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Lev Manovich
Mission to Earth (Soft Cinema edition)

A media installation
Official Release Presentation of a new DVD published and distributed by MIT Press (2005)

JANUARY 8 – 26
Saturday, January 8, 2:00 PM Opening reception and Talk

The discussion will continue as Manovich is joined by
Christiane Paul, adjunct new media curator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Barbara London, video and digital media curator, Museum of Modern Art
Marty St. James, visual artist
Sue Hubbard, art critic, Independent Newspaper, London
Ken Feinstein, artist/professor of experimental video
Moderated by Mechthild Schmidt, master teacher, digital communications and media, McGhee Divison, New York University

At 3:00PM the discussion will continue as St. James is joined by: author/artist/new media theorist, Lev Manovich; Christiane Paul, adjunct new media curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; Barbara London, curator, video and digital media, Museum of Modern Art; Sue Hubbard, art critic, Independent Newspaper, London; Ken Feinstein, artist/professor of experimental video. The discussion is moderated by Mechthild Schmidt, master teacher, digital communications and media, McGhee Divison, New York University.

Mission to Earth is a film assembled by software in real time.
Mac G5 computer, custom software written in Lingo (Macromedia Director).
Narrative, videography, editing: Lev Manovich.
Soft Cinema software: Andreas Kratky | Berlin.
Music: Jóhann Jóhannsson | Iceland
Motion graphics: Ross Cooper / Stuart Sinclair | LondonARTIST TALK - JA

Technical installation: Brooklyn College, Program in Performance & Interactive Media Arts

Produced in cooperation with the Program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts, Brooklyn College, John J. A. Jannone, Director

What kind of cinema is appropriate for the age of Palm Pilot and Google? Automatic surveillance and self-guided missiles? Consumer profiling and CNN? To investigate answers to this question Lev Manovich, one of today‚s most influential thinkers in the fields of media arts and digital culture, paired with award-winning new media artist and designer Andreas Kratky. They have also invited contributions from leaders in other cultural fields: DJ Spooky, Scanner, George Lewis, and Jóhann Jóhannsson (music), servo (architecture), Schoenerwissen/OfCD (information visualization), and Ross Cooper Studios (media design).

The results of their three-year explorations are the three films, the latest of which is making its New York debut in The Project Room at Chelsea Art Museum. Mission to Earth tells the story of Inga, an alien who after spending twenty years on earth is finally given the chance to return to her own planet, Alpha-1. An allegory about the Cold War and immigration, Mission to Earth utilizes footage of a secret radio telescope build in the former Soviet Union in 1971. The film is edited in real time by custom software, rendering each run of the piece different from the last. The software determines the screen layout, number of windows on the screen, and each window's content, using a script and a system of rules determined by the authors. In a great deal of narrative nearly all choices are left to the software; however at some points the authors specified exactly what the viewer sees as a particular moment in time.More information at www.softcinema.net
Complete text used for voiceover in Mission to Earth is available at www.manovich.net/alpha.html

Lev Manovich, the leader of the Soft Cinema project and the videographer, editor, and author of Mission to Earth, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of new media culture. He is the author of The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) and Little Movies (1994), the first film project created specifically for the World Wide Web. His computer-driven installations and films have been exhibited in numerous museums, galleries, media and film festivals in the US, Europe and Asia, including ZKM, Karlsruhe; the ICA, London; SENEF, Seoul; and the ICC, Tokyo. In addition, Soft Cinema received an honorary mention at Transmediale 2003 festival, Berlin and is the subject of a short documentary by ARTE-TV.

Andreas Kratky, the author of the Soft Cinema software, has been responsible for media design and co-direction of a number of groundbreaking new media projects, including the award-winning DVDs That‚s Kyogen and Bleeding Through ˆ Layers of Los Angeles 1920-1986 (both published by ZKM).

For information please contact: Nina Colosi, Producer/curator, The Project Room @ Chelsea Art Museum nina@chelseaartmuseum.org

Produced in cooperation with the Program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts, Brooklyn College, John J. A. Jannone, Director.