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From experimental cinema to fashion videography, ten artists breaking the boundaries Since its foundation, Stigmart10 has encouraged a conception of art based on a dynamic dialogue between artists and audience, reflecting the interactive nature of the creative act itself. A winning formula, according to the doubled number of submissions - more than 3000 applicants have sumitted their video works and CV in 2014 - and the increasing popularity of our project. We are glad to present this year's edition of Videofocus, our special Stigmart10 review focused on experimental cinema, original fashion videography and corageous documentary. Stigmart10 Team

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Jaewook Lee

The void is not empty, but it is filled out by the viewer’s imagination. The essence of the performance is an event called imagination. In this sense, the project, Ideasthesia, is the celebration of human imagination.

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Colby Jennings

Through my art, I expose and disarm my anxieties via meditation, repetition, and re-experience. In doing so, I construct conversations with my viewers, andat times, ask them to become part of the experience.

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Alecska & Nikolaus Tea

"Pursuing the themes of Wishes, Hopes, Fears and Nightmares, I continue what I started in photography: working on the very core of what makes us alive, and how we deal with that. With each encounter, I explore souls and hearts."

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Ekaterina Craftsova

My works are based on reflections of my own experience and feelings or penetration into others’ private lives. The most important for me is to make honest and deep contact with people.

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Jennifer Revit

The movies I create are composed of personal experiences, found footage and photography captured on a typical digital camera. In my work I embrace the uncanny, the unexpected, happenstance and unintentional imagery.

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Sandra Fruebing

The Individual’s Pursuit by Sandra Fruebing is the creation of a narrative based on a character whose quest is to inhabit an in-between space as an exploration of borders and boundaries.


Scott F. Hall and Freya Gustava

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A solitary female figure stands inside and around the famous, classicizing Penshaw monument where she variously interacts with a free standing mirror: aesthetic shorthand for the concept of memory.

Sophia Lee

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Enchanted Dreams is focused on ‘Speaking the Truth’ that ‘There is no such thing as a Prince Charming in the world’: I explored about the topic; I found interesting imagery from the online research. It was the photography collection by Thomas Czarnecki.

Valentina Schulte

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In recent creative experiments, Schulte has expanded on these theories by focusing on just the landscape and using the horizon line as an abstract point of reference.

Pawel Stasievicz

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I think that photography had the greatest influence on my video works. I mean the documentary photography here, especially stream German photography, so-called. "Düsseldorf School", which was started by a couple Bernd and Hilla Becher.

Yiorgos Nalpantidis

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Virtualities is the product of my obsession: observing image as a means of deformation/reification of reality, while representing it at the same time. I understand this both in the context of the culture industry.

Peter Whittenberger

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"When I begin a project, the idea stems from me asking myself, “You know what would be funny?” “Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch” was a departure from my normal way of working."

Barry Whittaker

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A wireframe figure floats, rotating in a void. There is no background, no scene, only a figure within an empty space, serenaded by the sound of a faint electronic signal. Drifting in this vacuum, coded messages, transmissions, and internal thoughts all merge into a constant din.

Xiaowen Zhu I consider myself as a visual poet, social critic, and aesthetic researcher. My work, investigating ideas of individual perception in a global nomadic context, integrates interpretive narrative, experimental documentary, photography, performance, and installation.

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A still from Ideasthesia Butcher Rules

Jaewook Lee The word “ideasthesia” is a phenomenon in which the activation of ideas evokes perceptionlike experiences. The term is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek verb idea (idea) and aisthesis (sensation), referring to “sensing concepts.” Recently, neuroscientists use MRI(magnetic resonance imaging) scanning, showing how the brain works when the subject relates to intangible entities. According to the studies carried out by Robert Zatorre and his colleagues, imaging music can indeed activate the auditory cortex almost as strongly as listening to it. Imagining music stimulates the motor cortex, and conversely, imagining the action of playing music stimulates the auditory cortex. In addition, our association cortices looks like the Internet with each region linked to others near and far. These brain regions can communicate with each other without any input from the outside world. The project, Ideasthesia, is a single-channel video that focuses on how to perform imagination: it explores how to sense things not from

external stimuli but through intensive imagination and association in both visual and auditory levels. In the video, a professional cellist plays the air-cello by remembering a music in her mind. She uses her memory of the music to activate the action of playing the cello, and the action retroactively helps to stimulate her auditory memory. The imagination of playing can be almost as efficacious as playing the actual instrument. That is to say, she embodies her imagination into a performance by playing the cello in mind. The performance lies between absence and presence, and fact and essence. While the material property of a cello is absent, the essence remains in the presence of the performance. The void is not empty, but it is filled out by the viewer’s imagination. The essence of the performance is an event called imagination. In this sense, the project, Ideasthesia, is the celebration of human imagination.


An interview with Jaewook Lee

In your single-channel video titled "Ideasthesia" we recognize a deep analysis on imagination, which is seen through a spiral movement envolving the performer and the spectator at the same time: in other words, what the great Italian theatre director Romeo Castellucci called "the bending of the sight". A figure of a cellist, playing an "air-cello", is central in your video, although "Ideasthesia" is not conceived using metaphoric approach, but adopting a performative research. When did you get the idea for this work?

I have been interested in this idea since 2012. I made a single-channel video titled “You Think Yourself in Me, and I Am Your Consciousness (2012)” For the video, I interpreted the interview that I did with a North Korean defector from Korean to English. The defector’s story was very sad so that I interpreted not just words but also her emotion and memory. At that time, I imagined myself into the defector’s story. I realized how the intensive imagination affected my body and emotion. So, I have thought of how we sense things not directly from external stimuli Butcher Rules

but through imagination and association. I researched and found a neuroscience concept called “ideasthesia.” Could you introduce our readers to the complex concept of ideasthesia, which deals with neuroscience and recent studies by Robert Zatorre?

I got Robert Zatorre’s studies from the book Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. The research team uses MRI brain scan, showing imaging music can indeed activate the auditory cortex almost as strongly as listening to it. “Ideasthesia” is the term coined by a neuroscientist Dr. Danko Nicolic (http://www.danko-nikolic.com). It originally derives from the term “synesthesia,” referring one sense evokes another sense. For example, some people smell when they see certain colors. However, his research found evidence that synesthesia is primarily a semantic phenomenon. That means the meaning of stimulus actually evokes perception-like experience. Dr. Nikolic proposed that a more accurate name for the phenomenon is ideaesthesia, which is Greek for “sensing concepts” (Nikolić, 2009).


A still from Ideasthesia

We have been impressed with the balance between absence and presence in your video, which is not conceived as a classical balance, as the relationships between solids and voids in architecture for example, but assumes a sort of coexistence between past and present in imagination and perception.

In your statement you say "The void is not empty, but it is filled out by the viewer’s imagination." Apparently, it can seem a common sentence, however, this concept has a huge important in your artistic research as well as in your videomaking. Could you comment it?

How do you achieve this balance?

I suppose that imagination mediates between sensibility and understanding, and it operates in the service of reason. And reasoning itself is a retroactive ordering into symbolic orders.

Ideasthesia, 2014, The coexistence between past and present in The project, Ideasthesia, is a single-channel imagination and perception is a very video that focuses perform interesting idea. I on didhow not tothink about this imagination: it explores how to sense things not when I made the video. from external stimuli but through intensive imagination association in both visual What I mean and by absence and presence, in theand auditorylies levels. In the video, a professional video, between matter/material and essence. Thethe matter is what constitutes music a cellist plays air-cello by remembering cello in material manner, i.e., stings, wood in her mind. She uses her memory of the music panels, etc. the Theaction essence what constitutes a to activate of is playing the cello, and cello as a cello; a cello cannot be a cello by the action retroactively helps to stimulate her itself; it requires setimagination of relations;ofaplaying cello auditory memory. aThe needs cellist, as music to play, as adequate can beaalmost efficacious playingskills, the etc. In the video the material entity of aembodies cello actual instrument. That is to say, she is absent, while what the essence, her imagination into constitutes a performance by playing the network of relations, is present. the cello in mind.

It could be considered a specious question, nonetheless we have to ask you: does your art change people's behavior? Do you aim to create a sort of "micropolitical" artistic act reawaking in the spectator the awareness of his perception mechanisms and models? I hope my work could create “micropolitical” aspect. I have been interested in the political aspect of art for social change. The term “social practice” seems very dominant today in the art world. However, what animates


A still from Ideasthesia (public performance)

my practice is curiosity. My all time hero is Albert Einstein. My favorite phrases of his are “the imagination is more important than knowledge” and “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” I think Einstein is a true artist. I hope this could be an answer to the question. Thanks for your time and for sharing your art and thought with us, Jaewook. What are you going to be working on next?

A still from Ideasthesia (public performance)

I will continue to research and develop the project “ideasthesia.” I still have lots of interests in neuroscience.

A still from Ideasthesia (public performance)


A still from Ideasthesia

We have been impressed with the balance between absence and presence in your video, which is not conceived as a classical balance, as the relationships between solids and voids in architecture for example, but assumes a sort of coexistence between past and present in imagination and perception.

In your statement you say "The void is not empty, but it is filled out by the viewer’s imagination." Apparently, it can seem a common sentence, however, this concept has a huge important in your artistic research as well as in your videomaking. Could you comment it?

How do you achieve this balance?

I suppose that imagination mediates between sensibility and understanding, and it operates in the service of reason. And reasoning itself is a retroactive ordering into symbolic orders.

The coexistence between past and present in imagination and perception is a very interesting idea. I did not think about this when I made the video. What I mean by absence and presence, in the video, lies between matter/material and essence. The matter is what constitutes a cello in material manner, i.e., stings, wood panels, etc. The essence is what constitutes a cello as a cello; a cello cannot be a cello by itself; it requires a set of relations; a cello needs a cellist, music to play, adequate skills, etc. In the video the material entity of a cello is absent, while what constitutes the essence, the network of relations, is present.

