Artists' Television Access


Suzie McMurtry: Revisiting Settling

revisiting settling
video documentation of:

Clothestile I
photographic transfer & dye on canvas 48″ x 72″

Me in the Park 1933
graphite, dye, collage & oil on canvas 36″ x 60″
Orange Palm Hearts
photographic transfer & dye on canvas 36” x 48”

for Artists’ Television Access
© Suzie McMurtry 2020
This series of three canvases includes depictions of my grandmother in San Francisco in 1933, e-commerce style images of clothing I made or altered, and photographs of palm trees in front of my current home in the East Bay. In this video, footage from around the area is projected onto these
paintings. The dye used here is not plant-derived, but the impetus for this particular rumination on family history, memory, ecology, and settlement in California was one invasive tree, whose
leaves produce a bright orange dye.

In the 1950s my grandmother planted a Eucalyptus cinerea, or Silver Dollar Gum, for this purpose. This single act, done almost exactly a century after a similar species was first turned loose in the Bay Area by colonizers who somehow thought it would make good lumber, feels different: isolated. Since she first told me that this tree near her driveway had a unique use, I have been harvesting leaves every few months to dye wool.

The revelation of the orange dye-producing tree coincided with our unearthing of a family loom from the basement about 50 yards away. Although the present pandemic has slowed my ability to weave on
that loom in my grandparents’ living space, this extracting, dyeing, projecting and processing of photographs has been a way of asking: what should be done with the physical products of our ancestors’ decisions? These things are not static nor disconnected from larger systems, though they may feel that way to the individual. I’m reminded of this at least every few months when I harvest leaves for another dye bath; the spot on the trunk I’ve taken from has always at least doubled in new growth.

Curator’s note: For the show’s duration, McMurtry will seek narratives from the public which engage the show’s themes. To participate, please complete the form here.

artist bio:
As an artist and designer, Suzie McMurtry wants to contribute to a future functional circular economy. Her work aims to investigate the desire to create, collect and discard objects while acknowledging the very real need to simply stop. As we build communities that are oriented away from capitalistic individualism, where does self-expression through clothing, artmaking, or collected objects fit in? Can we covet without greed? Collect without hoarding? These questions are what interest her now.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay peninsula, McMurtry graduated from Colorado College with a BA in Studio Art, where she focused on weaving, sculpture, and printmaking. She currently lives in the East Bay (unceded Muwekma Ohlone territory) where she has worked as a teacher, seamster,
photographer, and logistics coordinator in sustainable fashion. She will attend Central Saint Martins in October 2020, to pursue a Master’s degree in Material Futures.

SF Cinematheque presents:

August 21–September 30

presented by San Francisco Cinematheque
curated by Steve Polta 
press inquiries:
download press release here

CROSSROADS 2020 is the eleventh manifestation of Cinematheque annual film festival, presented online FREE to the public. CROSSROADS 2020 features 85 works of film and video by 71 artists representing 22 countries and territories presented in 9 curated programs. Get the thrill of the festival experience by joining us for a series of scheduled livestreams August 21–29. Can’t make it? Don’t have the time? All programs available on a view-when-desired basis August 30–September 30.


Ever Westward:
Remembering Bruce Baillie
I am bloodless /
I am the cosmos
take this as some
kind of signal
all those things you
used to feel
the rocks crumbletheories of obliscence / erasing the gridwhat do you get when
you fall in love?
unknown subjectsas long as there is breath

CROSSROADS 2020 program 1
Livestream premiere: Friday, August 21 7pm PST
Ever Westward: Remembering Bruce Baillie

SCREENING: Valentin De Las Sierras (1968); Roslyn Romance (Is It Really True?) (1974); Tung (1966); All My Life (1966); Castro Street (1966); To Parsifal (1963)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 2
Livestream premiere: Saturday, August 22 7pm PST
I am bloodless / I am the cosmos

