benj gerdes

a portfolio not always in sync with internet time


"Radical Citizenship: The Tutorials" at Tate Modern, London

A revision of my contribution to the Anhoek School’s “Radical Citizenship: The Tutorials” project is now on view at the Tate Modern. The tutorials, as sets of instructions, will be displayed for the month of November as part of the Silent University initiative in the Silent University Project Room, Level 0. November 7-30.

Unique visitors to post: 2

posted November 01, 2012

Scheld'apen Festival, Antwerp

The Scheld’apen FilmBox program is an outdoor screening in the gallery garden featuring Benj Gerdes & Jennifer Hayashida’s 16mm film “Populus Tremula” alternating with work by Harun Farocki.



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posted September 10, 2012

"Populus Tremula" at Bozar Cinema, Brussels

Our film will be screening as part of the program Kran Film: Cart Blanche at Bozar Cinema, Brussels. We have long admired the facilities at the Palais des Beaux-Arts there and are thrilled to screen in such a venue. “Populus Tremula” has its Belgian premiere on June 23rd. Links in French.

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posted June 15, 2012

"Radical Footage: Film and Dissent" at Nottingham Contemporary, UK

The RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa) project at Loughborough University, coming out of the Politicized Practice research group, has organized an event around Oliver Ressler’s video “What is Democracy?” with related screenings and discussions, including “Strike Anywhere.” March 9, Nottingham Contemporary, UK.

Unique visitors to post: 1

posted March 05, 2012

(Un)translatability Screening at Casa Vecina, Mexico City

Goran Petrovic of Kran Film Collective has organized a screening at Casa Vecina (Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México, A.C.). Both “Populus Tremula” and “Intelligence Failures: Minutes 39-54” will be screening on August 21.

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posted August 05, 2011

Screening at Museum of Moving Image, New York

“Populus Tremula” will be shown as part of the series “Work: Selection From the 2010 Flaherty Seminar” at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Jennifer Hayashida and I will introduce the screening “Tropic of Cancer,” along with Flaherty Board member Lucius Barre, on Saturday, June 4, at 6PM.

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posted May 15, 2011

Screening at 98 Weeks Research / Project Space, Beirut

“Populus Tremula” will screen as part of the program “Kran Film Presents: Berivan Binevsa, Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida, Lasse Lau, Jorge Leon, Sarah Vanagt” at 98 Weeks Research/Project Space in Beirut. This is part of their 98videos series. More information here (scroll down).

Unique visitors to post: 4

posted April 01, 2011

Screening at National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., June 4

The National Gallery of Art will feature Strike Anywhere in a program showcasing favorites from the 2010 Flaherty International Film Seminar. This is part of the series “In Praise of Independents: The Flaherty.” The program including our video, “On Work: A Selection of Shorts,” will be introduce by filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu on Saturday June 4 at 2PM. More information here.

We’ve heard the Garden Concourse Auditorium is nice, but the map does map it look like that space is dwarfed by the Espresso and Gelato Bar. Screening attendees, please report!

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posted February 06, 2011

e-flux journal #22: Idiot Wind. Edited by Paul Chan and Sven Lütticken

Online now. Idiot Wind: On the Rise of Right-Wing Populism in the US and Europe, and What It Means for Contemporary Art is a series of “reports” on recent right-wing populist movements and the possibilities for contemporary art in the face of these recent developments. A group of relevant artists were invited to contribute images to accompany these texts, and a still from a new video installation by Jennifer Hayashida and myself is featured in the text “Visits from the Future” by Melanie Gilligan. Other authors include Claire Bishop, Brian Holmes, Gregg Bordowitz, Hito Steyerl, Renée Green, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, and many others.

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posted January 20, 2011

"Populus Tremula" at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2011

Populus Tremula will screen at the 40th Annual Rotterdam International Film Festival as part of the program Crisis? What Crisis? on January 29 and 31. For complete information please see festival website.

The festival writes:

“The process from tree to match proves to be the perfect metaphor for the route from state to individual capitalist. Recorded on beautiful 16mm.

How the economy’s all-encompassing nature resounds in something as small as a match. Beautiful word and image experiment developed from research into the ‘match king’ Ivar Kreuger (1880-1932), the inventor of short-term capital and monopolism. His Swedish Match factories operate to this day.”

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posted January 15, 2011

What is to be done? Art/Film/Politics at Centre Pompidou, Paris, December 18

Populus Tremula will screen at the Centre Pompidou on a program also featuring work by Dmity Gutov, Oliver Ressler, and Tania Brugera. This event is part of the large and ambitious series of screenings and symposia Que faire? Art/Film/Politics curated by le peuple qui manque (Kantuta Quirós & Aliocha Imhoff).

