senses of Cinema’)

Crossroads by Bruce Conner (1976)

Crossroads by Bruce Conner (36:00, 16mm, 1976)
The 1945 atomic-bomb explosion at Bikini Atoll becomes a thing of terrible beauty and haunting visual poetry when shown in extreme slow motion, shown from 27 different angles, and accompanied by avant-garde Western classical music composed for electric organ by Terry Riley.
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