Past Programs

Nazakawa photos

Here and Now, vol. 3: Davis, Nakazawa, Turchin + Alien On Vacation
Saturday, July 23, 2022, 8:00PM

John Davis (image + sound)
Nao Nakazawa (image) + Alien on Vacation (sound, Hj Mooij & Whatnao)
Silvia Turchin (image) + Alien on Vacation (sound)

John Davis is a Northern California artist exploring the relationship between moving image and sound. Through live performance and studio-based projects, his work encourages sensory response through unexpected uses of traditional media.

Nao Nakazawa, originally hailing from Nagano, Japan, moved to California in 1996 to study film. First earning a BA in film & digital media from UC Santa Cruz, and later a MFA in cinema from SF State University, Nao has spent more than 25 years working on film and television productions throughout San Francisco Bay Area and Japan. Nao has been devoted to making his own films of many genres, such as documentaries, fictions and animations. For the past decade, he has been creating experimental works that feature live performances.

Silvia Turchin is a Bay Area experimental filmmaker whose work is concerned with memory and loss. Her films are experiential in style, encouraging viewers to immerse themselves in keen visual and aural observation of urban and natural landscapes. Her films include “Summer Light for Tula”, "F-Line", "Oh Christmas Tree" and "Dogs of the 9th Ward". Silvia has screened at festivals such as Edinburgh International Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Filmfest Dresden, Mill Valley, Big Muddy, Frameline and Experiments in Cinema. She holds her MFA in Cinema from San Francisco University and has taught film production at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Art Institute, and is currently Associate Professor in the Cinematic Arts Department at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Alien on Vacation is Hj Mooij on bass and synths, and Whatnao on violin and mandolin. These aliens love earth music of all kinds and they try to imitate what they heard while on vacation on this planet.

The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda

An Evening of Expanded Cinema
as part of the exhibition series Drop: A Psychedelic Exploration
UMA Gallery
Mosswood Chapel
3630 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Thursday, June 9, 2022, 8PM

Program changes: Due to unforseen circumstances, Andy Puls is unable to join us for this event. We have added two more films to the line-up. Please see below for details.

As part of the exhibition series Drop: A Psychedelic Exploration, hosted by UMA Gallery at Mosswood Chapel, Shapeshifters Cinema will be presenting a short program of film and performance that aims to open the door to psychic exploration and universal consciousness. The program will begin with a rare screening of Ira Cohen’s restored film The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda (1968) that captures the height of the psychedelic era with costumed characters performing altered-state rituals while floating in a sea of mylar reflections. Then, Ben Russell’s Trypps #7 (Badlands) (2010) invites the audience on an intimate psychedelic journey to explore the romantic sublime, phenomenological experience, and secular spiritualism. Pat O'Neill's 7362 (1965-67), shown on 16mm film, shows a bilaterally symmetrical fusion of human, biomorphic and mechanical shapes in motion. Coni Beeson's Firefly (1974), also shown on 16mm, is a short expressive dance film featuring a young Carrie Mae Weems. Following the films, Oakland’s own Church of Color and Light will perform Apollo's Lore, a reflection on the nuances of solitude during the pandemic and the mythical Apollo, who is both the cause and cure of plagues. The 16mm film prints were provided by Canyon Cinema. Note: This program takes place at Mosswood Chapel, 3630 Telegraph Ave., Oakland

For more about Drop, including other events in the series, visit:

Carl Diehl, Misdirections

Carl Diehl presents Misdirections
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 8:00 PM

Witness this veritable variety show of cine-magical feats, including Andrew Kim’s film essay on the curiously named village, Colon, MI and its claim as “the Magic Capital of the World;” Kathleen Quillian’s enchanted collage animation, The Conjuror; Kerry Laitala's phantasmagoric 16mm film Spectrology on magic lanterns and optical illusions; Stephanie Hough’s short EARTHVIEWS films which temporarily transform your personal digital device into a novel interface for seeing and knowing anew; and, from primordial depths, a media archeological fossil in the form of a kinescope film, featuring a bonafide magician circa 1950! This entourage of audiovisual delights orbits around an illuminated excursion into the life and times of the late, great magician, vaudevillian, and comedy emcee, Werner “Dorny” Dornfield (1892-1982), as presented by Portland-based, multimedia artist Carl Diehl. Diehl's presentation draws from his recent publication, Misdirections, a 68-page chapbook that delves into the life of his Great Uncle Dorny, including his association with Harry Houdini, and touches on L. Frank Baum's window-dressing trade journal, the Magic Capital of the World and the American Museum of Magic as told through a series of conversations with historians, performance artists, and magicians as well as reminiscences of Diehl's own personal experiences as an experimental artist and musician. The beguiling Jeremy Rourke will be your host for this thrilling dive into magical realms while Cindy Webster accompanies on the singing saw. Prepare to be dazzled and delighted in this one-night-only experience!

Media-Making Beekeepers: An Evening of Short Films and Honey Tasting
Saturday, April 30, 2022, 8PM

There are many fascinating insects in the world; few are so closely intertwined with humans as honeybees, Apis mellifera. The unique relationship that each of us has with honeybees is a paradoxical blend of awe and fear. We want to know how honeybees make honey and wax, raise their young and swarm, but no one wants to get stung – an inevitable part of beekeeping. One thing is always clear, honeybees don’t need us, we need them. The Bay Area has a rich history of media makers and beekeepers, but very few are doing both. This program presents a lucky round-up of a few of those elusive creators. We present work by Bay Area multimedia artists Nicky Tavares, John Davis, Robert Fox, Melanie Curry and Alfonso Alvarez. These diverse and intimate works celebrate each maker’s complex relationship with the honeybee. Following the screening will be a short talk about honey and how to experience the myriad of flavors in natural honey using the tasting guide developed at UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center.

Landing, by Sabina Maselli

Southern Climes: Films from AFW Melbourne
Program presented in association with SF Cinematheque
Sunday, May 1, 2022, 7:30 PM

Initiated by filmmakers Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie in 2009, Artist Film Workshop (AFW) is a film collective and not-for-profit organization which provides access to knowledge and resources for filmmakers and artists in Melbourne, Australia. AFW holds regular screenings and workshops for people interested in film or working with sound and vision. Visiting as part of an epic west coast tour, AFW member Paddy Hay will present a selection of recent and brand-new 16mm film works produced by members of AFW. The program reflects the diversity of interests, methodologies and technologies investigated by AFW members, showcasing a wide variety of filmmaking styles across forms of abstraction, archival/ found footage, audio-vision and lo-fi documentary. Techniques including contact and optical printing, DIY cameras and traditional lens-based photography are among the methods and approaches explored. ALL FILMS TO BE PRESENTED ON 16MM.

SCREENING: Valpi (2019) by Richard Tuohy; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes; Is Anybody Coming Over to Dinner (2022) by Audrey Lam; Self Portrait With Bag (2020) by Diana Barrie; Southern Climes (2018) by Hanna Chetwin; 4000 Frames from Hobart to Queenstown (2020) by Ilona Schneider; Window (2020) by Rowena Crowe; Fade (2017) by Callum Ross-Thomson; Landing (2019) by Sabina Maselli; Sensor Lights in Flemington (2022) by Lucas Haynes; The Gardens (2022) by Paddy Hay & Giles Fielke.

TRT: 74 minutes. Film descriptions + filmmaker bios here.

RELATED WORKSHOP: Reversing Reversal: An Introduction to Super-8 Film. An all-day workshop on experimental super-8 film processing with Paddy Hay immediately preceding the screening.

Film About a Father Who

Lynne Sachs’ Film About a Father Who
Program presented in association with SF Cinematheque and Pacific Film Archive
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 7:30pm

In her nearly forty-year career as a filmmaker, Lynne Sachs, in various shorts and long form works, has developed a uniquely engaged and sensitive approach to personal experimental documentary form. Frequently focusing on families—often her own—Sachs’s films portray their subjects with rare personal complexity and grace. In so doing, Sachs’ portraits describe their subjects within the flows of history, always within the interwoven, multigenerational webs of family, friendships and society. Consisting of footage collected by Sachs from 1984 to 2019, and collecting oral history from family members documenting nearly a half century of family history, Film About a Father Who presents a complicated, multi-vocal, narrative portrait of the filmmakers’ father, while exploring a complex family dynamic of anger, confusion, love and forgiveness, evolving over generations. (Steve Polta)

RELATED WORKSHOP: Opening the Family Album at Shapeshifters Cinema from 5-7pm immediately preceding this screening.

RELATED SCREENING: Three additional films by Lynne Sachs—The Washing Society (2018, made with Lizzie Olesker), And Then We Marched (2017) and E•pis•to•lar•y: Letter to Jean Vigo (2021)—screen at Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive on Wednesday, April 6. Full details here.


Jake Parker Scott/Voicehandler/Laetitia Sonami
Thursday, March 24, 2022, 8PM

A night of experimental music accompanied by 16mm projections, including a set by Oakland-based duo, Voicehandler, who perform improvised, intuitive, incantatory music grounded in the most primitive and somatic instruments -- the voice and percussion -- juxtaposed with contemporary, disembodied electronics. Jake Parker Scott will debut a new text-based piece of expanded cinema featuring a set of 16mm collages created in San Francisco's Other Cinema archive. He will be accompanied by his pals Matt Robidoux and Mitch Stahlmann on various electronics. The night will conclude with a set from French sound artist, performer and electronic music pioneer, Laetitia Sonami, whose sound performances, live-film collaborations and sound installations explore ideas of presence and participation. 16mm projections throughout the evening by Jake Parker Scott, with film loop contributions from Joel Skavdahl during Voicehandler's set.

CROSSROADS 2021, Program 1

CROSSROADS 2021: SF Cinematheque's 12th Annual Festival of Artist-made Film & Video
September 17-October 21, 2021

Read the full line-up of artists and details about the festival

Shapeshifters Cinema is proud to be a community partner for the opening program of CROSSROADS 2021, the 12th annual film festival presented by San Francisco Cinematheque.

Program 1: tendrils on a plane (co-sponsored by Shapeshifters Cinema) will livestream via the SF Cinematheque website on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 7PM, with live introductions by participating filmmakers before the program. The program will subsequently be available along with the other seven on-line programs in the festival (without the introductions) for “view-as-desired” viewing through October 21.

