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DV Plays Piano by Alexandra Constantinou

Critical Mass by Hollis Frampton

Open Screen Double Header
One Second Film Festival of TCU
& Hollis Frampton Films
Thursday, May 23, 7:30PM
Location: Aurora Picture Show, 2442 Bartlett
Aurora Members Free with RSVP, Non-Members $10

Aurora Picture Show presents an Open Screen Night with two programs for the price of one!  Open Screen Night is a quarterly program which anyone can submit a proposal to Aurora Curator Mary Magsamen for programming consideration.  This May, two screenings are featured from Texas-area university student groups.  Up first, Curator Nick Bontrager brings us the One Second Film Festival from students in the New Media Art program at  Texas Christian University.  And then, Curator Brenda Cruz partners with the University of Houston Student Photography Association to present a showcase of Hollis Frampton films on 16mm.  These two programs will be screened on Thursday, May 23rd at 7:30PM at Aurora Picture Show (2442 Bartlett Street, Houston, TX, 77018).

 Assistant Professor of New Media Art at Texas Christian University, Nick Bontrager brings us the One Second Film Festival. Working with his students to organize this one-second stream of ephemera ranging from fleeting moments to carefully orchestrated productions, Bontrager acted as support staff for the student team of curators. While Bontrager helped the students create a web presence and social media platform for the project, this program was entirely produced and curated by undergraduate students from his program. The project has since continued to grow as new students have become interested in producing the 2nd Annual One Second Film Festival.

And then Brenda Cruz and The University of Houston Student Photography  Association  have curated a Hollis Frampton 16mm film program. As a photographer and filmmaker of the 1960s cinematic avant-garde, Hollis Frampton made cerebral, puzzle-like films that would become categorized as "structural film."  In Frampton's own words, "Cinema is the Last Machine. It is probably the last art that will reach the mind through the senses." Of his numerous experimental works, this program will feature CRITICAL MASS and SURFACE TENSION.

The following films will be featured in this program:
Surface Tension    (1968) 16mm, color, 10.00 min
Completed in 1968, "Surface Tension" marked a breakthrough in his investigation of cinematic construction.  While early films had been single-image, "Surface Tension" represented a new level of ambition exploring cinematic illusion.  Divided into three parts, it tells a reflexive tale of a man who wants to make a three-part film.

Critical Mass (Hapax Legomena III)    (1971) 16mm, black and white, 25.5 min
Created at the State University of New York at Binghampton's Cinema Department in 1971, "Critical Mass" started from a sync-sound film camera of an improvised argument between two students in the film department.
Each quarter, Aurora Picture Show hosts "Open Screen Night" which is programed from community proposals, such as works-in-progress screenings, media art workshops, media performance art, curated short film series or other unique media art happenings that are in line with the mission of Aurora Picture Show.  Aurora will select one program or a group of programs that match our programming guidelines, specifically focused on experimental media art or other screening events that are more difficult to define or find a home for exhibition.  Submit online at

The New Media Art program at Texas Christian University teaches courses that embrace video, new technologies, digital processes and interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary studio practices. The purpose of the program is to facilitate experimental and innovative approaches to contemporary visual art practice through New Media as well as building bridges between the Arts & Sciences while infusing traditional techniques with new and experimental methods

The University of Houston Student Photography Association  is a photo community based at the University of Houston made up of undergraduates and graduates. UHPSA strives to provide a photo community and open forum to students as a way to express photography principles and techniques freely.

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