tv [untitled] April 29, 2011 9:30pm-10:00pm PDT
only four runs that showcases new works by established and emerging arab filmmakers. the possible films in four cities. in addition, the festival organizers a film series for high-school students free of charge. this year's lineup offers something for everyone, including shorts, documentary's, comedies, and dramas. >> [speaking arabic] the mission of the arab film festival, since it its inception in 1996, and it came about --
members of our community realized there was stereotyping of arabs in the media, and they wanted to change that proactively. they wanted to use the power of film to bring in the stories, to bring in authentic images and narratives of the arab world, here to american audiences, in order to fight the negative stereotyping, and to introduce the positive, authentic images to america, which iraq california, -- throughout california, a teasing familiarity, establishing harmony between our communities. the selection this year it is really a good selection.
it is perverse, comes from more than 18 countries. it has a bit of everything for everyone. -- it is diverse, comes from more than 18 countries. there are shorts, and from us, comedies, you name it. this year, the film festival takes place in the castro. there is a comedy film from nigeria that is pretty hilarious. you can get to know arabs threw their laughing as well. [speaking in foreign language] >> when you come to see all the diversity, nationality, ethnic,
skin color, dialect, anything that you can think of, that world is very rich in diversity. we are trying to represent that diversity so people can see the different parts of the arab world. [speaking in arabic] >> people should participate in the festival because of the benefits they can get. first, the educational benefit of learning about the stories of the arab world. diverse stories. people in the united states sometimes think of the arab world as a lump sum. what is good about the arab film festival is the also have a festival for the school's program, which we have films where we invite free of charge, i schoolers to come and attend. every year, high schoolers to go
out really with a good experience, attending and watching these films. the arab film festival is not only about the festival in october. we also have year-round programs. check out the film festival to run the year, not just in the fall. -- throughout the year, not just in the fall. the best thing that somebody can take away from the arab on festival is the arab cinema is talent. it is beautiful. the stories have that they represent are good stories, beautiful stories. also, the art form is beautiful and well made. >> for a complete film schedule and to learn more about the arab film festival, visit
>> welcome to "culture wire." i'm here with james lee, and exhibiting artist, and we will have a chat today about the body of work you are presenting. after you left the military, what prompted you to go back to a place where the u.s. is engaged in military action? >> it is interesting. the population of afghanistan is around 29 million, and there's probably no more than 80,000 u.s. soldiers serving in afghanistan right now, but if you look at the stories that
come out, you think the numbers are completely reversed. all the stories are about americans, and you see almost no images of stories about the afghan people themselves, so if you look at the dominant representational paradigm uc today, it is all about foreign soldiers. my idea was to try incurred counted to that a popularized narrative and focus on images and stories that really reflect that lived experience of conflict through the eyes of the afghan people. >> you are exhibiting with three other photographers. it is true all three of them have really focused in the areas where a lot of u.s. and allied forces are seeing action, are actually involved in combat, so your story is different than theirs. what does it mean to show your body of work along side of the stories that probably are more familiar? what kind of juxtaposition does
that create for you as an artist? >> i think the strength of bringing the two different stories together is i think there is a real danger in focusing only on surface similarities between conflicts. when people look at a body of work and say that they see in this conflict photography, and it reminds them of somalia or iraq, i think that is dangerous because i think there are very unique elements to each conflict, and if you do not focus on the distinctions, you start to create a broader, watered-down topic, which is armed conflict, so i think it is important that when we focus on conflict, we make sure we do not just generalize, but we allow specific places and voices and people to be heard and we do not make these generalized assumptions about what conflict is like. >> the other photographers in the show, what is local, and the others are from new york and new delhi. what do you like about some of their work? >> in a big fan of the fact
