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Live and In Color: An Evening with Simon Tarr

Live and In Color: An Evening with Simon Tarr

FUD by Simon Tarr (2006, digital, color, sound, 4 min)

Sunday July 28, 2013, 7:30 pm

Filmmaker Simon Tarr in person!  Los Angeles premieres! 

Live cinema, and pre-recorded works as well!

Simon Tarr comes from South Carolina with films and live cinema performance!  Almost all Los Angeles premieres!

Not well known yet on the West Coast, Simon Tarr utilizes a full array of methods to create his expressive media work.  Sometimes he grabs video glitches and renders them in one luxurious colorful whole; other times he films fleeting moments in centers of world finance.  He manipulates found footage in completed works and live “remixes” that change the meaning of the original work.  It’s a shame that we haven’t hosted his work in Los Angeles previously, and we’re delighted to rectify the situation.  Be sure to come out and see the possibilities!

Simon Tarr is an artist, writer, and educator in South Carolina. He made his first movie at the age of eight using a strip of film fashioned from sandwich bags taped together, with spaceships drawn on it. The projector was a shoebox with a lamp in it, the lens was a magnifying glass on the end of a toilet paper tube. The movie premiered on the wall of his bedroom, where the film melted after a few seconds.

In addition to his films that have been screened in hundreds of film festivals on every continent (yes, even Antarctica), he creates live video shows and immersive environments that he has performed at Carnegie Hall, LaMaMa and around the world from Tokyo to Cairo. His newest compilation of films, DISCORDIA, will be released in January. Tarr is an associate professor of art at the University of South Carolina.

More on Simon here:

Special thanks to Evan Meaney, Kate Lain.

Total running time: 71 minutes

This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.




(2006, digital, color, sound, 4 min)

The term 'FUD' was coined in the 1990's to refer to one of Microsoft's P.R. strategies of domination over open source systems: simply suggest that the devil you know is better than one you don't.



(2012, digital, color, sound, 7 mins)

Featuring Dan Visconti's lush, symphonic "Low Country Haze" and footage from the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections, "Lowcountry" skims across the surface of the Congaree Swamp and picks apart the motion and emotion of a hidden and forboding paradise.

"Lowcountry" was a originally commissioned to screen with the SC Philharmonic, conducted by musical director Morihiko Nakahara.


(2007, live performance, color, sound, 15 min)

A live remixed performance of "Nanook of the North," Tarr un-edits and reconsitutes the shots from the original film, then recreates a new landscape and invents a new narrative with each show.

tarrgiri chit

Giri Chit

(2009, digital, color, sound, 14 min)

"Giri Chit" tells a tale of the subtle trace of irreconcilable worlds. A worker driving a mobile sweeper in hypnotic circles across an already immaculate surface. The high drama of cosplay aficionados clamoring to be seen. A cast of thousands toiling hundreds of feet above the street.

Giri translates as ‘duty’ in Japanese, but the concept is in fact far more complicated. Giri is a sort of interpersonal political capital that informs careers, family relations, and much more. Its presence and flow is palpable in Japan, where this film was shot. A “giri chit” then may be a hypothetical voucher for this intangible flow (with a tip of the cap to Thomas Pynchon‚Äôs “Vineland”).



(2011, digital, color, sound, 4 min)

"Interruptus" is a glitch film, comprised of strategically halted downloads of explicit videos. The damaged files, still playable, explode across the screen in a new way.

Drang 8th Ave

(2012, digital, color, sound, 1 min)

What if the choice to "occupy" was little more than an opportunity for the petit bourgeoisie to live out the fantasy of an uprising? The desire to seize the means of production is fragmented by invisible laborers.

tarrmother of the world

Mother of the World

(2011, digital, color, sound, 12 min)

Six million tons, suspended by the slightest gesture. "Mother of the World" is a series of brief vignettes of Cairo just prior to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, choreographing class structure and foreign influence into an intimate view of a nation about to change.



(2013, live performance, color, sound, 14 min)

Everything falls apart. In April, Tarr and composer Dan Visconti performed a new artwork at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. Dan composed the musical score and performed on artfully broken toys, while Simon filmed, animated, and then performed video live with the orchestra. Using animated airplane contrails and other flights of fancy and regret, the video (and the music along with it) teeters on the brink of destruction.