THE SHIVA CYCLE -- Machine Sex Action Group with members of La famille Kantor (Kantor Family)

THE SHIVA CYCLE -- Machine Sex Action Group with members of La famille Kantor (Kantor Family)

Academy Hall, RPI Campus (15th & College Ave)

December 2, 2006 7:30 PM - 12:00 AM

Exploring sexuality and technology, Machine Sex Action Group (MSAG) is a result of a long-term work Istvan Kantor initiated in the early 90's with machinery of information technology in relation to control and communication.

The body as a transmission device, orgasm as kinetic control system, epileptic seizure and sex related contractions of the body as information machinery are some ideas Istvan Kantor explores through the collective efforts of Machine Sex Action Group.

While investigating the hardware of the file cabinet and the pelvic motions of sexual intercourse a numbers of years ago, Kantor initiated a new research into the territories of "machine sex action" and "body-machine performance." ( The first performances he made incorporated the in-out, back and forth movements of the cabinet drawers and the pelvic gestures of the user in relation to the archival information storage systems of technological society.  In Kantor's works a small gesture such as opening and closing a file cabinet becomes the engine of complete communication that controls images and sounds through the electronic networks.

The "props" lists for the performance on December 2 includes the following: 100 teddy bears, 100 books, scaffolding, fog machine, disco-lights, and as much techno-junk as we can find.  With over three decades of continuous neo-actionist hyper-experimentation behind him, Istvan Kantor remains one of today's most active and provocative contributors to today's live-art/performance scene. This event is not to be missed!

This event made possible in part by the Experimental Television Center.  The ETC's Presentation Funds program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. 



"Istvan Kantor's work in video and performance art is on the cutting and critical edge of contemporary art. His is an aggressive and unapologetic aesthetic of excess. Kantor's interdisciplinary, no-holds-barred, neo-Dada art has earned him a large international following and a unique reputation. He embraces technology in order to confront, and revolt against, the mind-numbing and oppressive nature of technology and the power structures it
supports ." Jury citation, Governor General's Award for Visual and Media Arts, 2004

Istvan Kantor has created a body of work remarkable for its demonic energy, its subversive vision, and its encompassing range. He has explored mail art, music, kinetic sculpture, multi-media installation and, most prominently, performance art and video. He founded an indefinable and conspiratorial movement he called neoism. The intent of Kantor's work has always been to disrupt closed systems of power, political and aesthetic, to lay bare the ways in which technology transforms human bodies and minds into elements of a vast robotic machine, and to confront today's deadening systems of technological control. The concept that most broadly governs Kantor's vision is "accumulation." "In the land of accumulation all activity remains activated, causing continuous interventions, overlapping structures, sudden changes, global explosions, turmoil, tumult, turbulence, everything happens at once and simultaneously," Kantor writes. "It's accumulation that makes the earth shake at six o'clock and demolishes the difference between art and life, labour and leisure."




From NOW Magazine - The Arts in Toronto, June 15-21, 2006

"Hungarian rhapsodizing: Istvan Kantor's mixed media works honour revolutionary resistance"
It's late October 1956 in Budapest. A six-year-old Istvan Kantor steps into the street to stop a Soviet tank with a homemade toy gun, a singular act of resistance in the doomed Hungarian Revolution.

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"Sensory Inundation: Istvan Kantor" by Toko-pa Turner
Between the assaulting strobe projections, ear-piercing soundloops and the stomach turning odour, it's no surprise that Istvan Kantor's installation comes with a warning. We are cautioned to proceed at our own risk upon entering the AGYU gallery, but the warning itself seems like part of an elaborate plan to put us into a state of apprehension. Anxiety and shock are central to the impact of Kantor's Machinery Execution. 

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From the University of Toronto's Student Newspaper, The Varsity 

"Sexy. Deadly. The film fest.
Sex and Death Film Fest takes over the Bloor Cinema...and your mind"
Lest the masses get too cozy, though, the festival's organizers chose to end it with Istvan Kantor's Broadcast, surely the longest 21 minutes I've ever lived though. The press package calls Kantor's work "experimentation with the trans-kinetic identity of the revolutionary individual in relation to the scientific engine of artistic and social movements." I wish someone had told me this was auteur-speak for "the visual and aural equivalent of a road-salt enema." I would have left sooner, or perhaps killed myself. I'm not sure I'm sufficiently evolved to live in the same world as Kantor's "machine-sex performance artists."

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