SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Art Institute is planning to perform an eight-week video screenings titled “From the Tower: Transmission” on Fridays from September 4 thru October 23.

The San Francisco Art Institute uses its symbolic Chestnut Street tower as a digital screen for a series of video screenings, which is curated by a multimedia and installation artist Tony Labat as SFAI MFA Director, alumnus, and faculty member. The series of video screenings explores SFAI’s experimental art history by using both archived and contemporary works by SFAI alumni. The featured program of selected works will be renewed each week.

The screenings will start at 9 p.m. People can come outside of SFAI’s Chestnut Street tower, including the streets of North Beach and neighboring buildings, and also can watch it through live streamed projections virtually. SFAI will provide an online map on its website which shows locations for optimal viewing and links to audio tracks of the sound based elements of the works that can be experienced on viewers’ phones.

Labat received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, according to the SFAI website. He was born in Cuba in 1951, and has been a pioneer artist in the California performance and video scene since the 1980s. He has been holding exhibitions internationally over thirty years, and has received a number of international awards, said the Open Space.

He often makes works themed on the identity of “outsider,” whether the artist or the immigrant, according to the Anglim Gilbert Gallery. His works include performance, video, sculpture, and installation. To obtain more details about the event visit here.

The SF News interviewed Kat Trataris, Director of Programs and Partnerships, San Francisco Art Institute.

–Could you give us examples of the works that will be featured in the 8-weeks event?
“From the Tower: Transmission will show an array of video work originating from the New Genres department at SFAI curated by Tony Labat. The series will contain works from SFAI’s Archive by Howard Fried, Paul Kos, and Doug Hall as well as works curated from KADIST’s collection by SFAI alumni Shawn Leonardo, Felipe Dulzaides, and Nao Bustamante. SFAI alumni and faculty from the New Genres department will also presenting work; Jennifer Locke will be producing a new site specific work and the program will conclude with a piece by Whitney Lynn. The video works will also include sound accessible by your car radio or by a radio app on your phone.”

–Can people gather around the tower to see the screening, even during the pandemic? If so, is there any caution for people coming to directly see the event?
“While SFAI’s campus is currently closed to the public the Tower is visible from sidewalks, streets, and even buildings throughout North Beach. Audiences can find their best viewing area in public spaces, inside of buildings, or in parked cars. We encourage everyone to follow mandatory mask requirements and social distancing guidelines while selecting your location for viewing the work.”

–Why do you recommend the event for people?
“From the Tower: Transmission will showcase the incredible history of SFAI’s New Genre department and the work of its artists. It promises to be an incredible display of experimental and radical art making that will certainly engage and surprise audiences while bringing our community together.”