Event description: From the 11th to the 19th of December 2010, the curatorial platform, le peuple qui manque, in association with the Film department of the Centre Pompidou, proposes a series of encounters entitled “Que faire? What is to be done? art/film/politics”. These encounters offer an overview of the new critical strategies currently emerging within the international artistic field, and principally within contemporary film production, with a focus on the relationship between art and politics.

Read more at the event website (in French, click on link at upper right of their page for English).

Unique visitors to post: 0

posted December 01, 2010

Radical Citizenship: The Tutorials at Governor's Island (plus NY Times review)

I will be presenting the tutorial “Fake Stars and More and More Bars: When I look at the flag I see nothing I want to be a part of” as part of the Anhoek’s School’s Project “Radical Citizenship: The Tutorials” which will be running through the end of the summer at NYC’s Governor’s Island as part of the exhibition The Sixth Borough. My event will unfold 12-4 on Sunday, September 5.

Edward Rothstein of the New York Times has reviewed the cultural offerings on the entire island, including the tutorials based on their descriptions alone. He quotes my tutorial description in the 2nd to last paragraph of his article. He doesn’t approve.

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posted September 05, 2010

Flaherty NYC Solo Screening at Anthology Film Archives, New York, September 13

FLAHERTY NYC: Films By Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida

For the September installment of the Flaherty NYC monthly screening series, The Flaherty will present an evening of short films by myself and Jennifer Hayashida including: Strike Anywhere, Populus Tremula, Iraq: Because There Are So Many, Happy Anniversary: San Francisco, March 20-21, 2003 and Terms of Service: When We Pretend, We’re in Control. There will be a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by Flaherty NYC Programmer, Penny Lane, an independent filmmaker, video artist, educator and writer. Complete info here. Read our related interview with Penny Lane here or here.

Monday, September 13, 7:30pm, Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY.

Unique visitors to post: 2

posted September 01, 2010

Interviews in Incite! and The Brooklyn Rail

An interview with Jennifer Hayashida and myself by Penny Lane has been published in both the Brooklyn Rail and Incite! Journal of Experimental Media’s Back and Forth interview Series. Same text, different images.

Unique visitors to post: 2

posted August 01, 2010

Featured Filmmaker(s) at 2010 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar

Jennifer Hayashida and I were featured filmmakers at the 2010 Roberty Flaherty Film Seminar: Work, curated by Dennis Lim. Other filmmakers featured were Lisandro Alonso, Michael Glawogger, Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Eugenio Polgovsky, Uruphong Raksasad, Lucy Raven, Alex Rivera, Mika Rottenberg, Kazuhiro Soda, Zhao Dayong, and Naomi Uman.

About the program: Work consumes our daily lives – as a means of survival, a badge of identity, and a lifelong source of joy or sorrow. Bringing together a wide range of films andvideos, WORK, the 2010 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, will examine the ways in which artists depict and explore the daily rituals and larger implications of work as well as the changing nature of work and the workplace. The Seminar will provide a panoramic survey of work in its many facets – from the history of labor strife to the rise of global capitalism to the abandoned working class of post-industrial societies in America and China.

About the Flaherty: The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar is named after Robert Flaherty (1884-1951), who is considered by many to be the father of the American documentary. Flaherty’s groundbreaking documentary of Eskimo life, Nanook of the North is among the most noted films of the silent era. He was also the creator of such classic poetic films as Moana, Man of Aran, and Louisiana Story. The Seminar began in 1955 before the era of film schools when Flaherty’s widow, Frances, convened a group of filmmakers, critics, curators, musicians, and other film enthusiasts at the Flaherty farm in Vermont. For over fifty years the Flaherty Seminar has been firmly established as a one-of-a-kind institution that seeks to encourage filmmakers and other artists to explore the potential of the moving image. The films of such directors as Robert Drew, Louis Malle, the Maysle brothers, Mira Nair, Satyajit Ray, and Robert M. Young were shown at the Seminar before they were known generally in the American film community. New cinematic techniques and approaches first presented and debated at the Seminar have routinely made their way into mainstream American film.

More information here.

Unique visitors to post: 2

posted June 25, 2010

"Populus Tremula" at Migrating Forms Festival, New York, May 15

Populus Tremula, my 16mm film with Jennifer Hayashida, will screen in the Migrating Forms Festival at Anthology Film Archives on Saturday, May 15 at 2PM.

Migrating Forms complete info.

Award Update: a jury consisting of Rebecca Cleman, Ben Coonley, and Thomas Zummer chose the film for the Distinguished Recognition, Short Form award.