Program 1: tendrils on a plane includes: Primavera (2020) by Adrian Garcia Gomez, Pilgrimage (2020) by Anthony Buchanan, Blue Distance (2021) by Devin Jie Allen, Parenthesis (2021) by Vasilios Papaioannu, Rehearsal (2020) by Talena Sanders, June July (2021) by Kevin Jerome Everson (livestream only), life, like water, flows to greater bodies (2020) by Takahiro Suzuki, Tres bocetos de casa (2020) by Azucena Losana, a moment west (2020) by Noah Rosenberg. Find out more about this program


Thingamajigs: Sound of Wave in Channel

Sunday, July 25, 2021, 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Pacific
Broadcast @ BAMPFA

Followed by a live conversation with the artists (at 8pm)
Presented in conjunction with Thingamjigs virtual residency at BAMPFA

This eleven-hour marathon experience, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., combines spoken word and sound. The work is built around Bay Area poet Stephen Ratcliffe’s work of the same name that documents one thousand poems written in one thousand consecutive days. Recorded at BAMPFA with Ratcliffe and the Thingamajigs Performance Group, this work explores the relationship between things as they are observed in the world and how they might be transcribed or transformed as works of art. The artists join us for a live Q&A following the performance at 8 p.m.

This is one of four programs presented as part of the Thingamajigs July virtual residency. Thingamajigs is a genre-crossing arts organization founded in the East Bay that promotes music and other art forms created with found materials or alternate tuning systems. Tune in via livestream

Guillermo Galindo and The Living Earth Show

Sonic Biogenesis: Genomics and Mutant Jungles

Sunday, June 20, 2021, 7:00 - 8:00 PM Pacific
Broadcast via livestream

Followed by a live conversation with the artists
Presented in partnership with Kala Art Institute

Sonic Biogenesis: Genomics and Mutant Jungles features Guillermo Galindo’s “genome scores” which consist of graphic representations of his musical compositions and artwork merging textures of plants, animals, and microbes. These pieces illustrate, in Galindo’s unique symbolic language, how research and data have historically expressed and sustained systems of power, particularly relating to colonialism. As a follow up to Galindo’s exhibition Dissonant Matter at Kala Art Institute which closed early this year, Shapeshifters Cinema and Kala will co-present a new iteration of Sonic Biogenesis, a performance by Guillermo Galindo with The Living Earth Show—the new-music chamber ensemble consisting of guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson. Andrews and Meyerson will play experimental sonic devices designed by Galindo. Animation by Christoph Steger bringing Galindo’s “mutants” to life will weave through the video. More about the show...

Garfunkle is Dead by Nicky Tavares

Nicky Tavares: Notes from the Lower Rungs on Being Chronically Tan and Enflamed
Sunday, March 28, 2021
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Bay Area and Iowa-based artist and filmmaker Nicky Tavares makes work that sheds light on systemic inequalities through personal storytelling. She is interested in how new technologies shape and transform the way we see and present ourselves, and the myriad ways they are utilized by political, social, and cultural systems as both license and vehicle for subjugation of individuals who fall outside the bounds of dominant culture. Through her creative practice, she discovers seams where history, technology, creative inquiry, and ethics meet, and experiments with ways to stitch them together using threads from theory and practice. Shapeshifters will be streaming a selection of Nicky’s short films: Untitled Bee Film, Searching for Beauty in Student Loan Debt or at Least the Envelopes in Which It Comes, Garfunkel Is Dead, No Whining, and her latest work in progress, Notes from the Lower Rungs on Being Chronically Tan and Enflamed.

Andy Puls

Andy Puls
Sunday, March 14, 2021
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Andy Puls beams down from his woodland retreat with a performance of live generative music and colored light pieces made using his homemade "Melody Oracle" electronic music and synchronized refractive light projection system.

still by Keith Evans

Keith Evans: utube
Sunday, February 7, 2021
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

So many vectors, revectors…liminal songs, matchbooks, reports from the front and backrooms scrubbed on keys. Cinema stalks onward, leaving for a time the blackened spaces in a burned and turbulent wake. Inside the floating spell-correct of this digital campfire are invitations to other layers, other notes on our troubled time together, emanations of equivocal data that may pass on down to the underground lakes of the plasma people. Transmission is in the electric rivers too. Make incomplete of it what you will. Viewers are invited to tune in on February 7th at 7pm PST to watch the livestream.

Retrospectroscope, by Kerry Laitala

Kerry Laitala and Jonathan Walley on Expanded Cinema and Cinema Expanded
Sunday, January 31, 2021
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel
Co-presented with Canyon Cinema

Artist and filmmaker Kerry Laitala (San Francisco) and cinema scholar Jonathan Walley (Columbus, OH) engage in an illustrated conversation about expanded cinema, including Laitala’s recent 16mm film projection performance Fire Fly EYE (hand-processed 16mm Ektachrome and B&W film, dual projection) and the iconic paracinematic work Retrospectroscope (1996). Walley will also discuss his book Cinema Expanded: Avant-Garde Film in the Age of Intermedia, published last year by Oxford University Press, the first comprehensive historical and theoretical account of expanded cinema published since Gene Youngblood’s landmark book Expanded Cinema (1970). Laitala will also share documentation of her studio, which will be the basis for a discussion with Walley about the role of studio spaces and practices in the creation of expanded cinema works. Q&A will follow.

collage, Faith Arazi

Collage-based films of Faith Arazi
Sunday, January 24, 2021
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

San Francisco-based artist and filmmaker Faith Arazi works with handmade collage and film. Her inspirations draw heavily from the abstraction and primal stimuli in early children’s programming to engage viewers by way of familiar spontaneity, leading into peak experiences of pure emotions, youthful idealism, transition, and worship for the small and mundane. Compelled by a short attention span and playful spirit, Faith's practice sources a dynamic range of found images to explore capitalist anxiety, latinx identity, and poetic mystery. She is currently exploring techniques in repetition, layered visual complexity and movement. We'll be streaming a selection of Faith's films: Oracíon, Through a Field, Untitled Animation, and a collection of small and tiny animations (under 1 minute). Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on January 24th at 7pm PST to watch the livestream. Learn more about Faith's techniques and the thoughts behind her process in Cut & Paste: Collage As a Means of Play, the workshop she will be teaching on Sunday, February 7th.

Still Moving

STILL/MOVING: The Tenuous We
Sunday, December 20, 2020
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel
Co-presented with The Maysles Documentary Center

STILL/MOVING is a program of work exploring poetry and the moving image. STILL/MOVING formed out of a 3-day workshop led by Lynne Sachs and Paolo Javier in May 2020, hosted on-line by the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, New York. During this initial workshop, a cohort of folks from around the world (Uruguay, Ireland, and all across the US) met over Zoom to explore the resonances and ruptures between still/moving images and written/spoken words. Inspired by the experience, the participants decided to continue working together and have since made two more collaborative projects over the ensuing months combining language and moving imagery in various forms. Shapeshifters will be screening the third project ("The Tenuous We") made by members of the group, with a live discussion between collaborating artists immediately after the screening. Viewers are invited to watch this program by tuning in on December 20th at 7pm to watch the livestream. The first two projects made by the group will also be available to view on The Maysles Center website from December 14-28. The Maysles Center will also be hosting a live discussion between workshop participants on Thursday, December 17th at 5pmPST/8pmEST. STILL/MOVING participants: Emily Apter, Danielle Chu, Quin de la Mer, Melissa Ferrari, Nina Fonoroff, Edith Goldenhar, Laura Harrison, Caroline Losneck, Mary Magsamen, Veronica Pamoukaghlian, Kathleen Quillian, Lynne Sachs, Moira Sweeney, Fereshteh Toosi, Jordan Wong.

Rosario Sotelo

Live from Shapeshifters: Rosario Sotelo
Sunday, December 13, 2020
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

"The Ruins," by Rosario Sotelo, is the documentation of the artist's travels through sacred sites in Guatemala during the closing of the Mayan Calendar in 2012. Shot on 16mm, it's a continuation of her work about place. Original music by David R. Molina.

Dokuro, In the Dust of Our Stars

Live from Shapeshifters: Dokuro
Sunday, December 6, 2020
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Dokuro will perform In the Dust of the Stars, a sonic and visual meditation on the smallness of being human in the endless undulation of our universe. The video footage is meant to emulate conformal cyclic cosmology, a theory in which the universe iterates through infinite cycles, with the future time-like infinity of each previous iteration being identified with the Big Bang singularity of the next. This theory was popularized by Gilbert Penrose in his 2010 book Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe. Our dust-like footprint in the universe falls parallel with how many people are feeling these days due to COVID-19 and all of the socio-economic challenges: we are tiny and much is out of our direct control. In our current lives it seems we take one step forward with a resulting two steps backward, an endless oscillation much like the movement of the universe. However, we also see this oscillation as something unifying and magical as we are all a part of the universe's massive rhythm. Dokuro is the artistic maelstrom formed by the duo of Agnes Szelag and The Norman Conquest. Their love for song-form and noise unveils itself during their intense live performances. As they delve into layers of sound they commit themselves to the compositional surprises each one presents, reacting, and in turn creating unexpected transitions that unfold into the next exploration. These intersections and song-like clusters, along with their abstract and textural videos, create a space for listeners to dream.

Scott Stark, Damnation

Live from Shapeshifters: Scott Stark
Sunday, November 29, 2020
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Scott Stark returns to Shapeshifters to perform DAMNATION (sound by John Wynne) -- new work made using sheets of ice and images from a 1960s television series to follow the tragic trajectory of the eternally damned. Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on November 29th at 7pm to watch the livestream.

Aggregate Animated Shorts

Live from Shapeshifters: Aggregate Animated Shorts Awards Ceremony
Sunday, November 8, 2020
7pm PST
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Shapeshifters is excited to stream the 4th annual Aggregate Animated Shorts Awards Ceremony, organized by our sister organization Aggregate Space Gallery, based in West Oakland. Aggregate's Gallery Director Conrad Meyers will host this online award ceremony and screening which will include the top films from each of the festival's categories, as well as Viewer’s Choice awards that were rated by visitors via an online form during the two weeks that the full festival screened online. The awards ceremony will also include a film by each of the exhibition's jurors: Santiago Insignares, Carey Lin, and Fu Yang. Artists from the August on-line festival: Amber Crabbe, Kristine Diekman, Celia Eid & Sébastien Béranger, Richard Haley, Jiayang Huang, SHON KIM, Seren Moran, Ben Mosca, Maxine Schoefer-Wulf, Cassie Shao, Leon Simone, Melinda K.P. Stees, Cyane Tornatzky, Joshua Tuthill, and Claudia Ungersbäck.

Lori Varga, Dennis Keefe & Kit Young

Live from Shapeshifters: Lori Varga, Dennis Keefe & Kit Young
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Paying homage to the historic Vortex Planetarium sessions of 1959, Bay Area artists Lori Varga, Dennis Keefe and Kit Young will combine their massive arsenal of A/V systems to perform three distinct pieces celebrating the art of synesthesia. Pairing early electronic soundscapes with modular and semi-modular visual systems made from 16mm film projectors, vintage lumia equipment + state of the art digital and hand-built A/V systems, the trio will forge new pathways into alternate realities sculpted from cosmic light and sound in five dimensions!