It could be considered a specious question, nonetheless we have to ask you: does your art change people's behavior? Do you aim to create a sort of "micropolitical" artistic act reawaking in the spectator the awareness of his perception mechanisms and models? I hope my work could create “micropolitical” aspect. I have been interested in the political aspect of art for social change. The term “social practice” seems very dominant today in the art world. However, what animates


A still from Ideasthesia (public performance)

my practice is curiosity. My all time hero is Albert Einstein. My favorite phrases of his are “the imagination is more important than knowledge” and “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” I think Einstein is a true artist. I hope this could be an answer to the question. Thanks for your time and for sharing your art and thought with us, Jaewook. What are you going to be working on next?

A still from Ideasthesia (public performance)

I will continue to research and develop the project “ideasthesia.” I still have lots of interests in neuroscience.

A still from Ideasthesia (public performance)


Balance, Installation

Colby Jennings An Artist's Statement

Making art is a lot like standing on your head. It requires dedication, it can be strange to witness, and it can result in a headache (or rush). But most importantly, somewhere in the process of art making, the world is turned upside down and can be seen in new ways. There are many situations, experiences, and

memories that make little sense for me. Others make me uncomfortable or anxious. Using this perplexity and anxiety as my points of departure, I rearrange issues to move toward a deeper comprehension of their experience and origin. My work makes use of various mediums, including video, performance, interactivity, and installation to address my above-mentioned con-


Balance, detail

cerns. Using these mediums, along with print and photography allows me to collect specimens and study instances of my confrontation with uncertainty. I have used my work in various ways including in attempts to demystify hegemonic masculinity and normative gender roles prescribed by the rural regional culture in which I was raised.

I make in order to understand. Through my art, I expose and disarm my anxieties via meditation, repetition, and re-experience. In doing so, I construct conversations with my viewers, and at times, ask them to become part of the experience. Colby Jennings


An interview with

Colby Jennings Your video "Balance" could be considered as series of epicleti, in the Joycian sense: while your video making is very minimalist, and you use cold colors and scenario, the overall feeling is extremely "natural". How did you develop your style? I’m not sure I have a “style” to be honest. The process is important and I spend a lot of time going over an idea before I put it in motion, but I’m realizing more and more that the collection of these re-imagined or re-situated experiences is the real root of my efforts. So, I suppose if that archival instinct produces some similarities, which I will admit that it does, then this would be responsible for some of the stylistic threads through my work. It’s interesting that you pointed out the transforming of simple events and objects. I’ve enjoyed going back to read Danto’s “The Transfiguration of the Commonplace” on a fairly regular basis. I still have the copy that I had to purchase for an Aesthetics class in undergrad. I had a hard time connecting to a lot of what happened in that class, but this book in particular hooked me. It really sets the tone for my work, or at least the broad stroke of the book is definitely an influence. If asked to describe my somewhat random thoughts on my work, I would use words like “specimen, portraiture, case-study, investigation, re-experience, archive, reflection, confusion, and understanding”. I know what I’m doing isn’t science per se but it feels very scientific. There’s a method to my mild madness. I’ve had peers comment (with some disappointment) on the fact that my work differs from video art they’ve come across in that I don’t use a lot of manipulation of the imagery or the time in which the imagery unfolds. This is certainly due to the influence coming from the “studio videos” of a lot of timebased arts pioneers before me. I’m still intrigued with the medium, and while I’m not consciously confining myself to the studio, there’s certainly the archival tendency intertwined with curiosity and perhaps even humor. I like the term “playfully deliberate”. Style? Why not.

Colby Jennings

You were deeply influenced by the regional culture of Missouri: How has your history influenced the way you produce art? My personal and geographic background permeates my work. I think that’s a statement that would hold true for all artists. It is also something that helps to make art and artists unique… that wonderful or sometimes tragic mixture of experiences and life lessons. The regional culture of the Midwestern part of the United States is fed by few major veins, but a few of the largest of these would be rural communities and their primary industry, agriculture. I have a great deal of respect for the work ethic that is the backbone of agriculture. I’ve only been exposed to it through very few first hand experiences. Most of my understanding and questions come from watching and listening to those individuals rooted to the land through their work. It’s not the act of growing or raising food that intrigues me though. While I admire the pursuit, it’s the people and the culture that I’m


All of this may not exactly explain how I make the art that I do, but I think it’s a good start for why. You also produced a work entitled "Lessons": what was your inspiration for it? This video was directly influenced by gender norms perpetuated in Rural America communities. The stoicism valued in “Men” has been of interest for me for some time. I have a collection of materials related to this topic, but one of the most stand out for me is a quote attributed to the Western genre movie star John ????, better known as John Wayne. “Talk Low, Talk Slow, and Don’t Say Too Much”. What a weighty collection of words. Their particular target would be boys and men watching this genre of film where the good guys’ lines are few but their punches and bullets are plenty.

most interested in. There are so many pieces of the foundation required to hold up a healthy farming industry, and most of them involve manual labor and often times a particular philosophy towards life. It’s tempting to boil down my anxiety and fascination to pursuing the arts from a working class background. The arts can be seen as a futile pursuit in large pockets of rural American in that it is lacking the tangible utility more commonly found there. This angle has a lot of other elements, but I won’t travel any farther down this rabbit hole because the whole conversation would be missing much of the point I think. My work is fed by much more than working toward a whitecollar job from a blue-collar background. The brightest influence for me would the be connections that people have to their labors, as well as the identities assumed through them. Particularly with gender, rural culture has a specific prescription for how to be and make it fairly obvious by holding up what is valued.

Balance, detail


Balance, Installation

Making art is a lot like standing on your head. It requires dedication, it can be strange to witness, and it can result in a headache (or rush). But most importantly, somewhere in the process of art making, the world is turned upside down and can be seen in new ways. There are many situations, experiences, and

memories that make little sense for me. Others make me uncomfortable or anxious. Using this perplexity and anxiety as my points of departure, I rearrange issues to move toward a deeper comprehension of their experience and origin. My work makes use of various mediums, including video, performance, interactivity, and installation to address my above-mentioned con-


Balance, detail


A still from Appendage, video, 3 34, 2009

As I was chewing on this quote, I made a decision early on that the words needed to be on my body somehow. I had to wear them in some way, carry them or try to feel their weight. Warning, here comes a bit of parent influence on an artist’s work. One evening helping my young son with his bath I watched him put foam bath letters on his chest to try and form words. Wanting to help him learn words, I showed him how to form very small words, one of which was boy. After showing him how to spell it, he wet the letters and put them on his chest. That was a wild moment for me. He wasn’t labeling himself in a conscious way, but this action became an incredibly powerful metaphor for me that my mind held on to tightly up until the point I created this work. "I expose and disarm my anxieties via meditation, repetition, and re-experience". Could you comment this sentence? Well, to start, I get to deal with some anxiety

issues on a fairly regular basis. Enough so that it has convinced me that anxiety is indeed the realm of art, or at least artists. But I think it’s okay that way… art is well enough equipped to guide the artist through. And, in a lot of ways, anxiety has been a really fruitful resource for my work. Dealing with these issues pushed me to search out methods of coping several years ago. I was encouraged by my doctor and close family to do specific types of breathing in those really tense moments. I tried their suggestions and found some real success in it. Being the bit of a headcase that I am, I couldn’t just leave it there, I had to investigate and learn more. Obviously that road led straight to meditation and eastern philosophies. After much reading and searching I landed on several practices including mindfulness and breath / body awareness as well as the teachings of Zen Buddhism.


Lessons, Installation

My work is nothing if not repetitive… and that’s a positive thing. Repeating actions or scenarios allows me to experience and analyze the connected layers of anxiety and emotions I’ve built up over time. There is a naming technique that has been an integral part of my mindfulness practice. To implement this technique you simply watch as your mind runs down your train of thought and label each parcel appropriately. If a sad memory comes forward, you call it what it is, sorrow, and let it go. If you remember how somebody cut you off in traffic that morning you call that anger or noncompassion, and let it go. In a very similar way, re-creating experiences allows me another opportunity to label these things, which in turn disarms them so that I can then let them go. Watching your video art production we had the impression that there's a subtle irony: in your opinion is this just an impression? It’s definitely not just an impression.

Irony,

whether subtle or not, is a big source of material for me. Sometimes it comes in the form of confusion, other times with humor, and still others with no small amount of concern. I’ve also come across instances where all of these are present and more. Irony, confusion, anxiety… these are my playgrounds. You are not only a videoartist, and it would be unfair to use the label of "multi-disciplinary" artist, since every medium you use is pervaded by a strong effort to interactivity. In what manner does your work as a performer influence your video making? I’m a dabbler when it comes to performance. I don’t set out to make a performance but there are just things that can’t happen any other way for me. By taking either a role or a non-role, which is to say I’m able to leave myself behind, I can separate the act of performing from the experience of the performance. That sounds a bit strange to see written out but it’s entirely accurate.


What’s next for Colby? Are there any new projects on the horizon? There are quite a few projects on the horizon actually…. that’s sort of my perpetual issue. Too much to do, not enough time to get it done. I was recently awarded a grant from an experimental gallery space here in my local community for a solo exhibition / installation, so that is on the front burner for sure. I’m hoping to turn that into a project that I can pack up and ship to additional spaces that would like to display the work. This installation is directly linked to “Balance” in that it utilizes the same wire sculpture form, only in this project there are 108 of them. These sculptures will vary greatly in size. I have some prototypes that are half the size of the original, and some that are double the size. Each of the sculptures will be activated by an electric motor attached to the base of the balance platform. These motors will in turn be activated by a series of motion, temperature, and proximity sensors so that the presence of the audience creates an individual and unique experience. I also have several other videos planned to continue my “Lessons” series. This feels like it will be an ongoing project for some time, even if the videos become “sketches” for other work, which happens fairly often. There’s another three or four dozen project ideas in my sketchbook that could manifest over this next year as well, it all just depends on the direction of the stream.


