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Monday March 5, 2007

What's up with new billboards?

Billboards

This is southbound on I-95, just south of the Golden Glades. There are at least four of these billboards in a row, all currently painted black. Brook Dorsch claims that these are all brand new (like, in the past year). Can anyone confirm or deny, and if so, wtf, we have too many billboards already?

Speaking of Dorsch, he was just profiled in OceanDrive magazine. And another thing: Subtropics was hosted at the gallery last year, before the Carnival Center opened. This year the festival was in the center’s studio theater. Does that make Dorsch Gallery the second best venue for experimental music in town?

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Wednesday August 9, 2006

DDS8IFF

awards ceremony
‘Audience Choice’ award winner Nastassja Schmidt, Julie Lara Kahn, and Brook Dorsch, at the Dixie Dingo Super-8 “International Film Festival”

Okay, so first of all, if Brook ever gives you a little film camera and asks you to make a little movie, only only only ever turn it on in full midday sunlight. OK, we’re talking about the film screening last night, and actually almost all the movies were pretty great. Taken as a group, they just about made up a poem about Miami. Nastassja Schmidt absolutely stole the show. She decided to sing Amazing Grace while her movie played. Now keep in mind that nobody saw the movies before they were screened, right? So, she starts to sing, the movie starts to play, and the screen is completely dark.

Somehow her movie was the most underexposed of them all, and with only one little flash spot of light (which—important—made it clear that the problem was with the film, not the camera), Nastassja sang to a dark screen. She seemed a little taken aback, but not at all thrown. So, ok, she’s an amazing singer, right? And she’s doing this incredible acapella version of Amazing Grace, with little slides and flourishes and stuff, and just as she gets to the “but now I see” line . . . the screen comes a live with just the briefest shot of light, something that looks like a chandelier, or an explosion, or a bouquet of flowers (of which the latter is what it was, she explained afterwards how she had mixed artificial flowers with real flowers, and it was supposed to be about how misleading hasty judgements can be).

So yeah, it was unbelievable. After that, nothing was going to compete, though Crispin Sylvester’s movie was great, and apparently lost by only one vote. Some more thoughts about the night:

  1. TM Sisters did some crazy good titles, which somehow made the whole thing feel a little like the Oscars, and managed to perfectly complement grainy B/W footage, feature dogs (the festival’s named after a dog, remember?), and still be in the TM’s trademark style.
  2. Faktura Pet Projects were taking donations and selling artwork to support animal adoption (the dog the festival’s named after was found and adopted by Brook and Julie).
  3. William Keddell’s amoeba pictures and 3d viewers are great. You’ve seen the picture on the Dorsch site? Well, then, you haven’t seen anything.
  4. Cinema Vortex was involved with the projecting and technical aspects of the whole thing, cause, you know, Best Buy doesn’t sell Super-8 projectors anymore. And for example how they transferred the TM’s titles to Super-8 was the mystery of the night for me.
  5. The Miami-Dade department of cultural affairs gave them a grant to throw this thing.

All of which brings me to say that the Dorsch Gallery has now completed it’s transformation into a full-on cultural center. This is the sort of event that the smartest non-profit in the world might try to do, but for a supposedly commercial gallery? I’d say it’s pretty singular. Just wait until the AC’s in place!

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Sunday June 11, 2006

The report from Saturday night

Dino lights candles at Dorsch

Dino Felipe sets up for his performance at Dorsch last night. The preparation was fraught with technical difficulty, but got up and running stunningly, a parody (homage?) to Lies, among much else. Even crouched down on the floor and lighting candles, he somehow dominates the room. Dino was also one of the judges in last week’s laptop battle, and has been reviewed by pitchfork and deleted by myspace.

The work in the exhibition was a mixed bag, but there was lots of good stuff to see, especially in the project room, for those who braved the absurd heat. I’m serious, though, it was something like 85° and 80% humidity and no breeze, try standing in an unventilated warehouse with 500 of your closest friends (and another 500 on the street outside). The good news is that I have been personally assured by Mr. Dorsch himself that this is the last exhibition ever without AC. The units are on the roof, and the duct-work is getting run right after the show closes. It’s going to be the end of a sticky era.

Even with all that, the highlight of the evening was Cliff Chidree’s new film, Somethin Awful. Cliff splits the difference between Charlie Chaplain and Matthew Barney, and this 30 minute short (On 16mm! With sound performed live! Shown at the esteemed Bas Fisher Invitational!) must be seen to be believed.

Speaking of homages to Guns n Roses, we stopped briefly at “The Bar” in Coral Gables, where the worst cover band ever played Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (yes I know it’s a Dylan song, but they were covering GnR, trust me) and attempted, rather unsuccessfully, Honky Tonk Women. Could not have gotten out of there fast enough.

TNFH went out too, and has more stuff.

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