Please join The Active Space for our first documentary screening: “THEM FCKIN’ ROBOTS,” by Ine Poppe and Sam Nemeth. March 23, 2012, 7-10 PM. more info: http://www.566johnsonave.com/?p=281
“THEM FCKIN’ ROBOTS” is a documentary about Norman White, one of the most influential media artists in his field. He produced humorous and beautiful work, but also trained hundreds of artists at the Ontario College of Art and Design to make their own, hands-on media art from 1976 onwards. This is on of the reasons a vast number of acclaimed media artists come from Canada. However, media-art does not cover the realm of White’s work: he produced a large oeuvre, from paintings to light murals to interactive robotics. Ine Poppe and Sam Nemeth filmed White and his students: they visited him in his huge watermill in Ontario and followed him and his students at work.
It took Poppe and Nemeth 5 years to finish Them F*ckin’ Robots. This had several reasons: it was hard to obtain material of the early works of White (video was still a ‘new’ medium) but moreover was it hard to fund a film about media art. In the contemporary cultural climate in the Netherlands no art- or film fund dared to take the risk of financing a documentary about media art, also because the film is about a ‘foreign’ artist. This reflects thematically in the film. The question wheather or not media art has a place in the mainstream art world is adressed as well as why it took Norman White such a long time
he started in the 1960-ies with electronic art to get recognition. The film contains material from the 70-ies, 80-ies, 90-ies, 00-ies and original footage of the of the White family shot in the 40-ies,50-ies and 60-ies.