Unique visitors to post: 0

posted May 14, 2010

"Made in and out of USA" Screening at Koh-i-Noor, Copenhagen, May 13

Recent Political Videos Selected by Benj Gerdes


A screening of Strike Anywhere turned into a request for me to present a selection of works by comrades and colleagues. The program includes our project plus work by Michelle Dizon and Jesal Kapadia, all screening in Denmark for the first time. I will “attend” and lead a discussion via Skype.

Event Description: How might renewed focus on the past lead us toward new understandings of social and political possibilities in the present? How do artistic research and strategies of re-approaching history through media––documentation, commentary, & juxtaposition––produce alternate forms of experience and analysis that connect seemingly disparate geographic contexts and timeframes? These practices address the role of the nation-state, citizenship, and economic expansion within overlapping transnational trajectories of repression, colonialism, and cultural imperialism. Three videos, three distinct attempts to unearth the past in light of the present, four artists living in the United States but often working and looking elsewhere.

Complete information here.

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posted May 12, 2010

"Never Very Far Apart" at REDCAT Gallery, Los Angeles, April 29 - June 27

The group exhibition brings together six projects that explore the social production of space as vehicle for renewed thought and action. Working in a variety of mediums, the artist contemplate new grounds for alternate convergences and future crossings that reinvent and reimagine the contexts in which they live and work. Other artists include Terry Chatkupt, Muchelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Adriana Lara, Elana Mann, and RJ Messineo. More information here.

Curated by Ryan Inouye.

Opening April 28 6-9PM with artists’ talk at 6PM.

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posted April 27, 2010

"Strike Anywhere" at Images Festival, Toronto, April 9

“Strike Anywhere” will be shown as the centerpiece of the program “Workers Entering The Factory” at the Images Festival, Toronto, on April 9 at 5PM. Complete information here.

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posted April 01, 2010

Inclusive Antagonisms: Collective Strategies for Surviving the Present

Buffalo State College Fine Arts Department

I will be giving a lecture as part of a speaker series this spring dealing with questions of collaboration and collectivity. Check department website for more details. Organized by Beth Hinderliter.

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posted March 03, 2010

Trailer for "Strike Anywhere" Screening at Supermarket 2010, Stockholm, Feb 20

Watch the trailer

Supermarket 2010, Kulturhuset, Stockholm. Screening with introduction and Q&A by Michele Masucci. February 20th, 13:00.

Screening of Strike Anywhere (32:00 HD video w/ Jennifer Hayashida, 2009) with an introduction and discussion lead by Michele Masucci of Stockholm’s Filmklubben. Screening organized by the project space Artillerie Berlin as part of the “Supermarket Talks” program sidebar to this fair of artist-run spaces.

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posted February 15, 2010

"Art is Fine, Collaboration is Better" -- Cornell AAP Visiting Artist Series, Ithaca, NY

The Cornell School of Art, Architecture and Planning will host a talk by Jennifer Hayashida and myself, February 19 at 5:15.


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The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Issue #7

Out now: A new publication of conversations and thoughts reflecting on responses to economic & environmental conditions. Includes three-way interview with Gavin Grindon, Rodrigo Nunes, and myself “Protests Past and Protest Futures: A Critical Conversation about the State of Protest and Cultural Composition.” Available free online or in print ($7)

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posted January 25, 2010

"Beyond the Instance of an Ending" at Rethinking Marxism, Amherst, MA November 5

November 5th – December 10th, 2009

MARTHA ROSLER LIBRARY An e-flux project in collaboration with Martha Rosler

BEYOND THE INSTANCE OF AN ENDING Organized by Susan Jahoda and Jesal Kapadia Opening Reception Nov 6th, 4 pm.

I will be on a panel with Martha Rosler, Anton Vidokle, Bosko Blagojevic, and other participating artists, November 5, 5 pm. “Beyond the Instance of an Ending” includes my project with Jennifer Hayashida: “have you any objection do you approve.”

Herter Art Gallery, 125a Herter Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

In association with Rethinking Marxism & New Marxian Times, 7th International Conference

As art editors of the journal Rethinking Marxism, Susan Jahoda and Jesal Kapadia have brought together two projects: Martha Rosler Library and Beyond the Instance of an Ending.  Envisioning education as a social movement, as theorized by Antonio Gramsci, W.E.B Du Bois, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, these exhibitions provide a context for dialogue, one that imagines a new readership.

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posted November 01, 2009

"Shifting Alliances" Panel Video

Mary Billyou has made an engaging edit of our panel from March at SCOPE Art Fair following the screening “On the Contrary: Recent Artists’ Videos in Response to War in the Middle East.”

Other Panelists: Mayaan Amir, Ruti Sela, Judy Ditner, Chen Tamir, Caroline Koebel Moderators: Mary Billyou and Meredith Drum

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posted August 17, 2009