Wayne Grim & Phoebe Tooke

Live from Shapeshifters: Wayne Grim & Phoebe Tooke
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

In Decline, by Wayne Grim and Phoebe Tooke is an investigation of space and the physical nature of abandonment. The performance will move through three distinct movements: wreckage, estates, and steady states. Audio-visual tropes, conspicuous constructions, and subconscious arguments with oneself will be your guide.

Anne McGuire

Live from Shapeshifters: Anne McGuire
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Artist Anne McGuire sings and plays guitar for this variation on "Cuckoo Suite for Guitar and Voice" -- a performance she created for KZSU’s Day of Noise 2020.

Kadet Kuhne, Metaptosi

Live from Shapeshifters: Kadet Kuhne
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Kadet Kuhne is a sound and visual artist who is presenting works that engage noise algorithms, spectra, evolving, chaotic and structured forms, and states of becoming through emergent patterns. Working collaboratively with animator Ying Herng, Chia, visual artist Christopher O’Leary, writer and playwright Carson Beker, and graphic designer Graham Akins, the sound performance by Kadet will be a combination of live interpreted visual data and composed overlays with no-input mixing, manipulated recordings, and analog synths.

Charles Woodman

Live from Shapeshifters: viDEO sAVant vs Φ4 performs The City and the Stars
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Musicians Maurizio Rinaldi and Fabrizio Saiu (based in Italy) react to the morphing flow of images created by viDEO sAVant (Charles Woodman, based in California), the sound changing in response to the visual score. Simultaneously the images are shifting, composed in reaction to alterations in sound and mood. Disparate images and sounds blur together and fuse to become a new kind of organism. The mix evolves as a push-pull between music and image, an active dialogue that constitutes a new, experimental film and soundtrack--one composed live. Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on September 27th from 7-8pm to watch the livestream.

John Davis

Live from Shapeshifters: John Davis presents The Singing Sun
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Filmmaker and musician John Davis will perform improvised music to two 16mm films shown side by side. One film follows the life cycle of the honeybee, while the other uses plant matter as source material for a cameraless cyanotype film. The two films together highlight the tension between the formal yet temporal elements of matter existing in constant transformation and motion. Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on September 20th from 7-8pm to watch the livestream.

killer banshee

Live from Shapeshifters: killer banshee presents Mobility
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

killer banshee (Eliot Daughtry and Kriss DeJong) revisits the archive with a presentation of their expanded cinema work: Mobility - Confabulation on the Experiential Nature of Modern Medicine. Originally created in live, improvised performances between 2005 and 2009, using early VJ software running on laptops controlled by MIDI keyboards and beamed from janky projectors, this work pushed the boundaries of both technological expression and presentation that continues to resonate today. Mobility began as an exploration of the personal experience of living with chronic, episodic, and life threatening medical health crises. It became a commentary on documentary, nonfiction, and a refutation of the demand for obvious narrative. Designed for two screens with accompanying audio, it challenges media tropes of medical drama, and instead highlights the personal experience. Comprised predominately of our own photos, video, and medical documents, augmented with selective found footage, it explores new ways to consider personal archives as a way to examine trauma in a poetic mode. In final form, Mobility developed into 6 segments, each addressing a different part of the lived experience and emotional residue from the events that required its creation. Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on September 13th from 7-8pm to watch the livestream.

Suki drum

Live from Shapeshifters: Suki O'Kane and Tim Perkis
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Suki O'Kane returns to Shapeshifters to present two new pieces for bass drum, electronics, and performative projection. Hard to Read is a new work directed by (and featuring the electronics and coding of) Tim Perkis. Together Suki and Tim animate and sonify his disarming and mysterious archive of human expression. Surprised by Sin is a new work for for bass drum, liberation texts, and hand-held projections. Viewers are invited to watch this live performance by tuning in on August 16th from 7-8pm to Watch it live, online.

Detail from NSV 11 (nososcarida viscosa) by Guillermo Galindo

Guillermo Galindo live performance webcast
Sunday, June 21, 2020

Guillermo Galindo will be performing -- live from Shapeshifters Cinema -- a variation on Sonic Botany, a project exploring how science has played, and continues to play, a role in colonizing and conquest. Viewers are invited to watch this live performance by tuning in from 7-8pm to


Telecinema: Tommy Becker + Negativland
Saturday, March 14, 2020
7:30-10:00 pm, Online!
Presented in partnership with Out of Focus TV

The original show we had planned to present on Saturday, March 14th featuring Tommy Becker, Steev Hise and Jon Leidecker was cancelled, like so many others around the world, due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance. But so is your sanity. So we've decided to go ahead with the! Join us on Facebook Live, Apple TV or wherever you can tune in from the comfort of your own home as we present:

Negativland live at Spazio Aerio, Venice, Italy, September 30, 2016
Tommy Becker live at Shapeshifters Cinema, Oakland, CA, April 8, 2018

More info and how to watch...

Ether Ship
Sunday, January 11, 2020

Ether Ship electronic music group (Willard Van De Bogart and Lemon DeGeorge) will be premiering two new compositions with dimensional videos from their wilderness locations. Ether Ship has been performing for over 50 years. Their first performance was at the Sea Port Museum in New York City for the Avant Garde Festival created by Charlotte Moormon, and their most recent performance was in Denmark for the Re-Sound Conference. Willard Van De Bogart is on iPAD synthesizers and Lemon DeGeorge is on electronically processed harmonicas.

Elena Pardo w/Voicehandler + Laboratorio Experimental de Cine
Friday, December 6, 2019

In 2018 the Mexico City experimental film collective Laboratorio Experimental de Cine (LEC) held a residency at the film laboratories of the famous Mexican national film studio, Estudios Churubusco. Over the course of a year, a dozen filmmakers partnered with laboratory staff to create short films and exchange knowledge and approaches to analog film. The LEC residency culminated in the second biennial international independent film laboratories conference and the publication Recetario. The first part of this program screens some highlights from the residency, including "Bandera Churubusco" by Walter Forsberg, "Filmer & Son" by Antonio Bunt, "Churubusco Inventory" by Elena Pardo and "Boom boom boom" by Naomi Uman. The second part of the program features "Underground Pulses," a new expanded cinema performance looking at community resistance to underground mining in Mexico by LEC co-founder Elena Pardo with sound performed live by Voicehandler.

Lynne Sachs
Sunday, November 10, 2019

How do we negotiate the photographing of images that contain the body? What experiential, political or aesthetic contingencies do we bring to both the making and viewing of a cinema that contains the human form? If a body is different from our own – in terms of gender, skin color, or age – do we frame it differently? How does looking at a body on screen make us feel? New York filmmaker Lynne Sachs will guide her audience through her own evolution as a filmmaker by sharing excerpts from her own films in "My Body, Your Body, Our Bodies: Somatic Cinema at Home and in the World" an expanded cinema screening and talk. Sachs will explore the fraught and bewildering challenge of looking at the human form from behind the lens. Inspired by the performance self-portrait films of Vito Acconci, the audience will also be included in the making of a live, impromptu production. Excerpts from these films by Lynne Sachs will be included: “Drawn and Quartered” (4 min. 1986); “Still Life with Woman and Four Objects” (4 min. 1986); "Sermons and Sacred Pictures" (29 min. 1989); “The House of Science: a museum of false facts" (30min. 1991); "A Biography of Lilith" (35 min. 1997); “Window Work” (9 min. 2000); “Wind in Our Hair” (40min. 2010); “Same Stream Twice” (4min. 2012); “Your Day is My Night” (64min. 2013); “And Then We Marched” (4 min. 2017); "Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor" (8 min. 2018); “A Year of Notes and Numbers” (4 min. 2018); "The Washing Society" (44 min. 2018).

Jeremy Rourke
Friday, September 20, 2019

Jeremy Rourke is a self-taught animator and musician. His animation table is full of photo-puppets, clay, paint, pens, pencils, paper ephemera, lights, shadows, and flora. During live performances, he uses his animation in conjunction with lyrics, instrumental music, stories, sound samples, multiple projectors and real-time interactions with the screen to create an immersive expanded cinema.

Minoosh Zomorodinia
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian-born interdisciplinary artist who makes visible her emotional and psychological reflections as seen in her mind's eye inspired by nature and her environments. Her work exposes and experiments with humanity's relationship to the natural world. The piece she will be presenting, Illusion is an ongoing project addressing confusion in contemporary urban life. Using a variety of cameras (digital, 16mm and super-8mm), the artist documents her own wanderings through various landscapes in search of the lost spirituality in the modern world and the ambiguous and mystical origin of self.

Expanded Cinema Past Programs

All programs listed below were programmed as part of Shapeshifters' monthly expanded cinema series which ran from June 2012 - August 2019 at Arbor Cafe and Temescal Art Center in North Oakland. They are listed in chronological order starting from the first show through August 2019 (after which we moved to our new space in Jack London Square)

June 7, 2012
The cinePimps

The cinePimps, featuring performative projectionists Alfonso Alvarez (CCA, Great Wall of Oakland, Canyon Cinema) and Keith Arnold (Castro Theater, Fine Arts Theater), use multiple 16mm projectors and found footage arrays to layer light and meaning, creating immersive visual fields that spill on to adjacent walls and ceilings. Collaborating musicians Wayne Grim and Suki O'Kane ride the bucking broncos of each projector's optical line out to create an improvised sound track, pushed through their own sieves of rancor and redemption.

July 13, 2012
Paul Clipson & Evan Caminiti

Paul Clipson uses multiple exposures, dissolves and macro imagery to create largely improvised studies, edited in-camera on Super 8mm film, bringing to light subconscious preoccupations and unexpected visual forms. Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl, Higuma) creates sound that draws on the psychedelic, kosmische, and meditative influences. Together they create a hypnotic and ever-changing audio-visual composition.

August 2, 2012
Jeremy Rourke

Jeremy Rourke is a self taught animator and musician living in San Francisco. He uses paper, paint, shadows, wood, old photographs, new photographs, flowers, tape, pens, pencils, leaves, and sticks to make his animations, which are set to his own music. His work has been shown at film festivals around the country and venues all over the Bay Area and he was named 'best new animator/musician' by SFWeekly. During live performances, he and his band try really extra hard to magically enter the movie screen. He is on this earth, with the sun shining on it, floating through space, right along with you.

Sept 6, 2012
Kerry Laitala & John Davis

Multi-dimensional, award-winning, San Francisco filmmaker Kerry Laitala conjures spirits from the material of celluloid using her trove of tricks and techniques to make dazzling explosions of color, light and motion. Kerry will perform "The Color Red Bleeds Blue," an expanded cinema work, along with two new premieres of live cinematic sorcery: "Trip the Light Fantastic," a collaboration with Neal Johnson and "Velvet of Night," a collaboration with musician John Davis. Plus other surprises.

