Tony Conrad Filmworks | Chicago Reader

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Curated by Jim O'Rourke and Andrew Lampert, this program reveals film- and video maker Tony Conrad—also a musician and composer—as a playful, often humorous artist interested in investigating the nature of media. His best-known film, The Flicker (1966), pushes the limits of perception with its 30 minutes of rapidly alternating black-and-white frames. Cycles of 3s and 7s (1977), shown here in a 12-minute excerpt, tests the viewer's expectations and attention with its close-up of a calculator on which repetitive operations are being performed in the hope of getting a “nice” number. In Tony's Oscular Pets, the artist shows pictures of his “pets”—that is, the bacteria in his mouth—making a weird connection between the video image of his open mouth and living beings. 78 min.

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