Tag Archives: experimental lecture

The Experimental Lecture Series at NYU (2007-2020)

Since 2007, Lynne has curated and organized The Experimental Lecture at NYU, with the support of the Cinema Studies Department and the Undergraduate Film and TV Department, Prof. Jonathan Kahana and Prof. Dan Streible.

“From the beginning, I imagined this talk to be one in which someone who had immersed him or herself in the world of alternative, experimental film would reveal something about the process of making their work by visiting pieces that were either unfinished, unresolved, bewitching or even untouchable. The intention was to lay bare the challenges rather than the successes, the gnawing, ecstatic reality of the work of making art.”

Please visit each of the pages for these lectures here on my website.


9th Experimental Lecture: Art(core) and the Explicit Body: The Films of MM Serra

MM-Serra-9.26 poster
Thrilled to be hosting our 9th Experimental Lecture. This year we are proud to present the brilliant and inimitable filmmaker Mary Magdalene Serra. Join us for MM’s “Art (Core) & The Explicit Body” at NYU Tisch School of the Arts 6th Fl. on Wed. Sept. 26 at 7 pm. Free and open to the public.

In addition to excerpts from MM Serra’s films, we will see a rare screening of Barbara Rubin’s Christmas on Earth.


Since 2008, the Experimental Lecture Series has presented veteran filmmakers who immerse themselves in the world of alternative, experimental film. Our intention is to lay bare an artist’s challenges rather than their successes, to examine the gnawing, ecstatic reality of the work of making art.

MM Serra ignites the world of avant-garde film. For three decades in New York City, she has produced some of the most thought-provoking work on women and erotics in cinema today. Serra’s unwavering passion for experimental cinema extends beyond her practice as an artist. Since 1993, she has worked as the Executive Director of the Filmmakers Coop where she distributes, preserves and exhibits an extraordinary collection of films and videos.

Our previous speakers for the Experimental Lecture Series have been Peggy Ahwesh, Craig Baldwin, Bradley Eros, Ernie Gehr, Barbara Hammer, Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas and Carolee Schneemann.

8th Annual Experimental Lecture: Bradley Eros: Disappearing Soon at a Theater Near You (ephemeral cinema & other acts of life)

Bradley Eros 10.4.178th Annual Experimental Lecture: Bradley Eros: Disappearing Soon at a Theater Near You (ephemeral cinema & other acts of life)

October 4, 2017

Last October, I invited Bradley Eros to give the 8th Annual Experimental Lecture at NYU. Here is his entire spectacular, collaborative, visionary performance/lecture. He called it “Disappearing soon at a theater near you (ephemeral cinema & other acts of life)”.

I’d like to say a bit about the history of the Experimental Lecture. From the beginning, I imagined this talk to be one in which someone who had immersed him or herself in the world of alternative, experimental film would reveal something about the process of making their work by visiting pieces that were either unfinished, unresolved, bewitching or even untouchable. The intention was to lay bare the challenges rather than the successes, the gnawing, ecstatic reality of the work of making art.

Barbara Hammer was our first invited guest. In 2006, she sauntered into the largest lecture hall in this building, weeks after her first round of chemo therapy, carrying an enormously heavy Pagent projector which she then proceeded to carry up and down the stairs as she projected her own 16mm films on every surface of the room in her “The Cinema of the Optic Nerve”.

Craig Baldwin tore himself away from his underground film archive, his artistic practice and his 30-year old alternative media series “Other Cinema” in San Francisco to present “The Collage Essay: From Compilation Film to Culture Jam”.

Ken Jacobs took us on an odyssey from his early romps in NYC to his most recent obsessions with the state of our world as manifested by the beings that live in the dirt and grime of it all in his “Cucaracha Cinema”.

Peggy Ahwesh suggested her own “Parler Femme” by regailing us with her own take on a hard scrabble, experimental ethnography that has taken her to places she never intended on going but somehow found herself – in bliss.

In her “Where Did I Make the Wrong Turn?”
Carolee Schneemann traveled backwards and forwards in time like a archeologist who understands that a cherry pie is more than something to eat. Beginning with obsessive childhood drawings of a staircase, she analyzed those clues from her past that pushed her toward her life’s work.

Jonas Mekas recounted the entire history of the avant-garde cinema and the fragile but so vital institutions that sustain us in NYC and beyond, like a bard unraveling the secrets of his mind and his community.

In 2016, Ernie Gehr gave his talk “What is an Unfinished Work?”, allowing us into his studio practice, revealing the moments of doubt and stubbornness that he, like all of us, need to continue making our work.

In many ways an animating spirit and catalyzing agent of the NYC underground film scene from the 1980s to the present, Bradley Eros’ radical, sumptuous expanded cinema works stand at the forefront of a movement to redefine our understanding of film as an art form. For his Experimental Lecture, Eros “dismantled a few beliefs, by prying history loose, not nailing it down.” His lecture will take the form of a series of questions, interrupted by quotations, collaborations, expanded and contracted cinema, jokes & aphorisms, music, poetry, and surprise. Eros will talk on the nature of process, the immaterial, unfixed forms, hybrid works, resistance, desire & its discontents.

Eros works in myriad media, in addition to film, including video, collage, photography, performance, sound, text, and installation. His conceptual framework includes: ephemeral cinema, mediamystics, subterranean science, erotic psyche, cinema povera, poetic accidents and musique plastique. Recent works & obsessions include: Black Hole Cinema (‘zine & lecture), eau de cinema (perfume & exhibit), Narcolepsy Cinema.

Thank you to Dan Streible, Cinema Studies at NYU, Cristina Cajulis and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

7th Annual Experimental Lecture: Ernie Gher: What Is an Unfinished Work?


Gehr 10.19.16 updatedNYU Tisch School of the Arts

Departments of Cinema Studies and Undergraduate Film and TV present The 7th Annual Experimental Lecture

Ernie Gehr – “What Is an Unfinished Work?”

Wed. Oct. 19, 2016

NYU Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway, 6th Floor, Rm. 674
Free and open to the public



For nearly fifty years, artist Ernie Gehr has transformed his deep knowledge of the moving image into a distinct vision of cinema’s potential for interpreting and fragmenting reality. With an astute, often humorous, appreciation for the limits and possibilities of the frame, Gehr has, since the mid-1960s, created a large, radical body of work that continues to challenge and surprise audiences. He uses his camera as a tool for creating new modes of perception. With few words, no characters, and no plots, his films, video work, and installations push us to re-imagine our own relationships to time and space. 

There are a multiplicity of adjectives that fit Ernie Gehr’s experimental film and digital work: abstract, beautiful, mysterious, invigorating, utopian. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 11/11/11

 In Gehr’s hands, the camera seems to take on magical properties, able to transform the most quotidian object or environment –– the pattern of sunlight on a wall, a busy street — into marvelous and unexpected phenomena. — Ernie Gehr’s Marvelous Cinema, Harvard Film Archive


Join us for screenings at 5:30 and Gehr’s Experimental Lecutre at 7:00.


5:30 Pre-lecture 16mm screening of Serene Velocity (1970), Shift (1972-74) and Rear Window (1986/1991)

6:30 Artist reception

7:00 Experimental Lecture with screenings of Lisa and Suzanne (1969-79), Untitled: Part 1 (l981), On the Coney Island Boardwalk (2010)

Link to event: http://tisch.nyu.edu/cinema-studies/events/fall-2016/ernie-gehr

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6th Annual Experimental Lecture: Jonas Mekas

Mekas B 10.21.15The 6th Annual Experimental Lecture
Organized by the Departments of Cinema Studies and Undergraduate Film and Television


For the last half century, Jonas Mekas has been a passionate filmmaker. His love for the moving image is expressed in his subversive, intimate, and lyrical diary films. Mekas is also a devout and productive advocate for personal cinema, having founded two of New York City’s most active film institutions, Anthology Film Archives and the Film-Makers Cooperative.

Each year, we invite one veteran experimental filmmaker to present his or her work.  The lecture itself is a performance in which the artist explores his or her creative process. Past artists include Barbara Hammer, Ken Jacobs, Craig Baldwin, Peggy Ahwesh, and Carolee Schneemann.

This event is free and open to the public.
Seating is available first come, first served.

5th Annual Experimental Lecture: Carolee Schneemann: Where Did I Make The Wrong Turn?

Carolee Schneemann Experimental Lecture Sept 17 2014Where Did I Make the Wrong Turn?
The 5th Annual Experimental Lecture by Carolee Schneemann

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Carolee Schneemann is a visual artist and moving image maker known for her discourses on the body, sexuality and gender. She has been a leader and provocateur in the American avant-garde community since the mid 1960s when she created her ground breaking performance Meat Joy. From Interior Scroll to Plumb Line to Mortal Coil to Vespers Pool, Schneemann’s work pushes form and consciousness like no other artist working today. Ever since Fuses (1965), her landmark exploration of the female body, Schneemann has pushed visual perception in radical directions that awe, disturb and mystify audiences.

In her Experimental Lecture, Schneemann travels backwards and forwards in time. Beginning with obsessive childhood drawings of a staircase, she will analyze recurring formal properties in her film, sculpture and installation work. The mysteries of a notched stick, paper folds, indentations, the slice of line in space are followed as unexpected structural motives, up to and including her recent photographic grids and objects.