A still from Because I'm Broken, 2014 video

Alecska A Short Bio

An artist's statement

Alecska is an emerging filmmaker based in Montreal, QC & Burlington, VT.

Feeling. Emotions. Interactions. What makes us human. How we are living beings.

After a career in photography and several exhibitions in Paris, France, she moved to Canada in 2011. Now she works as a director and cinematographer to create beautiful content with meaning and emotions. Her short films has been screened at various theatres and artist-centers in Montreal and Paris. Her poetic style stands between Video art and Experimental cinema, and navigates genres from fashion to activism, from events to portraits.

Pursuing the themes of Wishes, Hopes, Fears and Nightmares, I continue what I started in photography: working on the very core of what makes us alive, and how we deal with that. Contrasts, tensions, contradictions, passions. With each encounter, I explore souls and hearts. I feed on music and movies and journeys. Inspiration can come from a mood, a song, a frame, a light. A vibration. Alecska


An interview with

Alecska (and Nikolaus Tea) Hello Alecska and a warm welcome to Stigmart10: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? In particular, how does your previous career in Photography influence your current practice?

I am a self-taught filmmaker. I started photography in 2004, when digital cameras became affordable to me as a way to learn by myself the basics of photography and camera before starting to make movies. But I got “lost” in photography! I really enjoyed taking pictures and being able to show them almost instantly to the world without having to go through an intensive editing process or depending on anyone else. These years in photography allowed me to develop my visual style and my artistic process/view, the subjects I work on, the high-contrast black and white or the soft colors, the spontaneous shots. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for producing your videos? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

My creative process differs from one project to another. An idea of a movie can start because of another movie (or just its trailer, like for RIDE / Drive), a shadow in the light (or a light in the darkness), a dream, personal history, a song (sometimes just a lyric), a poem, a trip… Sometimes, I don’t know beforehand what the result will be or feel. Othertimes I do want a specific result (but not necessarily achieve it). There are certainly a few processes that are almost “unconscious” now to me, like framing and exposure. But, most of the time, I do not think so much about technical aspects in my videos. I try to remain as spontaneous and natural as I was doing in photography, because it’s the way I enjoy it most. I’m very used to work with my Canon 7D I bought in december 2009. This allows me to have a constant style. I use only available light,

Alecska

natural if possible. I've worked on film sets where the DoP would fill a room with 4 brights lamps to get the desired result. Work that would take 2 hours to set up. I have the opposite process : I use what I have, I work with what's available. I've also been on film sets where a director would ask comedians to redo the same line up to 10 times. Again, not my process, but I have to admit that I've worked with very few actors so far, and even less text/dialogue. The characters in my Bluebird series are friends. I just capture who they are. I give directions only after I've seen something interesting that I want to explore, or I see a potential. The time of preparation varies with the project: a few days for Broken, a month for RIDE, a few hours or just minutes for Bluebird. Now that I start to write scripts, things may get different: my first short film screenplay took me 10 years of thinking/imagining, and 3 months of writing. Now let's focus on your production: I would like to start with the extremely interesting "Because I am broken" that our readers have started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest them to visit your website


A still from Because I'm Broken, 2014 video

directly at http://alecskafollowthestory.tumblr.com/films in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating film... in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration? People have referred to my visual style as poetic, so Nik and I thought that collaborating together, making a film out of poetry, would be a good match. We were right. “Because I am broken” is the second collaboration with him. The first one was Bluebird #6, that we made without meeting in person! While reading his poetry on his website, I felt touched by most of his work. “Because I am broken” was very special: I could relate to the words, and at the same time I had images coming to my mind while reading it. Such an inspiration gave me the kick to say “hey, let’s make a film out of it!” Nik was very thrilled to do another movie with me because he really liked the result of our first collaboration. Nik: I was really impressed with the work Alecska did on Bluebird 6. I had done as she asked and recorded my reaction to something without editing. I don’t normally work that way

and was out of my comfort zone but game. So when we talked about doing a film of a piece that I had done some work on, I was very excited. I have always wanted to do short films of my poems and love short films in general. If you are direct and sincere it doesn’t take long to say something powerful, like a poem. This video could be considered as series of epicleti, in the Joycian sense: while your video making is very minimalist, and you use warm colors , the overall feeling is extremely "natural". One of the feature of this work that has mostly impacted on me is the stunning balance between poetic tautness and clean lighting and framing in your video, reminding us of the early films by Tarkovskij... How did you develop your style? First, this is not the first time that my visual style is compared to Tarkowskij. Funny thing is: I never watched his movies! As mentionned above, my style looks very natural because i keep a very minimalist set and process. When you don’t have a budget to rent lights or props or location, you get creative with what’s available.


A still from Because I'm Broken, 2014 video

I developped my style out of my limitations. Let me explain: Some years ago, I was attending a conference by Regina Pessoa who was explaining how some artists choose a technique over another, in particular, one who wasn’t good at drawing made all his films with sand animation. Her message was: find your strenghts within your flaws. How I applied it to my creativity: the camera I was using in 2008 had some serious limitations for night photography. The colors were horrible due to a lot of noise (the digital grain): blue and red pixels in the dark areas. So I decided to remove the colors and started black & white. Shortly after, I met photographer Gaël Turpo on Flickr www.gaelturpo.com, who was showing a fantastic body of work with an astonishing style https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaeldiary/sets/7 2157594495514163/. He was also sharing his influences, that later became mine: Anders Petersen, Daido Moriyama, Michael Ackerman… to name just a few. I fell in love with their radical style, and I adopted it. A few years later, I was showing an exhibition print of one of my black and white pictures to a fellow photographer with 30 years experience. He asked me: “What kind of film did you use to get this result?” I was very proud to tell him

that it was all digital. I really enjoyed pushing the blacks and whites to the maximum, to get the “noise” looks like “grain”. Also, this highcontrasted style suits well my work: I use it to emphazise the emotion of a scene instead of its elements (persons, buildings or decor). Another influence from analog photography is cross-processing. Develop a roll in a darkroom is magic in itslef. But then when you crossprocess you exposed film, you get some more magic!

on set of JOATU crowdfunding video, photo by Christine Deita


A still from Because I'm Broken, 2014 video


A still from Because I'm Broken, 2014 video

I loved that and adopted this practice for the photographs I would keep in color. But don’t ask me how I choose which one will be in color and which one will be in black and white; I don’t know. I just try different settings. If I feel a punch in the heart, that means it’s a keeper. For “Because I am broken” , this is really just the natural light coming from the window, and the real colors. Direct from the camera, no grading. Anyway, I had the result I imagined when reading his words, so why would I change something?

on set of "RIDE", photo by Marika Dalpé

"Because I am broken" is the result of a collaboration with the American poet Nikolaus Tea: in general, we are absolutely fascinated with the cooperation that artists establish together, and it's clear that such collaborations today are an ever growing force in Art and that that most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between two artists? Nik and I were amazed at how easy it was to collaborate together. Our works are very much aligned in terms of personal values and objectives. Communication is always clear and sincere, even when we disagree. I don’t think we even discussed the movie.


A still from Because I'm Broken, 2014 video

We just met, I started my camera and he was his character. I barely had to give him directions. One morning to film (no second take). Two afternoons to edit. We discussed a lot between the 2 versions, we also asked some friends their feedback before choosing which version to release. We are proud of this film because it represents the work of both artists and the result of our collaborative experience. It could be ssen as a teaser to future films we’re planning to make together. Nik: I knew the feelings because I wrote it. I knew the mood and the timing. I also have interest in acting and have done a lot of live performance of my poetry. So I was very comfortable being in the film. I know that film is more intimate than the stage in some ways so the expression of emotion can be very subtle and complicated. Film may be the best medium for such an introspective piece. People want more energy in a live performance, but not everything I want to write is like that. I trust Alecska as a cinematographer and director so it was easy for me to just do what she asked.

I trusted her vision and the mood and imagery were so in line with what I had written that the shoot was very quick and easy. We shot the film in a couple hours. She said the editing went quickly as well. We talked it over and made a few miner changes and tried a second version. After a little time and gathering the reactions of trusted artist friends, it became obvious which to use. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you "work on the very core of what makes us alive, and how we deal with that. Contrasts, tensions, contradictions, passions. With each encounter, you explore souls and hearts". We highly appreciated the way this work is capable of establishing a presence and such an atmosphere of memories, using reminders of human existence... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? There is no way I can disconnect my personal


A still from Bluebird, #6, video 2013

All my movies are (and will be) a piece of my history.

for viewers/audience to get a glimpse in my world.

Even when the picture displays a building or a skyscape, it tells a lot about me (about my fascinations and fears, in these examples). Although I’m usually the only one to know those details. Viewers usually comments about how the picture makes them feel, what it reminds them.

Now that I am writing script and dialogues, I do consciously take the audience much more into consideration. Images give more room to imagination, interpretation. Whereas when writing a fiction, it’s much more complicated and subtle. For a character, a dialogue, I really have to put myself in the audience mind to make sure they will get what I mean. But this process is still new for me, I haven’t yet filmed one of my script.

During these years, your short films have been screened in several occasions, both in your country and in Europe: It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, encouraging him: do you think that an award -or even the expectation of positive feedbacks- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I produce for me, for my emotional pleasure/enjoyment, for the joy of creativity. As said earlier, I’m never sure what will be the result. When I display my work, I open a door

“Because I am broken” being a collaborative piece with two different medium, Nik and I asked feedback from selected people before releasing the video to the public. We had 2 versions, one with the inserts and one without. We asked them to give us comments and which version they prefered. We were glad that they mostly prefered the one we prefered! The purpose of doing art is to share with others. An award or any distinction is cherry on top of comments, feedback, applause… So far my videos didn’t make it to any festival. That won’t stop me from making more movies!