Oct 4, 2012
Tommy Becker

A poet trapped in a camcorder, Tommy Becker continuously works to feed video poems into his never-ending saga, TAPE NUMBER ONE, a collection of short videos made up of found footage, spoken word, performance, graphic design and sound collage. Join us as we witness the unfolding of TAPE NUMBER ONE into live spoken word/video performances.

Nov 8, 2012
Sylvia Schedelbauer

A special cross-continental collaboration with Berlin-based filmmaker Sylvia Schedelbauer and Washington, DC-based sound artist Jeff Surak. Sylvia Schedelbauer's films negotiate the space between broader historical narratives and personal, psychological realms mainly through poetic manipulations of found and archival footage. Jeff Surak uses unconventional sound sources (dry ice, old record players, autoharp, microcassettes, etc) to layer successive walls of noise into gargantuan citadels of shimmering light.

Sunday, January 13, 2013
John Davis & Josh Churchill

John Davis works with moving images and sound, expanding their relationships through experimentation, chance, collaboration and improvisation. Current performance work investigates various sound and image delivery systems, their material bi-products, and the range of sensory possibilities that exists between them. Josh Churchill's work includes immersive site-specific sound and light installation, photography, and experimental music/noise. His dynamic works compel one to be critically aware of their surroundings by exploring the aesthetic, emotive, and structural qualities of the environments in which they are situated and/or are examining.

February 10, 2013
Jen Cohen & Guillermo Galindo

[inter] MEDIA Divinations is a new work created by video/performance artist Jen Cohen and composer/sound artist guillermo gal*in_dog. Using hacked electronic toys to create sounds and live video processing of random objects, Jen Cohen and guillermo gal*in_dog will merge an unrepeatable mélange of discreet moments in a unique and carefully randomized jam session. Jen Cohen's practice utilizes video in combination with photography, sculpture, costuming and performance in order to present possibilities of transcendent experiences both, as the performer or image in her own work as well as for the viewer. Guillermo Galindo’s artistic work spans a wide spectrum of expression from symphonic composition to the domains of musical and visual computer interaction, electro-acoustic music, opera, film music, instrument building, three dimensional installation, live performance and sound design.

April 28, 2013
Lori Varga & Paul Baker

Bay Area native Lori Varga will present Beyond the Frames of Light and Strange Sounds, Vol. 2 using 16mm and 8mm handmade collage films, experimental celluloid loops, 35mm slides and a live electronic sound collage made from old audio tape loop machines, magnetic card readers and analog cassette tapes. Paul Baker (Austin, Texas) and friends will also perform Analog Omega - a series of analog feedback loops of images and sounds utilizing VCR, TV and projector overlays, set to audio dronal and tonal experimental sound.

May 12, 2013
Jim Haynes

18 Films About Ted Serios is an ongoing expanded cinema project for the intermedia artist Jim Haynes, with the presentation for Shapeshifters Cinema being its fifth public iteration. The live video projection captures the in situ movement of manipulated glass, sand, motors, and pieces of metal through a surveillance camera, augmented by various means of illumination and a small monitor capable of video playback. Haynes also accumulates the acoustic and the electro-magnetic detritus into billowing tonal constructions and fractured minimalism.

June 9, 2013
Josh Kit Clayton

In conversation, concept, and repetition, Afterimage by Josh Kit Clayton is an abstraction of cinema based in the matter of thought. A social zoetrope, it is a study on the transmission and persistence of idea as language shaping the machinery of the mind. The juxtaposition of discontinuities gives way to the illusion of motion as a means of reconciling separateness. And a life after the fact. Duplication. Degradation. Dispersal.

July 14, 2013

Beige is the collaborative project of filmmakers Kent Long and Vanessa O'Neill. Their work explores the transformations and dimensions of layered 16mm projection with live sound composed and performed by Long. They will be performing an extended version of Suspension (2008) by Vanessa O'Neill, a film that layers a toned and black-and-white reel creating subtle shifts of hue and tone of abstracted seascape.

August 11, 2013
Kadet Kuhne

Kadet Kuhne is a media artist whose work spans the audiovisual spectrum. Kadet's audiovisual works are comprised of intervals, disjunctions and suspensions of space-time, intended to heighten tensions between motion and stasis: a balanced, yet heightened "nervous system" to reflect our own. With textures of self-imposed and societal boundaries and bondages, patterns of visual information entwine with correlating sounds, and a reconstructed map of her subjects' gestures become the language itself. Kadet will be premiering Quantum Tunneling, a new video piece about penetrating barriers, along with her videos Rebound and Fight or Flight. In addition to scoring these works live, she will score to a premiere screening of a Super 8 film short by Paul Clipson, and video shorts In Motion by Alba G. Corral (based in Spain) and Unseen Sync by Krystof Pesek (based in Bohemia) who both use Processing software to generate their images. Hilary Reed and Suki O'Kane will be joining as collaborating musicians.

September 8, 2013
Steve Dye

dyemark is Steven Dye, a multi-disciplinary artist working with sound, projection, and live performance. Much of his work is collaborative, incorporating musical and theatrical performance, live accompaniment for film, instrument building, field recordings, found footage, camera-less film making and expanded cinema techniques, and includes site specific sound and light installations. His work can be described as a direct engagement with the materials and apparatus of sound and projection. Developing dynamic compositions by manipulating sound and light to explore the relationships between what we hear and what we see.

October 13, 2013
Craig Baldwin

Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker, curator and educator whose interests lie in archival retrieval and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. His weekly screening series, Other Cinema, has showcased experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, more recently expanding into DVD publishing with Other Cinema Digital in 2003. Baldwin's suite of live-cinema pieces will employ/deploy an array of 16mm projectors, putting into play the accidental synchronicites of archival/found picture and sound towards an exploration of the fleeting, ephemeral, and ambivalent poetry of representation and reality.

November 10, 2013
Chris Duncan

Utilizing harmonicas, tuning forks and looping stations, Oakland based artist Chris Duncan will create an immersive, quadraphonic sonic response to a series of videos comprised of captured natural light. The piece is an acknowledgement of the phenomena that human beings are drawn to and capture aspects of natural light via film, digital means and video, with and without real purpose. The visual portion of the performance is comprised of several interpretations of this pursuit made by Maria Otero, Ryan Wallace, Lauren Douglas and Hilary Wiedemann - people who are equally fascinated with light. This will be a meditative, immersive experience.

December 8, 2013
Alex MacKenzie

Inspired by the work and thought of 1940s marine scientist Ed Ricketts and the technical approach of french filmmaker Jean Painleve in the same era, INTERTIDAL, by Vancouver-based artist Alex MacKenzie, presents a submersive exploration of the tidal zones and marine life off the shores of Western Canada. Using both camera and non-camera approaches, this performance-based work presented on two analytic 16mm projectors speaks to the fragility of both the film medium and the marine environment explored. Travelling as far West as Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and North to the tip of Naikoon on Haida Gwaii, this route expressly emulates that which Ricketts and his close friend author John Steinbeck intended to revisit prior to Ricketts' untimely death in 1948. The scope and materiality of both emulsion and environment are explored using elements as wide ranging as photograms, alternative film chemistry, live manipulation, and the very movement of the tides themselves. At once personal, political, visual and ecological, the work gives equal weight to representation and abstraction. A project of process through exploration, INTERTIDAL is a marine ecology for emulsion: teeming and tenuous, fleeting and alive.

January 12, 2014
Scott Stark & Allison Holt

The ever-inquisitive Scott Stark will be presenting several pieces from his vast body of work exploring visual and cultural shifts, including Right (2008), Liberty (2014, work-in-progress) and two brand new collaborative pieces with Allison Leigh Holt: Nocturnal Symmetries (2014), a two-projector film performance exploring dream-like urban and natural landscapes, and Treasures of Big House (2014), a playful, yet manic interaction between two performers with light, shadow and sound, using toys, household objects and toiletries out of control.

February 9, 2014
Lori Varga

Artist Lori Varga returns to Shapeshifters to present an all new action-packed program featuring double 16mm film projections, stereo-optic 35mm slides set to lori's own composed music on analog synthesiser, three rarely screened short super-8mm and 16mm collage films, a dual 16mm hand processed celluloid loop set to outdated electronic aural tones and a new piece made in collaboration with local Oakland musician and film artist Sarah Brady.

March 2, 2014
Greg Pope

SPECIAL START TIME: 9:30PM (doors at 9:00PM)

Norwary-based, veteran film performance artist Greg Pope will make a special appearance for Shapeshifters while in town on a small Bay Area tour, including stops at Stanford and SF Cinematheque. For Shapeshifters, Greg will be performing two pieces: SCORELINE, a solo film-sound performance that explores the processes of construction and destruction using a 16mm projector, black film, engraving tools and contact mics and TRANSPARENT STAVANGER, a live projection performance made with 160 photographic slides, two slide projectors and a twin shutter mechanism that suggests movement to the images while they overlap and flicker, echoing early proto-cinematic experiments using magic lantern technology. Performing with Pope is Bay Area based experimental electroacoustic improv duo Voicehandler (Jacob Felix Heule & Danishta Rivero).

April 13, 2014
Andy Puls

Andy Puls is a video artist, analog electronics designer, and composer/musician. He runs the experimental media production studio, "Whistlehut" in Richmond, CA, where he produces his own and others' audio and visual recordings, and designs electronic audio and video devices. His video work centers around live, intuitive, "no source" visualizations. Using video hardware processing, camera feedback loops, and video synthesis, he uncovers the inner-world landscapes existing behind the scan-lines. His focus on live connection to the viewers, and his direct interaction with sound -- working both solo, and in collaboration with other live sound artists -- makes each performance entirely unique to circumstance. For this performance, he will be using newly created video devices and performing a live score using home-made, and other electronic instruments.

May 11, 2014
Chris Pew

Merging the dynamic and often polar worlds of science and art, Oakland artist Chris Pew explores ideas of a complex cosmos and different trajectories for the unobservable universe. Utilizing various digital and analog techniques for motion and sound, these ideas are brought together and presented in an abstract narrative. Chris Pew will be presenting a 20-30 minute live performance based around fundamental assumptions for building an abstract cosmology. Afterwords he will be presenting a mix of previously shown and undisplayed video work.

