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ALDO TAMBELLINI MINI-RETROSPECTIVE
By PHIL HARTMAN
Two Boots Pioneer Theater | 155 East 3rd Street | New York | NY 1009 | August 19th, 2004
Cambridge's Aldo Tambellini, Visual Artist, Filmmaker, Video Pioneer, MIT Fellow, Political Poet and Activist, to have mini-retrospective of his extensive media work at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater for New York's HOWL Festival 2004.
Aldo, labeled the "Syracuse Rebel in New York" by the Syracuse Post Standard, burst into the scene of New York's Lower East Side, at the beginning of the 60's and quickly became involved in its social, political and artistic activities. He was the founder of the artistic group called "Group Center", an active counter-culture movement organizing group exhibitions, anti-Vietnam demonstrations, multi-media events and collaborative performances. With Elsa Tambellini, he founded the Gate Theatre in the Lower East Side, the only daily public theatre showing avant-garde independent filmmakers in New York City. He also co-founded with artist, Otto Piene, who later became Director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, the Black Gate, a second theatre, which held live multi-media performances and installations. In the late '60s, Aldo, was a pioneer of the movement of alternative video (non-broadcast TV). Aldo won the International Grand Prix, Oberhausen Film Festival, in Germany, in 1969 for one of his films, "Black TV" which will be shown as part of the HOWL Festival 2004 mini-retrospective.
Recognition for his avant-garde work led Aldo to be in the First Video as Art Form Exhibition at Brandeis University Museum, Massachusetts and the First Video Art Gallery Show at Howard Wise Gallery, New York City. With Otto Piene, Aldo Tambellini created the first ever National Television Broadcast by Artists in 1968 in Cologne, Germany and participated in the First Broadcast by Video Artists on WBGH, in Boston, MA.
In the late 70's, Aldo became a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Center for Advanced Visual Studies where his artistic innovations continued working with Media and Communication. Working with the students in his group "Communicationsphere" and other artists, he participated in activities which connected MIT to other parts of the world. His work was exhibited at the Sao Paolo Biennale 1983. While at MIT, Aldo continued his work on "TV about TV" and produced a series of analytical pieces about television and its subliminal effects on the brain of the passive viewers. The piece, "Ronald Reagan Inauguration '81", which will be shown at the HOWL Festival 2004, is one of this series. This piece was first shown for a month at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston MA.
Since the late 80's Aldo's has concentrated on writing and performing poetry in countless venues, including one which he hosted in Cambridge, MA. called "the People's Poetry". His poetry has been translated into Italian and Russian and has been widely published and recently shown in the "NO Art" show in Berlin, Germany. He is one of the founders of a Boston area political group of poets called "Poets Against the Killing Fields."
More and more, Aldo is incorporating his poetry with his media experience of the past. "Listen," a digital movie, was produced completely through the use of a computer. It incorporates television war news footage; "digital poetry"; images of children's art work reacting to war; video clips of Aldo performing poetry, computer animation of his concrete poetry, and his CD recordings. The Iraqi children from a Primary School in Baghdad and children from the Boston area created the exhibition called "Shocked and Awed" used in the piece, "Listen.". The exhibition was recently at the Cambridge Multi-Cultural Arts Center and is supported by the Puffin Foundation. The program, "Listen," was motivated by the politically anti-war theme of the second HOWL Festival. The title, "Listen," inspired by the Russian Futurist Poet Maykovsky, is being premiered at the Pioneer Theater, as part of the HOWL Festival 2004.
Phil Hartman, filmmaker, owner of the Two Boots Theater and HOWL Festival Founder and organizer said about Aldo, "Aldo Tambellini is one of the groundbreakers that the HOWL! Festival was created to pay tribute to. We are honored to welcome him back to the HOWL! Film Festival for the second consecutive year, and look forward to sharing many future counterculture events together.