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Tar and Feathers 

Ecological disaster inspires fine art

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SAT 3/26

The serene beauty of Wendy Tetsu's Birds in Flight video belies its inspiration: the worst ecological disaster in European history. The Prestige oil tanker, loaded with 20 million gallons of fuel, sank off Spain in 2002, affecting 250,000 birds and decimating miles of coastline. Taking its title from the Madrid protests that followed, Tetsu's "Nunca Mais" (Basque for "never again") multimedia show explores two of the most potent images of environmental destruction -- seabirds and oil. Accompanying the video is the Birds in Flight installation, a flock of 25 decomposing birds fashioned out of ceramic, feathers, and wire; Found Remains, consisting of ceramic bird pieces, sea salt from Ocean Beach, and tar-covered Basque rocks; and Shadows, bird shapes formed via feathers pinned to a wall. A painted moving truck in the Shadows vein also roams the streets for the duration of the show.

As is fitting, the show starts at the beach -- specifically, at the foot of Lincoln Avenue atop a cement sewage overflow structure. As the sky darkens, Madi Hollingsworth sings "sad, eerie" sounds and hands out tar-paper books about the spill, Testu's video is projected onto the sand, and ceramic birds are set ablaze. Next the crowd moves as a "procession" to the gallery, accompanied by Hollingsworth's voice, a raised banner, and birds on hooks. If this doesn't stir up any empathy, art can't help you. Sushi and sake complete the night. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln near the Great Highway; the exhibit begins at 8 p.m. at the SoulArch Gallery, 4033A Judah (at 45th Avenue), S.F. Admission is free; call 759-4100.
-- Michael Leaverton

With Pulp

SUN 3/27

Pulp magazines must have been the reality TV of their time; they certainly offered the same prurient delicacies (pseudoscientific stories, "ripped from the headlines" tales, and half-naked ladies). The pulps sported decadent cover art on the outside and little art or intellect on the inside, yet enthusiast Frank Robinson points out that many "real" writers got their start in such publications: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and others. Robinson may trace his own artistic lineage to these colorful mags: He wrote The Glass Inferno, one of the novels that became the movie The Towering Inferno. He shares some of his collection at 2 p.m. at Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia (at 19th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 824-8203 or visit www.borderlands-books.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Chaos Theory
Read like an anarchist

SAT 3/26

The central tenets of anarchy are mighty appealing: no taxes, no government, and no bosses. But that doesn't mean the anti-authoritarians subscribing to these radical notions are mere armchair philosophers; in fact, the hardworking revolutionaries at the anarchist-collective bookstore Bound Together are pulling off their 10th annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair. More than 60 vendors hawk canonical tomes, and speakers coach budding activists on how to lead a lifestyle of aggressive nonparticipation. Highlights include ex-Tribe 8 singer Lynne Breedlove, graphic novelist Eric Drooker, and German hip hoppers Entartete Künst, who have a penchant for sampling Noam Chomsky. Hungry militants can also indulge in politically correct eats from the collectively owned Arizmendi Bakery. The revolution is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Francisco County Fair Building, Ninth Avenue & Lincoln, in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free; call 431-8355 or visit www.bayareaanarchistbookfair.org.
-- Jane Tunks

Film Threat
Scary movies go independent

ONGOING 3/29-4/3

Every multiplex in America has been sullied with half-baked horror pics churned out by the big studios. But thanks to the gore-loving masterminds behind the Fearless Tales Genre Fest, exceptionally scary movies still exist. With the self-imposed mission to be the "last bastion of creative filmmaking," this year's event gives us six nights of fright. Robert Englund (the actor behind Freddy Krueger) is back with a remake of the 1964 horror classic 2000 Maniacs, and porn star Ron Jeremy keeps his clothes on during his turn as Andre the Butcher. But the climax is sure to be when splatter king John Landis accepts the Fearless Vision Award for his supernatural ability to scare us silly. The horror begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. (at Capp), S.F. Screenings run through April 3 at the Victoria and the Castro Theatre (429 Castro). Tickets to individual films are $10, and passes are $95-125; visit www.fearlesstales.com.
-- Jane Tunks

Bone Machine

WED 3/23

Seth Greenland's main character in his novel The Bones has been damaged by comedy. Frank Bones must drive a Hummer into his friend's living room because of the wounds dealt him by the humor industry. He's compelled to engage in high-speed chases to Mexico, because it hurts to be offered a job involving an animatronic walrus. The fact that Greenland is partly responsible for an awful-looking film called My Teacher's Wife has nothing to do with his character's bad behavior, we're sure. The Bones is just a novel. Right, Mr. Greenland? Find out as the author reads at 7 p.m. at Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

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