Kerry Laitala PRO

San Francisco

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Kerry Laitala is an award-winning moving-image artist who uses analog, digital, and
hybrid forms to investigate the ways in which media influences past and present culture. She considers this type of approach to making art a type of media archeology. Laitala's work resides at the crossroads of science, history, and technology, and her uncanny approach to evolving systems of belief manifests through an array of media including films, videos, installations, photographic works, performances and kinetic scuplture. She studied Photography and Film at Massachusetts College of Art and received her Masters degree in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute. Laitala’s 2015 City Luminous Series encompasses seven separate works (and counting), spanning the realms of installation, multi-projector performance, photography, and single-channel film, shown thus far at the Palace of Fine Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute, the California Historical Society, and in solo shows at Oddball Films and Shapeshifters Cinema. Elements of The City Luminous series have been funded by a Special Projects Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission Grant, Yerba Buena Benefit District grant, California Historical Society, and Maurice Kanbar.

This multi-platform body of work is a tribute to the Panama Pacific International Exposition's innovative illumination, which Laitala believes is the first "Light show" in the Bay Area. She will also present her unique electrophotographic process at the California Historical Society in their Historic Photographic techniques program series in October.

She attended Massachusetts College of Art studying Photography and Film and received her Masters degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in Film.

In 2011, Laitala finished the hand made, hand processed films entitled the "Muse of Cinema Series" with a flashlight in her studio. This film artist uses the “Muse Series” to directly address the audience by re-animating Magic Lantern slides from the early years of cinema and before the birth of cinema as we know it. By incorporating them into a cinematic collage, the works pay homage to magicians of an earlier age who thrilled audiences with their spectral displays. Her work has been screened internationally and in the celestial ether which connects us with the music of the spheres.
Laitala was also chosen as a recipient of a GOLDIE- (Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award) -2007 from the San Francisco Bay Guardian

Laitala was Voted By the SF Weekly: "Best Filmmaker Without a Pixar Contract (Yet) - 2011

SF WEEKLY Writes: "The brilliant experimental filmmaker Kerry Laitala is a conjurer, summoning vestigial image-remnants from ancient films and, applying her singular skills in divine manipulation, evoking the fantastical world of jagged dreams, faded realities, and shadowy fairy tales. Working with the endangered material of celluloid, she constructs handcrafted gems that explode with fantastical associations. The great contradiction embodied in her oeuvre is precisely what makes her such a singular, important artist: She devotes endless, painstaking hours to works for transient, temporal movie-going experiences. Laitala will never be co-opted or corralled by any latter-day animation companies. After all, what do they know about film?

For More information about her work go to:

The Muse of Cinema was funded by the Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects Grant 2004 & 2007 and the Museum of Contemporary Cinema Grant 2005. A Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects grant was recently awarded for three more films in the series («Spectrology» Legerdemain» and «Afterimage- A Flicker of Life»).

Laitala has now expanded her terrain to work in a series of light/ motion/color experiments called the Chromatic Cocktail Series. She has recently collaborated with Wobbly for the Chromatic Cocktail Work "Afterimage: A Flicker of Life". Several of these works have screened in Europe and she is currently working on live chroma performances in collaboration with Eats Tapes, and installations involving 3D chromadepth technology in collaboration with the Freddy McGuire Show.

In addition, Laitala has been continuing her explorations with expanded cinema performances. "The Color Red Bleeds Blue", "Velvet of Night "and "Trip the Light Fantastic" are recent additions to this body of work. She is currently in production of a new Expanded Cinema work entitled: "Solar Furnace".

Kerry Laitala is an artist who works with many forms of moving images from expanded cinema performances to 3D single channel videos and installations. She is currently a visiting film instructor of the San Francisco Art Institute film department. She has recently begun a project recording electrical discharge traces using metal artifacts for a series of tribute portraits to the living and dead.

Some Press about the Films of Kerry Laitala:

Scott Stark Writes: "Kerry Laitala takes eye-popping visual phenomena and turns it into refined artistry, in a body of work that is playful, visually articulate and a loving homage to the fundamental magic of cinema."

