EVENTS
upcoming >

On Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, 2014, the University of Southern California's Visions and Voices series will present a set of live visual improvisations by Single Wing Turquoise Bird. The performances will incorporate live improvised music from an ensemble led by guitarist/composer Miroslav Tadic.

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP via the USC site beginning Wednesday, April 2, at 9 a.m.

Tickets are expected to sell out fast so do not hesitate to make reservations ASAP.

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current >

Invisible Writing, a 47 minute HD recording drawn from improvised live performances by Single Wing Turquoise Bird is available on Blu-ray and DVD from the Night Fire Films store.

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An installation of Invisible Writing was part of the comprehensive exhibition: West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 which originated at the MCA Denver where it ran from November 10, 2011–February 19, 2012.

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recent >

As part of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, Los Angeles Filmforum and the UCLA Department of Design presented Single Wing Turquoise Bird in performance with musicians Miroslav Tadić and Friends for two evenings of real-time projection and live music on January 25 and 26 in the EDA of the Eli and Edythe Broad Arts Center, UCLA.

The Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival was organized by the Getty Research Institute and LA><ART; support was provided by the Getty Foundation.

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Invisible Writing, a 47 minute HD recording drawn from improvised live peformances by Single Wing Turquoise Bird was installed at the The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The installation was commissioned as part of the comphrensive exhibition: West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977.

The exhibition, which originated at the MCA Denver, ran from November 10, 2011– February 19, 2012, and then travelled to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where it ran from September 29, 2012 - January 6, 2013, then on to Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, February 8 - April 28, 2013, followed by an installation at the the Mills College Art Museum from June 12 - August 25, 2013.

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A seminal live performance by Single Wing Turquoise Bird and Jeffertitis's Nile took place August 6, 2011, at Open Borders Summer of Music and Art.

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A program of individual films by Single Wing Turquoise Bird members was followed by a screening of Out of Our Depths, an HD recording drawn from improvised live peformances by SWTB as part of Alternative Projections: A Symposium and Film Festival , November 14, 2010. The screening was followed by a group Q&A panel moderated by Adam Hyman.

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The initial Single Wing Turquoise Bird 21st Century reunion performance was held at the Four Friends Gallery, February 27, 2009.

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"Just the night before, at Venice California, I had seen the light show by the 'Single Wing Turquoise Bird.' Like a thousand modern paintings flowing and sparkling, alive and dynamic, of incredible richness, a death blow to painting in frames, stills."

Anais Nin, 1968



"The Single Wing Turquoise Bird (SWTB) was one of the most sophisticated of the U.S. psychedelic light shows. Formed in Los Angeles in 1968 to accompany rock concerts, it reconfigured its membership and its performance modes several times, eventually freeing itself from its initial role as a supplement to live music events. Drawing on the long local history of intersections between avant-garde film and visual music, it developed many technologies and sources of both imagery and abstract light, and evolved into an autonomous multimedia unit that innovated the collectively improvised, real-time composition of projected light."

David James, 2011



"Unlike other light artists, The Single Wing Turquoise Bird has no definite program; each presentation evolves from the interacting egos of the group working in harmony. What we see cannot be called a work of art as traditionally conceived: a unique, perishable, non-replaceable entity reflecting the talents of an individual. They don't produce an object in the sense that a movie is an object; they produce software, not hardware. We witness an expression of group consciousness at any given moment. The range of their vocabulary is limitless because it's not confined to one point in time, one idea, one emotion."

Gene Youngblood, 1970



"…and if Single Wing Turquoise Bird could be writing it they would be writing it, but they are showing it and always only once because Friday January 17, 1969 was not like Saturday January 18, 1969, even though many things about them seemed to be being the same and if you did not see Friday January 17, 1969 when it happened you will not have a chance now because it was living not writing…"

William Moritz, 1969



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A Brief Single Wing Turquoise Bird History

Single Wing Turquoise Bird began its career in early 1968 as the resident "light show" for Pinnacle Production's weekly rock concerts at Los Angeles' Shrine Exposition Hall, accompanying bands such as Cream, The Velvet Underground, Sly and the Family Stone, Pink Floyd, The Who and The Grateful Dead. In addition to working in large rock concert venues, the group conducted performances in more intimate spaces such as the Cinematheque 16, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Cumberland Mountain Films loft above the Fox Venice Theater. In these smaller venues they were able to expand the range of music they worked with to include recordings by composers such as Steve Reich, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, Pauline Oliveros, and John Cage.

