Paul Clipson (in person) - 2009, 7:00, S8mm, San Francisco, CA

A nocturnal metaphysical journey through images and sounds in which space, color and light pass through the eye of the camera to create thoughts visualized before their conception. Shot in San Francisco, New York and Rotterdam.

Paul Clipson has shown his films internationally in various galleries, festivals and performance venues in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and Russia, as well as throughout the U.S. He works primarily in film, video and on paper, often collaborating on films, live performances and installations with sound artists and musicians.

Since 2003, Clipson has collaborated on film/music performances, documentaries and short films with sound/music artists such as Tarentel, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Brendan Murray, Robert Rich, Jim Haynes and Metal Rouge, projecting largely improvised in-camera edited experimental films employing multiple exposures, dissolves and macro imagery that bring to light subconscious preoccupations and unexpected visual forms. In the winter and spring of 2005, he screened his films with Tarentel while on tour in Japan, Italy, and Switzerland. In November 2007, Tarentel performed at the Tanned Tin Festival in Castellon, Spain, and in April, 2008, he screened new films with the band in Amsterdam, at the DWARS Festival.

In May 2007, the short, WATERCOLOR NIGHT MONTAGE NO.7 was screened as part of the Golden Gate Awards Competition at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival. A special film/music performance of the film PASSAGEWAYS also took place as part of the festival's events. Paul Clipson and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's collaborations have resulted in many film/music performances, including a show in September 2007, at the San Francisco Art Institute's "Film Salon" series, and a live performance of MOTH & MOON, in March 2008, at the San Francisco Exploratorium. They have released four limited edition DVDs on Cantu-Ledesma's rootstrata label, TWO SUNS, CONSTELLATIONS OF SPRING, CORRIDORS, and THE PHANTOM HARP. The 2007 film ECHO PARK screened in the LUCCA Film Festival in Italy, in the fall of 2007 at Toronto's IMAGES FESTIVAL in April 2008, and at Anthology Film Archives in October of that year. A special 60 minute 3-projection film was screened for LUMINOUS AMBIENT, a collaboration with ambient composer Robert Rich at SF Camerawork in March 2008.

In June 2008, the Artists Television Access Film & Video Festival received a grant from the Trust For Mutual Understanding and Clipson traveled to Russia with programmers and filmmakers from ATA, to present a program from the festival, including ECHO PARK, to the Cine Fantom Film Club in Moscow. While on the trip, Clipson filmed in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novgorod, and in August of 2008, presented a live music/screening of these "Russia films" with sound artist Jim Haynes, at ATA, titled STRANGE LIGHT.

Clipson has exhibited drawings and video installations in the Diego Rivera Gallery, at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001, for the show, "Voice Paper". In 2005, his solo show, "Films & Landscapes", at the Gallery of Urban Art in Oakland, California, featured film-influenced large format charcoal drawings, five video installations, including a 2-channel documentary on the band Tarentel, WORK IN PROGRESS, and two live film/music performance events, with Tarentel and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Participation in the group show, "Lost Out West", also at the Gallery of Urban Art, followed in March 2006, which included his film, THE LIGHTS & PERFECTIONS. In February 2007, his drawings were shown in the group show, "Just Charcoals", at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, and in March 2007, "AFTER HOURS", an installation of several video light pieces at the 31 Rausch Gallery, in San Francisco, created a light ambient space specially designed for the exhibition, and included the 2-channel video work, THE ZENITH PAGENT. In June 2008, a video/sound installation, LOCAL MEMORY, in collaboration with Cantu-Ledesma, was exhibited in the group show "The Beast In Me", at the Ping Pong Gallery, in San Francisco. In October 2008, with filmmakers Bill Basquin, Kerry Laitala and Jerry Hiler, he took part in a film/music performance, as part of the Bay Area Now 5 exhibition, entitled "The 10,000 Mile Bike Race," conceived and curated by Konrad Steiner of kino21.

In January 2009, Clipson attended the Rotterdam International Film Festival, where he screened the film, SPHINX ON THE SEINE, in the shorts competition, and presented a 70 minute work, in a performance with the Belgium-based band R.O.T., called HALF LIGHT MYSTERIUM, as part of the "Size Matters" program. Also in January, WATERCOLOR NIGHT MONTAGE NO.7 screened at the Schmalfilmtage Festival in Dresden, Germany, in the "Best of Festivals" program. SPHINX ON THE SEINE was awarded second prize for an experimental short (under 10 minutes) at the FLEX FEST in Florida. SPHINX ON THE SEINE has since played at the IndieLisboa in Portugal, the International Short Film Festival Hamburg and will screen at the Edinburgh Film Festival in June.

In April 2009 at the San Francisco Art Institute, Clipson screened new films in live performance with sound artist Brendan Murray, at the Activating The Medium Festival, co-presented by 23Five Incorporated and the SFCinematheque. In May, for the traveling "Beast In Me" group exhibition, SHE KNOWS, a new video installation premiered at the Accident Gallery in Eureka, California. In July, at the New Zealand International Film Festival, sound artist Rosy Parlane performed live to the films TUOLUMNE (2007) and THE LIGHTS & PERFECTIONS (2006).

Clipson attended the University of Michigan, studying film, painting and drawing.

Questions with Paul Clipson by Liz Wing

Liz Wing: What's your working relationship with Gregg Kowalsky like? Does he often produce music for your films, and do you work in collaboration or separately?

Paul Clipson: Gregg and I have been interested in working together for some time. I've screened films at sound shows where he's played, he's performed with groups where I projected films, and this year at the Totally Fractal Mind Gaze Hut, Ben Bracken's space in Oakland, we directly collaborated on a performance for the first time. Over a period of two or three years, his work and methods of making music became apparent to me and CHORUS rose out of an influence that a section of his album, TAPE CHANTS, had on images that I was working with over the summer. The title often comes last and in the case of CHORUS, was suggested by a friend. CHORUS seems to imply a sort of speaking environment. Significant influences would be the filmmakers Orson Welles, Chantal Akerman and Michelangelo Antonioni, as well as the composers Morton Feldman and Bernard Herrmann. Each of these artists addresses movement in space in a variety of compelling and surprising ways.

LW: Would you be willing to share with us some of your significant influences? Any favorite haunts in San Francisco for art and cinema?

PC: My favorite haunts in San Francisco are the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park and anywhere in the city at night.

LW: Annnd -- two questions unrelated to the ATA FF -- I thought I saw Chorus screened at the Tony Conrad performance at SFAI earlier this year. Am I wrong about that? (It was a real treat to see your work there!) Also -- I missed the screening you put together at SFMOMA earlier this month, which I was pretty bummed about. The Bunuel film I've never seen and would have liked to. Any chance you'll be putting together another screening soon -- with new picks?

PC: Yes, you did see CHORUS, or parts of it, at the SFAI performance I did with Brendan Murray in April. Most of the films I make are arrangements of, or sections from longer format "live films." The live performances serve as a kind of research period for me to view images with a variety of sounds influenced by who I collaborate with.

I'd love to screen/curate more films at SFMOMA- we'll see if they ask again. I think you can find LAS HURDES on DVD now, and Resnais' LE CHANT DU STYRENE, an amazing film about plastic, is included on the new LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (Criterion) release. The Franju short, HOTEL DES INVALIDES is unfortunately not available anywhere, besides on 35mm film.


Artists' Television Access is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all-volunteer, artist-run, experimental media arts gallery that has been in operation since 1984. ATA hosts a series of film and video screenings, exhibitions and performances by emerging and established artists and a weekly cable access television program.