Artists Space

Manuel DeLanda Screening & Lecture

Screening & Lecture
July 2, 2022, 4pm

In conjunction with the exhibition Attention Line, Artists Space presents a screening, lecture, and conversation with celebrated Mexican author, teacher, and philosopher Manuel DeLanda. During the mid-to-late 1970s, while still an undergraduate at the School of Visual Arts, DeLanda produced an audacious body of short Super 8mm and 16mm films that defy rational description. He made these formally daring, ferocious films during a period where he was waging a graffiti turf war for 23rd Street, which is where he spray painted philosophical statements and defaced billboard ads. DeLanda stopped making films in 1983 to pursue computer programming and other endeavors. He has written and edited more than ten books on science, perception, assemblage theory, and other topics that, in many ways, tie back to the interests first explored in his early films. By the late 1980s, DeLanda’s movies fell completely out of circulation but were restored by Anthology Film Archives in the mid-2000s. Thankfully, DeLanda rediscovered moving image making in 2012 with his first digital work Molecular Populations, and has gone on to make many more videos that rather amazingly pick up where he left off.

For the event, Artists Space will screen three early works by DeLanda on 16mm, including The Itch Scratch Itch Cycle (1977), Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Obvious Mismatches (1978), and Judgment Day (1983). Rarely screened, these films have a punk energy and sophistication that is unparalleled in the history of underground cinema. DeLanda will give a talk after the screening followed by a conversation with Andrew Lampert.

All the films in this series were preserved by Anthology Film Archives. The Itch Scratch Itch Cycle and Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Obvious Mismatches were restored with support of the National Film Preservation.

A figure wearing a trenchcoat stands in a psychadelically lit bathroom while smoking a cigarette.
Manuel DeLanda, Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller (still), 1980, 16mm-to-digital, Color, Sound, 30 minutes. [A figure wearing a trenchcoat stands in a psychadelically lit bathroom while smoking a cigarette.]

A very special thanks to John Klacsmann at Anthology Film Archives for making this screening possible.

Manuel DeLanda (b. in Mexico City, 1952) is a philosopher, media artist, programmer and software designer based in New York since 1975. After studying art in the 1970s, he became known as an independent filmmaker making underground 8mm and 16mm films inspired by critical theory and philosophy. In the 1980s, Manuel DeLanda focused on programing, writing computer software, and creating computer art. After being introduced to the work of Gilles Deleuze, he saw new creative potential in philosophical texts, and became an important representative of the "new materialism." DeLanda’s landmark book War in the Age of Intelligent Machines was published by Zone books in 1991, and his most recent book Materialist Phenomenology: A Philosophy of Perception came out in 2021 on Bloomsbury.

This project is made possible with funds from the NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: MAAF Forward Fund, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Program support is provided by Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The David Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, Imperfect Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.