In 2009 Single Wing Turquoise Bird re-formed to rehearse, perform, and record new work. Several of the original group, Larry Janss, David Lebrun, Peter Mays, Jeffrey Perkins, and Michael Scroggins have been joined by new members Amy Halpern, Shayne Hood, and Mike Pfau.

In 2010 members of the group took part in a three day symposium at USC, Alternative Projections, Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945 - 1980, which was organzed to launch the Getty Center's comprehensive initiative, Pacific Standard Time. The group screened the now historic 1969 SWTB film, Light Show, followed by a set of individual film works, finishing with a new SWTB performance film, Out of Our Depths, that had been created especially for the symposium. Adam Hyman of LA Filmforum moderated a panel discussion with the attending SWTB members and audience. A video recording and transcription of the discussion is available on the Alternative Projections website:

http://alternativeprojections.com/symposium/single-wing-turquoise-bird-panel/

 

 

PINNACLE DANCE CONCERT PERFORMANCES [1968]

March 15, 16
The Cream
James Cotton
Mint Tattoo

March 29, 30
Traffic
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Crumbs

May 3,4
Big Brother and the Holding Co.
Albert King
Pacific Gas & Electric

May 17, 18
Grateful Dead
Steve Miller Band
Taj Mahal

May 24, 25
Chambers Brothers
Velvet Underground
Dr, John the Nightripper
Salvation

May 31, June 1
Yardbirds
B.B. King
Sons of Champlin

June 14, 15
Chambers Brothers
Chuck Berry
Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

June 28, 29
The Who
Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

July 12, 13
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Velvet Underground
Sly and the Family Stone

July 26, 27
Pink Floyd
Blue Cheer
Jeff Beck Group

August 2
Rockets
Charles Lloyd
Jeff Beck Group
Ornette Coleman
Electric Flag, An American Music Band

August 3
Charles Lloyd
Steve Miller Band
Blue Cheer
Jeff Beck Group
Big Mama Thornton and the Original Hound Dog Band

August 4
Butterfield Blues Band
Magic Sam
Ike & Tina Turner
Kaleidoscope
Electric Flag, An American Music Band
Steve Miller Band

Sept 6, 7
John Mayall
Junior Wells
Taj Mahal

 

   

 

 

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Current Era

Performers

 

Support



Single Wing Turquoise Bird performing live at Open Borders, August 6, 2011. Photo: Andy Romanoff

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The following three video clips are brief excerpts from Invisible Writing, a recording commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver as part of the traveling exhibition West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America. The original 47-minute piece is a high definition record of live performance in which the eight artists of Single Wing Turquoise Bird project improvised dynamic compositions upon a single screen. Miroslav Tadic's musical score forms a responsive weave of sound and image.

"Invisible Writing" is available from http://nightfirefilms.org


 

 

 

 

 

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A set of images from Invisible Writing, a 47 minute HD recording drawn from improvised live peformances by Single Wing Turquoise Bird with original Music by Miroslav Tadić. This recording is now available in full HD Blu-ray and SD DVD format through Night Fire Films.

 

This set of photogaphs by Larry Janss shows several members of Single Wing Turquoise Bird at work across two of our late sixties studio spaces.

 

 

Dana Ross shot these images of Single Wing Turquoise Bird's first performance with live music since the late sixties. SWTB and Jeffertitti's Nile peformed for the closing night of Open Border's Summer of Music and Art, August 6, 2011.

 

 

Andy Romanoff took these photographs during tech rehearsals and live peformances by Single Wing Turquoise Bird and Miroslav Tadić and Friends in the EDA of the Broad Arts Center at UCLA. The performances took place on January 25, 26, 2012, as part of The Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time.

