A Bruce Conner Prospective (as opposed to retrospective) posits Conner’s work alongside agitprop underground cinema that took Conner’s approach to collage filmmaking to political ends. For the last year, the Conner Family Trust has been showcasing Conner’s films in dozens of cities. This program boasts the highest quality prints, in particular, a new version of Conner’s 1961 film Cosmic Ray (which was not advertised due to fear of copyright infringement). Alongside this official retrospective, several tribute retrospectives have surfaced that celebrate the implications of Conner’s use of found footage as commentary on popular cultural and corporate media. Considering the popularity of citzen-made remixes, peer to peer file-sharing, and the evolution of fair-use it seems only logical to look back at the manner in which Conner’s work looked forward.
This program will highlight works from Conner that transcend formal artistic practices and individualistic agendas that came to define high modernism as well as influence generations of film and video makers of all kinds – artists as citizens or citizens as artists. Works include:
A MOVIE (1958) Bruce Conner 12min 16mm
TRIBULATION 99 (1992) Craig Baldwin 48min 16mm
REPORT (1967) Bruce Conner 13min 16mm
SPECIAL REPORT (1999) Brian Boyce 3min video
SEPTEMBER SICK SEMPER TYRANNIS (2008) Kent Lambert 4min video
SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW (2009) Jesse McLean 5min video