A still from Bluebird, #7, video 2013

Thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Alecska. Our last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? Nik and I are currently producing a short documentary about a small organization that helps feed people in need in Burlington, Vermont. We also are discussing about filming some other of his poems. on set of "RIDE", photo by Marika Dalpé

I recently finished writing the script of a short film that took very long because it’s a very personal piece and it’s my first screenplay. I’m also developping a story, a feature-length fiction, about 2 guys and their journey through loss and finding love again.

on set of "Il était une...", photo by Sasha Brunelle

And I have 3 new episodes of my Bluebird series waiting to be filmed. http://alecskafollowthestory.tumblr.com/bluebird


Ekaterina Craftsova and her installation SetUp at Nafasi Art Center in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, April 2013

Ekaterina Craftsova An Artist's Statement I am a multidisciplinary artist who mostly uses video and installations in socially engaged and site specific art practice. I explore how society and situation shape personal identity. I am interested in the nature of stereotypes and how they can be destroyed; in balance between public, private, and interpersonal communication. My works are based on reflections of my own experience and feelings or penetration into others’ private lives. The most important for me is to make honest and deep contact with people. Making a project I am trying to activate people involved for creative collaboration and let them to be co-authors. Communication is a tool in my works, and the goal, which I

would like to achieve is to create a situation for better understanding each other. I graduated as a graphic designer from Moscow University of Printing Arts and have been working as a Senior Designer for Foto&Video Magazine in Moscow for almost 5 years. The experience of collaboration work with an editorial team has instilled in me a sense of responsibility for what we offer to readers. My interest in photography has grown while working there and I have started making my own art projects. In 2010 I have got a grant for young artists and in 2011 was a resident of open laboratory of creating art for social change at the Uni-


A still from Carry Each Other (video; 09:20), a film about women-immigrants from Ukraine and South America in Italy

versity of Ideas of Michelangelo Pistoletto Foundation, Cittadellarte in Biella, Italy. This program had an influence on my subsequent practice. During last three years I have been travelling as an artist and made several community based projects, video works, installations, workshops for local communities in different countries. In Italy in 2011 I made a video about Ukrainian immigrants, women, who work as caretakers for elderly Italian people. Later in India I explored a women’s fate in rural Rajasthan and made a performance with local girls and a film Time Conservation. In 2012 during 2 months I worked in northern Norway in Sami commune, filmed several stories about classical and modern nomads I met there. Surprisingly I have found the matriarchy is still exist in that community. So that time again my interest was connected to sociology of gender and natural environment. Winter 2013 I supposed to spent in Tanzania doing research about children games related to the landscape, but faced that globalisation has changed even children’s approach in poor areas. That’s why my last art projects explore the idea of imperfection of capitalism and irresponsible waste of resources in a consumer society. Against current system of

consumerism was created a video project SALE for public space in collaboration with two other artists. We selected more than 20 video works from around the world and showed in Moscow during Public Art Festival and later in local market in Cambrige, UK. As an artist I would like to make my own contribution to the improvement of our society, to try to stop harmful actions like humiliation of the weak, to activate public for responsible transformation, to contribute in building a smart infrastructure of contemporary world.

Ekaterina Craftsova


An interview with

Ekaterina Craftsova Before starting to get in the matter of your artistic production, would you like to tell us if there are any experiences that have particularly informed you and that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? When I was four I spent a lot of time in a theater in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), watching classical ballet. I even had my favorite ballet dancer – Malica Sabirova. I think my love to moving images started there. I graduated as a graphic designer and have been working for several years as a designer for a photography magazine. While working there I started doing personal projects using photography. In 2010 after participation in a biennial for young art in Moscow I was awarded Scholarship for UNIDEE program at Michelangelo Pistoletto Foundation in Italy. The main idea of that program was using art for social change. During that residency I made my first documentary (in a way I do my work now); it was about Ukrainian women immigrated to Italy. In your statement about your work: I hope this film could be useful for people who also suffer from cancer — the disease of modern artificial life — and it will give all of us force to fight against this terrible disease and to make our life more connected with nature, as we are all a part of it. This statement is about my film MUM. I made it after 20 years passed from that time when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She survived but it was a real fight for her and one of the aims I had making this film is to show others that it is possible. It’s very important to keep believing and don’t give up even though everybody says that the party is over. Do you think that art could give any therapeutic effect? Both on the artist and especially on the viewer? No one really knows why my mother was so lucky,

Ekaterina Craftsova (photo by Kailash K Soni)

she has her own opinion about that and I wanted to give her a voice. Thus for her the process of making film definitely had a therapeutic effect as well as for me it did. Particularly, keeping in mind not an easy relationship between us, we could work together and it made us closer. A recurrent characteristic of many of your artworks is experience as starting point of artistic production: in your opinion, is experience an absolutely necessary part of creative process? I can only tell about myself, not about every artist. Making art for me is a way I explore the world and myself. Moreover I think this is not only a pure experience but also a work of imagination. Sometimes I am not sure which world is more real. In your work we can recognize a deep introspection: do you think art’s purpose is simply to provide a platform for an artist’s


A still from MUM (2012, video, 15:30)

expression? Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? In your opinion what role does the artist have in society? Certainly art plays an important role in society, as it deals with philosophy, ideology. This situation is not new, rock paintings and renaissance frescoes were not only decoration of the space. Nowadays art just has different forms, more variety, sometimes uses unusual for previous times materials. Good example how art influences society was a British pavilion on Venice biennial last year English Magic made by Jeremy Deller with cultural, socio-political and economic events from past, present and imagined future, enough to remember the impact of British rock music. Time Conservation (performance and video; 06:20), Rajasthan, India, 2011-2012


A still from Time Conservation (video; 06:20) , Rajasthan, India, 2011-2012


7

A still from A New Apartment Every Month (video-documentation of the performance;15.00), Norway, 2012 A project about irresponsible waste of resources in a consumer society. In northern Sami commune Karasjok there are only 2700 inhabitants, who are able to furniture a new apartment every month with old technical stuff, that they throw away to the garbage containers.


A still from The Beauty (2013, video, 05:10)

A still from The Beauty (2013, video, 05:10)

We have been really impressed with your video "The beauty", we have found that its simple slow motion technique is more than an effect: could you introduce our readers to this video? Thank you for your words. This video piece is about beauty and being in love. When every movement of a person you are in love with is spellbinding and doesn’t matter at all what she is speaking about. However the beauty and being in love is so temporary and disappears after time and in the video destruction made using a bad signal via Skype helped me to show this idea. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us, what's next for Katya? what are your next projects? This month I was a witness of so called annexation of Crimea by Russia and almost unanimous residents vote for joining Russia. I lived in Sevastopol since I was 9 till I moved to Moscow to study at Art School; I still have a family and friends there. I remember how Crimea became to be Ukrainian after 1991 and know how many problems it gave to Russian-speaking residents of Crimea and to me as well. I feel current situation very personal and painful. Conflict in Crimea and especially information warfare launched by media divided people in two different sides, even members of one family or former friends became to be enemies. I am worried about my homeland and feel an inner need to make a film from inside this conflict. At the end I would like to say thank you for appreciating my work and giving me a chance to tell about it.

A still from The Beauty (2013, video, 05:10)


A still from Hakuna Matata (video; 29:30), Tanzania, 2013 Animated part of the video was made along with local Frank Joseph Ngowi, who assisted artist in making city vehicles.


A still from Entschuldigung

Jennifer Revit The movies I create are composed of personal experiences, found footage and photography captured on a typical digital camera. The result may be considered a combination of homemovie, travelogue and the choreography of movement and of sound. In my work I embrace the uncanny, the unexpected, happenstance and unintentional imagery. The purpose of these movies is to create an alternative experience through the documentation of spaces, places and events familiar and discovered, spectacular and quiet, without committing to a linear allegory. While capturing my experiences I examine the link between home movies and of documentation in its formal

aspect deeply connected within personal narrative of memory and its relation to universal emotions in varying degrees. Sentiment, such as longing, broken romanticism, and the suspension of reality, I embrace as an aspect germane to my medium. The shots are spontaneous and immediate. They move and shift from my sole journey to the collective experience, from the familiarity of storytelling narrative to the abstract. Captured moments are more important to me than maintaining continuity with lighting or trying to achieve aesthetically pleasing imagery. I welcome moments captured completely by mistake and imagery created by accident.


A still from Entschuldigung

In the final editing process the spontaneity of sound and memory determines the choreography of the sentiment. Identifying these experiences results in a reconsideration that emulates the atmosphere by combining random juxtaposed sound and imagery with that which is carefully spliced and manipulated with attention to detail. In some cases the length of the shot may determine its placement and other times it is the look or the sound. The process is often concurrently arbitrary, playful, concise and focused. Entschuldigung is composed of footage both found and gathered in Berlin. Much of my experience in the city was captured while riding a bicycle through its streets, along the canals and through the parks. Rather than editing the movie chronologically, I decided to create a montage moving from day to night, essentially

making a movie that could be considered a day in Berlin. In my work I recognize that for many people media has become a substitute for experience and is considered a viable means for cultivating belief systems. Individuals gather information and formulate opinions based entirely on vicarious information rendering experience obsolete. In my own experience, I have convinced myself that a recollection has been cultivated through active participation when in reality, a photograph, and perhaps a story accompanying the picture, are the source of the memory. Can sharing experience be a justified means to development? What then, is real? What is manufactured? Jennifer Revit www.jenniferrevit.com


An interview with

Jennifer Revit Travelling is a not only a source of inspiration for you, but a fundamental aspect of your art practise. Could you introduce our readers to this fascinating concept? My work explores the notion of creating systems based on actual experience versus being cultivated vicariously through other media such as journalism, digital communication and oral traditions. I am an explorer by nature, someone who is curious about places both known and unfamiliar. At a certain point I realized that seeking out the unknown was unusual. In fact, since I started documenting my experiences and relaying them digitally, the act of gathering information through secondary sources, rather than relying on memory or stills of the experience, has increased dramatically. Capturing my perspective of a place or situation digitally is so different than the mind’s inherent inclination to edit. Rendering “experience” electronically and later working on it is both a natural and unnatural intrigue and this process changes it’s meaning entirely. The viewer may see the travel involved, in addition to my editing process of layering sound and reinterpreting the experience, through the medium of video. Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of Entschuldigung, or simply an epiphany, a sudden illumination? Berlin was a much different city my first visit there in 1992. By the time my friends and I planned to sublet a flat for several days in 2008, it had garnered a reputation for being a vivaciously creative yet affordable city. Berlin had also become a likely location for New Yorkers, such as ourselves, to relocate for opportunity, lifestyle and costs. So, in September of 2008 I revisited Berlin to see how the city had changed. I chose to spend my days gathering information with the spontaneity integral to my practice. Admittedly, it wasn't until my outings were taken on a rented bicycle that I felt the energy and potential of Berlin. This is when I felt inspired to capture my experience.