June 8, 2014
Dennis Keefe & Glenn McKay

Dovetailing off recent programming at the Exploratorium, Shapeshifters is excited to present the work of pioneering light artists Dennis Keefe and (the late) Glenn McKay who are two of the artists responsible for creating the famous psychedelic light shows of the 1960s. Working together under the name of the Headlights Light Show, Keefe and McKay performed at many west coast venues, including the Fillmore, and also toured extensively with the Jefferson Airplane. The highlight of the program will be a live light art performance by Dennis Keefe with collaborators Jim Baldocchi and Lori Varga and musical accompaniment by Chris Musgrave (Lumerians) and Sarah R. Brady. We will also be showing parts of McKay's video Altered States which was created for the artist’s SFMOMA retrospective in 1999 and demonstrates his light art in various forms over the course of four decades.

July 13, 2014
Elise Baldwin

Elise Baldwin is an intermedia performer and sound artist whose live cinematic works center around themes of natural history, collective memory and relationships between technology and the natural world. Using custom software instruments, physical props and circuitry, she often combines and manipulates original and archival recordings. She will be performing The Philosophy of Storms, inspired by a fascination with early American meteorology, storm watching and our cultural evolution from a faith-based society to a scientific one and Theater of Plants, a film that is microcosmic in scale yet expansively metaphoric in its examination of time, growth and decay.

August 10, 2014

TWO SHOWS! 8PM and 9:30PM

tooth is an Oakland-based artist that works in film, sound, performance and other time-based disciplines. His solo performance work (under the rubric of the project ARC) primarily concerns itself with the phenomenology of trance states and their function within a collision of cultural, political and personal realities. Framing the cinematic space of happening as an impermanent sphere of ritual and sensory research in which the apparatus and methods (celluloid projection, the movement of bodies through a room, human breath, chance occurrence, repetition, sustain, etc.) for manipulating elements (light, air) are considered less for their individual objective functions than their innumerable and unpredictable subjective reconfigurations in the perception of any given observer/participant.

September 14, 2014
Tommy Becker

Tommy Becker is a poet trapped in a camcorder who continues to feed video poems into his never-ending documentary, Tape Number One. The video work for TNO blends poetry, songwriting, performance, costuming, found footage and hand-made props. Each track of the tape is presented as a song dedication that pays tribute to a particular life experience. These personal essays have been reimagined within a video framework that mixes the sentimentality of the spoken word with classroom rhetoric and melodic pop sensibility. Becker has been an arts educator in the Bay Area for the last ten years. This evening’s show will feature a grouping of works that investigate and celebrate the high school landscape. The death of color, the vitality of lemons, the destruction of ego and the fleeting moments of teenage rebellion will be examined as PowerPoint presentations and celebrated in song.

October 12, 2014
Cyrus Tabar

Cyrus Tabar is a multidisciplinary artist primarily working with motion picture and sound. He often blends a multitude of formats from 16mm found footage and digital processing to tape based musical compositions and live manipulated field recordings. Science fiction novels often influence his work, which often revolves around near-future space exploration, planetary phenomena, and time travel. With a background in immersive installation art using pure light and sound as formal mediums, Cyrus blends the experiential nature of installation with the temporal facet of performance. He will be performing past works Tempus Fluxus, Optica, The Spider and The Fly, and Terraforma in addition to his latest piece made exclusively for Shapeshifters dealing with lost identity and the path to redefine it.

November 16, 2014
Jeremy Rourke

[Please note special date]
Fresh from a residency at the San Francisco dump, Shapeshifters alum Jeremy Rourke will return to present new animated work created from the detritus of the material and spiritual cultures of San Francisco. Rourke creates animated films from vintage and new photographs, paint, sticks, shadows, wood, flowers, tape, pens, paper, pencils, and leaves. He is bringing a band of some kind to shapeshifters. He is looking in the bottom of the chest with them. He is looking for bits and pieces that haven't been shown in ages. He is on this earth, with the sun shining on it, floating through space, right along with you.

December 14, 2014
Brian Darr

Brian Darr is a performer, composer and researcher who has written about silent films in print and online (including his own blog Hell On Frisco Bay) for nearly a decade. He has occasionally combined these passions by providing unconventional live musical accompaniments for silent film screenings at San Francisco venues such as Other Cinema, Oddball Film & Video, and the (now-defunct) Edinburgh Castle Film Night. In his East Bay debut, he will perform to a carefully-selected batch of motion pictures from the so-called "silent era" and beyond, using a variety of electronic and acoustic instruments. He will be joined by San Francisco guitarist Alex Xander Jacobs.

January 11, 2015
Keith Evans

Keith Evans is an activist who has been working and performing in the Bay Area for 25 years. His artworks are translation systems, fascination devices, extra-cinematic experiences that reveal the phenomenon and the idea of cinema as an ecology and system, one that is unfixed and accreting, neither nostalgic nor utopian. Collaborator Geoff Evans is an Oaklander who has been involved in many musical projects for 25 years. the mantle degassed our water is another in a series of Evans' paranaturalist cinema systems--an arrangement of near-working and functioning pieces of electronic equiptment and formats including super-8, video arrays, record players, 3/4" tape md cassettes casio and guitar as well as objects found in field research used to explore the paracinamatic. Together they are a device and a hazard of set-ups that embraces the mechanical, murcurial and unique perceptual relationships between these things; their relationships in space as well as on the screen. the mantle degassed our water is evocative of the elemental transformative forces at work inside the earth. This electromagnetic device becomes a paracinematic journey to the underworld where locked within rare and highly compressed mineral arrangements is more water than resides on the surface. Stratigraphies and veils flatten and blur into highlights. Spectral screens carry the images, glaciers score a path of stained glass. Process gives way to image and process again. The sound and space integrate the vision while the key component of curiosity illuminates this fascination device.

February 8, 2015
Cheryl Leonard with Rebecca Haseltine and Oona Stern

Composer, musician, and instrument builder Cheryl Leonard will present four works about water created in collaboration with visual artists Rebecca Haseltine and Oona Stern. Inspired by hydrology, aquifers, and California landscapes, Watershed combines field recordings from caves, rivers and oceans with sounds played live on water, glass, shells, kelp, and sand. Frozen Over is based on aural and visual phenomena from frozen lakes, and features recordings of flanging, thumping, and cracking lakes in Yosemite National Park. Rebecca Haseltine will create live video for these two pieces using natural objects, drawing, pouring, and painting. Southern Ocean and Glugge are shorter works about the polar oceans that Leonard has developed with Brooklyn-based Oona Stern. Merging audio recordings and video footage collected in the Arctic and Antarctic with live sounds from natural objects, these pieces reflect on climate change at the ends of the earth.

March 22, 2015
Roger Beebe

[Please note special date] Filmmaker/curator/professor Roger Beebe will be making a special stop through Oakland to share his currently-touring program of multiple-projector performances featuring the six-projector show-stopping space jam Last Light of a Dying Star alongside recent award-winning work in single-channel HD video as well as the premiere of his latest multi-projector mayhem, SOUND FILM. These works take on a range of topics from the forbidden pleasures of men crying (Historia Calamitatum (The Story of My Misfortunes)) and the secret logic of the book of Genesis (Beginnings) to Las Vegas suicides (Money Changes Everything) and companies jockeying to be at the start of the phone book (AAAAA Motion Picture). New arrangements of Cody Hennesy’s soundtracks for AAAAA Motion Picture, tour/TOWER, and Can’t Stop will be performed live!

April 12, 2015
Zen Cohen with Colton Long and Zoey Vero

Inspired by the concept of shapeshifting, Bay Area media artist Zen Cohen will present a short program of video/performance works addressing gender, sexuality and digital bodies including work by Cohen as well as other artists who identify as genderqueer and who make work addressing this. The evening will conclude with a 20 minute video-performance by Bay Area artists Colton Long and Zoey Vero referencing "glitch" as a conceptual motif relating to themes surrounding gender and sexuality.

May 10, 2015
Dennis Keefe & Jim Baldocchi with Thomas DiMuzio

Dennis Keefe and Jim Baldocchi (a.k.a. Projection Art) return to Shapeshifters for an extended program of lumia art. Using a full suite of analog and digital media, including hand painted slides, digital projectors, reflective surfaces, mobile lasers and prisms, these Bay Area cultural veterans have been creating dynamic, immersive, spectral visions of light, form, color and movement for over four decades for bands including the Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Iron Butterfly, Sly and the Family Stone and many others. Joining Dennis and Jim for this performance will be Lori Varga, Kerry Laitala, Kathleen Maguire and Harold Adler on visuals and experimental electronic musician Thomas DiMuzio on sound.

June 14, 2015
Lori Varga

Returning for a third, solo, one-woman show is Bay Area experimental filmmaker & analog lightshow artist, Lori Varga. The evening's program will feature four never-before-seen film and slideshow pieces, all accompanied by Varga's hand-assembled, abstract reel-to-reel and tape collage soundtracks. Evocative, erie, odd soundscapes merge into ambient yet absurdist film and light play and the forgotten imagery of yesteryear becomes aglow again in an other wordly new view. Four Works by Lori Varga include Where does a Squirrel REALLY Live? (piece for two 16mm film projectors), Jag ´Ar Fri (piece for four 35mm slide projectors and tape recorder), Memories of Shadows 023 (16mm film and super-8mm cartridge loop projector, dual machine and cassette tape), Will NOT Go Gently Into That Good Night (abstract, tonal, non-structural sound work for 16mm film projector and two overhead liquid projectors, reel-to-reel recorder, steel cooking pot lids & amplified voice thru toy vocoders).

July 12, 2015
Kerry Laitala with Voicehandler & Wobbly

Optical magician Kerry Laitala returns to Shapeshifters to present The City Luminous, a new body of work inspired by the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition to which cultural historians attribute, among other things, the first light show in the Bay Area. Inspired by the innovations developed for this year-long celebration one hundred years ago, Laitala will be showing several works that mix historical footage with new technology to re-ignite the magic of the World's Fair that marked the return of San Francisco after the devestating earthquake and fire that nearly destroyed the city. The program will include three new 16mm dual-projection performances in collaboration with Voicehandler (Jacob Felix Heule and Danishta Rivero): The City Luminous: Spectacle of Light Variation, The City Luminous: Aladdin’s Lamp Variation and The City Luminous: Electric Salome along with three chromadepth (3D) works: Chromatic Wheels (with live sound by Wobbly), Afterimage: A Flicker of Life (sound collaboration between K. Laitala and Wobbly) and Nine Lives Measured in Mercury (sound by Neal Johnson).

August 9, 2015
Phoebe Tooke & Wayne Grim w/Stephanie Stewart-Bailey

Phoebe Tooke is an Oakland based documentary and experimental filmmaker. The work in this upcoming show occupies a space between the poetic documentary, the essay film and experimental cinema. Working mostly with Super 8mm, 16mm and found footage, she has created works for this show that center around themes of dispossession, loss and abandonment. The show weaves actualities and storytelling elements in and out of poetic abstractions and visual landscapes. Wayne Grim is a human who makes music relentlessly. As a soloist, his focus is on continuous development as a composer while maintaining an intimate relationship with improvisation. Working with musical instruments and electronic things, his music references beauty, the failure of machines, the power of a single sound, modal harmony and the love of Pink noise. The music for this performance has special purposes; connecting the landscapes, changing your mind, feeding-back, as dynamic interpreter, to use collage, improvisation and layers of subjective design. Accompanying Tooke and Grim is Stephanie Stewart-Bailey of the Body Appropriate who will be adding another aural dimension with crystal glasses.