SCREENING: Camera Sick (2019) by Jeremy Moss (US); It Matters What (2019) by Francisca Duran (Chile/Canada); Fire Fly EYE (2020) by Kerry Laitala (US); noonwraith blues (2019) by Kamila Kuc (United Kingdom/Poland); Demoiselle (2017) by Eeva Siivonen (Finland/Canada); Dusty Wave (2017) by Eeva Siivonen (Finland/Canada); Fragment (1986-1988) by Laura J. Padgett (Germany/US); La notte salva (2019) by Giuseppe Boccassini (Italy/Germany); Locus Suspectus (2019) by J.M. Martínez (US)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 3
Livestream premiere: Sunday, August 23 7pm PST
take this as some kind of signal

SCREENING: Wasteland No. 2: Hardy, Hearty (2019) by Jodie Mack (US); cada vuelta que da una cosa enrollada alrededor de otra (2019) by Bruno Varela (Mexico); Neon Cortex (2019) by Bruno Varela (Mexico); Tear Gas (2019) by Colectivo los ingrávidos (Mexico); Angular Momentum (2019) by Michael Betancourt (US); Sacred Geometry (2018) by Anna Cecilia Seaward (US/Hungary); Meridian (2019) by Calum Walter (US); Starry Starry (2017) by Youngzoo Im (South Korea); It Was Summer When (2019) by Gloria Chung (US)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 4
Livestream premiere: Monday, August 24 7pm PST
all those things you used to feel

SCREENING: Westinghouse One (2019) by Kevin Jerome Everson (US); mockingbird (2020) by Kevin Jerome Everson (US); Die Nacht (2017-2019) by Wenhua Shi (China/US); liminal poem (2019) by Susan DeLeo (US); Luminous Variations in the City Skies (2019) by Giuseppe Spina (Italy); Sympathetic Bodies (2018) by Margaret Rorison (US); Traces (2020) by Carleen Maur (US); where i don’t meet you (2019) by Charlotte Clermont (Canada); Plants Are Like People (2018) by Charlotte Clermont (Canada); Story of the Dreaming Water, Chapter One (2018) by Brittany Gravely (US); The Tower (2019) by Silvestar Kolbas (Croatia); Interbeing (2018) by Martina Hoogland Ivanow (Sweden); My Favorite Object (2019) by Meredith Moore (US)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 5
Livestream premiere: Tuesday, August 25 7pm PST
the rocks crumble 

SCREENING: Hel City (2019) by Gregorio Méndez (Spain); Fantasy of Being in Exile (2019-2020) by Hua Xi Zi (China/US); dream less (2020) by Charlotte Clermont (Canada); Apertures (a brighter darkness) (2019) by Karissa Hahn (US); Einige Orte Dazwischen (A Few Spaces In Between) (2016) by Laura J. Padgett (Germany/US); No Archive Can Restore You (2020) by Onyeka Igwe (United Kingdom); Solitaire (2017) by Laura J. Padgett (Germany/US); Ghosts of our Fallen (2019) by Kit Young (US); tulips are my father’s favourite flower (2018) by Nisha Platzer (Canada); Itinerary of Surfaces (2020) by Carl Elsaesser (US); Distancing (2019) by Miko Revereza (Philippines/US)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 6
Livestream premiere: Wednesday, August 26 7pm PST
theories of obliscence / erasing the grid

SCREENING: Let’s Take a Walk (2018) by Moira Lacowicz (Brazil); Through a Field (2019) by Faith Arazi (US) and Madeleine Mori (US); A Winter Song (2019) by Jon Behrens (US); Specialized Technique (2018) by Onyeka Igwe (United Kingdom); The Losing Battle (2019) by Jean Sousa (US); Signal 8 (2019) by Simon Liu (Hong Kong/United Kingdom); Bathers (2019) by Douglas Urbank (US); to forget (2019) by Lydia Nsiah (Austria); Jeevithaye Mayawa / ජීවිතයේ මායාව / Imitation of Life (2020) by Rajee Samarasinghe (Sri Lanka/US)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 7
Livestream premiere: Thursday, August 27 7pm PST
what do you get when you fall in love?