that he approaches photography from a non-traditional point of view. he also cunner has a mixed view of cameras themselves. he calls them toys. >> he uses these cameras that one might assume our toys, but he also says all the toy cameras are cameras, so it does not really matter to him what he is using to take the images as long as he is getting the images he wants. and because they are taken with these film cameras, they have a very different feel than the other pictures in the show. one of the things i want to talk about is that lindsey's body of work is running down one side of the hall, and it is all about women in afghanistan and how they serve and their special interactions with civilian women and communities, which is the special role that women soldiers play in afghanistan. across from eric copeland's
work, which is extremely masculine and black and white and very aggressive -- what do you think about that juxtaposition between their two bodies of work? >> i like lindsey's contribution to the exhibit. she shoots in color, like i do, so it is great to see more color. she has a gift for capturing distinct moments that balance the conflict that these women are facing did today, but also very intimate, very feminine moments. she has one where a female soldier is shaving her legs at the beginning of her day, and it is kind of an odd thing to consider, but, obviously, it happens every day, but most people do not think about the challenges that face women in these types of environments where they continue to be feminine, continue to be women, but they also serve a vital role in afghanistan. she allows viewers to come in and see those kinds of intimate moments you might not normally think about. >> to our viewers, and actually
the curator of the show. one of the things i was interested in with your work and with the other bodies of work i selected was that you are presenting a real human perspective. each of you zeroes in on individuals, and the kind of sensitive, intimate, or private moments. >> if you look at most people's lives today and the way they spend their lives, it is probably not that different from what goes on on some of these larger for an operating basis. they have cafeterias. they have internet cafes. they have laundromats. they have their own spaces where they read, play video games. it is really like a small, microcosm of what they might find back in the united states. >> what do you hope that viewers take away from seeing your body of work or the exhibition as a whole? >> i think it is important for people to question how much we do or do not know about afghanistan, but conflict in general. too often today, i think we see
one or two images and we think we understand what is going on in a part of the world, and we should try to get away from that. we should question what we know about a conflict, where we got the information, and always look for new perspectives and new focus is on topics that we think we already understand. >> james, thank you for spending time with us, and congratulations on the exhibition and letting san francisco see this big body of work of yours. >> thanks. >> welcome to "culturewire." for the past year, the arts commission has been participating in the city's effort to revitalize the central market street corridor. in addition to the thursday arts market and are in store front, the art commission recently
launched the artery project. for the next year, the artery project will bring energy and excitement to market street, recalling the st.'s heyday as san francisco's vibrant and bustling theater district. >> un.n plaza during business hours seize hundreds of passing office workers and students, but the activity winds down at 5:00 every day. theater productions bring some but traffic, but central market is more of a thoroughfare than a destination after the sun goes down. on december 9, the artery project's launch brought a party atmosphere to market street, led by mayor gavin newsom, city officials flipped the switch on three new art installations that
light up the st.'s architecture. a looping a video at 1119 market street was the first words to be some -- the first work to be seen that evening. before the unveiling, the director of cultural affairs spoke to artist jim campbell about the concepts behind bourbon reflection and how he created the work. >> i'm really excited to have your installation on public view starting today here on market street. you created a site-specific work. can you talk about that? >> yes, i looked at two or three different locations, and this one seemed the best. i work with customer electronics, so indoors seemed the best for the work. i also like how close it was 2 market street itself. it is only about 10 feet away, so i chose this location. >> what is the duration? if someone were to stand in front of your installation today.
