Optic Flare



Scott Stark Scott Stark has made over 80 films and videos since the early 1980s, and has created numerous moving image installations, live performances and photo-collages. He received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Cinematheque from 1984-1991. His work has shown nationally and internationally in venues as diverse as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Cinematheque, the Film Festival Rotterdam, the Tokyo Image Forum, and many others. His 16mm film Angel Beach was invited into the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and in 2007 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. His 2013 film The Realist showed at numerous worldwide film festivals and was on several year-end "best" lists. His work has garnered numerous awards. He is the webmaster for Flicker (www.hi-beam.net), the web resource for experimental film and video since 1995. Scott divides his time between San Francisco, CA and Austin, Texas where he is co-director of Experimental Response Cinema.

Allison Leigh Holt

Allison Leigh Holt is a cross-media artist based in Oakland, CA. Holt's numerous awards include those from the U.S. Department of State (Fulbright Fellowship, Indonesia), Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the David Bermant Foundation, Cemeti Institute for Art + Society (Indonesia), the Experimental Television Center. She is a two-time finalist for the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and was a recent resident at Bullseye Glass Co. and at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Holt's work has notably shown at SFMOMA, Stanford University, Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Cemeti Institute for Art + Society (Indonesia), the Boston Cyberarts Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, the Urban Screens Conference (Australia), and the Yogyakarta International New Media Festival (Indonesia). She has spoken widely, at cellsBUTTON and Video Vortex conferences in Indonesia, and Imagining the Universe: Cosmology in Art and Science at Stanford Arts Institute; at the University of North Dakota Writers Conference in 2016, she was a keynote speaker with theoretical physicist Brian Greene. Holt served as Vice President of San Francisco Cinematheque's Board of Directors (2015 - '17).

Kerry Laitala

Kerry Laitala is an award-winning moving-image artist who uses analog, digital, and hybrid forms to investigate the ways in which media influences culture-at-large. Laitala's work resides at the crossroads of science, history, technology, and her uncanny approach to evolving systems of belief through installation, photography, para-cinema, performance, kinetic sculpture, and single-channel forms. She attended Massachusetts College of Art, studying Photography and Film and received her Masters degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in Film. Laitala was also chosen as a recipient of a GOLDIE- (Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award) -2007 from the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Laitala’s  City Luminous series, which encompasses the realms of installation, performance and photographic works is funded by a third Special Projects Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission Grant, California Historical Society, and Maurice Kanbar, with archival images provided by the California Historical Society, Donna Ewald Huggins, the Exploratorium, Craig Baldwin, and the Internet Archive. Access to an original Star Maiden was provided by the Oakland Museum of California.

Kevin Cain

Kevin Cain has explored art and computers for more than thirty years.  Favoring collaborative work, Kevin has worked with Kiran Shiva Akal, Paul Nii, Anna Deavere Smith and Anish Kapoor, among many others.  He studied with pioneering media, video and performance artists Christine Tamblyn and Enrique Chagoya and received a degree from Joan Brown's Practice of Art department at UC Berkeley.  For ten years Kevin led an MFA program in computer art, guiding dozens of artists who practice today. Kevin has led computer art and visualization research for projects for the NSF (US), CNRS (France), the American Research Center in Egypt Egyptian Antiquities Project (Egypt), the Institute for Nautical Archaeology (Egypt), l'École française d'Athènes (Greece), Lulea University (Sweden), Lund University (Sweden), and the University of California. Kevin has completed digital capture and visualization projects for many museums, including the Egyptian Antiquities Dept. of the British Museum (London), the Metropolitan Museum’s Egyptian Art Dept. (New York), the American Museum of Natural History (New York), the Smithsonian Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey).

Kevin founded and leads the California 501(c)3 non-profit INSIGHT


Ben Wood

Ben Wood is a British-born visual artist based in San Francisco. Since 2004 Wood has created large-scale video projections on Coit Tower, Dewey Monument, and other buildings in  San Francisco. Much of his work retrieves hidden histories from the fabric of historic, cultural and personal resources, from the buildings we inhabit to the documents and stories that can be reclaimed through generations. Wood has a Masters Degree in Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has taught at various colleges in the bay area and most recently as Senior Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary/Diversity Studies and Community Arts program at the California College of the Arts. He was a recipient of the California Governors Award for Historic Preservation and is a recipient of the EB-1 Green Card, on the basis of his artistic contribution to the United States.

Elise Baldwin

Elise Baldwin is an intermedia and sound artist. Her cinematic work centers around themes of history, collective memory and relationships between technology and the natural world. Using custom software instruments, physical props and circuitry, she often combines and manipulates original and archival recordings and footage. She has spent much of the past two decades working as an audio director, multimedia producer and video editor on gaming and educational projects. Creating sound design, videos and musical compositions for performances and films, she has had the good fortune to collaborate with many talented musicians, dancers, performers and theater companies. She has received several awards, including Experimental Television Center and CESTA residencies, a Harvestworks Artist in Residency, and the Frogs Peak Award for Experimental Music.

Kathleen Tyner

Kathleen Tyner is Development Director for Optic Flare. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin and an international scholar with significant experience in the research and development for media arts, technology and education projects.