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REVISITING THE LOWER EAST SIDE OF THE 60’s

HOWL! Festival New York, 2005

Two Boots Pioneer Theater | 155 East 3rd Street | New York | NY 1009
Press Release, August 10th, 2005

Aldo Tambellini, painter, sculptor, experimental film artist, pioneer in video art, “Electromedia” performance artist, and poet will participate for the third year at the HOWL! Festival in the Lower East Side of New York during the week of August 21, 2005-August 26, 2005.

On Wednesday, August 24, 2003, Aldo Tambellini will take part in a Poetry Reading with members of “Poets Against the Killing Fields.” He is one of the founders of this group which has been reading and performing together for the past five years. The reading will be held at the Bowery Poetry Club at 6:00 P.M. tickets will be sold at the door for $6.00 + a drink.

On Thursday, August 25, 2005, at 7 P.M. at the Pioneer Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, Aldo will be presenting a mini-retrospective entitled “ Revisiting the Lower East Side of the 60’s.” Aldo will be discussing and projecting a film and video program. The program will begin with the rare archival television footage of the ABC Television News Report-December 21, 1966, John Parson reporting. The broadcast presented the “art scene” in the Lower East Side in the 60s and has an interview of Aldo Tambellini at the Black Gate Theatre on 2nd Avenue and 10th Street about his pioneering video work. MOONDIAL,” a Jud Yalkut film will be projected. It is described by the Anthology Film Archives as “an intensified yet lyrical filmic concentration of the Electromedia Theater event by Aldo Tambellini, with Mary MacKay dancing the choreography by Beverly Schmidt, and original music by Calo Scott....a film which combines in-camera superimposition with frame-by-frame compositional shooting techniques.” This multi-media performance was presented at The Dom and at The Bridge Theatre, St. Mark’s Place in the 60’s. Related archival materials will be displayed in the lobby. Aldo Tambellini’s latest Digital Film, “Minus One” will also be premiered. This is a combination of Aldo’s 1969 fast paced video with poetry and a digitized sequence form his last digital film, “Listen.” In all, a thought provoking piece on children and the effects of war.

Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, N. Y. in 1930 and grew up in Italy during WWII. His neighborhood in Lucca, Tuscany was bombed, twenty-one of his neighbors where killed and he miraculously survived. He attended art school in Italy and at the age of 16 returned to the United States. He earned a BFA ’54 from Syracuse University in New York and continued to earn a MFA in Sculpture from Notre Dame University ‘59. He studied under the Master Sculptor, Ivan Mastrovic.

Aldo burst into the scene of the Lower East Side, New York 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. He founded the Gate Theatre, the only daily public theatre showing avant-garde independent filmmakers in New York City. He also co-founded with German artist, Otto Piene, the Black Gate, a second theatre, which held live multi-media performances and installations. In the late ’60s he was a pioneer of the movement of alternative video (non-broadcast TV). Aldo won the International Grand Prix, Oberhausen Film Festival, 1969 for his film, “Black TV”. 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 “The Medium is the Medium” at WBGH, in Boston. From 1976 to 1984, Aldo was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where artists and engineers worked in projects together.

Clayton Patterson, artist and owner of the Outlaw Museum and Gallery in New York’s’ Lower East Side said of Aldo, “Aldo was a leader of the counter-culture movement in the 60’s and his Black Gate Theatre, the first Electromedia Theatre in New York City provided artists, such as Nam Jun Paik, Kusama, Ishmael Reed, Otto Piene, and others with a performing environment. His Multi-Media events included Ishmael Reed and Calvin Hernton. These artists went on to become major forces in the culture of the United States.” Phil Hartman, filmmaker, owner of the Pioneer Theatre and founder of the HOWL! Festival said, “ Aldo Tambellini is one of the groundbreakers that the HOWL! Festival was created to pay tribute to.

Aldo’s art, video, films and media work have been featured widely nationally and internationally. Since 1984 his creative activities have concentrated on writing and performing Poetry in numerous venues. In 1998, he founded and hosted the venue “The People's Poetry” in Cambridge, MA. His digital film “LISTEN,” which incorporates video clips form television, recordings of live poetry readings, animation and film, is the latest work of Aldo Tambellini. “LISTEN” premiered at the HOWL Festival ‘04.

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