SCREENING: A Patch of Green (2004-2005) by Luther Price (US); Universal Leader (2020) by Orit Ben-Shitrit (US/Israel); Thorax (2019) by Siegfried A. Fruhauf (Austria); Curious Fantasies (2019) by Jesse McLean (US); International Face (2019) by Natalie Tsui (US); Global Industries (2018) by Phillip Andrew Lewis (US); Billy (2019) by Zachary Epcar (US); Horsey (2018) by Frédéric Moffet (Canada/US); Eastern State (2019) by Talena Sanders (US)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 8
Livestream premiere: Friday, August 28 7pm PST
unknown subjects

SCREENING: Interior (2019) by Zack Parrinella (US); //\///\////\ (2019) by Phillip Andrew Lewis (US) & Michael Robinson (US); Fabricated in the Actual Arctic (After Nanook) (2018) by Matthew Lax (US); Rio Grande Sun (2020) by Courtney Fellion (US) & Linda Scobie (US); Eviction, Demolition (2019) by Karissa Hahn (US); Amuletos (2019) by Colectivo los ingrávidos (Mexico); Mas Paritaria Menos Yuta (2018) by Moira Lacowicz (Brazil/Argentina) & Leonardo Zito (Argentina); We Love Me (2017) by Naween Noppakun (Thailand)


CROSSROADS 2020 program 9
Livestream premiere: Saturday, August 29 7pm PST
as long as there is breath

SCREENING: Girl is Presence (2020) by Lynne Sachs (US) and Anne Lesley Selcer (US); Lore (2019) by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga); Oh My Homeland (2019) by Stephanie Barber (US); As Long As There Is Breath (2020) by Emily Chao (US); Amusement Ride (2019) by Tomonari Nishikawa (Japan/US); All My Life (1966) by Bruce Baillie (US); Fallen Arches (2018) by Simon Liu (Hong Kong/United Kingdom); We Carry With Us Our Mother (2019) by Olivia Ciummo (US); Corriente (Stream) (2019) by Diana Sánchez Maciel; Feast (2019) by Mike Hoolboom (Canada); Vever (for Barbara) (2019) by Deborah Stratman (US)

We Got This, Bay Area!

¡Viva! Check out for a directory of community resources.


¡ATA is closed! …y

ATA is doing its part to promote a healthy space for the exhibition of innovative art and the exchange of non-conformist ideas… and complying with the order to shelter in place through April 7  June 1 indefinitely.

Our storefront micro-cinema is closed and we are now scheduling online program screenings. Check the calendar!

We continue, like you, to disinfect our surfaces, wash our hands, not touch our faces, and monitor SF Department of Health directives.

We love you, miss you, and insist that you all stay safe.

Shapeshifters Cinema

Shapeshifters Cinema and Brewery Promises Art Film Refuge in an Oakland Victorian
By Sam Lefebvre

Kathleen Quillian (L) and Gilbert Guerrero (R) founded Shapeshifters as an experimental film series in 2012. (Sam Lefebvre/KQED)

In the Bay Area, alternative exhibition spaces for experimental film and video have long provided artists of the moving image a sense of community and interdisciplinary collaboration. In the early 1960s, filmmaker Bruce Baillie established Canyon Cinema as a screening series in the wooded East Bay hamlet of Canyon for avant-garde and family fare alike. Canyon filmmakers made inroads with composers at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, and published freewheeling newsletters that evinced a natural rapport with painters and poets. Instead of an indie studio system, Canyon inspired or anticipated other local artist-run organizations central to local developments in abstract, personal, vernacular and queer cinema.

Canyon endures as a distributor of 16mm avant-garde film prints, and its programming spinoff, San Francisco Cinematheque, curates the CROSSROADS film festival—this year at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Artists Television Access on Valencia Street is another visible example of its legacy. Like other noncommercial art forms, however, rising cost of living seriously threatens the scene: Eviction last year ended Black Hole, an Oakland screening series that carried forward Canyon’s anti-institutional origins, but not before spawning the Light Field film festival. Challenges aside, the Bay Area remains a destination for filmmakers “ill at ease with cinema as entertainment but rather fondly fixated on the apparatus, the alchemy of light,” as curator Steve Seid described local postwar celluloid artists in the 2010 book Radical Light.

