Saturday February 17, 7:30pm
Jeanne Liotta: Celestial Bodies
Screening & Artist Talk  

Jeanne Liotta_Observando
Still from “Observando el Cielo” by Jeanne Liotta (2007) – Image courtesy of the artist

“We live on that planet and the sky’s there all the time, for anyone to investigate. Science is just one way of investigating the world and art is another way and you can do it …” – Jeanne Liotta

Microscope is very pleased to present a screening night of films and videos by Jeanne Liotta in connection with her current solo exhibition at the gallery “Break The Sky”, which has been extended through March 4th. The works in the program, spanning a period of two decades – from Liotta’s first film “Blue Moon” (1988), an “erratic, erotic, arrhythmic lunar trauma”, to her 2009 “Sutro”, an animated glitch portrait of the 997 ft. Sutro TV and radio tower in San Francisco – are centered around the artist’s long-term interest in the observation of the sky, celestial events, and the technologies used to broaden our knowledge of the universe.
Among the other six works in the program are the 16mm films “Eclipse” (2005), which documents “by eye and hand” the 2003 lunar eclipse and appeared in the Whitney Biennial 2006, and “Observando el Cielo” (2007), her multi-award winning film featuring time lapses of the night sky from footage she shot over a period of seven years from remote areas as well as observatories.

The date of the screening has been chosen by Liotta to correspond to the anniversary of the death of Giordano Bruno, a renaissance philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, and former Dominican friar, whose statue stands today in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori on the spot where he was burned at the stake on February 17th, 1600 for his heretical views. Among his most significant theories were that the sun is a star, that other similar solar systems exist, and that the universe is infinite.

The full program is listed below. An artist talk, discussion and Q&A immediately follows the screening.
Further information on her current exhibition “Break The Sky” can be found HERE

General Admission $8

Students & Members $6



Jeanne Liotta works in film and other mediums with thematics often located at the intersection of art, science, natural philosophy, and ephemerality. In 2013 Anthology Film Archives presented “The Real World At Last Becomes a Myth”, a complete retrospective of her works in film and video, and in 2014 she received a commission to work with NOAA climate scientists in Boulder, CO to create 360-degree media for Science on a Sphere. Her “one-cut” collages “The Tiffany One-Cuts” culled from pages of the New York Times were incorporated into installations by artist Nancy Shavers at Derek Eller Gallery (2016) and La Biennale di Venezia (2017).

Liotta’s works have also previously been exhibited at The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center, Austin, Texas; The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, Colorado; Inova Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; The Camera Club of NY, New York; Songs for Presidents, Brooklyn, NY; and the Halle für Kunst und Media, Graz, Austria among others. Her films have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art (including the Whitney Biennial 2006); the New York Film Festival; Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; CCCB, Barcelona, Spain; The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA; The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA; and The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, among others.

Awards include NYSCA, The Jerome Foundation, The Museum of Contemporary Cinema and The Orphans Film Symposium’s Helen Hill Award. Liotta has been a resident at the Experimental Television Center and a MacDowell Colony Fellow. She has also maintained ongoing research, programming and lecturing on The Joseph Cornell Film Collection at Anthology Film Archives, and has written a monograph on Cornell’s films published by The San Francisco Cinematheque for the traveling exhibition “Navigating the Imagination”.
She is presently Associate Professor in Film Studies at The University of Colorado Boulder, and Co-chair of Film/Video at the Bard MFA Program. Jeanne Liotta lives and works between New York and Boulder, Colorado.


What We As Humans Trying Fallibly Forever
Digital video, 2006, infinite duration

One single dissolve extracted from the media haystack of the mid 20th century.

Digital video, 2009, 3 minutes

Animated glitch portrait of the eponymous television tower on the hill, guardian of fog and electronic signals in that earthshaking city by the Bay…

Galileo’s Experiment on Falling Objects
Digital video, 2006, 2 minutes

One of the first experimentalists was Galileo, who supposedly dropped a feather and a hammer simultaneously from the Leaning Tower of Pisa in order to demonstrate that the two would hit the ground at the same time. Approx. 400 years later that trick still works, courtesy NASA (1971).

Hephaestus of the Airshaft
Digital video, 2005, 3 minutes

The god of metallurgy manifests in Manhattan, with the radio on.

What Makes Day and Night
16mm film, 1998, 9 minutes

This 1940’s artifact is coupled with music by Nino Rota to expose the existential skeleton in the closet: our perilous journey on the planet Earth. A readymade film with the barest of interventions.

Blue Moon
Super 8mm film, 1988, 3 minutes

Erratic, erotic, arrhythmic lunar trauma. Strong poetic textures of female psycho-sexual experience, altering the film’s surface through selective bleaching and scratching, and uncanny percussive editing.

16mm film, 2005, 3 minutes 30 seconds

The lunar eclipse event of November 2003 is observed, documented, and translated via the light-sensitive medium of Kodachrome film. In the 4th c BCE Aristotle founded The Lyceum, a school for the study of all natural phenomena pursued without the aid of mathematics, which was considered too perfect for application on this imperfect terrestrial sphere. By eye and hand then, in the spirit of.

Observando el Cielo
16mm film, 2007, 19 minutes

Seven years of celestial field recordings gathered from the chaos of the cosmos and inscribed onto 16mm film from various locations upon this turning tripod Earth. This work is neither a metaphor nor a symbol, but is feeling towards a fact in the midst of perception, which time flows through. Natural VLF radio recordings of the magnetosphere in action allow the universe to speak for itself.

Microscope Gallery Event Series 2018 is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

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