   
   
   

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West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977
Elissa Auther (Editor), Adam Lerner (Editor), includes a chapter by David E. James, Expanded Cinema in Los Angeles: The Single Wing Turquoise Bird.

http://www.amazon.com/West-Center-Counterculture-Experiment-1965-1977/dp/0816677263

 

PDF from Gene Youngblood's Expanded Cinema: Chapter Six, Intermedia

www.vasulka.org/Kitchen/PDF_ExpandedCinema/part6.pd

 

Weekend in Los Angeles, Bill Moritz's Weekly Planet review of the 1969 Single Wing peformance, Eidola

http://www.iotacenter.org/visualmusic/articles/moritz/weekendla

 

Art in America review by Paul David Young

http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-opinion/news/2012-01-26/single-wing-turquoise-bird-experimental-/

 

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Single Wing Turquoise Bird Recordings:

Invisible Writing (Blu-ray or DVD)

 

 

Companion Book for the MCA Denver Exhibition:

West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977

 

 

Single Wing Turquoise Bird Performing in James Bridge's First Film:

The Baby Maker (WB made to order DVD)

 

 

Pinnacle Dance Concert Co-Founder John Van Hamersveld's Books:

My Art, My Life (paperback)

John Van Hamersveld - Coolhous Studio: 50 Years of Graphic Design (hardcover)




 


 

 

 

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Alternative Projections Symposium Panel: Single Wing Turquoise Bird

http://alternativeprojections.com/symposium/single-wing-turquoise-bird-panel/

 

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver | West of Center

http://mcadenver.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-11-09T14:03:00-08:00&max-results=7

 

Gene Youngblood on SWTB from his seminal book, Expanded Cinema

www.vasulka.org/Kitchen/PDF_ExpandedCinema/part6.pd

 

Rol Murrow's tales of the SWTB as written on Pooterland in 2002

http://www.pooterland.com/index2/lightshow_menu/lightshows/single_wing/single_wing.html

 

John Van Hamersveld's Pinnacle Dance Concert Graphics Work:

http://vanhamersveldmuseumofart.com/vhmoa/museum/08_exposition/01_pinnaclerock.html

 

David James' Presentation Light Shows/Mulitimedia Shows at the See This Sound web archive:

http://see-this-sound.at/compendium/maintext/79/1#textbegin

 

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General Information: mail@swtb.info

Webmaster: webmaster@swtb.info

FAX: 815-572-9192

 

AMY HALPERN (liquids and transparencies) has been making abstract films since 1972, including numerous short films and the 1990 experimental feature film Falling Lessons. She trained in modern dance with Anna Sokolow & Lynda Gudde, and danced with the Lynda Gudde Dancers. In the early 1970s she worked in 3-D shadowplay with Ken Jacobs' New York Apparition Theatre. She was a co-founder of New York's Collective For Living Cinema, and of the Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis. As a gaffer and cinematographer she has worked on numerous Hollywood and independent feature films, including Charles Burnett's My Brother's Wedding, Pat O'Neill's Decay of Fiction and David Lebrun's feature documentary, Breaking the Maya Code. A new body of short films premiered this year at Los Angeles Film Forum.

Interview from the Alternative Projections Oral History Project, an intitiative of LA Filmforum and the Getty Research Institute:

http://alternativeprojections.com/oral-histories/amy-halpern/

 

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SHAYNE HOOD (liquids and transparencies) began working in the animation industry in 1988 and currently teaches Introduction to Experimental Animation and Introduction to Computer Applications at Los Angeles Mission College. She is the author of The Original Let's Animate! (chosen 2008 Homeschool.com Educational Gift Award) and Jeremy Can't Drink Milk (based on her film by the same name, presented at both the China 1st International Animation Festival and Taiwan International Animation Festival). Shayne is currently working on a short film, I, Don Quixote, using stop motion puppet animation.

 

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LAWRENCE JANSS (slides) attended the California Institute of the Arts, School of Film and Video, and in 1967 attended the Ansel Adams Summer Photography Workshops. He later assisted Adams on many of his myriad projects over the course of Adams’ life. As a filmmaker, Janss has produced over a dozen documentaries, shorts and independent films in Chile, Micronesia and most of the Western States. Janss enjoys over thirty-five years of experience working with non-profit organizations. He was one of the original four founding members of the Liberty Hill Foundation, the first social justice foundation in Los Angeles, and has recently assisted in the formation of the Ventura County Social Justice Fund, modeled after Liberty Hill. Currently, Janss is President of the School of the Pacific Islands Foundation, and serves on the board of the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank in Washington DC. www.ips-dc.org. Janss also serves as Chairman of the Board of Regenerate Films, a non-profit film production company.  Regenerate Films’ mission is to: amplify voices for human rights, public health, the environment, and the expansion of art.  WWW.REGENERATE.ORG 

Larry's "day job" lies in the arcane and almost mystical worlds of real estate development and banking.

