When: Mon., April 9, 7 p.m. 2012
If there's such a thing as an underground culture giant, Craig Baldwin is one. The master experimental filmmaker and University of California-Davis professor known for his optically overwhelming collage and montage sensibility visits N.C. State to screen films both old and new, and to discuss his work and its relationship to mass media. Baldwin frequently uses found and sampled 16mm footage culled from dumpster dives, thrift stores, film archives and even (as in his seminal Stolen Movie) shot directly off the cinema screen from the audience.
His program, entitled "Orphan Morphin'," isn't yet set, but it will include clips spanning his career. If I could vote for a couple, I'd pick Sonic Outlaws (1995), a documentary-style defense of the band Negativland through their watershed intellectual property battles with U2 and their record company. And I'd beg to see some of Spectres of the Spectrum (1999), a pre-apocalyptic, time-travel, sci-fi collage thriller which also somehow recapitulates media history with a wry, quick wit that will have you laughing aloud.
A student of Bruce Conner in the 1980s, Baldwin has pushed the boundaries of appropriation as media corporations have become legally aggressive to control images in the public sphere. He also helped found "Other Cinema," a crucial and long-running film series at Artist's Television Access in San Francisco that has given many emerging filmmakers their first screenings. Baldwin's one of the good guys, and his films are unforgettable. —Chris Vitiello