September 13, 2015
Alfonso Alvarez & Steve Dye

Bay Area media artists Steven Dye and Alfonso Alvarez present new material and classic gems in the form of video and film. Revealed under video and projector lamplight, this show is an immersive event complete with multiple screens, live musical accompaniment and audio field recordings. The nature of nature, raw and processed; broken down and reassembled; archival and contemporary – an exploration of land and water and what has become of these precious elements so casually exploited. This performance includes special guests Maat Valkyr and Suki O'Kane. Steven Dye is a visual and sound artist. His practice explores the interplay between sound, image, and perception in live performance, expanded cinema and installation. This includes a direct engagement in the ways that sounds and images can be produced, recorded and manipulated during presentation. It is an exploration of the physical and aesthetic properties of sound and projection, as it exists in our environment and how they can be perceived and understood in artistic practice. Alfonso Alvarez is a film and video maker trying to become a craftsman. He works with multiple 16mm film projectors to create immersive screening environments. His films are image processed via optical-printing, hand-processing and hand-coloring. His recent work incorporates both film and video as a live mash-up of projected elements to create fleeting relationships unique to each screening. Alfonso and Steve are long time collaborators. Their distinct individual styles contrast and complement each other in the service of engaging experimental cinema.

November 8, 2015
Greta Snider

Greta Snider is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who is particularly interested in experimental nonfiction and exploring the boundaries between documentary and document. She will present a set of all-new films and slide projects that explore the relationship between words, images, and bodies. The program titled Pictures, Texts, Notes, Bodies will include: "Prayer for the Torture Memos" (HD, with 35mm projected film), a new film that imagines a reckoning between word and flesh, forcing an emotional dialogue onto the unforgiving, endless parsing of the legal documents generated between 2001 and 2009 regarding the US torture policy; "Inversion Layer" Light, Shade, and heat in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. (Half frame film, projected in 35mm film with a live narration in Chinese); "Gloria" (35mm stereoscopic slides) a 3D slide projection piece exploring missed connections between women in classic cinema melodrama; and "Human Rights Karaoke" (HD, with live singing) which will offer a chance for audiences to engage in a vulnerable way with the texts that protect, liberate, or control our very existence on the planet.

December 13, 2015
viDEO sAVant

viDEO sAVant (Charles Woodman, live image mix; Zachary James Watkins, guitar and electronics) presents Wavelength 12.13, a live improvised audio/visual performance. The work begins from the idea of "pure signal," images and sounds derived directly from electronic inputs, then moves outward. The performers will dance with the electronic serpent, responding to each other and to the current flowing between them. Charles Woodman is an artist working in video and expanded media. He has been a Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cincinnati since 1989. Recent projects have concentrated on the creation of multi-image video installations for museums and galleries, and the integration of video with live performance, often in collaboration with musicians or dancers. Zachary James Watkins is an Oakland based sound artist who earned degrees in composition from The Cornish School and Mills College. Zachary has received numerous grants and commissions and presented works in festivals across the United States, Mexico and Europe.

January 10, 2016
Elia Vargas and Andy Puls with Marie Hoff

A signal exchange by Elia Vargas and Andy Puls, Light Shapes ii: grass wool signal scan, engages audience and image in a collaborative drifting terrain of light and sound. The multi-projector performance explores different signal paths and landscapes enmeshed on multiple transparent projection surfaces. We combine signals as we combine terrain to shape a new body. Light Shapes ii occurs in 3 acts: Act i - signal formation, a construction of sounds and image; Act ii - signal adaptation, a live video adaptation of the zine NZ is Terrible written by Marie Hoff while researching wool in New Zealand; and Act iii - signal resolution, a sustain of feedback.

February 14, 2016
The Freddy McGuire Show

For this special Valentine's Day performance, Anne and Jon will entertain you by working out their personal problems in song, so that you can relax and forget about your own. In order for this to work, they both understand that their personal problems are going to have to be so hideously unpleasant and unbearable as to dwarf those of any one individual in the audience, and in that in the currently healthy climate of social justice activism, to even consciously attempt this feat is an act of unforgivable emotional violence. But that, in short, is how much these two people care about you, and they plan on a public display of that love on this, the loneliest of all lonely days. When Anne was quoted as saying "I want this to be my best show ever", there will be only one physical way to learn exactly what she meant by that. Since the late eighties, Anne McGuire has been making films, and Wobbly (Jon Leidecker) has been making electronic music. Together, Anne and Jon form the duo more widely known as the Freddy McGuire Show. Anne and Wobbly first worked together on Don Joyce’s Over The Edge Radio Show in 1999. That show can be heard here: The show will include 3D visuals by Bill Thibault.

March 13, 2016
Timeless Motion

"Nexus Projects Us" is a satellite event of the Timeless Motion gallery exhibition currently on view at SOMArts Cultural Center through March 23rd. Timeless Motion is a celebration and convocation of the experimental moving image community that reconfigures the elements of the cinematic form to examine time, image, sound and movement. This special collaborative performance for Shapeshifters includes visual contributions by Timeless Motion artists Paul Clipson, Keith Evans, Kerry Laitala, Kathleen Quillian, Scott Stark and Mark Wilson with sound by John Davis. Oscillating between darkness and light, stillness and movement, sound and silence, the performers, through a variety of formats and media, will use their legerdemain to conjure and transform sounds and images in a cinematic séance. Using the syntax of an exquisite corpse, the Temescal Art Center will be illuminated, haunted, fractured and activated through the synchronies of chance operations and the summoning of ephemeral, audio-visual conversations dialed in through magnetic frequencies and celluloid alchemy.

April 10, 2016
Killer Banshee

is it safe to go outside? is a three-part media performance by Killer Banshee exploring queer identity in development, question and crisis. Get your head busted on the sidewalk, celebrate a relationship that nobody thought would be, and fight to finish healthcare 20 years in the making! A live media exploration into the obstacles and experience of dedication through video projection, image manipulation and sound. Killer Banshee (Eliot K Daughtry and Kriss De Jong) interprets technology and identity, combining material from personal and public archives to explore gesture, time, and place. They expose hidden meanings within media constructs in unexpected ways.

May 8, 2016
Sarah Rosalena Brady

Sarah Rosalena Brady is an Oakland based media artist and filmmaker that uses concepts of shamanism through art and technology. Her works offer activation through elements, light, motion, sound, programming and generative algorithms. Her goal is to transform Western ideological systems through audio/visual stimulation to produce new paradigms. She will be performing new works with generative software to drive multi-image projection in real time using sound and light data. She will also be showing her interactive piece Seer and previous experimental films. Her work has been presented at Gray Area Art and Technology, SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco Cinematheque, Fylkingen (SE), and the de Young Museum.

June 12, 2016
Gustavo Vazquez & Guillermo Galindo

"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending 50's and 60's retro fashion, greasy food, immoral dances, contagious rhythms, hedonism, sex, borracheras and unnecessary violence. They’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing their rascuache morals. They’re uncontrollable. But some, like artists Vazquez and Galindo I assume, are good people.” -- Donald Trump. Grrrr!...Gustavo Vazquez + gal*in_dog (Guillermo Galindo) reunite to present the 20/20 sound/visual pus-retro Mexican rendezvouz (Estar Guars Too). Bootleg illegal movies, telenovelas, invade the USA. Suggestive dances and mambo erupts into transcendental techno cunnilingus y puro reventón. El sound galindog y el video Vazquez collide with the percussive rhythms of AK 47s as Trompitas cries for help.

July 10, 2016
Suki O'Kane

Suki O'Kane will present a new, site-specific work "Sweeping, Swept, Out of My Head" for Shapeshifters at her familiar intersection of film, music and public art, this time with new inventions in microcinema, movement, and a powerful desire to banish imagery that exists in her subconscious. For this performance she will be accompanied by Wayne Grim, Adria Otte, Alfonso Alvarez, Ian Winters, Sasha Hom, Amy Rathbone and Jeremy Rourke. Suki O’Kane is a classically trained mallet percussionist, composer and instigator working with artists from a wide array of of music, movement, expanded cinema and public art genres. She has composed for Theatre of Yugen and inkBoat, performs in the ensembles of Dan Plonsey, and is a member of Thingamajigs Performance Group. She is a student of monumental and durational forms, and is currently composing for What A Stranger May Know, Ehn’s 32-play cycle remembering the victims of the Virginia Tech Massacre while developing new site-specific work for the Illuminated Corridor, a nomadic public art project that creates streetscapes of live experimental music and performative projection in West Marin (2017) and San Francisco (2018).

August 14, 2016
Kit Young & Lori Varga

Kit Young and Lori Varga are both experimental visual artists and absurdist/avant improvisers. For this very special show at Shapeshifters Cinema they will be joined by the remarkable synth/electronic music talent of Thomas Dimuzio. Young and Varga will present three pieces, each aproximately 15 to 20 minutes long, titled Coagulated Portraits, Stereoscopic Ridge Run, and The Anthropological Study of 21st Century Sexuality. The artists will be utilizing both high and low tech systems of digital and analog imagery to showcase their esoteric world view, using candid social commentary, human anatomy, psychedelic views on forests, and animal energies vs. sexual chakras. Tonal and dronal electronic soundscapes will accompany hand-shot and edited video and apropriated celluloid compositions. Varga and Young's collaborative works are a fine blend of infinite improvisation and finite structure. 16mm film projectors will be stationed beside an array of modular video synthesizers and robotic armed video feedback cameras. Dimuzio and Young will share signals from their synthesizers to create rhythmic audio-visualizations.

September 11, 2016
Thad Povey & Mark Taylor

The Octoplayer is a sound and performance sculpture that plays eight vinyl records at once. The machine simultaneously (and independently) came in dreams to artist-tinkerers Thad Povey and Mark Taylor in late 2010. After comparing their separate visions and sketches, the two decided to collaborate on the design and fabrication of the shared hallucination. This program, titled Chronicle of a Dream Device, features a selection of recent videos by Povey and Taylor, some newly imagined with live Octoplayer accompaniment. The evening includes a special guest appearance by improvisational keyboard wunderkind, Henry Plotnick.

