California Institute of the Arts was founded in 1961 by Walt Disney to bring the visual and performing arts together under one roof. This exhibition celebrates more than three decades of intimate, inventive, and technically sophisticated student filmmaking and videomaking from CalArts, featuring a breathtaking range of nonfiction, narrative, animation, and experimental styles and genres. Particular focus is given to the famed animation program, where students have used everything from cutting-edge computer and optical printing technologies—many of which they developed themselves—to homespun materials like chewing-gum wrappers and nail polish remover. Luminaries from Pixar, Disney, Laika, and other major animation and effects companies, as well as distinctive independent voices, are represented. Nonfiction and experimental works reveal a sense of political engagement and moral urgency, whether investigating domestic violence, toxic dumping, or the secret histories of 17th-century astronomers, Korean war brides, and African American Kentucky Derby riders. Special evenings are devoted to artists like Ericka Beckman, Ken Feingold, Jack Goldstein, Sharon Greytak, Matt Mullican, Tony Oursler, David Salle, Christopher Williams, and David Wilson, whose conceptual films and Portapack videos of the 1970s and 1980s remain startlingly contemporary and provocative. Many of the artists will be at MoMA to present their work.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media.