To prepare for getting the word out about Other Cinema's Stereo Sound and Vision 3D extravaganza this Saturday at the ATA, I contacted the evening's featured performer, locally-based moving-image artist Kerry Laitala, and asked for a sneak peek at her recent work.
Laitala kindly supplied me with a vividly colorful little hand-made press kit, containing a DVD, some notes, and a pair of ChromaDepth 3D glasses, recommended for the optimal viewing experience. I noticed in the notes that she doesn't call them films. She calls them "some 3D color/light/motion experiments."
That's deep. No, really, it is. Like, literally: 3D deep. ChromaDepth is a stereoscopic color diffraction effect that brings planes of depth -- a distinctly "whoa-cool" foreground and background -- into view. It's the difference between looking at an image and looking inside it. And Laitala does wonders with it.
Of course, watching 3D color/light/motion experiments at home on the plasma screen is not truly optimal, but the glasses helped. It was tempting, and enlightening, to flip them off and on to see the difference they make. But it was also dangerous. Inside the frames, where it says, "Do not look into the sun with glasses," it should also say, "Keep the glasses on, or off, but make up your mind or else your mind will ache."
On Saturday, Laitala will be showing her stuff with a live performance by the electronically infectious bleep-booping Bay Area music concern known as Eats Tapes. You may know Eats Tapes from such compositions as "Face Shredder" and "Yes You Didn't." Well, now you do, anyway.
So, to approximate this scene, I called up Eats Tapes' Myspace page, then donned some fancy headphones and of course the ChromaDepth specs ("not for extended wear, performing physical activity, driving or operating machinery"), and let fly with the kaleidoscopic crystalline abstractions, brightly throbbing pustules and blurred, blinking orbs of Laitala's Chromatic Frenzy, one of the definites in Saturday's show. She describes this otherwise silent work as "a colorful cauldron where primaries are mixed to create a cornucopia of suspended and refracted spectrums of light." Yes, that, or a narrowly averted lysergic catastrophe. Or maybe an inventive elaboration on some fond memory of original-series Star Trek special effects. Chromatic Frenzy, like a lot of Laitala's work, can be many things to many people. It's brilliant. Also, it works well with sounds made by Eats Tapes.
The evening will also include multi-screen works by Pad McLaughlin and Bob Bloomberg, plus Oakland artist Walter Funk's Hologlyphics, a live-action abstract sonic animation installation so insanely 3D that you don't even need the glasses.
Wow. It just keeps getting deeper.
Stereo Sound and Vision will appear on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8:30pm at Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For more information, visit othercinema.com.