NIGHTMARE CITY is a California-based project. It has exhibited videos, installation, performance, whatever at spaces including Queens Nail Projects in San Francisco, the NEXT Fair in Chicago, and Vox Populi in Philadelphia.
On September 18th NIGHTMARE CITY presents “Not Free, Not Dead: The Psychedelic End” at STATE OF THE ART. A video art show featuring works by: Caitlin Denny – Gregory Kaplowitz – Alex S. Lukas – Jessica Miller – Dan Olsen – Skye Thorstenson – Virtual Pubes – Nightmare City.
Harkening back to the tripped out psychedelic lightshows of San Francisco’s 1960s counter culture as well as early Beat Generation experiments in stop motion animation, the artists included in “Not Free, Not Dead” pay homage to the Bay Area’s rich relationship with the moving image while simultaneously transcribing their fragmented technological experience onto these varied strategies and materials.
Ranging from narrative to music video to experimental – these mixed shorts are united by a visual vernacular specific to California. Cobbled together from internet search words, these kaleidoscopic fragments are informed equally by subculture, the Bay Area’s rich underground film and video history as well as Hollywood’s cult classics and formulaic genres.
These hazy dreamlike states are populated by rock-and-roll devil horns, hang-loose hands and smiley faces floating freely alongside processed clips appropriated from major motion pictures. The darker side, a bad trip, emerges as surreal worlds give way to surreal worlds in a narrative buddy film and a horror flick, twisted from the mirrored, rainbow static of California’s once frontier landscape.