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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Annual archeology event focuses on historic art and performances

The city will come alive with art this weekend, from Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s East End Silos to the Heights Theater. For the third year in a row, The Mitchell Center for the Arts is collaborating with The Aurora Picture Show for the seventh annual Media Archeology Festival.

“The Media Archeology Festival is meant to showcase artists who use innovative ways of interpreting media and cinema through live performance works,” said curator Mary Magsamen.

Bree Edwards, special programs director at the Mitchell Center, served as curator for Media Archeology: Liquid Light to the Laptop in 2009 and worked alongside Magsamen planning this year’s festival.

“While the festival has traditionally been thematically curated, we are very excited that curator Mary Magsamen chose to focus this year’s festival, Media Archeology: Texas Focus, on artists living and working in Texas,” Edwards said.

The Graffiti Research Lab of Houston opens the festival Thursday, Sept. 16 with a live laser graffiti performance.

The participatory event will allow audience members to draw with light on the wall of the Menil Collection using a mix of text tagging and laser graffiti, or interactive light.

San Antonio’s Potter-Belmar Labs follows up Friday night at the Heights Theater with a VJ performance piece about the controversial film “I am Curious (Yellow)” directed by Vilgot Sjoman.

Potter-Belmar Labs’ husband and wife artistic team of Leslie Raymond and Jay Stevens explore an often forgotten time in Houston’s history, when protests over the film led to a fire that nearly destroyed the theater. The performance will involve a historical remixing of excerpts from the original film.

“In the 1960’s the film sparked mass protests, because it was thought to be pornographic in nature,” Magsamen said. “This event is very site specific and is a re-examination of the film, history and censorship.”

The festival closes Sunday, Sept. 18 with Austin-based multi-media artist Luke Savisky’s presentation of “E/X.”

Magsamen said she hopes Houstonians will come to support the artists and their vision, and be exposed to media in a new way.

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