>> at the moment, it is 12 minutes, but i've been thinking about adding footage over the time because it is going to go through a couple of seasons. >> could you describe a little bit in terms of what your creative process is? >> it is a curtain, and image made up of a curtain, so it is very valuable, and the idea was to use this technology that i've been using for the last 10 years, low resolution imagery, to reflect market street back to the pedestrians walking by. the reason that it kind of works in this environment is that you see people walking by. you see cars going by. you see buses going by, but you cannot help we the people are because it is low resolution. you cannot see their faces. you can see the way they walk. you might be able to tell the kind of car going by. >> what do you think passersby will experience? >> i was thinking it was going to be a test of the success of the work if people stop and
look. i have noticed in the last few nights that people do stop and look. a certain percentage. one of the things i was playing with was the ambiguity of whether it is alive or not, so people walk by, and they might even move like this back and forth, thinking that they are in the image, and they realize that it is a daytime shot, and that kind of thing. >> thanks for being part of life on market street. >> my pleasure. >> after the lighting of urban reflection, mayor newsom led the party to the corner of seventh street. lighting the way down the street were members of the filipino cultural center's youth program, carrying traditional core role lanterns. on the side of the resort hotel is a projection titled "storylines." working with students from the art commission writer's corps program, paul organized a series of images with text captions.
they will change every evening until a different -- and tell a different story. one block away, theodore watson has created an interactive installation that crosses over six street. spaces' begins with a photo capture station on the north side of the street that projects your face on to a building on the south side of the street. on opening night, the installation was an immediate hit with the crowd. we talked with the or what said about his remarkable installation. >> what inspired you to create this interactive piece? >> the work i typically do is kind of interactive installations or both indoor and also outdoor and public space. for me, what i'm most interested in is how we can use technology
to make the city, which is typically quite a static environment architecturally speaking -- how can we make it come alive? >> what i love about your work is there is such sophisticated software and electronics and complex connections that all have to work together to make it successful, but yet, all of that is invisible to the people interact with the work. >> they do not realize there is all these cables and projectors and computers and all this technology behind the scenes, and if you can keep it hidden, it feels like a really magical moment. to me, that is what is inspiring, and that is what makes the public, their eyes light up. >> you feel a little bit like the wizard of oz? >> totally, yes. >> having been on market street for a while and seeing how the public is reacting to your piece, what is your impression of what it is going to be like here? >> i'm already loving it. just the fact that i can look up
and see someone seeing how crazy it is, and i have been bumping into people in the street who are recognized only from their portrait. i'm hoping that people will provide a slightly more friendly way to look at each other in this neighborhood. >> it is helping to reinforce and create a sense of neighborhood. so we want to thank you for being part of this project and thank you for bringing "faces" to san francisco. >> the artery project will have installations on market street until june 2011. this revitalization initiative is funded by the national endowment for the arts in an effort to transform market street into a nationally celebrated cultural district. additional projects and events will be launched throughout the year, including art and storefronts and coordinated nighttime events hosted by the
>> welcome to culture wire. we're going to take a look at one of the biggest and most significant public art projects today. ♪ on june 26, mayor newsom and other officials gathered at the hospital to cut the ribbon and welcome the public into a beautiful new state-of-the-art facility. >> 3, 2, 1. [applause] >> in has been 10 years since voters approved the measure for the new building. >> when they cast the vote, we have an exciting opportunities
to rethink how art is done in a hospital setting. >> replacement program generated approximately $3.9 million in art enrichment funds for a comprehensive art program that contributes to the quality of life at the hospital by enhancing the environment and supporting the hospital's needs and therapeutic goals. artists were commissioned to create 100 original works of art. as was for the gardens and courtyard areas. >> be artwork does more than just hang on the wall. it will enhance the therapeutics of the hospital and will include sensory stimulation, orientation, social interaction.
>> it was set into like boxes to create color filled areas in the hospital. inspired by nature, the signature painting of native san francisco birds, clouds, and the surface of the ocean waves were translated into a variety of media including glass mosaic and tapestry. the playful clock encourages memory stimulation among the patients. they used the theme of the four elements as they relate to vocation. it is a direct homage to the historical murals in the original laguna honda building. it features to large tile walls.
by observing residents, the gardens created a public artwork in the form of the handrail. in one of the outdoor courtyards, the circular grouping of -- with a smooth finish. this features ten unique button sculptures with different pastel colors that function not only as a place to sit, but also as a touchstone to something recognizable, familiar, and comforting. another key component included an art project that responded directly to the hospital's rich history.