So it sounds like you are unquestionably accepting that Levine was forced out due to the nature of his filmmaking?

Are the five signatories of that statement lying?

Of course it is true that it is in the nature of some kinds of art making that the artist will believe that she or he has found /the /truth, /the /path, the only correct way of making films or other art. Jessica comments on a facet of this, though I think in some other kinds of artists authoritarianism is not to be found, or will be successfully hidden. But for some of the most original artists, this belief is central to their practice. One only has to read the writings of Dziga Vertov and Robert Bresson, both filmmakers who felt so strongly that their mode of filmmaking was the only true way that they used use words or phrases to refer /only /to their own films to the exclusion of all others to emphasize the correctness of their choices, for examples. One can only speculate as to the nature, if language differences could be bridged, of a "faculty meeting" to discuss the correct  forms of cinema education with a faculty consisting of Eisenstein, Vertov, Epstein, Bresson, Kubelka, Brakhage, Rainer, and, oh, say, Roberto Rossellini, Nicholas Ray and John Ford.

But at the same time, Stan Brakhage, Peter Kubelka, Robert Breer, Hollis Frampton, George Landow/Owen Land, Ernie Gehr, Larry Jordan, Ken Jacobs, Larry Gottheim, and of course others, all taught  filmmaking for many decades. I name these in particular as filmmaker whose work I like, in most cases hugely. All showed their own films as part of their teaching practice. Does anyone know of cases in which these filmmakers got into trouble with their schools over the nature of their completed films, or for their expression of their ideas about their art? Some have troubles, but more due to the nature of their personalities, is that not right?

With so many nations sliding into dictatorship, we who are privileged to live in relatively free nations should appreciate, and try to preserve, what we have, taking care to make accusation about the abridgement of academic freedom only when it has really occurred.

What you are advocating implies an inner split that is probably impossible for most of us to put in practice in the long term, but is also fundamentally dishonest. Hired to teach one's beliefs, and not directed to conceal them, the filmmaker is then to spend a career lying about them? Is that even fair to the students, or to the school? Would such a course not make the world a fundamentally worse, rather than better, place? Haven't we seen enough lying, especially when it is not absolutely necessary?

Avoiding academia entirely might be a good idea, if one can manage it. I  think Markopoulos's films only got greater, after he left teaching and the U.S. I certainly felt freer in many ways when I could survive as a freelance writer, working mostly for a for-profit newspaper, than when I turned to teaching at allegedly high-minded not for profit institutions. At the same time, I have been relatively free to work my own beliefs about cinema and about art even in predesigned courses in which I have to teach certain elements I did not decide on (though also do not oppose). And I feel sure that for many, alternative-to-teaching jobs might be far worse than teaching.

Fred Camper

On 4/14/2018 12:40 PM, Francisco Torres wrote:
I suggest one course of action to avoid such problems- Total boycott of academia. Find other sources of employment if possible. If academia is the only alternative in terms of earning an income then withhold your true work from the academic audience. Create safe, vanilla works for the administration and the student body and another body of work for yourself and your true audience (outside academia). Also withhold your true wisdom from your academic work, keep it secret. Moreover, feed an official artistic line to your students and co-workers. Play it safe. After all, it worked for the alchemists for hundred of years.

2018-04-14 1:34 GMT-04:00 lady snowblood < <>>:

    I’ve been observing this situation and reflecting on the need for
    competing skills inside one person:
    - adherence to personal vision in the studio
    - the flexibility of ego to collaborate well with colleagues and
    students in the educational environment.

    I’ve seen behavior like this in art teachers the past, although
    not to this degree. And I assigned it as lots of skill in one area
    (authorship) fewer skills in another ...

    It’s hard. I’m reminded that “you can’t say authoritarian without
    author”. I also re-invest in the notion that I have to keep a good
    buffer between my formal creative practice (viciously adhering to
    the vision) and the social skills for creating resilient learning
    environment (relax, communicate, provoke, nourish, discover
    together etc).


    * * * * *

    Jessica Fenlon

    artist : poet : experimental :

    flickr <> : vimeo
    <> : instagram

    On Apr 13, 2018, at 8:13 AM, John Muse <
    <>> wrote:

    Another turn of the screw:


    On Apr 12, 2018, at 9:19 AM, Jon Behrens <
    <>> wrote:

    Thank you Ed
    For sharing this

    Sent from my iPhone

    On Apr 11, 2018, at 8:22 PM, Deana LeBlanc
    < <>> wrote:

    Emotion vs. reason? His live video got us PUMPED and struck a
    cord- we who were watching were cheering, (crying a bit
    admittedly). Even had musicians riding along to its It speaks
    to something bigger and is effectively cathartic- the
    performance, the storytelling, while also being a testimony of
    information. Two things going on at once, important to
    distinguish. But this also makes sense- the statement from Mass
    Art Faculty- glad to hear from them.

    On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Ed Halter <
    <>> wrote:
    Hey Frameworks

    Felt I should share this announcement that was forwarded to me
    from the Massart faculty.



    The faculty and staff of the Film/Video department demand that
    Professor Saul Levine stop his
    lies about recent events at Mass Art and his cyber-bullying
    against his colleagues.

    It is because of Professor Levine’s very public attacks and
    misrepresentations that we feel
    obliged to correct his version of the complaints against him.

    He has bullied his colleagues and created an abusive working
    environment over many years.

    He has derailed and destroyed important discussions about
    urgent departmental and curricular

    This is NOT an issue of academic freedom. No one at Mass Art
    made any effort to censor or
    punish Professor Levine for screening his film or any other
    film he has shown over the years.
    No one forced him to retire.The decision to retire is entirely
    Professor Levine’s.

    We recognize Professor Levine as a brilliant artist and
    programmer and are thankful for his
    contributions to the department and to Massart.It is extremely
    painful to see his toxic rant
    against the department, besmearing the College and insulting us
    by name while claiming
    himself as the victim.

    As artists, teachers and mentors, it is our responsibility to
    stand up when we are bullied and to
    treat each other with respect. It is also our duty to foster an
    open, respectful, and collegial
    environment for our students.

    Soon-Mi Yoo, Chair
    Ericka Beckman, Professor
    Gretchen Skogerson, Professor
    Joe Briganti, Studio Manager, Video Area
    Kim Keown, Studio Manager, Film Area
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    john muse
    visual media scholar
    haverford college


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