Jennifer Revit

Since that trip I have spent more time getting to know Berlin and a few years ago I chose to spend a month there to better understand the city while concurrently working on Entschuldigung. This was my third trip to Berlin in as many years so I felt comfortable and familiar enough to spend my month there living more like a Berliner and less like a tourist. Working in my temporary studio in Neukölln and revisiting the city through my earlier documentation made me realize how much of the cultural and natural sites of the city I had exhausted as a visitor in 2008. The observation and recreation of the travel industry is germane to my work, I'm drawn to the familiarity generally sought by tourism. I intentionally choose to spend time familiarizing myself with places, much like a tourist, yet seen through the lens of my medium. This approach is seen in the footage used to create Entshuldigung along with the surprises that often pop up in foreign situations such as learning that Berliners have an affection for ping pong and the amazing abandoned amusement park seen through the trees near the River Spree’s footpath.


A still from Entschuldigung

We have found that movement under many aspects, has a huge important in your art vision. Entschuldigung was inspired by cycling in Berlin, and more in general, your art seems to focus on the kinetic nature of things. Could you better explain what you define "the choreography of the sentiment"? Movement and the kinetic nature of things inspire me as an artist and as a person. To translate the energy found in these aspects of my work I rely heavily on sound and editing. My intention is to provoke atmosphere through sound and footage. The relationship of the created atmosphere to the original experience is not necessarily connected; this is the unusual and unique egress of my work. Editing is performed in an environment removed from where the footage is shot. Evoking a sense of place occurs through digital manipulation and

the concise application of audio. The sound, which I believe is essential, ultimately determines the atmosphere. The marriage of the visual and audio determines the choreography of my final piece. Entschuldigung suggests us an idea a fluid vision of memory, continuosly reshaping itself through visual media. Can you explore this aspect of your art? Memory and experience are manipulated by interpretation whether it’s through the brain’s reference and the passage of time or a glossy photograph. I recognize that memory can be a figment of imagination, a subjective recollection of experience, and not necessarily an actual event, place, person or thing. The power of media, visual and audio, convincingly motivates the development of ideas.


A still from Entschuldigung

As individuals we've been programmed to accept “ information systems� as reality. These realities inevitably change as the media delivering them changes. Much like the old game of telephone where a word is whispered from ear to ear, the end result is nothing like the original. My reality is not the reality of any other person. Additionally, I have interpreted experiences through digital means; I am delivering a memory that has been fundamentally manipulated. I've often questioned what is touted as real, or truth, and I hope my work inspires these questions from my viewers. More than 50 years have passed since the International "Situationist" pamphlet by Guy Debord: the manipulation of mainstream moving-images had a remarkable political aim for the French philosopher, while nowadays artists seem to be attracted

by found footage manipulation in order to explore deep psychological issues, whether the footage has a "private" source (old super8 home movies) or not (fragments from mainstream films). In your works, you success in mixing these two aspects, creating a sort of "micropolitics of desire". How do you achieve this effect? My instinct is to refer to common belief systems. Found footage, visual references and literature have all played a role in further provoking "the choreography of the sentiment", the atmosphere I intend to provoke through my work. In answering the question I would have to acknowledge that my work manipulates the viewer through the use of found and personally acquired footage. I may be boring my audience without a little help from old and mysterious friends while concurrently recognizing their original intent. I choose still and moving images that have been


A still from Entschuldigung

ignited through media as a "universal" reference for the viewer. Perhaps I'm simply offering my audience an opportunity to pat themselves on the back? Or, maybe it's a personal discomfort with my own means of communication, a fear not to impose an overbearing personal agenda? In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer? Yes, I do! Living in Los Angeles I am amazed at how difficult it is for me to see films in a theater that are not produced as mainstream, big budget movies. Of course this is because the movie industry's intentions are not the same as those of a Video Artist. Sure, we'd all like to make money off of our creative endeavors but finance should not be what motivates art,

idealistic but true. There are some filmmakers who have backgrounds in art and those who create movies that feel like art but only a few exceptions seem to be recognized by the general public. Even fewer of these examples are successful as both art and film. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and times with us, Jennifer. What are your next projects? I'm concurrently developing a piece that considers the insurgence of tourism in Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam, in light of the United State's strained history with the region. After considering your thoughtful questions and revisiting Entshuldigung, I'm feeling inspired to review the footage from my last trip to Berlin so there may be "sequel" coming soon!


A still from The Individuals Pursuit

Sandra Fruebing The €Individual’s €Pursuit €by €Sandra €Fruebing

The Individual’s Pursuit by Sandra Fruebing is the creation of a narrative based on a character whose quest is to inhabit an in-between space as an exploration of borders and boundaries. The personal desire to walk along the edge of water and earth, where both elements meet, is becoming a strong desire €– almost an obsession. Specially designed apparatus and physical training exercises will be employed in an attempt to fulfill the desire. The project challenges our perception of what is accepted as normal and questions common sense. It looks at how borders in a physical and philosophical way create our definition of identity and reality.

the relationship between individual belief and society will be explored as well as the longing for a creation of a personal space where one is almost attempting to disconnect oneself from reality and therefore add another layer to the “real real”.

Within the process of creating the storytelling around this rather odd quest the questions of

On the other hand the inhabitation of new spaces plays a key role.

Partly it is about questioning common sense all the time and designing the moment of unlocking normality as well as trigger situation in which you explore the in-between. On the one hand I investigate into the relationship between the individual and society to see how one person is still able to fulfill what he or she is aiming for.


A still from The Individuals Pursuit

Looking at examples of exploration in all their variety (climbing, artic exploration, space travel) I wonder where the culture of exploration will take us. Basically, we are creating very specialized Super–Humans and skills. “One characteristic of Western Society is to develop systems, which run perfectly for everybody. But with the elimination of failure will there be a place for the odds? Will there be the ambition to go beyond what is here? Will this still be possible or will the individual investigation be destroyed?” (quote from the voice over) Or will we interpret everything as grey zones and use it in odd ways? How much standardization is good and not stopping us from going further and challenge reality? Sometimes it is necessary to create space for individuality, to find the possibility to set yourself aside the normal and not be normal. It is about defining yourself

through a search that is driven by your own quest. The narration of the film follows the individual in its preparation for the walk at various stages. The training of one leg to become stronger, the training for a possible failure, the rearrangement of the bedroom for training purposes – are all layers that are woven together to create the reality of the character but also discuss wider themes like failure and what does it mean to fail? As a designer I do not just look at the in-between or one individual’s desire, I also design and craft the culture around it as carefully.

Sandra Fruebing


An interview with

Sandra Fruebing How did you come up with the idea for The Individual's Pursuit? The idea originates from an earlier project I was working on. I looked at in-between spaces and thresholds with the project ‘Explore Space’. Back then I developed a range of walking devices that would allow me to navigate a number of architectural thresholds that otherwise would stay unexplored. You are encouraged to take over a new space and push your body to a different level of experience and finally see your closer environment from an alternative point of view. At this point I was experimenting a lot with the devices that seem naturally awkward and would get a lot of attention and silly comments by the audience. However it was a good testing ground to create conversation. On the one side I was questioning the way our daily routines in public spaces are scripted. We are so used to how we do things that we stopped reconsidering systems that run perfectly. Byung-Chul Han a philosopher wrote in one of his critical essays, that contemporary society tries to make every system run perfectly for everyone. What we forget is that once this happens there is no space for peeks and low points, as everything seems to be smooth. With this approach we also cut out any development. We need the experiment to be able to have innovation and this includes to constantly be requestioning the way we do things. Later in the process I decided to continue with these experiments and make one device that works fully. My decision was to walk in-between land and water. I started a journey to look at thresholds and boarders philosophically and practically. What does €it €mean €to €be €in €two €places €at €the €same time or to be in a place that doesn’t really have characteristics. The Individual’s Pursuit is ultimately the creation of a narrative based on a character whose quest is to inhabit an in-between space as an exploration of what is beyond the obvious.

Sandra Fruebing

To walk along the edge of water and earth, where both elements meet, is becoming a strong desire. The whole project evolves in layers. Of course first there is the specially designed apparatus and its uncountable prototypes. To be able to use the various boat-shoes I had to train my legs and my balance which then led me to the thought of failure and that I eventually fall. So I also started training for that. The story of the Individual’s Pursuit challenges common sense and discusses the idea of the in-between space and borders. This rather odd quest looks at the relationship between the individual belief and society as well as the longing for a creation of a personal space where one is almost attempting to disconnect oneself from reality and therefore add another layer to reality. The concept of walk is essential in your video: it reminds us of the words by Gilles Deleuze in his famous essay "L'imagemouvement", where he analyzes this concept referring to the practise of "walking" in the films of the Nouvelle Vague and even in the Italian Neorealism. Could you introduce our readers to this concept?

