Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area

May 8–9, 2011


The Bed. 1968. USA. Directed by James Broughton

To celebrate the publication of Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, the Department of Film has invited editors Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz, and Steve Seid to curate three programs of films and videos, largely drawn from MoMA’s collection, that explore the themes and movements and trace the chronology of alternative film and video in the Bay Area.

The rich history of Bay Area avant-garde cinema goes back to the 1940s, when Frank Stauffacher began the influential film series Art in Cinema, followed soon after by Sidney Peterson’s collaborative film workshops. Some artists, such as Leslie Thornton, made works during relatively brief stays around San Francisco, while others, such as Bruce Conner, James Broughton, Gunvor Nelson, and George Kuchar, developed long-term careers in the area. Many began as poets, painters, and sculptors, but as the 1960s moved into the 1970s, more and more came to identify themselves primarily as film- or videomakers. The wave of artists who adopted the emerging technology of video as their principal tool of expression included Max Almy, Doug Hall, Ant Farm, and Marlon Riggs.

The curators and some of the artists and contributors to the book will be present at selected screenings. Three additional programs in this series will be presented at Anthology Film Archives.

Curated by Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid, Film and Video Curators at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, and Steve Anker, Dean of the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts.

Organized for MoMA by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, and Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.


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