Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Bit of Buzz: Bridges vs. Wi-Fi, and the BCN—CellFilmFestival—NYC “A big festival of the smallest films in the world”

A little background for those who have not yet visited us: The Catalan Center at NYU is a sweet office with three big windows, kindly provided by the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU, and paid for by the Institut Ramon Llull, the Catalan government office that promotes Catalan culture (which includes, it can never be said too often, the culture of Valencia and the Balearic islands) abroad. It is shared by two people, Mary Ann Newman and Maria Litvan, and a slightly overwhelming collection of boxes and shelves full of Catalan-related books and pamphlets and CDs and DVDs and general stuff. And lots of coffee pods and herbal tea bags.

Next week, said Catalan Center is thrilled to be celebrating a special event that was the curatorial brainchild of Maria Litvan, a clear indication of the advantages of collaborations between 50-somethings and 30-somethings, and of the great potential in keeping the creative bridges between BCN and NYC active and buzzing. Maybe not the bridges; maybe the wires, or better yet, the wi-fi. What, you say? This is what:

The week of March 29 to April 2nd, Alberto Tognazzi and Mar Cordobés will be offering a production workshop in Mobile Technology, Activism, and the Arts for the ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) at NYU. Fresh from a similar event at the CCCB (Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona), their workshop at NYU will (I quote from the course description) “focus on how cellphones can contribute to art and activism. In doing so, they will explore how the internet has become an important platform for distribution and show how videoblogs, webtv, webshows, viralism, proam, DIY, flashmobs are redefining this whole sector of audiovisual communication.”

I (Mary Ann, the 50-something) intend to attend the workshop, if only for the vocabulary (proam? flashmob?). But the primary intended audience for Tognazzi and Cordobés’s work knows the lingo and is in a privileged position to take full advantage of their knowledge. In fact, few institutions and student bodies could be a better fit for their workshop than the ITP. This department of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts was founded in 1979, and (I quote from their website) grew “out of the work of the Alternate Media Center which was founded in 1971. ITP and AMC have developed an international reputation for pioneering work in demonstration and research in the field of interactive media. 2009 mark[ed] the 30th anniversary of the Interactive Telecommunications Program.”

Eighteen students have signed up. And you, friends and readers, are invited to see their work, plus a selection of greatest hits from the MóvilFilmFest—founded in Barcelona by Alberto Tognazzi in 2007, and celebrating its fourth festival later this year— on Friday, April 2nd, at the King Juan Carlos Center at NYU, another of the kind hosts and invaluable friends of The Catalan Center at NYU.

Webs of interest:

Alberto Tognazzi:

Institut Ramon Llull:

The Catalan Center at NYU:


Tognazzi at the CCCB: