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Home News The Cinema of Charles and Ray Eames

The Cinema of Charles and Ray Eames
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:12

Visionary Design: The Cinema of Charles and Ray Eames - Fri. Feb. 24 - 8PM


Oddball Films presents Visionary Design: The Cinema of Charles and Ray Eames. Among the finest designers of the 20th Century, the husband and wife team are best known for their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, industrial design and manufacturing, but the Eames’ were also brilliant and inventive filmmakers, able to illustrate the most abstract concepts with readily understood images. There is so much to say about the legacy of the Eames’s that an entire period has been named after them. This program includes An Eames Celebration (1975), a documentary about the 20th century’s groundbreaking designers and filmmakers, shot by Les Blank; Powers of Ten(1968), their most famous film about orders of magnitude; Tops (1969), a brilliant childlike anthropological film capturing spinning tops from different cultures and eras; and IBM Mathematica Peep Show (1961) is a succinct and poignant presentation of 5 separate mathematical concepts.  The legacy of this husband and wife team includes more than 100 films produced between 1950 and 1982 that reflect the rich scope of their interests. Noted for their furniture designs -- the "Eames chair" in particular is considered one of the most significant and widely recognized furniture designs of the 20th century. The Charles Eames Lounge Chair set a standard for comfort and simplicity in modern design. The chair is so important in modern furniture design that it has become a part of the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. 

Date: Friday, February 24th at 8PM



Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco
Admission: $10 - Limited Seating RSVP to programming@oddballfilm.com or 415-558-8117





Featuring:




An Eames Celebration: Several Worlds of Charles and Ray Eames (Color, 1973) 
This  feature-length documentary by Emmy-winning director Perry Miller Adato, and produced by WNET, NYC is a remarkable and detailed film examining the myriad aspects of the Eeames’ career. “An Eames Celebration...” showcases many of their design, architectural and multimedia exhibitions including their phenomenal large-scale multiple projection screening “Glimpses of the USA” they produced in Moscow in 1959 and their innovative design plans for a National Aquarium in Washington, DC.  Camera by Les Blank with an appearance by architect and visionary futurist Buckminster Fuller. 

Powers of Ten (Color, 1968)
Undoubtedly the most famous of the Eames Films, Powers of Ten is probably one of the most watched short films of the post-war era.  Powers of Ten presents the profound idea of orders of magnitude, with the subtitle of the film being: A Film Dealing With the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero. 

Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out, until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward--into the hand of the sleeping picnicker--with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell. It is all done in a single, continuous, seamless shot. It’s also one of  the most ambitious tracking shots in the history of cinema. The film has been chosen by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry.

IBM Mathematica Peep Show (Color, 1961)
Also known as "IBM Mathematics Peep Shows," these five short films were commissioned by IBM and created by Charles and Ray Eames for inclusion in the 1961 Mathematica exhibition that took place at the California Museum of Science and Industry and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Like Powers of Ten, each of the five Mathematica Peep Shows was a succinct and poignant presentation of a single mathematical concept, communicated through the medium of film, mostly through animation with voice-over narration.

If there’s one theme all the Eames’ films share, it’s clarity. Nearly of the Eames’ films can be understood and appreciated by audiences of all ages, and all backgrounds. Charles & Ray were active at an pivotal juncture in the history of design. They were working in post-war America, where business was experiencing unprecedented growth, and the American public had acquired a taste for good design (for just one bit of evidence, see the film American Look (1958), sponsored by Chevrolet). They were working for IBM — one of the most affluent companies in the world, and a company helmed by Thomas J Watson, Jr, an exec who was famously concerned with the image of his company.

Charles & Ray Eames were artists adept at an astonishing number of disciplines. They produced museum exhibitions, architecture, logotypes, toys, slide-shows, furniture, books, photography, paintings films. However, their films are the least discussed of their work. They are one of the few American artists with an entire era named after them and their films contain some of the most original ideas of the century.

