Polymath Wayne Koestenbaum will present his recent film The Collective (2021), a DIY documentary-essay-experimental-performance-film shot over one day at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, New York. The Collective is inspired by a menu of literary prompts served up by Koestenbaum to a collective of shape-shifting performers (Gia Gonzales, Patrick Ljubi Gallagher, and Kyle Dunn). This work is the latest (and longest) in his growing body of poetic, experimental essay films, with a psychedelic signature of lo-fi flair and meticulous formal design. Koestenbaum will also screen a few petit works—3-4 minutes each—as well as a selection from the Canyon Cinema catalog.
Wayne Koestenbaum—poet, critic, novelist, artist, filmmaker, performer—has published 22 books, including The Cheerful Scapegoat, Figure It Out, Camp Marmalade, My 1980s & Other Essays, The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, Humiliation, Hotel Theory, Circus, Andy Warhol, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award). His most recent book, Ultramarine, the third volume of his trance trilogy, was published by Nightboat in February 2022. In 2020, Koestenbaum received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired his literary archive in 2019. He is a Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
The evening is sponsored by SFAI’s Film and Painting departments and by Canyon Cinema. Canyon’s unique collection of artist-made films – comprised of digital media, 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm prints – traces the vital history of the experimental and avant-garde filmmaking movements from 1921 to the present.
Photograph by Jan Rattia