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June 23, 2007



Artists Engaged in Social Critique

RADICAL JESTERS; A Film by Tim Jackson :: Screening at Studio Soto, 63 Melcher St. Boston, MA 02210 :: June 28; 8 pm :: Admission is free with a $5-$10 suggested donation.

Recently completed, the film RADICAL JESTERS explores the work and ideas of a diverse group of performers and artists engaging in social critique. These are provocateurs and ‘interventionists’ who engage in media hoaxes, culture jamming, and imaginative art practices. Their art is not about commercial exchange but about increasing awareness and creating balance in a culture where ideas and values are often fashioned by the media.

I felt there was too little effective protest, or at least effective in terms of the media’s willingness to cover events and to evaluate itself. The work of the Situationists in France in the 1960’s and their interrogation of the “Society of the Spectacle” helped provide perspective. The work of well-known artists such as Barbara Kruger, The Bread and Puppet Theater, and others provided inspiration. I wanted to begin to look at new breed of individuals working outside the commercial system attempting to re-engage the public mind with amusing and compelling activities and to tie this work to older practices and traditions. I think the audience will get a good laugh, but that the subject will encourage discussion.

Collaboration and education were essential in developing of this film. The film is a collaboration of three groups:

• The artists themselves who are interviewed and have lent documentation of their work to the film. These include:

- The Surveillance Camera Players
- The Guerrilla Girls
- The Living Theater
- Milan Kahout (Mobius Performance Artist)
- Improv Everywhere
- Dyke Action Machine
- San Francisco Billboard Liberation Front
- Institute for Infinitely Small Things (Boston)
- Local Prankster John Hargrave
- Hoaxer Alan Abel
- John King (Gang of Four)

• Students and facilities at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline. Over a year and a half, two documentary production classes were designed around the research and organizing of the work, and the gathering of interviews. A dedicated and wonderful group of students volunteers then continued to assist with the film putting in additional hours shooting interviews, gathering b-roll, editing, sound mixing, providing graphic and web design.

• A generous group of Boston musicians each lent unique compositions to each section of the film. Musical contributions include Robin Lane (singer-songwriter), Dana Colley (Morphine), Larry Luddecke (composer, producer, and engineer – Straight Up Music), Mason Daring (66 feature films, Frontline and Nova themes), Richard Gates (Patty Larkin, Jennifer Kimball), Mike Turk (harmonica legend) and Shane Myrback (award winning student composer)


Tim Jackson studied drama at Ithaca College in the late 60's where he worked with the priest, poet and peace activist Reverend Dan Berrigan on Trial of the Catonsville 9, and with the avant-garde theater company TheaterCosmos.

He moved to a career in music during the 70's working with dozens of groups including Tom Rush, Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, LaVern Baker, Jonathan Edwards, Patty Larkin, Mason Daring, and others, recording, performing, and touring for over a decade. He has contributed to many soundtracks as a drummer.

In the 80's Jackson returned to acting and was a founding member of the Harrison Project, an acting company under the direction of Peter Kelley. He began studying video production at the Boston Film and Video Foundation in 1982, and directed several music videos. Continuing a music career in Boston he started his own group, The Band That Time Forgot, in 1984, which earned a “Best of Boston” award in 1988 and remains active 23 years later.

In the 90's, following a Masters In Education, he began teaching at the New England Institute of Art in liberal studies and digital media. In 2006, he was awarded the college’s 1st Norm Prescott Distinguished Faculty Award. He directs the annual Naked Eye Student Film Festival at the Coolidge Corner Theater under the sponsorship of the college, and with the assistance of students.

Also in 2006, after three years, a close team of faculty and student volunteers completed the film, “Chaos and Order: Making American Theater.” Jackson acted as director and interviewer for the film, which was also done in collaboration with the American Repertory Theater. It is currently being distributed by “Films for the Humanities”.

He recently acted as on-camera interviewer for Kathleen Turner at the Provincetown Film Festival, where she received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Radical Jesters is his first effort as producer, writer, and director.

Posted by jo at June 23, 2007 09:46 AM