Yes that is true basically the whole film is about walking and movement. During the process I was very influenced by exploration.


A still from The Individuals Pursuit

Maybe it is not necessarily the walking, which describes the theme but movement and personal motivations in general. Deleuze says, “Figures are not described in motion; rather, the continuity of movement describes the figure”.

of views in the Nouvelle Vague. Obviously I vary between the camera showing exactly what the eyes of the character are seeing to being a far away observer or a spectator zooming in as much as possible with the camera and the character in movement.

There is the famous Traffic Jam Sequence in Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard where the camera follows the couple in one long moving shot throughout the scene. It is like following me for a certain amount of time in one unedited shoot along the edge and having the movement of the camera and myself in the performance, both describe movement.

Boundaries and borders are treated in your work not according a metaphoric vision, but a sort of metonymic approach envolving the nature itself of cinema: a rare reflection upon the concept of the space, and even about the cinematographic concept itself of "frame", which can reveal itself as infinite or claustrophobic. Could you explain this important aspect of your filmmaking?

Furthermore Deleuze also mentions that frame and shot are not completely closed entities as the things that are outside of the frame as well define them. In the same way the out-of-frame traffic €jam €is €part €of €the €scene, €in €the €same way €the audience that reacts and interacts with me during the walk is part of it. I think there are different aspects in my film that can be linked with his philosophy and the way the camera is used to describe movement and different point

The way I looked at borders and boundaries is very personal. As I explained earlier the project originates from various small experiments with some sort of shoe-contraption to walk somewhere else and push boundaries of what is possible. In order for me to understand the whole thematic I looked at what both words are and what do they stand for. You are right if you say that I didn’t look for metaphors.


A still from The Individuals Pursuit

I dealt with the subject sometimes very practically and intuitively as well. I looked at the environment at what it is and how we use it. The way I used the concept of “frames” in the film is really about what I felt I want to express and show. I didn’t approach it in a way that I thought I need more close ups. For instance in the scene where I perform at the lake and my friend pushes me in. There is a range of different frames. The rigor and determination as well as the pain I thought is best to show with a close up of my face and its exhaustion. I think what was important for me that I sometimes could show the characters view, look through its eyes, be inside the mind and then switch to a very distant spectator zooming in and out to what is happening when performing in a public space. The aesthetic language of being far away and then being very close again is also part of the analysis. On the one hand I treat the subject as something very open sometimes hard to grasp and in the next moment I realized all the borders and boundaries I encountered in my personal life already.

Artists are often asked about the inspiration for their work...what's the influence of artists from the older generation on your videomaking? That is hard to say also as my background is not in filmmaking and I just started working in recent years with film. I think a film that accompanies me is “Sans Soleil” by Chris Mar-ker. Also through this film I was introduced to the genre of the cinematic essay. I really like the films by Bas Jan Ader. Sometimes it also can be a photograph that inspires me in an emotion I want to capture and then I just try to see how I could translate the image language into a moving image. I guess for me it is not only the video making, which is influenced by other artist, but also the whole process that gets supported by looking at philosophy and political imagery. In that sense Ant Farm is an interesting artist group I look at often. Also like Bas Jan Ader they used the video to capture and event, which also is a liveperformance.


A still from The Individuals Pursuit

So there is that interesting intersection of the life performance as an outcome of a project but also the captured imagery that represents the project or lifts it to a different level and you can change the perception people have. In your statement, you say "As a designer I do not just look at the in- between or one individual’s desire, I also design and craft the culture around it as carefully". It could be considered the core of your project. Would you better explain this sentence? The core theme of the story is the exploration of borders and boundaries. But to look at the subject from a variety of angles I have to look at the culture around the main character in the film that tries to walk along the edge of water and solid ground relocating oneself. This means that one has to undergo certain muscle training, improve your balance, deal with the possibility of falling into water, and explore what it means to endeavor to do something no one else will understand, as it seems so abstruse. It is the whole process of how I crafted the story. To

better understand personal ambition I was reading so many mountaineering and exploration books. With that comes again a whole use of language, which is very seductive. I was contacting institutes for extreme environment adaption and illnesses, talking to a stuntman about how to train for a perfect fall and then meet a personal trainer to analyze the muscle movement to take all the knowledge and interview a philosopher about the relationship of success and failing in life. The story of ‘The Individual’s Pursuit’ has so many little layers and is informed by so much research that each aspect could become a separate project as well. If you look at it very limited there is a character walking along a threshold, but that is not everything, because the story also analyses the relationship of individual ambition and its relationship to society and our culture. Your daily experience seems to be very important for your artist practise and think-


ing...we find that you videomaking has also a performative touch. Do you agree with this vision? Yes that is definitely true! There are two sides to my work. On the one hand there are the live performance parts. They are important for me as I get direct feedback. Also I personally find it important to testsituations myself, to be in€ them,€ for instance fall€ into water instance fall into water in front of a public audience. But this also gives me a feeling of the whole situation. The life performance is testing in daily life with daily situations, comparing or confronting myself with different opinions and that definitely influences how I will continue with a certain project. It is about the direct feedback and interaction with the audience. It is much more provocative and active. You are presenting to a completely different audience in life performances than to the one who watches the video in a venue. For me both processes are important. The documentation is an analysis of the live performance and can take it to another level or develop the next step. In my work the life performance is like practical research and the documented work like theoretical analysis. Thanks for sharing your projects and time with us, Sandra. What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind? One of the interesting facts I found during the project was the relationship between falling and failing. I am just partly looking at how artists in the 60’s already dealt with the subject. There is an immense range of projects. But I am also interested in how various falling scenes in films like Snow White or North by NorthWest teach us about culture. I developed a workshop where I teach the public how to fall like Snow White. It sounds rather silly however it is also a way to critically accelerate a conversation about gender images when you teach a boy how to fall like a princess. I think a range of different performances will follow as well with the documentation in film.

A still from The Individuals Pursuit


Scott F. Hall and Freya Strata (Fleeting Memories), a pixilation video with stereo sound created by Scott F. Hall and Freya Gustava, explores complex and layered modes through which humans interact with individual and collective memory. A solitary female figure stands inside and around the famous, classicizing Penshaw monument where she variously interacts with a free standing mirror: aesthetic shorthand for the concept of memory. The mirror suddenly appears and disappears in certain frames, changes location around the young woman, chases her, or is

chased by her. Their interaction metaphorizes memory as more than desire: memories can haunt, they spring to the surface of the mind uninvited, and they persist when pushed away. A second layer of this interaction reveals that the woman's pursuit of the mirror is simultaneously performed by the viewer. As the mirror constantly shifts in relation to *her*, so *she* continuously changes position in respect to the viewer. This parallel perspective offers a twofold meditation on the nature of memory:


another enactment of memory: the Victorians' idealized reminiscence of ancient Greece. In those frames that neither the woman nor the mirror appears, the viewer finds herself gazing out from inside the monument, trapped by its dizzying height and classical nostalgia. While momentarily allowed to escape the Penshaw by following the young woman's brief exit into the surrounding countryside, we eventually return in its grand shadow; to the defining and sometimes oppressive heritage of antiquity in the western mind. Finally, the video self-consciously alludes to the state of the art: shot alternatively in black and white and color, it offers flashes of earlier photographic techniques and hence another stratum of memory. Far from an afterthought, the aesthetic leap from present to past photography and vice versa haunts the entire video and enhances its multifaceted meditation on memory.

Eleni Manolaraki. Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics, University of South Florida

A still from Strata (Fleeting Memories), 2012, video with stereo sound, 2 minutes 56 seconds duration

Gustava whether pursuing or pursued, present or absent, the mirror offers only a partial and distorted reflection of the young woman who alternatively rejects and embraces it. At the same time, the young woman offers the viewer only a distorted and fleeting image of her physical beauty, becoming herself the viewer's elusive "mirror" of memory. The intangible nature of memory operates on a third layer uncovered by focusing on the location itself. The Penshaw monument, an aggrandizing salute to classical Greek temples, performs


An interview with

Jennifer Revit "Strata (Fleeting Memories)" is a complex and astonishing video by Scott F. Hall and Freya Gustava. We have been really impressed by the balance they have struck in this work between a classical sensibility and a futuristic vision. Could you introduce our readers to this work? Scott F. Hall & Freya Gustava: “Strata…” is a video shot frame-by-frame during a foggy, cold morning in July; we shot it on top of a very tall, spooky hill in Houghton-le-Spring, England. The hill holds a monument on top: a 170 year old stone “folly” replica of the Athenian Greek Temple of Hephaestus, the most intact ancient temple which still exists in Greece today.

This hill is also home to the legendary Lambton Worm, a huge medieval snake monster which Bram Stoker featured in his 1911 novel “Lair of the White Worm” and also, which Ken Russell featured in his late 1980s cult classic film by the same name. Our initial desire was to shoot Freya in still images as the female subject wandering in and around that ominous architecture on top of this most scenic English hill. We realized, of course, that combining all of the above heavily loaded elements could potentially create a powerful spectacle. Audio holds huge importance in your works. The use of soundtrack bears not only a diegethical aim, but also tends to sabotage common perceptual mechanisms as seen in the films of French director Alain-Robbe Grillet. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your filmmaking? Scott F. Hall & Freya Gustava: The soundtracks in our videos are audibly abstract and visionary; these sounds are intended to conjure additional imagery up in the minds of the audience which can compliment and compound upon the realist images seen on screen (photographs of Freya in a real world setting).

