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Saturday January 12, 2008 8.30pm -
Featured Artist Anthony Discenza
  Oakland, CA
Main Sat. Videos - Details Sun. Videos - Details
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Overture (excerpted from News Cycle # 2)
Anthony Discenza with Michael Zbyszynski, 2006
Running time: 4:30

“News Cycle 2” is a collaboration with electronic composer Michael Zbyszysnki, originally presented at the Getty Center in October 2006 as part of the “Distributed Memory” screening program curated by Julie Lazar. Continuing themes investigated in earlier works such as “November” and “Backscatter,” the work takes a single day’s worth of news broadcasts from all of the major cable news networks, and reprocesses this information into a suite of seven “passages” that takes us from early morning, midday, afternoon, and into late evening. The live audio interface, custom-designed by Zbyszysnki, allows the composer to extract data from individual horizontal lines of video using a Wacom tablet, and uses this data to “sculpt” the audio in real time. “Overture” is the first of the seven passages, representing an entry point into the news information set. This section does not employ the interface designed by Zbyszysnki, but only the found audio from the source material.

Viewing # 1
Anthony Discenza, 2007
Running time: 9:30

“Viewing # 1” represents a more recent shift in my work towards the use of text. The work is a meditation on the proliferation of images in the age of information, and the limits of both textual and visual modes of representation. Assembled from fragments of texts gathered by searching Google for a specific phrase--“as the image becomes”-- the work uses a computer-generated voice to describe an imaginary image under continuously shifting terms, in order to construct a wholly internal viewing experience.

AfterLifers: Walking & Talking (ExtenDead Version) HalfLifers
Anthony Discenza & Torsten Z. Burns, 2007
Running time: 22:30

The HalfLifers, an ongoing collaboration between Anthony DIscenza and Torsten Z. Burns, exhume cinema’s favorite incarnation of mindless, decaying mortality in the hopes of breathing new life into this misunderstood figure. From a panel discussion in an old TV studio to a quarantined helicopter high above California’s rolling hills, we join a pair of life-challenged entities as they walk, talk, and chew over some of the more difficult questions of this “whole linear birth-death system.

Between the relentless spread of consumerism and the rapid advancement of technology, we find ourselves exposed to ever-greater amounts of visual stimuli. From television, movies, and the internet, to an endless sea of magazines and other print media, a steady stream of highly mediated imagery assaults us. In the constant battle for viewer attention, more and more of our information, regardless of its content or context, arrives in the form of elaborately manipulated visual sequences formally and structurally indistinguishable from mass entertainment. The result is a profound level of alienation, a gradual poisoning of our own experience as the logic of the spectacle colonizes our own internal narratives.

As a visual artist complicit in the production and consumption of images, I find this situation both fascinating and deeply problematic. I’m particularly concerned with the violence which informs our media over-exposure. By this, I’m not necessarily referring to specific violent images or content, but rather to the dissociative effects produced by the speed, quantity, and extreme disparity of the imagery we consume. My work attempts to expose this violence while acknowledging its seductive, anaesthetizing force.

Discenza collaborates with artists such as Michael Zbyszynski and Torsten Z. Burns.