Nathalie Magnan (1956-2016) was recognized in the English-speaking world and in France as a remarkable media theoretician. Over the course of her career, she edited two anthologies of texts, published numerous articles, and created various websites. As a moving-image artist, she worked as a director for entities across a wide spectrum of the media landscape, making videos for various alternative media collectives as well as the French television giant, Canal +. A pioneer of cyberfeminism, she was one of its most prominent figures, working with Zelig, Faces, and Old Boys Network, and co-moderating the pioneering listserv nettime. Magnan introduced the work of scholar and theorist Donna Haraway to France, translating and publishing “The Cyborg Manifesto.” Spending 12 years in the U.S., where she completed her graduate studies and collaborated with, among others, the media collective Paper Tiger Television, she returned to France in 1990, where she would become a professor at the École Nationale Superieure d’Art in Bourges. A committed, generous, and rebellious teacher, she taught generations of young artists that art could be the practice of freedom. In celebration of her life and career, we host these two programs of her provocative and inspired video work.
Sunday Nov. 5 7:30 PM
NATHALIE MAGNAN: PROGRAM 1: MEDIA JAMS
Introduced by Catherine Lord.
NATHALIE MAGNAN: MEDIA THEORETICIAN / NATHALIE MAGNAN, THÉORICIENNE DES MÉDIAS (2012, 12 min, video)
In this interview with the magazine MONSTER, Magnan speaks about tactical media, jamming, gender changes, the cyborg manifesto, and (h)activism.
INTERNAUTES (1995, 13 min, video)
With humor and intensity, Magnan documents all manner of internet communities, from small to large, from young artists to engineers.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE WAR? / AVEZ-VOUS VU LA GUERRE? (1991, 45 min, video. Made in collaboration with Canal Dechaine.)
A montage of archival footage and interviews (with Serge Daney and Félix Guattari, among others) about the representation of the First Gulf War on French television.
THERE’S NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE AND BESIDES, IT’S TRUE / IL N’Y A PAS DE FUMÉE SANS FEU ET EN PLUS C’EST VRAI (1996, 24 min, video)
A visionary document examining what we now call fake news: the explosion of unverified rumor into the public sphere.
Total running time: ca. 100 min.
Monday, November 6
NATHALIE MAGNAN: PROGRAM 2: GENDER TRANSFORMATIONS: NO SMOKE NO MIRRORS
Introduced by Marita Sturken.
BORN TO BE SOLD: MARTHA ROSLER READS THE STRANGE CASE OF BABY M (1988, 35 min, video)
Martha Rosler tackles mainstream media’s representation of the case of surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead. This video, made with the collective Paper Tiger Television, uncovers the class and gender bias of the courts and of the media coverage.
ONE MAN IN TWO IS A WOMAN / UN HOMME SUR DEUX EST UNE FEMME (1996, 5 min, video)
Spiked with archival footage as well as interviews with key French female thinkers and public figures, this very funny “instructional” film discusses gender disparity in French politics.
TESTING THE TEST TUBE / L’ÉPROUVANTE ÉPROUVETTE (1991, 34 min, video)
The surprisingly varied experiences of seven women undergoing in-vitro fertilization.
LESBORAMA (1995, 30 min, video)
Is there such a thing as lesbian culture? Magnan creates a montage of scenes from the history of lesbianism in cinema and interviews with prominent and not-so-prominent lesbians.
Total running time: ca. 110 min.