Examples of Janss's fine art photography may be viewed on the Four Friends Gallery site.

One of Janss's films, Slum Goddess Goes to New Mexico, may be viewed on Vimeo.

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DAVID LEBRUN [films] came to film from a background in philosophy and anthropology, and many of his films have been attempts to get inside the way of seeing and thinking of specific cultures. Lebrun's films include the experimental documentaries Sanctus (1966) and The Hog Farm Movie (1970), the animated films Tanka (1966) and Metamorphosis (2010), works for multiple and variable-speed projectors such as Sidereal Time (1981) and Wind Over Water (1983), and a 2007 multi-screen performance piece, Maya Variations. Lebrun recently completed two large-scale projects: the animated feature documentary Proteus, which premiered in 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival, and Breaking the Maya Code (2008), a history of the decipherment of the ancient Maya hieroglyphic writing system.

Interview from the Alternative Projections Oral History Project, an intitiative of LA Filmforum and the Getty Research Institute:

http://alternativeprojections.com/oral-histories/david-lebrun/

 

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PETER MAYS (films) studied painting at UCLA and made his first experimental short films in the 1960s. His experimental feature film Sister Midnight premiered at the Fox Venice Theatre in 1975. Beginning in the 1980s, Mays began using digital animation to portray large swaths of world and US history. Growth of a Nation, a Flash movie on the web, has had more than a million viewers. In 2001, Mays had a retrospective at the Anthology Film Archives.  In 2005 Death of the Gorilla (1966) was included in the Pompidou's exhibition Los Angeles: 1955-1985.   Mays' recent short films explore ancient cultures to express spiritual and political meanings.

Filmography:

http://www.animatedatlas.com/hallucinograms/filmography.html

 

Interview from the Alternative Projections Oral History Project, an intitiative of LA Filmforum and the Getty Research Institute:

http://alternativeprojections.com/oral-histories/peter-mays/

 

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JEFF PERKINS (slides) was an early member of Fluxus and began collaborating in filmmaking and performance with Yoko Ono in 1964. His art works and multimedia performances have been exhibited and performed internationally in Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Tokyo. They have been represented in New York City and Venice Italy by the Emily Harvey Foundation Galleries. Perkins has performed multimedia works in Southern California at LAICA and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the New Gallery in Santa Monica and the Santa Barbara Museum. He is producer and director of the feature documentary The Painter Sam Francis (2008) as well as documentary records of experimental film makers Stan Brakage, the Kuchar Brothers, Curtis Harrington, and composer Phillip Glass. He is currently in production on George, a feature length portrait of Fluxus founder George Macunias.

Interview from the Alternative Projections Oral History Project, an intitiative of LA Filmforum and the Getty Research Institute:

http://alternativeprojections.com/oral-histories/jeffrey-perkins/

Art in America Interview:

http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-opinion/conversations/2010-02-19/jeffrey-perkins-part-i/

Artist Organized Art Interview:

http://artistorganizedart.org/commons/2008/03/jeffrey-perkins-interviewed-by-chiara.html

 

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MIKE PFAU (slides) is Director of Technology at Regenerate Films. Recipient of a BFA from the UCLA Department of Art in 2010, Pfau continues a practice that incorporates art, biology, and the Internet.

http://mikepfau.com/sketchblog/

 

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MICHAEL SCROGGINS (liquids and transparencies) is Director of the Computer Animation Labs at CalArts where he has been on the faculty of the School of Film/Video since 1978.  Scroggins is a pioneer in the field of absolute animation performance.  His absolute animation works have been widely exhibited internationally, including screenings at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Union of Filmmakers, Moscow; Seibu Ginza, Tokyo; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.  His most recent digital work investigates the potential of gesture capture in the creation of real-time absolute animation in fully immersive VR. He has continued to perfect liquid projection techniques, most recently in the films Adagio for Jon and Helena, which premiered in 2010 at the REDCAT in Los Angeles, and limn, which premiered at LA Filmforum in 2011.

Interview from the Alternative Projections Oral History Project, an intitiative of LA Filmforum and the Getty Research Institute:

http://alternativeprojections.com/oral-histories/michael-scroggins/

 

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STAN GOLDSTEIN

 

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MIKE KEESLING

 

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ROL MURROW

 

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ANDY ROMANOFF

 

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