Now, a renovated Victorian below Interstate 880 near Oakland’s Jack London District promises a sustainable, brick-and-mortar refuge for a community rooted in homespun exhibitions and collaborative intimacy. Gilbert Guerrero and Kathleen Quillian, founders of the Shapeshifters series at Temescal Arts Center (TAC), quietly opened the 1,200-square-foot space at 567 5th Street last year as a 40-seat microcinema, and they’re building an on-site nanobrewery with plans for a small taproom to subsidize film programming. Guerrero, an award-winning homebrewer, described the model as a response to diminishing grants funding for small arts organizations. “Shapeshifters has been a series,” he said. “We want this to be an institution.”

The 40-seat microcinema will accommodate various projector configurations for experimental film screenings.
The 40-seat microcinema will accommodate various projector configurations for experimental film screenings. (Sam Lefebvre/KQED)

Founded in 2012 as a free monthly event, Shapeshifters showcases “expanded cinema,” film generally involving live performance, for instance multi-projector work or sound-image collaboration. “It was at capacity almost immediately,” said TAC director and curator Leyya Tawil. Steve Polta, filmmaker and director of the San Francisco Cinematheque, called Shapeshifters a “space to workshop and experiment,” noting the evolution in programming fixtures such as Kit Young and Lori Varga. Other artists who’ve been featured in the series include Other Cinema founder Craig Baldwin, Sofía Córdova with Las Sucias, Greg Pope with Voicehandler, Kerry Laitala, Oracle Plus, Tommy Becker, Suki O’Kane and the late Paul Clipson.

Shapeshifters Cinema and Brewery will house Shapeshifters programming and events brought by other curators, filling a deep need for film exhibition space in Oakland. According to Polta, half of San Francisco Cinematheque attendees live in the East Bay. “So there’s a filmmaker community and also an audience community,” he said. And the microcinema is small and nimble enough for esoteric or technically-challenging work. For example, Polta hopes to bring Bruce Elder. The Canadian filmmaker’s shorter pieces run upwards of three hours, making them cost-prohibitive to show at many rental venues. As the head of a nonprofit, Polta also said he understands Shapeshifters’ transition to earned income: “Less grants and more competition.”


Guerrero and Quillian met some 20 years ago as volunteers at Artists Television Access, where Guerrero is now on the board of directors, and founded Shapeshifters at first at the now-defunct Arbor cafe as a hub for the experimental film community closer to their home in Oakland. “One day I brought a chest of Tecate and thought, ‘I have way better beer at home,’” Guerrero said. He started Temescal Homebrewing in 2013, and in 2018 won first prize in the World Cup of Beer competition for his Synesthesia Pale Ale. A few years ago he took a small business course while considering launching a brewery, and then thought to combine the enterprise with Shapeshifters. Guerrero and Quillian signed a five-year lease on 567 5th St. in late 2018.

Kathleen Quillian (L) and Gilbert Guerrero (R) are fundraising to complete construction on Shapeshifters Cinema and Brewery.
Kathleen Quillian (L) and Gilbert Guerrero (R) are fundraising to complete construction on Shapeshifters Cinema and Brewery. (Sam Lefebvre/KQED)

Visitors enter the space, which looks residential from the street, through what Guerrero and Quillian envision as a small taproom with regular evening hours, and then proceed to a venue already outfitted with a large screen and dozens of salvaged church chairs. The seats are on rearrangeable wooden bases, and an additional screen is planned to accommodate various projector configurations. Guerrero, a homebrewing workshop leader in addition to his day job in user-experience design, plans to create the 3.5 barrel “nanobrewery” in the back room, with a fermenter built into a large outdoor deck. Guerrero and Quillian have spent more than $100,000 on permitting and other pre-construction costs, and are currently raising $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Meanwhile, Shapeshifters programming in the space is ongoing: A party and screening in association with Canyon Cinema for Shapeshifters “members,” a new category of ongoing financial supporters of the project, takes place on Saturday, Feb. 15, followed by a free presentation of Tommy Becker’s visual concept album Emotions in Metal on Saturday, Mar. 14. Black Hole founder Tooth, who presented drawings and his film Broken Symmetry at the space last year, and who now lives in New York, described Shapeshifters as a “luminous bright spot on the continuum of community-based, noncommercial artistic traditions.” He continued, “[It’s] one of the things that gives me hope that the Bay Area will weather the storm it finds itself in.”