Between 2013-present, Hallways Microcinema has been a do-it-yourself (DIY) space located at an undisclosed location in downtown Champaign, Illinois. This underground venue has hosted semi-regular screenings of hard to find experimental and documentary film and video works; ambient and experimental music; poetry readings, performance art and lectures far outside of the academy. David Gracon was the programmer (although the space was always open to collaboration and others pitching events) and host of Hallways Microcinema. To date 21 events have been programmed. Hallways is currently on hiatus as David is living abroad in Ukraine for a year. Programming will resume fall 2018.
Semi regular updates and events are posted on Hallways Microcinema within the Facebook group.
Vol. 21: Ambient 2: No New Age. This night featured live short ambient/experimental/minimalist music performances by Jason Finkelman, Brad Decker, Mark Enslin, Wu-Morse Duo, Elizabeth Simpson and a short screening of David Gracon’s Ordinary Video Series. Saturday, July 1st 2017, 9pm.
Vol. 20: TV Party! We screened America First (2017, 10 min), a short experimental documentary by Marcos Serafim (EIU, Art MA) and the TV Party (2005, 91 min.) documentary. We also held the Dance like Ian Curtis Dance Party. Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, 9 pm.
Pop-Up Event. Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present. Documentary screening and live performance by Sunsat IV. Sunday, April 9th at 7:30, 2017. Art Theater Co-Op. Champaign. Presented by Hallways Microcinema.
Vol. 19. Outlier. This event honored the late Tony Conrad, a pioneer of experimental film, music, video and performance. We screened The Flicker (30 min. 1966) and other film/video shorts, as well as excerpts of interviews/discussions with Tony. There were DJ sets and experimental music performed by Obsolete Synthesis (Urbana) and Brad Decker. June 11th, 2016, 9 pm.
Vol. 18. Contra. We screened Gary Fritz’s feature length DIY documentary Piedra Roja (Red Rock) released on DVD in 2015. Gary presented and discussed the film in person. Friday, March 25th, 2016. 8:30 pm.
Vol. 17. NSEW. We screened the the experimental films of Vanessa Renwick of the Oregon Department of Kickass (in person and on a cross country tour from Portland, Oregon). Saturday, October 24th, 2015 at 9pm.
Vol. 16. Back to School 80’s Night where we screened the Hal Hartley classic Surviving Desire, deconstructed 80’s TV commercials with Production Notes and watched a Wendy’s training video where we learned to flip hamburgers. September 19, 2015 at 9pm.
Vol. 15. Cultural Hijacking. We screened two experimental documentaries. They included Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997) by Johan Grimonprez (a filmic mashup/detournement of airline hijackings from the 60’s to the 80’s mixed with the texts of Don DeLillo) and What Farocki Taught (1998) by Jill Godmilow (A shot by shot replica of Harun Farocki’s 1969 ‘Inextinguishable Fire’ that critiques DOW Chemical, organizational violence and documentary filmmaking). May 23rd, 2015, 9pm.
Vol. 14. Western Media Representations of Africa. This event entailed a presentation by the Dr. Felix Kumah-Abiwu. Kumah-Abiwu unpacked how the western media gaze has historically framed, and continues to frame Africa. He also provided alternative ways of seeing the cultural richness and diversity of Africa. Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 8:30 pm.
Vol. 13. Music for Hallways featured a night of live ambient/experimental music performances by a variety of composers/non-composers in the area including David Gracon (EIU Comm. Studies Faculty)/Brad Decker (EIU Music Faculty), Jason Finkelman (UI Krannert Center/WEFT Community Radio), Travis Stansel (CU lo-fi cassette ambient), Alan Pocaro (EIU Art Faculty), and David Luftig (Bloomington, Ill no-wave/post/pre/in between-ambient). February 28th, 2015 at 9pm.
Vol. 11. The Horrors of Heterosexuality. This event featured a presentation by Ruben Quesada and Brian Kornell. The event description claimed: Historically films have contained homosexual characters as un-natural beings in the filmic world. Through a retrospective examination of top-grossing films we will identify scenarios that have taught viewers that homosexuality is a fearful, and un-natural state of being. When in
fact, it is the heteronormative, filmic world that has created a world of horror for homosexual viewers. Saturday, November 14th, 2015 at 9 pm.
Vol. 10. Collective Suicide featured an artist talk/screening (in person) with the culture jamming video maker Coriana Close (Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Memphis). She presented a video compositing technique she called “video weaving.” Saturday, October 11th, 2014.
Vol. 9. Subculture featured experimental film and video works by Scott Cummings (NYC) and Jesse McLean’s (U. Iowa) short mashups. We featured Cumming’s 2014 film Buffalo Juggalos (along with other short works). We also had a Skype discussion with Scott after the screening. Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 8 pm.
Vol. 8. Punks. This event featured two documentaries about the punk subculture. Sam Geneser, a Champaign based filmmaker presented (in person) Dither: The DIY Sound (2013) and we screened The Punk Singer (2013), a documentary about Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre). Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 9pm.
Vol. 7. Gut Renovation featured Su Friedrich’s Gut Renovation (2012), an essay film about gentrification in NYC. Local artist Z also presented “fauxtography.” Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at 9pm.
Vol. 6. Performing Identities This event featured two short performances. Amy Sayre performed “Voices Revisited,” a one act play where the women murdered by Jack the Ripper told their marginalized stories. Rich Jones Jr. performed “Performing Queer Bodies and Politics: Intersections and Identities.” Jones performed narratives co-constructed with queer men regarding their intersecting identities as they related to their and others’ views of their bodies. Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 9pm.
Vol. 5. Born in Flames. We screened Born in Flames (1983), a documentary-style feminist science fiction film by Lizzie Borden. We will also watched the Queen Mother Moore Speech in Greenhaven Prison (1973) by the People’s Communications Network. Introduction by Caroline Nappo. Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 8 pm.
Vol. 4. PDX in Illinois: Experimental Films & Videos from Portland, Oregon was curated by Emily Eddy and Julie Perini (in person). Local poet/writer Steve Davenport did a poetry reading. Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 8pm.
Vol. 3. Alt Histories of Black Music. This event featured Brian Dolinar’s presentation/reading “Playing Second Trumpet in the Second City: Black Chicago Jazz” and he read from his book “The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers.” We screened the 2012 documentary A Band Called Death. UI doctoral candidate in History T.J Tallie lead a critique and discussion. Saturday, January 25th, 2014 at 8 pm.
Vol. 2. Tuff Stuff Featured experimental poetry by Ruben Quesada, the Tuff Stuff from the Buff experimental and activist film and video program, a Skype chat with Buffalo diary filmmaker Meg Knowles and visual art by Alan Pocaro. Saturday, December 7th, 2013 at 8pm.
Vol. 1. Days of the Dead. Writer Brain Kornell did a horror reading and we screened Meshes of the Afternoon and La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead. Saturday, November 2nd, 2013.