SPACE PROGRAM is a screening series that seeks to map out new territories and temporarily de-colonize others in the forever service of Space and Time Exploration. Named after the waning NASA Space Program in a symbolic effort to uncover worlds locally that would otherwise be lost to silence and darkness, SPACE PROGRAM is a proposition for the radical technologies of sound and light to function as analysts for internal and external transformation. Under the guidance of its director, artist/curator Ben Russell, SPACE PROGRAM employs an agenda of salvaging the antiquated exhibition technologies of the past and the output of already-irrelevant image-capturing devices of the present in order to better envision an existence away from the (Hollywood) stars.
As a stated alternative to dominant media practices (and in opposition to NASA’s increasingly privatized approach to space travel), SPACE PROGRAM has a vested interest in presenting programs of “marginal” media within entirely new configurations. Running the gamut of avant-garde film/video aesthetic/political/conceptual history, and ranging wildly in form and style within a single 70-90:00 group screening (ethnographic films! cartoons! youtube videos! avant-garde "masters"!), SPACE PROGRAM (like any good time machine) seeks to complicate an otherwise linear hierarchy of time, meanings, and histories. I prefer to chart new paths, to map out new constellations in the skies up above. As such, each of the initial six SPACE PROGRAM screenings are named after and thematically curated in relation to one of the planets of our solar system, a celestial compass for those travelers who left their flashlights behind.
Built in 1892 as the Midwestern mirror to Prague's Old Opera House, Thalia Hall is an historic structure in the heart of Pilsen (nay Plzeň) whose cinema screen had fallen prey to the ravages of time and solar winds decades ago. In a bold attempt to harness the psychic energy necessary for re-colonizing this remarkable media landscape (and in conjunction with the renovation efforts currently underway), SPACE PROGRAM shall be presenting a month-long series of experimental film/video screenings within the minor chaos of Thalia Hall's darkened theater. Oh, explorers! Turn your eyes up towards the stars - let SPACE PROGRAM be your interstellar beacon, your shining light in this shadowed and infinite cosmos.
2011 Program Schedule
at THALIA HALL (18th and Allport)
Ben Russell's website