"Abandon yourself to a morass of imagery. This retrospective offers a chance to share in the uncanny visual associations that reside in the recesses of Kerry Laitala's imagination. Film noir, mystical surrealism, psychoanalysis, fairy tales- a cacophony of symbols and stylistic devises are used in the creation of these consistently enigmatic and richly crafted little films. Laitala is like an alchemist deeply absorbed in a process, removed from the constraints of commercialism and transient styles, working alone in her lab, searching for the unexpected poetry of cinema and the subconscious." (Louis Benassi)- Curator, Edinburgh International Film Festival.

"The films of Kerry Laitala evoke a glowing world in which spirits, memories and moldering artifacts swirl into feverish dreams recalling gothic conditions of poetry and decay. Seeming to hover on the borders between life and death, madness and sanity, these haunting alchemical films raise the dead from long slumbers to become luminous phantoms of flickering cinema. Just in from the Black Forest, Ms. Laitala will present Awake, But Dreaming, Retrospectroscope, Secure the Shadow (including its mysterious Prelude), The Adventure Parade, The Escapades of Madame X and new films Conquered, Hallowed, and Black Bile." (Steve Polta)-San Francisco Cinematheque.


2014 Solar Furnace- Work - in -Progress- 16mm, sound by Ashley Belluoin and Benjamin Bracken
2014 Beneath the Waters - Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D, Soundtrack by Neal Johnson
2013 Nine Lives Measured in Mercury- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
Soundtrack by Neal Johnson
2012 Terra Incognita- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2011 Conjuror’s Box- 35mm
2011 Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof-Digital Video In Chromadepth 3D, Soundtrack by Kenneth Atchley
2011 Chromatic Revelries- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2011 Tongue of Flame- Film/Video Hybrid In Chromadepth 3D
2010 Afterimage: A Flicker of Life-Film/Video Hybrid, in Chromadepth 3D, A Collaboration between Wobbly and K. Laitala
2010 Green Glass- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Chromatastic- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Mercurial Madness-Film/Video Hybrid in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Ebb & Flow-Super 8, stereo sound
2010 Legerdemain-16mm
2009 Coming Attractions- 16mm
2009 Chromatic Cocktail Extra Fizzy- Film/Video in Chromadepth 3D
2009 Spectrology-16mm
2008 Chromatic Cocktail Straight-Up- Film/Video Hybrid in Chromadepth 3D
2008 Phantogram-16mm
2006 Muse of Cinema- 35mm
2006 Orbit- 16mm
2005 Torchlight Tango-16mm
2005 Terra Firma- 35mm
2005 Transfixed-16mm
2003 Out of the Ether-16mm
1997 Retrospectroscope-16mm
1997 Secure the Shadow… "Ere the Substance Fade-16mm

2014 Solar Furnace - Expanded Cinema projector Performance, Sounds by Benjamin Bracken and Ashley Belluoin
2012 Velvet of Night- Expanded Cinema projector performance, Sound Collaboration by Kerry Laitala & John Davis
2012 Trip the Light Fantastic- Expanded Cinema, Projector performance with Sound Collaboration: Kerry Laitala and Neal Johnson
2011 The Color Red Bleeds Blue-An Expanded Cinema projector performance, Sound Collaboration by Kerry Laitala & John Davis
2011 1000 Deaths- Expanded Cinema Work, Triple 16mm projector performance, sound by Wobbly
2010 After 1000 Deaths-Installation in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Glitter Gulch- Installation in 3D, sound by the Freddy McGuire Show
2010 Peepshow Pin-Up- installation in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Legerdemain- Expanded Cinema Performance, dual 16mm projectors, sound
2008 Little Bassy Velvet- Expanded Cinema Performance, Dual 16mm projectors, slides and sound collage
2007 Hocus Pocus, ABRACADABRA, Dual 16mm projection, 35mm slides & video projection, ATA, MadCat, Coppola Winery, Other Film Festival
2002 Breathing for Others-Projector Performance, & Artist Television Access- San Francisco, CA and 21 Grand- Oakland, CA
2001 S.O.S., Film Installation/Projector Performance- A Collaboration with Maximilian Godino, San Francisco Cinematheque
1998 Dissipation Between Here & Nowhere - Film installation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
1998 Perpetual Chasm-Film installation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany, and the Edinburgh Royal Academy of Art as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
1998 Trajectory-installation/Live Performance- A collaboration with Wolfgang Suppan, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart Germany
1999 The X-Oscope-Mixed Media installation, Zeum, S.F., CA
1997 Cycloramic Cinema of Attractions-Film/Mixed Media- A Collaboration with Shane Valentino, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1996 The Retrospectroscope Mixed Media Installation, San Francisco Art Institute (1996), The Lab (2002), Artist Television Access April (2008)