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Department of Undergraduate Film and Television and the Department of Cinema Studies.


jacobs_2 poster





NYU Cinema Studies, NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation, and NYU Undergraduate Film and Television present
The 3rd Annual Experimental Lecture

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010
6:15 p.m.   FREE

Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
721 Broadway, 6th Fl.
Michelson Theater


“Most movies just make the time pass. Jacobs suspends time. He holds it up to the light so you can see it, letting it flicker for us a little longer. Finally, you see everything you have been missing.” (Manhola Dargis, New York Times)

“Ken Jacobs’ teaching was ecstatic. It was like a volcano.”
(J. Hoberman, former student and film critic for The Village Voice.)



Ken Jacobs has been making avant-garde film in New York City since the late 1950s. He is the director of “Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son” (1969, USA),” Star Spangled to Death”(2004, USA), and numerous other cinematic visions on celluloid and tape. Jacobs, who taught for many years in SUNY Binghampton’s renowned program on avant-garde film, coined the term paracinema in the early 1970s, referring to cinema experiences provided by means outside of standard cinema technology.

“It’s not natural for anybody with a sex drive to be hopeless. In fact it’s a contradiction in terms, or something. However, we can’t consider Obama’s betrayal -protecting the Bush-Cheney secrets, expanding the war/s, fucking over the peons while rewarding Wall Street thugs, etc, etc- to be leading towards anything other than ka-boom!   Sexy Ken is not hopeless. Because my interest in cinema has much to do with 3D perception I need to learn more about cockroaches, the likely inheritors of the planet,. I’m tuning my art to accommodate cockroach concerns. You don’t catch me whining; I adapt, and Cucaracha Cinema is clearly the next big thing. We’ll intersperse short and long works during the talk and the audience should feel free to say or ask anything — but stick to art, to the discussion of its intrinsic dynamics and we’ll let the rest of the world go by. There will be new works that require “free-viewing” in 3D.” (Ken Jacobs)

1st Annual Experimental Lecture: Barbara Hammer: The Cinema of the Optic Nerve

barbarahammer_largeThe Undergraduate Dep’t of Film and TV and The Department of Cinema Studies

The Experimental Lecture “Barbara Hammer: The Cinema of the Optic Nerve” – Film, Video, Performance and Conversation

Friday November 16  
7 PM   Free

Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway
Room 109 (Lobby Floor)

World renowned avant-garde filmmaker Barbara Hammer will talk and screen films from a movie career that spans forty years. Hammer will use a performative style that challenges all our assumptions about what a “lecture” should be, projecting unseen treasures from her own archive as well as her award winning shorts Optic Nerve and Sanctus.

Barbara Hammer biography

Barbara Hammer was born on May 15, 1939 in Hollywood, California. She is a visual artist working primarily in film and video and has made over 80 works in a career that spans 40 years. She is considered a pioneer of queer cinema.

Barbara’s experimental films of the 1970’s often dealt with taboo subjects such as menstruation, female orgasm and lesbian sexuality. In the 80’s she used optical printing to explore perception and the fragility of 16mm film life itself. Her documentaries tell the stories of marginalized peoples who have been hidden from history and are often essay films that are multi-leveled and engage audiences viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change.   Hammer was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Fall 2005 at the Bratislava Academy of Art and Design, Slovakia; she received the first Shirley Clarke Avant-Garde Filmmaker Award in October 2006 and the Women In Film Award 2006 from the St. Louis International Film Festival. In February 2007, she was awarded a tribute and retrospective at the Chinese Cultural University Digital Imaging Center in Taipei, Taiwan.

She lives and works in New York City.

Program from the screening included below: 

Drawing from her film performance and installation work from the 1970’s, Hammer will project

Available Space (1979) with a moving projector; exhibit a blueprint scroll of a complete 16 mm film;

screen “orphan films” from her own archive, and project Optic Nerve (1985) and Sanctus (1990) and speak about her experimental investigations throughout her three decades of film and video making in this first annual lecture at NYU.

Talk- Aesthetics _ audience involvement; challenge viewing situation, etc.

  1. Performance Film: AVAILABLE SPACE,, 1979, 16mm, sound, 15 minutes. I will project this myself from within the theater.

Talk- Archive and Discovery

2. Orphan Film_ GERALDINE FERRARO, 1983, 16mm, tape spliced, silent, 1 1/2 minutes Orphan Film,_ DRIVE, SHE SAID,1988, 16mm, tape spliced, silent, approx. 3 minutes. (both on same reel)

Talk_ Structural Film Intervention

  1. Optic Nerve, 1985, 16mm, color/sound, 16 minutes on reel.

Talk-Watson Archive, Body, Health

  1. Sanctus, 1990, 16mm color/sound, 19 minutes on reel. (I need a microphone to mic a metronome I am bringing during the film so live sound will be mixed with soundtrack_if there is one on the lecturn or you plan to have for me that would be fine). I don’t really need a mic for myself in that small room.

Talk_The Scroll Film, 2005_show and tell (this is a handheld unrolled art work_no projection needed).