The Eames’ films are usually considered “instructional” or (corporate) “sponsored” films though they were much more than that-they were a cinematic methodology for them to express their all encompassing vision of the world in terms of moving images. In fact Charles Eames once stated “We’ve never used film as an artform but as projections of concepts..” Charles & Ray were frequently contracted by corporations like Polaroid, Westinghouse, and IBM working integrally with them to create some of the most elegant and visually compelling educational and corporate films ever made. In their film SX-70 (1972), intended as a promotional film for the newly released Polaroid SX-70 camera, the Eames’ take advantage of the opportunity to discuss optics, transistors and to display their own Polaroid photographs.

Tops (Color, 1969)
Toys occupy several of the Eames films, including Tops, a purely visual film that documents the short life span of a spinning top. It’s essentially a silent anthropological film and captures tops from different cultures and eras. The Eames Office contained a menagerie of toys, and it was Charles who once asked rhetorically, “Who would say that pleasure is not useful?” Tops was shot from the extreme perspectives of close-ups – an expressionistic technique that lets the audience experience toys as if from the eyes of a child.


About Ray and Charles Eames
Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames had a profound influence on design in the latter half of the 20th century, both in the United States and throughout the world. Taking as their motto 'the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least’, they are perhaps best known for the form-fitting chairs that were produced in the 1940s and 1950s using the mass production techniques they invented but they also designed and created buildings, toys, films, multimedia presentations, exhibits and books, including more than 50 projects for their major client, IBM, such as the IBM Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

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Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


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The Albatross and the Shipping Container

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contact FF

Alexis Anne Mackenzie - 2/28
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:21

SAN FRANCISCO --- Alexis Anne Mackenzie opens Multiverse at Eleanor Harwood in the Mission on Saturday, Feb 28th. -details

a_m


 

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
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When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.

lead

Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? --continue reading

 

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17_ms

Work by Meryl Pataky

 

In Wake of Attack, Comix Legend Says Satire Must Stay Offensive
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Ron-Turner

Ron Turner of Last Gasp

"[Satire] is important because it brings out the flaws we all have and throws them up on the screen of another person," said Turner. “How they react sort of shows how important that really is.” Later, he added, "Charlie took a hit for everybody." -read on

 

Solidarity
Thursday, 08 January 2015 09:36

charlie

 

SF Bay Area: What Might Have Been
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tiburonbridge

The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its tens of thousands of acres of beautiful parks and public open spaces.

What many people don't know is that these lands were almost lost to large-scale development. link

 

1/5/14 - Going Back
Monday, 05 January 2015 10:49

As we work on our changes, we're leaving Squarespace and coming back to the old server. Updates are en route.

The content that was on the site between May '14 and today is history... Whatever, wasn't interesting anyway. All the good stuff from the last 10 years is here anyway.

###########
 

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Opening tonight, Friday May 23rd (7-10pm) at Park Life in the Inner Richmond (220 Clement St) is Again Home Again featuring works from the duo Jacob Mcgraw-Mikelson & Rachell Sumpter who split time living in Sacramento and a tiny island at the top of Pudget Sound with their children.

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park_life

 

NYPD told to carry spray paint to cover graffiti
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nyc_graffitiNYC --- A new graffiti abatement program put forth by the police commissioner has beat cops carrying cans of spray paint to fill in and cover graffiti artists work in an effort to clean up the city --> Many cops are thinking it's a waste of resources, but we're waiting to see someone make a project of it. Maybe instructions for the cops on where to fill-in?

The NYPD is arming its cops with cans of spray paint and giving them art-class-style lessons to tackle the scourge of urban graffiti, The Post has learned.

Shootings are on the rise across the city, but the directive from Police Headquarters is to hunt down street art and cover it with black, red and white spray paint, sources said... READ ON

 

//////////
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


Headlands Center Fundraiser -6/4/14
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:54

SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details

ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

headlands

 

Congrats, Dudes(ette)
Monday, 19 May 2014 09:29

Just want to say congrats to Fecal Face's Rachel Ralph for graduating from SFAI with her masters in curatorial studies. Also want to congratulate Alex Ziv who also just got his MFA in painting. Also a high five to the talented Mario Ayala who also just graduated from SFAI as well! --- All super talented artists (thinkers), and we're excited to see what the future holds for them!

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


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Gator Skater +video

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5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


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BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

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AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

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Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

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GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

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Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

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Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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