Our soundtracks are synthetically composed through instruments and effects; they do not derive in any direct way from the locations in which we shoot visuals. Since Freya is presented centrally and alone in our videos, the audience

Scott F. Hall and Freya Gustava

decides that the soundtrack must be revealing her internal emotional experience: a felt dialo-gue of these moments of her life here presented. The whole spectacle is odd and mysterious, coming from and proceeding to nowhere in particular. We find very successful in your work your quotation of the image of the Penshaw Monument. It is very difficult for contemporary artists to quote the classical age, however. Sometimes this kind of research is not simply an attitude to quotation: it could give astonishing results; just think of Romeo Castellucci's incredible works, which are rich of quotation from Italian paintings... Scott F. Hall & Freya Gustava: Thank you. That association is a high compliment indeed.


echoes certain pale, raven-haired female archetype characters: “vamps” in paintings by Edvard Munch, early silent film actresses, certain strongyet-endangered mid-twentieth century female pop culture stars, and late-twentieth century goth and industrial rock stars. Your video is not conceived using a metaphoric approach, but came about by adopting performative research. Could you describe the process, or the method you have used, for this work? Scott F. Hall & Freya Gustava: When creating work, we engage in a process that is initially subconscious, thoughtless, and automatic; this is the case for the making of both the soundtrack and the imagery which ultimately comprises one of our finished videos. Further, the sonic and visual elements are borne of completely separate experiences of making; the sound and imagery being conjoined months later than their individual days of conception. What is the root of our thoughtless making? We believe wholeheartedly in the ancient notion of externalized “gift”: that we are first and foremost channels tuned to receive and to transmit an intangible… something. In making sound and image, we place the making of “object” entirely ahead of our own comprehension and delivery of the “idea” which the finished work will ultimately convey. We wake up in the morning and we spontaneously play, manipulate, layer, effect, and archive sounds. If it feels like a day to create images, then we travel to a location instantly thought of.

We find that your art is rich with references. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? Scott F. Hall & Freya Gustava: As stated in our prior response above, we choose our locations with an eye toward their potential to produce spectacle. Therefore, it can be said that we are taking strong influence from the history and experience which is built into a chosen place, the people associated with it, and other creative works which have derived from that place. In the case of “Strata…”, these influences range from ancient Greece to English medieval folklore to Stoker’s novel and Russell’s cult film. Also, Freya herself conveys a striking and beautiful visage so strong in contrast; she no doubt


A still from Strata (Fleeting Memories), 2012, video with stereo sound, 2 minutes 56 seconds duration

We arrive there and begin shooting still images one-by-one for hours. We move, we wander, we observe and capture the location in dramatic wide-angle. Centered in the view as subject is always: Freya. As we work, concepts held in mind are only considered vaguely: sensations of time, age, beauty, grandeur, history, solitude, and space. When this initial acquisition of visual and auditory footage is done, then the work moves into weeks and months of processing. This work is much more deliberately pursued: more mundane, repetitious, and laborious work of mastering images and sounds, compiling, and finishing the piece is accomplished. At this

point, we begin to make very conscious choices and soon, the merging images and sounds begin to speak to us conceptually. Ideas coalesce as we look at and listen to the developing work. Next, we come up with a title and the germ of an idea: the concept. We show the images and sounds to others as a means of considering third party readings; Eleni Manolaraki, another recent video collaborator, has been particularly helpful to us in seeing the meaning within our pieces. Finally, months after that first day of spontaneous making, the finished work stands as the audiovisual conclusion of our shared creative experience of spontaneous subcon-scious delving.


Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us. What's next for you? Have you a particular collaboration in mind? Scott F. Hall & Freya Gustava: We don’t know exactly why, but we have two ideas in mind. The first is to get together in a dense northern forest in England for a still image shoot. Step-by-step and frame-by-frame, Freya will be chased around trees in the forest. It’s her vision, her idea. Second, we’re going to meet up in Edinburgh, Scotland, to wander around; to discover what it holds. Neither of us know at this point exactly why…and that’s just fine.


A still from Enchanted Dream (2012), video, 3:10

Sophia Lee Enchanted Dream (2012), video, 3:10

(thomasczarnecki.com/from-enchantmentto-down.html).

This project focused on ‘Speaking the Truth’ that ‘There is no such thing as a Prince Charming in the world’. Therefore, I explored about the topic; I found interesting imagery from the online research. It was the photography collection by Thomas Czarnecki who is French photographer. His photography provided beautiful imagery with twisted of fairy tales in his collection ‘From Enchantment to Down’. Therefore, I was inspired by Disney's Cinderella and Thomas Czarnecki's 'From Enchantment to Down' collection

However, ‘Believing in Prince Charming’ is universal human truth. Many women today are still waiting and looking for something external to transform their lives. Many fairy tales and Disney princess series created gender stereotype. In earnest, Disney’s Cinderella (1950) started to develop the idea and imagery of Prince Charming. Therefore, men automatically earned the aggressive roles because of responsibility to protect women. In other hands, women naturally gained the passive roles in the society.


A still from Enchanted Dream (2012), video, 3:10

‘Cinderella Syndrome/Complex’ is that women who do not rise self-reliant themselves are just expecting for their princes who reconstruct their lives. Women who have this syndrome/complex are relying on men and stability. Also, it refers to the psychological dependence that women desire to be protected by men. However, I personally ‘Expecting for Prince Charming’ is devastated entire life circumstance to women. Cinderella Syndrome is just a midsummer night’s dream. It is just following the vain desires. Women crave to have equality with men in the society. They can stand up straight by themselves without men’s support. Women are not willing to be passive anymore. Women should recognize that there is no Prince Charming in this world; the Prince Charming does not exist. Women receive

their position by themselves. Women need to independent from men. Be Joan of Arc, not Cinderella.

Sophia Lee


An interview with

Sophia Lee "Be Joan of Arc, not Cinderella." The social effort of your words is linked to your powerful visionary imaginery. The influence of women in the history of art has been marginalized for centuries, and even when great personalities of the last century like Frida Kahlo have gained attention on the contemporary art scene only in the last decades. In Enchanted Dream you do not simply analize the Cinderella complex, but use this psychological note as a tool to recreate a colorful scenario: we daresay that showing your sensibility itself is a "polical act". Can you introduce our readers to this aspect of your art practise? I wanted to tell the truth via “Enchanted Dream” so I explored about the stereotype. I recognized that gender stereotype matters to current generation. Therefore, feminism and gender equality movements are still arising in this century, includes history of art. The supporters of feminism and gender equality rapidly increase in the current decades. Consequently, I paid attention to compare Joan of Arc who is active female icon and Cinderella who is one of passive female icon: contrast. Social engagement of media is important to the visionary images. If artists do not provide crystal clear imagery to audience, people should not awareness of the subject. Artists have their rights to explain the ideas to the viewers. However, the audience also has different reflexion each person; therefore, I planned to converse the idea of visual clarification. A colorful scenario was directly specifying the word, “Enchanted”. Anyway, I placed many symbols in my project but the analysis is aware of viewers. I desired to support the audience to investigate their own. I provided plenty of chance to the audiences to define with my project. People would assert diverse approaches. The audience’s interpretation should their own definition of truth about my project. The viewers’ beliefs were not change; thinking about the truth is essential point.

Sophia Lee

To walk along the edge of water and earth, where both elements meet, is becoming a strong desire. The whole project evolves in layers. Of course first there is the specially designed apparatus and its uncountable prototypes. To be able to use the various boat-shoes I had to train my legs and my balance which then led me to the thought of failure and that I eventually fall. So I also started training for that. The story of the Individual’s Pursuit challenges common sense and discusses the idea of the in-between space and borders. This rather odd quest looks at the relationship between the individual belief and society as well as the longing for a creation of a personal space where one is almost attempting to disconnect oneself from reality and therefore add another layer to reality. The concept of walk is essential in your video: it reminds us of the words by Gilles Deleuze in his famous essay "L'imagemouvement", where he analyzes this concept referring to the practise of "walking" in the films of the Nouvelle Vague and even in the Italian Neorealism. Could you introduce our readers to this concept?

Yes that is true basically the whole film is about walking and movement. During the process I was very influenced by exploration. Your work has been inspired by Thomas Czarnecki's 'From Enchantment to Down': when did you get in contact with his work for the first time? When I researched about gender stereotypes, I


A still from Enchanted Dream (2012), video, 3:10

found the interesting article about the women’s roles in the household. In the article, a woman who dressed Snow White’s costume is holding and taking care of the babies; a man who wore Prince Charming’s costume is sitting on a couch next to Snow White. I realized many fairytales create many gender stereotype; after that, I focused on the imagery of fairytales. Accordingly, I spotted to Thomas Czarnecki’s ‘From Enchantment to Down’ on the web. Thomas Czarnecki’s satire pictures contributed powerful visual information to me. Apart from Thomas Czarnecki's influence, could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this project, or simply an epiphany, a sudden illumination? The footage layer that swing a pair of shoes was not in my intention; I abruptly add the scene. I usually observe the sky many times, especially sunset. When I watched the golden sunset, this color should suffice the balance of the tone in my project. Therefore, I suddenly grabbed my shoes and swing that in front of camera.

In Enchanted Dream we can recognize a simple at the same time masterly work of editing and shooting, despite of the low-fi technology used. How did developed your style? “Simple is the best”. I arrange with simple and quick scenes for propulsion of working progress, considering my editing session. I mostly spend many times to the editing my project. I am usually creating dreamy atmosphere because it is infinite impression. Anyway, dream does not provide clear image but it brings the energetic colors. Also, I am writing my dream journal about the story but I mostly write down the color/tone of my dream. My inspiration occurs from dream and based on the imagery, I work with After Effects in reality. I believe that my process is coexistence of living in both dream and reality. Now we wonder if you would like to answer


to our clichÊ question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? I enjoy to usage of various colors, layers and symbolism. Especially, I am entertained to play with colors. I am satisfying to diversity of colors. Changing hue/saturation dominates the tone and atmosphere of my work. Your daily experience is very important for your artist practise and thinking: could you explain this aspect? My daily routine is observing environment that around me, mostly. Also, I am passionating to write dream journal and listen to any kind of music. Furthermore, those activities keep me inspiration. Also, watching other artists’ works encou-rage me to brainstorm about future project. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us, Sophia. What are your upcoming projects? My pleasure. I am appreciated to provide this great opportunity to me. I am thinking about my pervious and future works during answer this questions. Thanks again. I am currently planning to create a meditation project. I am still storyboarding about this project; any-way, I am going to arrange with landscape/environment footages.