2014 Experimental Response Cinema, Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin, Texas
2014 Pitzer College, Claremont, CA
2014 California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
2013 Maine International Film Festival, Waterville, Maine
2013 European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrueck, Germany
2012 Shapeshifters Cinema, Oakland, CA
2011 Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, BC,
2011 Dallas Video Festival, Dallas, Texas
2010 Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France
2010 Screening of the Muse of Cinema Series, Off/Off Festival, Ghent Belgium
2009 University of Boulder at Colorado, First Person Cinema Series, Boulder, Colorado
2009 Film Forum, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Experiments in Cinema 4.2, Albuquerque, New Mexico
2008 Olympia Film Festival, Olympia, WA
2008 Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, BC, Canada
2007 Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne, Australia
2007 Otherfilm Festival, Old Museum, Brisbane, Australia
2007 Francis Ford Coppola's Rubicon Estate Centennial Magic
Lantern Museum Opening- Projector Performance
2005 Cineworks Film Co-Op, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
2002 San Francisco Cinematheque, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2002 WORM, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2001 Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
2001,1999 Akademie Schloss Solitude- Stuttgart, Germany



Echo Park Film Center, Screening of Conjuror’s Box and Expanded Cinema Performance, Velvet of Night, Los Angeles, CA
Mix Film Festival, Screening of Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof, NYC
Exploratorium, Screening of two chromatic Cocktails, Chromatic Cocktail Extra Fizzy and Sparkle Plenty, San Francisco, CA
Exploratorium, After Dark: Sexplorations, Installation of the 3D hybrid, Pin-up in 3D, San Francisco, CA
The Exploratorium- Expanded Cinema Performance entitled Trip the Light Fantastic, S.F., CA
Chicago Underground Film Festival- Screening of Conjuror’s Box, Chicago, IL

Open Studios- SOMA Artists Studio, Exhibition of Photographs, San Francisco, CA
Ramp Gallery SOMARTS, Exhibition of Photographs, San Francisco, CA
Pacific Film Archive, Conjuror's Box, Berkeley, CA
San Francisco International Film Festival - Conjuror’s Box, Director’s Lounge, Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof -Berlin, Germany
Oberhausen Festival of Short Films, Conjuror's Box, Oberhausen, Germany
Exis Experimental Film Festival, Conjuror’s Box, Soeul Korea
Edinburgh International Film Festival, Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof, Edinburgh, Scotland
Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chromatic Revelry, Chicago, IL
Experimental Film Festival Portland, Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof, Portland, Oregon
Place Gallery, Triple projection installation in 3D entitled Glitter Gulch, Portland, Oregon

Black Maria Film Festival, Screening of Conjuror's Box, Jersey City, New Jersey.
Experiments in Cinema v.7.9, Screening of Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof, Albuquerque, New Mexico
34th Big Muddy Film Festival- Screening of Terra Incognita, Carbondale, IL
Ann Arbor Film Festival- Screening of Conjuror’s Box, Ann Arbor, MI
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Liminal Space- Expanded Cinema Work The Color Red Bleeds Blue, Oakland, CA
New York Film Festival, “Views from the Avant Garde”, Screening of Conjuror’s Box- NYC
San Francisco International Film Festival- Screening of Chromatastic, S.F., CA

External Links


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