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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v5n30 (07/27/2006) » Section: Infringement Festival

In the Center Ring

As we approach the second year of the Buffalo Infringement Festival it becomes clear that Buffalo really needed an event like this. A “grassroots gathering of eclectic, independent, experimental, and politically charged productions from around the world,” in just one year the festival hasn’t just grown, it has exploded. This year we are promised more than 200 performances over the 11-day period, a thrilling profusion of new work and work selected from well beyond the beaten path.

Infringement Kick-Off Party

What better way to launch the Infringement Festival than an all-night party featuring the most fun-loving freaks on the Buffalo music scene? Everyone will be there from Z. Mann Zilla (pictured at Music Is Art, photo by Bradley James) and the World’s Largest Trio (so named because there are five people in the trio) to the Dysmorphics. In between are Silverback Gorillas Raping Emo Kids; Ski Mask and the Bucketmen, which is apparently a guy wearing a ski mask with a backup band of stuffed, bucket-headed dummies; Axis of Evil; and greGGreg, who’s known for its obscene, robotic whale-song music. The party, which takes place at Soundlab today (July 27) from 7:30pm to 2am, is sure to be weird and memorable and, better yet, free!

Temporary Dream

Gallery 164 hosts a sight and sound extravaganza with Eno-esque music by Temporary Dream—David Gracon, Greg Genco and Jeff Fose—accompanying a 20-minute video entitled Where the Cicadas Sing. Gracon edited the video, incorporating historic eight-millimeter footage of WWII Japanese-American internment camps shot by David Tatsuno. A melancholy meditation on the loss of civil rights, the piece is ironically humorous in a contemporary context. Brian Milbrand offers three seven-minute works: The Patriot, a reworking of the Mel Gibson vehicle designed to explore differences between patriotism and nationalism; Cat’s Meow; and the interestingly titled The Film Robert Longo Should’ve Made, invoking the name of Hallwalls’ founder. The pieces were created expressly for three-channel projection in the gallery’s triple-screen video theater. Nimbus Dance will turn the evening on its head with “hip-hop tinged, Pilates-inspired hanging feats” as two of Milbrand’s untitled 16-millimeter film projections play. Nimbus performers Beth Elkins, Theresa Baker and Aaron Piepszy will describe their dreams as their bodies serve as kinetic projection screens in a cabaret setting designed by architect Brad Wales with assistance from Jon Spielman and Rich Maklary. To close the show, Milbrand and Vince Mistretta will create a spontaneous, hand-drawn, double-wide, 16-millimeter film that will evolve as it loops through the projector while the artists add magic marker to the celluloid—projected onto the bodies of the Nimbus dancers. Wow! Tuesday, August 1, 8-9pm. $3.

We Are

When a soldier is killed in action, part of his identity seems forever lost to the world at large. It becomes buried beneath a rank, hidden behind the hard eyes and set jaw of a military portrait. He is remembered in history as “Private First Class” John Smith, rather than, say, John Smith from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, who never missed a Milwaukee Brewers home game, who made a full-time living as a postal carrier and who left behind a wife and two kids. Chris Bettencourt’s We Are is a nontraditional war memorial that sets out to honor the coalition forces in Iraq by portraying each of the 2,797 who’ve died with simple, personal portraits. Each postage stamp sized entry in the installation contains a black-and-white photograph of the deceased, along with his or her name. These entries will be scattered along the streets claimed by the Infringement Festival. No age, rank, hometown or date of death will be provided, reminding viewers that they, too, were everyday people, no different from the men and women we pass in the street daily.

The Five-Minute Video Series

If it’s true that “there is no such thing as an ordinary life,” as independent video producer Richard Wicka states in his Five-Minute Video Series, then it would seem he has an endless supply of material. Lucky for us, Wicka has found plenty of material right here in Buffalo’s arts scene, which he has been mining for fascinating stories since 2004. The end result is an archive of roughly five-minute videos of everyday people telling stories…good stories. (Pictured is Buffaloartist, activist and WHLD radio host Roxanne Amico.) There are tales of unrequited love, of losing family, of drug habits and foreign encounters. These are the trials, travails and victories that we are all faced with in life, and each story hangs on the quality of the storyteller, the degree to which he believes his own story. The videos are straightforward, with the storyteller simply talking into the camera. While the quality of the stories varies, each one satisfies our voyeuristic tendencies and reveals something intimate about human nature. Wicka’s video clips will show sporadically between other shows throughout the duration of the Infringement Festival at Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center.


No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to the Rock-n-Bowl at Mid-City Lanes on Carrollton Street. Since 1988, the place has been entertaining locals and tourists alike with the perfect marriage of two great American pastimes: music and bowling. This year’s Infringement Festival will put the two together for one great night at Kenmore Lanes, 1691 Kenmore Avenue on Friday, August 4 from 9:00-11:30pm. Live music will come courtesy of Anal Pudding—Buffalo’s potty-headed champs of offensive rock—and the Purgatory Kings, who’ll be serving up some of the sickest freestyles you’ll ever hear. Jason Klinger will provide uniquely edgy artwork, and prizes will be given away by WBNY. A $5 cover will get you in to experience the music and visual art, but you’re cheating yourself if you don’t dish out the $10 that’ll include all that plus unlimited bowling.

The Zero Hour

I’ve often thought about what’s being broadcast in the radio waves around me without my knowledge. For instance, it’s a safe bet that Toto’s “Africa” is probably playing in the air above our heads at almost any given time of any day (which should make us thankful our heads don’t have antennae). But what about the white noise, the staticky broadcasts that don’t come from the radio stations? That’s where the Zero Hour comes in, bringing live reports on the white noise invading Buffalo. From the buzz of airplanes in the aisles of Wegmans to a conversation between Brian Higgins and the long-dead Millard Fillmore, this interactive radio broadcast has the inside scoop about what’s really out there. The Zero Hour, presented by Stephanie Rothenberg of Pan-O-Matic, a group of individuals dedicated to investigating our interpersonal relationship with new technologies, will be broadcast from Rust Belt Books (July 28 & 29, Aug 5, 8-10pm) and the Albright-Knox (Aug 4, 5-10pm). Head to one of these venues and don the state-of-the-art mobile listening devices (made available with a refundable $5 deposit) and tap into the airwaves.


The Infringement Festival's schedule is changeable, to say the least. Be sure to double-check for calendar updates and performance descriptions.

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