Jonas Mekas Screening at O.M.M.
Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M.) is pleased to welcome seminal artist, filmmaker and poet Jonas Mekas to the Miami Design District on Saturday, March 26 for a reception and screening of the artist’s diary film opus Walden Parts I and II.
The special evening marks the first public screening of Walden in Miami and will benefit O.M.M., an experimental art studio establishing a picture and moving image archive and resource for artists, designers, filmmakers, researchers and writers.
“There is a profound contemporary relevance and legacy in Jonas Mekas’ artistic practice and the way in which his 1960s 16mm diary films anticipated our social media streams,” said Barron Sherer, Principal at Obsolete Media Miami. “We are proud to partner with the Miami Design District and Ground Control Miami to bring thiscelebrated archivist, filmmaker, writer and champion of underground aesthetics to Miami.”
Since the mid-1950s, the Lithuanian-born Mekas (b. 1922) has remained at the forefront of the American avant-
garde and alternative cinema, working alongside friends like Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Anger,and influencing subsequent generations of filmmakers and artists.
Walden was Mekas’ first diary film, originally titled , 1969. Representative of Mekas’ oeuvre, the six-part Walden is an intensely personal record of daily life in New York City edited from a collection of images gathered by Mekas using a Bolex 16mm camera. Typically, in what became his signature, Mekas exposed several frames at a time to illuminate and record fleeting moments between the mid and late 1960s; ‘either you get it now, or you don’t get it at all,’ said Mekas. Walden was strung together in chronological order and presented with sounds he collected during the same period.
Since 1950, I have been keeping a film diary. I have been walking around with my Bolex and reacting to the immediate reality: situations, friends, New York, seasons of the year. On some days, I shot ten frames, on others ten seconds, still on others ten minutes. Or, I shot nothing. When one writes diaries, it’s a retrospective process: you sit down, you look back at your day, and you write it all down. To keep a film (camera) diary is to react (with your camera) immediately, now, this instant: either you get it now, or you don’t get it at all. To go back and shoot it later, it would mean re-staging, be it events or feelings. To get it now, as it happens, demands the total mastery of one’s tools (in this case, Bolex): it has to register the reality to which I react and also it has to register my state of feeling (and all the memories) as I react. Which also means, that I had to do all the structuring (editing) right there, during the shooting, in the camera. All footage that you’ll see in the Diaries is exactly as it came out from the camera: there was no way of achieving it in the editing room without destroying its form and content.
Tickets for Jonas Mekas In Person in the Miami Design District are $15 in advance, available at Eventbrite, and $20 at the door. All proceeds will benefit O.M.M. The event will take place in Palm Court Event Space, 140 NE 39th Street; reception at 7p.m. followed by a two hour screening starting at 8p.m.
OBSOLETE MEDIA MIAMI
Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M.) is an experimental art studio establishing a picture and moving image archive and resource for artists, designers, filmmakers, researchers and writers. A Dacra underwritten project, O.M.M. is located in the Madonna Building in Miami’s Design District and was launched in 2015 by artists Kevin Arrow and Barron Sherer with support from a Cannonball Miami and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grant. In December 2015, O.M.M. was a Knight Foundation Knight Arts Challenge grant recipient. O.M.M. is a repository for 35mm slides, archival motion picture materials and other legacy media. This enterprise functions as a research and preservation studio, a makerspace for analog media techniques and A/V club. It reaches media professionals, archivists, cultural producers and an engaged public with audiovisual presentations, lectures, performances, collaborations and workshops that showcase obsolete media materials in new contexts.
MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT
The Miami Design District is a neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining experiences. The Miami Design District is owned by Miami Design District Associates, a partnership between Dacra, founded and owned by visionary entrepreneur Craig Robins, and L Real Estate, a global real estate development and investment fund specializing in creating luxury shopping destinations. Together, Dacra and L Real Estate have actively transformed the once-overlooked area of Miami into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors by presenting the best shopping, cultural and culinary experiences within an architecturally significant context. The Miami Design District is the location of choice for exclusive luxury retailers and fashion brands, including Alchemist, Cartier, Céline, Christian Louboutin, Dior Homme, Emilio Pucci, Hermès, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Marni, Prada, Panerai, Tom Ford, Tourbillon, and forthcoming openings from Van Cleef & Arpels, Isabel Marant and Tory Burch among others.
GROUND CONTROL MIAMI
Founded in 2016, Ground Control Miami is a nomadic curatorial collective whose initiatives focus on the exploration, development and documentation of multi-disciplinary contemporary art practices. Ground Control Miami works closely with creators across a wide range of cultural and social disciplines in an effort to build a network of meaningful support and dialog between peer organizations and artists. Ground Control Miami’s mission concentrates on the development and realization of site-specific initiatives that bridge creative communities.