October 9, 2016
Greta Snider

Greta Snider returns to Shapeshifters to present new work in film and 3D in Seen and Unseen. "A Small Place" (35mm/HD) is a meditation on the experience of solitary confinement. This film originates as a 35mm "scroll" of sorts, and explores the gestural quality of language and script, of silence and of time. She uses the marks of human hands to ask us to connect with those others, unseen and unheard. An as-of-yet-untitled piece (hand processed 3D slides) shows how memories bring some things into sharper focus and occlude others. Sound design created by Kiri Lewallen. "Rendition" (projected video and 3D) is an exploration lamenting the officially sanctioned torture techniques of sensory deprivation and transportation. Our inner landscapes are beautiful and compelling to visit, but most of us are relieved to wake up from dreams and to be oriented by a horizon. Sound design created by Kiri Lewallen. Greta will also be showing some older work from her archives.

November 13, 2016
Facing West Shadow Opera

Facing West Shadow Opera hybridizes art forms to create unique performances, each akin to a live graphic novel with euphoria-inducing chamber music. Facing West Shadow Opera is a collective of artists, puppeteers, filmmakers and musicians hybridizing art forms to create magical acts of rebellion as small scale experimental art that is sustainable in the current gold rush climate of the Bay Area. FWSO combines analog shadow theatre with original animation, video projection of found footage and Baroque Opera performed live. FWSO depicts stories drawn from the cultural, political, and natural history of California and the American West, re-imagined with unique visual storytelling to create surprising experiences for the audience by seamlessly combining the old and the new. Their current production, The Euphoria of Walt Whitman, is a live baroque puppet opera exploring queer poet Walt Whitman’s obsession with the traveling operas of the wild west and gold rush era. Part of the program will also include two shorts by FWSO Artistic Director Lydia Greer, Hysteria, a new short video, and an excerpt from her animation, A Self Made House.

December 11, 2016
Anna Geyer & Collin McKelvey

Cameraless, non-representational work has been the emphasis of much of Anna Geyer's recent effort, although she frequently describes her work as, “experimental with a narrative bent”. Live, multi-projector loop sets, often performed in collaboration with local musicians, combine the technology of the past and present and include abstract imagery, live action work and degraded digital imagery of the digital age. She is an award-winning filmmaker and writer and teaches cinema classes at City College of San Francisco. For this performance Anna will be accompanied by musician Collin McKelvey, a San Francisco-based multimedia artist working primarily in time based media. McKelvey has shown work at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Southern Exposure, Kala, Royal Nonesuch Gallery, ATA, Human Resources, The Lab, Guerrero Gallery, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, The Geffen Center at MOCA and other artist spaces throughout the United States.

January 8, 2017
Neurodivergent Media

Do you know anyone who has trouble with maintaining focus, rigid thinking, managing their impulses, a heightened sensory experience, recognizing social cues, or expecting people to know what's inside their heads without imagining others' perspectives? Neurodivergent Media will reveal experiments in media art by individuals who diverge neurologically, like those on the autism spectrum. Witness the ripped video flesh of Psychic Anatomy, multidimensional machinima, mediajammed Ponies, and randomized DADA processing. Allison Leigh Holt teaches experimental digital media to artists on the spectrum, and mentors one-on-one; she will give us a tour of this heightened mode of perception, Empathic Pedagogy, and reveal how, by degrees, we are allneurodivergent. Neurodivergent Media has been developing at Gray Area Art + Technology’s Cultural Incubator Program. In her research-based art practice, Allison Leigh Holt’s work describes perspectives that propose radical shifts in anthropocentric, cultural, and Earth-based biases, at a time when human behavior determines our planet’s survival.

February 12, 2017
Fired! group screening

Fired! is Shapeshifters Cinema’s first group screening, organized as part of 100 Days Action a coordinated response by the Bay Area artist community to Trump’s 100 Day Plan. Fired! includes short works by Bay Area-based moving image artists Kate Rhoades, Tijana Petrovic, Kit Young with Alison Holt and Lori Varga, Allison Holt with Patrick McGee and Justin Enteman, We Rise and Tommy Becker that address the new political landscape through live sound, moving image and performance. Some of the work addresses the Trump administration directly, calling for empathy and inclusion of minorities, people with disabilities and others living outside the mainstream. Other works explore politics and society more generally in an effort to deconstruct, through a critical lens, those aspects that shape and define us, for better or worse. Using the language and tools of constructive creativity, we will fight fire with Fired!, adding our voices to the resistance of a shady incoming administration whose only motives are power and profit.

March 12, 2017
Alex Mackenzie

Inspired by early stereo imaging and the clash and collusion of socioeconomic forces, Apparitions by Vancouver-based filmmaker Alex Mackenzie is a two-projector film performance that seeks to dismantle cinematic codes while foregrounding projector and light as sculpture: a conscious corruption of and interference with the apparatus to evoke the unexpected, reshaping representation into the realm of material and space. Using colour gels, masking, lens interference and projector movement in tandem with an exploration of binocular disparity, perspective, patterning and the film surface itself, Apparitions explores the transitional space between image and abstraction, nature and culture.

April 9, 2017
Malic Amalya & Nathan Hill

TV static, double exposures, multiple projections, celluloid sprocket holes and chain link fences with a live, modular synthesizer score. Visceral and cacophonous, this performance traverses gritty landscapes of abandoned buildings, queer fetishes and analog media. Images linger on minute gestures and decaying objects making the discarded, the abject and the perverse precious. Malic Amalya and Nathan Hill have been collaborating on 16mm films, videos, and performances since 2014. Their work has exhibited in art galleries, film festivals, and radical queer spaces throughout the US and Europe. Malic holds an MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He lectures at the California College of the Arts and teaches Public Education at the San Francisco Art Institute. Malic and Nathan live and work together in Oakland, California.

May 14, 2017
Surabhi Saraf & Dorothy Santos with Shinichi Iova-Koga

Working with sound composition, poetry, and moving image, Body in Transit by Surabhi Saraf and Dorothy Santos (featuring movement by Shinichi Iova-Koga), explores the ways in which the human body travels through physical and imagined spaces. With the current political and cultural climate within the United States, as countless individuals grapple with the imposed immigration ban, the piece presents the anxiety and disorientation of displacement through transit and forced migration. Surabhi Saraf is a media artist, composer, and performer based in San Francisco. Dorothy R. Santos is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology.

June 11, 2017
Cinepimps (celebrating Shapeshifters' 5th anniversary!)

Cinepimps reprise their collaging quartet at Shapeshifters’ fifth anniversary, reuniting Alfonso Alvarez and Keith Arnold (on projectors) with Suki O’Kane, and Wayne Grim (on electroacoustics) to perform the new piece 1000 Vaults Plundered (for One Mighty Show). Layering found footage, processed optical tracks, and the occasional abandoned brass instrument, they create immersive, environmental fields of light and sound.

July 9, 2017
Konrad Steiner with Josephine Torio, Benjamin Tinker and Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta

This program will feature examples of three kinds of collaborative film and performer interaction from different ongoing projects. Projects presented include Suite for Face which consists of extracts and abstractions from films where stars emote without speech with a performance by Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta, Neo-benshi, an ongoing series of pieces with live narration set to excerpts from commercial films, changing the meaning of the images with performances by Konrad Steiner and Peril, a sequence of dances on the fault line edge of ocean that runs from Point Arena through San Francisco to Monterey Bay with a live music composition by All My Senses Rebel (Josephine Torio and Benjamin Tinker).

August 13, 2017
Sofía Córdova with Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland

Sofía Córdova presents a live, semi-improvised collaborative sound performance and video screening from her ongoing series, Echoes of A Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos). The score of the piece, co-written by Córdova with Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland as part of their musical collaboration, XUXA SANTAMARIA, will be played live by the duo alongside the video. Echoes of A Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos) is a live sound and video performance suite that imagines our world 1,500 years in the future. The landscape of this future world provides a site for considering new realities unfettered by the current social order while serving as a distorted lens aimed at our present in keeping with the tradition of dystopian science fiction. This work is concerned with lending visibility to marginalized bodies both as the subjects performing in the work itself, and as the focus of the storylines that make up the narrative of this work. While Córdova treads close to ambivalence and ambiguity in terms of revealing whether or not she believes humankind can reorganize for the better in that timespan, her work focuses on fleshing out queer, colored and feminist realities suggesting that the ecological doom and imbalance that permeates her world can ultimately serve as a catalyst for a rebirth that frees those in the margins from contemporary subjugation and racial and gender focused organization, segregation and violence.

September 10, 2017
Oracle Plus

Oracle Plus penetrates the psyche with synchronized pseudo-science performance using video and sound installation. Collaborators (and sisters) Miel and Steph Lister experiment with moving and touchable images, drawing dreams behind your eyelids. For Shapeshifters they will be expanding their 2016 performance Space Funeral, a meditative collective funeral procession which seeks to bridge worlds, hold space for mourning and bring to life the shadows of death. Working with both physical and metaphorical layers, they seek to add and take away these layers to unmask the myriad of dimensions that are shimmering simultaneously. Under the mask there is only another mask.

October 8, 2017

Synthestesia is a quarterly live A/V show, where modular synthesizers and 16mm/video installation commune for spontaneous performance. Simulated effects may include feelings of viscous, spacey, dense and/or ethereal transformation. Sights by Faith Arazi, Linda Scobie & Paul Clipson. Sounds by Jon Carling, Musical Fungus & Capt J Rab.

November 12, 2017
John Davis & Joshua Churchill

Joshua Churchill and John Davis are a performance duo that operate organically to create densely-layered atmospheric works with sound and film, immersing viewers in meditative and abstract environments. Their collaborative work has been featured in the Crossroads festival at SFMOMA, MONO NO AWARE festival at LightSpace Studio (Brooklyn, NY), and the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival at the Brava Theater (San Francisco, CA).

December 10, 2017
Kit Young with Tonya Powell, Tina Combs, Royland Lobato & Joel Mulen

Dream It Forward is a collaboration between video artist Kit Young, dancers Tonya Powell and Tina Combs, choreographer Royland Lobato and musician Joel Mulen that combines improvised video performance and Afro-Cuban dance/music to render the barrier between our workaday reality and the realm of imagination and spirit transparent. Young will also premiere a second collaborative piece featuring Mike Pierce on sax and Carter Scholz on keyboards performing free jazz to imagery shot during a recent trip to Southern India.

January 14, 2018
Pad McLaughlin & Greta Snider

Window Violations, a term used in reference to stereoscopic photography, is also the name of a program of new and recent work by Bay Area artists Pad McLaughlin and Greta Snider, two artists who have done extensive, in-depth work with stereoscopic media. Snider will be presenting two new projects: "Cult of Compliance," a two-projector, 16mm film essay exploring a dystopia of oppressive structures and the gestures of trying to exist among them and "Flowers Open Every Night," a poem of celebration in archival stereoscopic slides. McLaughlin will be presenting "Strata," a realtime 3D archeological dig into the detritus of our cultural history and "Stereo Realist, a Family History," an exploration of the artist's family history captured through one stereoscopic camera; plus "Sketchpad" a 3D video collage and other surprises and works in progress, including some explorations into retinal rivalry and pseudoscopy.

March 11, 2018
Projection Art with Kanoko Nishi & Agnes Szelag

Join Projection Art (Dennis Keefe and Jim Baldocchi) for an afternoon workshop to learn the art of lumia, the practice of using refractive and reflective surfaces to create dynamic compositions of color and light. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to support Dennis and Jim in a performance later that evening when they perform in collaboration with Kanoko Nishi and Agnes Szelag who will be improvising acoustically on bass koto and cello with voice + electronics.

PLEASE NOTE: Workshop and performance will both take place at Art House Gallery & Cultural Center in Berkeley. The workshop will run 2-5PM and the performance will run 8-9PM (doors + reception @ 7:30PM).

April 8, 2018
Tommy Becker

Tommy Becker returns to Shapeshifters to present new works from his never-ending saga, "Tape Number One". TNO is a mix video tape that embraces the deconstruction of song structure to create an expanded, conceptual story-telling that blends the artist’s poetics, songwriting, performance and costuming with found footage and computer design. Live vocals and instrumentation lead melodic soundtracks that articulate a visual swirling of tragic comedy. Short works balance meaning with emotion and documentation with design. For this show Becker will be premiering a new work, "Stars White in a Blue Field", a work that contemplates patriotic values in our current political quagmire along with his recent trilogy, "FLOWER SHOP (protection, fear & escape)" and more.

May 13, 2018
Kristin Cato & David Cox

Multi-disciplinarian Kristin Cato (filmmaker, theatermaker, writer, sound designer, semiotician and violinist) will present The Numbers Project, a live cinema event of performed poetry with video projections about whole numbers—their shapes, associations, spiritual meanings and cultural roles. A work in progress developed over the past few years, The Numbers Project consists of one poem for each number—zero through thirteen—with most of the imagery coming from historical/educational math and science films. So far, the project has been performed in installments—"Zero One Two", "Three Four Five", and "Planet Six" (an interplanetary countup and homage to space activity and historical representations of it). This event will be the first showing of all parts presented in one continuum, and includes the new "Star Seven" section with violin accompaniment. While we are still in conceptual orbit, David Cox will present two space-themed projects including excerpts from his forthcoming Rocket Opera with live musical accompaniment from baritone John Smalley and mezzo soprano Ania Samborska, plus a presentation of his 1998 sci-fi short Otherzone (originally shot in 35mm).

Saturday, June 2, 2018
Linda Scobie with Capt J Rab

[Please note special date!]

- - scratching - - scarring - - stitching - - sewing - - sowing - - mending - - threading - - projecting - -

Filmmaker, projectionist & seamstress Linda Scobie will be presenting ON THE MEND, a 16mm film performance with sound by Capt J Rab.

July 8, 2018
Natalie Tsui

Natalie Tsui is a queer media artist and filmmaker whose work explores the connection between visual culture, collective memory, and personal narrative. Tsui will be presenting a program of three new (and one old) works that investigate and attempt to erode modes of cinematic perception and identification through the use of camera feedback loops, multiple projections, found footage collage, and live image manipulation. The program will include excerpts from ANTITEXT, a series in which 16mm captioned educational films are reconstituted as found poems; images of rapture, a site specific multi-camera, multi-projector improvised feedback loop projection set revolving around the concept of romance; and casual encounter, a 16mm and digital projection piece exploring queer desire in Craigslist’s now defunct Casual Encounters (RIP). The evening will conclude with entropy loop #2, the second iteration of a film destruction ritual as an invocation for collective release. (Note: entropy loop #2 will involve the burning of film and may be unpleasant for those who are sensitive to scents and fumes. Limited masks will be available, bring your own mask.)

August 12, 2018
Lori Varga

Veteran analog film and experimental noise artist Lori Varga returns to Shapeshifters Cinema with The Inevitable Unknowing of Pulsating Light into the Hum of Now—a program of three expanded film-performance pieces w/live electronic musicians and two short collage essay works. Lori will be joined by improvisors Tom Djll and Clarke Robinson and analog video feedback artist and collab partner Kit Young. Unique set-ups of reel to reel tape decks, 16mm film loops, sound drawn directly onto film, expansive video channels and layered screen environments will be presented live in sets with tones/drones/atmospheric/electronic music. Forms of degradation and decay fading then blooming into strange new harmonies! Also in the program are two rarely screened collage films "Don't Stop Doing It" (1999-, super-8) and "Remember me this Way, Forgotten" (2004, dual-8mm film with live concrete sound mix)

September 9, 2018
Ellie Vanderlip

San Francisco-based filmmaker Ellie Vanderlip takes the stage for her inaugural Shapeshifters screening with an audio-visual exploration of water—a program in four parts and four mediums. Pieces made by way of digital stop-motion animation, 16mm double projection, Super-8, and 16mm hand-bleaching and direct animation will capture the liquid's various textures and movements and examine the unifying force of water on all living beings.

October 14, 2018
Lydia Greer

Animator Lydia Greer will present an interactive lecture on Lotte Reiniger and Charlotte Salomon—two pioneers of time-based art, the graphic novel and animation—with films and images from both artists. Both grew up in Berlin, eventually fleeing the Nazis. They each had different approaches to trauma, with Reiniger using fantasy, euphemism and visual splendor as means of escapism while Salomon chronicled her family’s harrowing experience with a stark, expressionistic style. Following will be a live performance of expanded cinema with animation and moving images by Lydia Greer with special guests, opera singer Shauna Fallihee and performance artist Caryl Kientz. They will showcase a workshop of their newest piece together as well as revisit and expand on previous collaborations.

November 11, 2018
Steve Dye & Alfonso Alvarez

Steve Dye and Alfonso Alvarez team up again to present an evening of sound recordings, sonic landscapes and aural compositions played over multiple speakers. With special guests Suki O’Kane and Wayne Grimm.

December 9, 2018
Video Savant & Duo B.

The ensemble duo B. (Lisa Mezzacappa and Jason Levis) vs. viDEO sAVant (Charles Woodman) creates live performances of sound and image. In their performances they seek the revelatory moments where the distinction between music and video, sound and image melt away and a new whole emerges from the flow between individuals and media. This program will include the premiere of a new collaborative trio work, plus a reprise of two short past collaborative works with filmmakers Mark Wilson and Janis Crystal Lipzin.

January 13, 2019
Thomas Carnacki with Jerry Smith & Lorin Murphy

Thomas Carnacki is the name under which Bay Area-based musician, filmmaker, and sound-designer Gregory Scharpen concocts, records, and performs (frequently with a core of like-minded co-conspirators) with an emphasis on texture, atmosphere, and subtle unease. This iteration of Carnacki will include: Jesse Burson, Gregory Hagan, and Cheryl E. Leonard. Frequent Carnacki collaborators Jerry Smith and Lorin Murphy will be combining their projection/video-art efforts in an attempt to create a permeable membrane between the sonic and the visual realms--an immersive environment where it becomes unclear which element of the aggregate is perpetrating which effect.

March 10, 2019
Sung Kim

Sung Kim is a sound artist, sculptor and instrument builder. Through his invented instruments, he explores variations on techniques, tonalities and sympathetic resonance, often in collaboration with other musicians in an improvisational context. In the fall of 2018, Kim temporarily lost the use of his dominant hand to a tablesaw accident. As a result, Kim focused his creative energies to explore stop-motion filmmaking. The films presented this evening are Kim’s first attempt at creating a narrative of both light and sound. The live, improvised soundtrack will be performed by Theo Padouvas (trumpet), Shanna Sordahl (invented instruments and cello), Brian Pedersen (reeds), and Sung Kim (invented instruments).

April 14, 2019
Keith Evans with Rae Diamond's Long Tone Choir

In dehydration melts is a collaborative water augury featuring the paracinema of Keith Evans and the vocal dilations of Rae Diamond’s Long Tone Choir. Drawing attention to our interconnection with Earth patterns and energies, In dehydration melts is a performance and an object, an instrument of equivocal data displaying sounds and liminal images of the transition zone between experience and meaning. Bodies, gestures, field notes, screens, walls, and the aggregate equipment are elements in a schematic and an ephemeral architecture that is evocative of the elastic and transformational forces unfolding an awareness of time. This expansive new work of compressed artifacts and obsolescences will congregate in the heat around the phoneme + phone + phonograph + phonological as utterances idiosyncratically decay through the apparatus contributing to an animate cinema system performed in our minds and in our presence.

May 12, 2019
Las Sucias and Sofía Córdova

Feminist noise reggaeton duo Las Sucias (Danishta Rivero and Alexandra Buschman) and video/performance artist Sofía Córdova will combine their bruja energies for a very special performance for Shapeshifters conjuring up a ritual, electronic audio-visual space to confront the complexities of gender and cultural imbalance. Las Sucias mix anti-patriarchal riotgrrrl lyrics, afro-caribbean rhythms, brujería noise and possessed vocals into a performance ritual that combines all of the senses and elevates those present into a higher realm. Sofía Córdova's work in installation, performance, video and sound, considers sci-fi, dance and music culture(s), the internet, mystical things, extinction and mutation, migration and diaspora, as well as climate change especially as they relate to the lives of women, trans, and/or queer bodies, particularly those of color, under the conditions of late capitalism and its technologies.

Saturday, June 15, 2019
Craig Baldwin

[Please note special date!]

Craig Baldwin returns to Shapeshifters after six years to perform an expanded version of his ongoing double-projection expanded cinema experiment The 10th Dimension (now probing further into new realms of perception). Using educational and industrial films from his own archive that explore various modes of human perception, Baldwin produces an existential laboratory for viewers to consider their own relationship to the moving image. The audience is at once subject and witness in this live cinema experiment.

July 14, 2019
Kerry Laitala with the Atchleys

Creation and destruction. Grandiosity and hubris. Glory and The Abyss. These are some of the themes explored in recent collaborations in moving image and sound by Kerry Laitala and The Atchleys. Media archaeologist and 16mm projector performance spellbinder Laitala will present new and resuscitated imagery, with composer / improviser / experimental musicians The Atchleys providing live audio accompaniment. The light and sound display will be sequenced to cycle through elemental orbs, leaving viewers draped in a colorful cloak of decay, rebirth and contemplation. Pieces will include "Figments in Film #1" and "Ghost Town".

August 11, 2019
Eric Leiser

New York-based artist Eric Leiser will be presenting a combination of experimental animation, laser-illuminated analog pulse holography and an improvised light show along with original music by his brother Jeffrey Leiser.