A still from Enchanted Dream (2012), video, 3:10


Butcher Rules

A still from Slide

Valentina Schulte Valentina Schulte is a Sydney based artist focusing on photography, video and sound experiments and small artist books. Her continuing interest in the arts has led her through the Southern Sydney Art School and later to the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 2008. Coming from a fine are and photography background, she explores and makes works on and about the landscape, creating works that are about both the natural and urban environment indiscriminately. Endeavouring to make works that are about acknowledging our place within the landscape, that it is an extension of ourselves and in-turn moulds our own sense of place, rather than creating work about isolation or a kind of emptiness synonymous with vast open landscapes. In recent creative experiments, Schulte has expanded on these theories by focusing on just the landscape and using the horizon line as an abstract point of reference. Breaking the image down to simple shapes, lines and colours. Sometimes inverting or

subverting the image and on occasion combining them with video and soundscapes that are recorded Foley at the location of filming. These elements combined create landscapes that seem alien and unfamiliar but are never too far from home. Activating these scenes with my own interpretation of what the landscape has to offer, whether it is a mountain or a forest. Schulteʼs work has been shown in various galleries and Artist Run Spaces in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra as well as regional galleries in New South Wales and Victoria. Her first international solo show saw her exhibit works at Galleri Van Bau in Vestfossen Norway in 2007. Running inline with solo projects Schulte co-founded International Noise a Sydney based artist run initiative where artists strive to take works outside the ‘white cube box’ construct. Exhibitions have included Copy Cats paste-ups at various public locations around Sydney, the 9 x 5″ Mobile Gallery Truck Show and the Uncontainable Project at Sydney Universities Verge Festival in 2011.


An interview with

Valentina Schulte In your work Proximate Cause the concept of space is essential: it could be easily considered a reflection upon the nature of the cinematography itself. Editing aims to create a geometry, an illusion of space, but this space is always relative and not absolute, could you introduce our readers to this video? Proximate Cause is an exploration of our existence within the universe - a reminder as while we live on our planet earth we are also part of a bigger machine of interstellar forces at constant play. At this very moment, the entire human race is moving at approximately 100,000 kilometres per hour in orbit around the Sun. It would seem like an incomprehensible speed to most, yet in comparison to the ‘progress despite all odds’ pace of the everyday modern condition, this immense velocity pales into insignificance. As our modern lifestyle continues to urge us onward, faster and faster, we as humans are finding it harder to stop and remember that we are indeed part of the natural world and are subject to all that nature has to offer us. The best way I thought to demonstrate this would be to create a dual screen within a screen. I wanted the viewer of this video to be aware simultaneously of up and down or the landscape and of the sky. Proximate Cause looks outward and inward simultaneously; Inward, the visual footage is of the Earth, our home. It is small and safe, nestled in the perfect position in which to sustain life for all creatures who inhabit it. Outward, the clouds passing by and out to space where the abstract audio, reminiscent of an earthly breeze, is a sound recording obtained by the spacecraft Voyager I’s plasma wave receiver instrument, originating from the edge of our Solar System in an area known as the Heliopause. In comparison, the Earth is a tiny, almost insignificant element in this large, seemingly infinite universe; the utter totality of existence that may be larger than our species may ever be able to comprehend. And although the wind in our own sky and the solar wind are not of the same origin, just as the forest sways in our breeze he-

Valentina Schulte (photo by Jasmine Poole)

re on earth, the solar system also sways in its own gentle motion of energy, reminding us of our own relative insignificance and fragility. Your production is very miscellaneous: how has your production processes changed over the years? Production wise my process is very much the same even when working in other mediums. With video specifically, I have found that I like to put together lots of cuts and layers giving the film depth and my preferred style of abstracted aesthetic. This is similar to the way I make all of my work across all mediums, throwing everything together then smoothing it out once a project starts to take form. The way I arrive at making work has always been the same; I have always kept art journals, and I keep a small notebook with me so I can write my ideas, quotes from books, reference material for research, anything I find along the way.


A still from Proximate Cause


A still from Slide

They are written down and when the time comes where the ideas feel right, I come back to them for further development.

worrying about how or why I was doing it is certainly my preference; full immersion in the moment and always creating with a sense of urgency.

Looking back on my work over the years I can see how a lot of my work is very responsive to my environment, meaning I am influenced by experience and the places I am in, the decisive moment in a way. Coupled with this I have been keeping a journal of the crazy and vivid dreams I’ve had all my life. These have been a great source for everything from photographic works to artists books, and most recently has influenced the aesthetic of my video works. When I get an idea, I work all the angles until it is finished, it might end up a book, or it might end up a video, I never know.

Photography was my choice as the main form of my artistic expression, though it may seem more rigid, with a stricter set of rules than most art forms, I like the discovery process each photograph comes with, and because of its rigid processes there are more rules to be broken. I believe this is what lead me, quite organically, to video production; I can still make images, I can filter and abstract them just as easily, and its the discovery process I enjoy with each video. Plus, I enjoy experimenting with the moving image and sound too.

You are a multidisciplinary artist, you have worked using drawings and photography too: in what manner other media influences your videomaking?

You have also produced a video entitled "Slide", where the concept of landscape is revisited under an original point of view: what was your inspiration for it?

When I first attended art school, I took classes in all art forms; photography, life drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture. Getting my hands dirty and making art expressively without

This video really came about after I spent a month traveling through Japan. I did what I usually do when I travel which is shoot and capture anything and everything which takes my


A still from Slide

interest. Knowing that I would be making a new work either photographic or video once I returned, I didn’t have any preconceived ideas as to what it would contain. So on train journeys, I would set my camera up in the window and let it capture the scenery as I moved through it or filmed the streets and people going about their daily lives. When I reviewed my footage, what I saw got me thinking about what it means to travel. I had written my honours thesis on the flaneur and the urban environment; linking it to memory and the everyday world around us; one of the key reference books in my research was Alain de Botton’s ‘The Art of Travel’. I realised the scenery from travel or life in general goes by so quickly - a †total blur - and it’s impossible to remember every detail. We can remember some parts and others are memories triggered through images or photographs. These moving lines, or horizon line in the case of Slide, is representative of the quick and furious onslaught of visual information when im transit and of everyday life. They form part of the landscapes we frequent everyday, in any terrain, in any country.

Now we wonder if you would like to answer to our cliché question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? I will be the first to admit I understand very little of what I am doing exactly when it comes to the moving image. So for me the part I enjoy the most is the experimentation. Never really being sure what I am aiming towards for a final product keeps me focused in refining and pushing the work until I like the effect or it has the desired aesthetic that I am satisfied with. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us, Valentina. What are your next projects on the horizon? My latest project is a film created by drawing on old photographic negatives with ink. I collaborated with a Sydney based music producer who responded to the images in the film with a lush and thick soundtrack. We hope that the ideas I have to animate the footage will work, but I remain confident that the aesthetic I imagine in my head will turn out completely different - it is all about the process and experimentation!


Butcher Rules

A still from Proximate Cause

Valentina Schulte Valentina Schulte is a Sydney based artist focusing on photography, video and sound experiments and small artist books. Her continuing interest in the arts has led her through the Southern Sydney Art School and later to the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 2008. Coming from a fine are and photography background, she explores and makes works on and about the landscape, creating works that are about both the natural and urban environment indiscriminately. Endeavouring to make works that are about acknowledging our place within the landscape, that it is an extension of ourselves and in-turn moulds our own sense of place, rather than creating work about isolation or a kind of emptiness synonymous with vast open landscapes. In recent creative experiments, Schulte has expanded on these theories by focusing on just the landscape and using the horizon line as an abstract point of reference. Breaking the image down to simple shapes, lines and colours. Sometimes inverting or

subverting the image and on occasion combining them with video and soundscapes that are recorded Foley at the location of filming. These elements combined create landscapes that seem alien and unfamiliar but are never too far from home. Activating these scenes with my own interpretation of what the landscape has to offer, whether it is a mountain or a forest. Schulteʼs work has been shown in various galleries and Artist Run Spaces in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra as well as regional galleries in New South Wales and Victoria. Her first international solo show saw her exhibit works at Galleri Van Bau in Vestfossen Norway in 2007. Running inline with solo projects Schulte co-founded International Noise a Sydney based artist run initiative where artists strive to take works outside the ‘white cube box’ construct. Exhibitions have included Copy Cats paste-ups at various public locations around Sydney, the 9 x 5″ Mobile Gallery Truck Show and the Uncontainable Project at Sydney Universities Verge Festival in 2011.


An interview with

Valentina Schulte In your work Proximate Cause the concept of space is essential: it could be easily considered a reflection upon the nature of the cinematography itself. Editing aims to create a geometry, an illusion of space, but this space is always relative and not absolute, could you introduce our readers to this video? Proximate Cause is an exploration of our existence within the universe - a reminder as while we live on our planet earth we are also part of a bigger machine of interstellar forces at constant play. At this very moment, the entire human race is moving at approximately 100,000 kilometres per hour in orbit around the Sun. It would seem like an incomprehensible speed to most, yet in comparison to the ‘progress despite all odds’ pace of the everyday modern condition, this immense velocity pales into insignificance. As our modern lifestyle continues to urge us onward, faster and faster, we as humans are finding it harder to stop and remember that we are indeed part of the natural world and are subject to all that nature has to offer us. The best way I thought to demonstrate this would be to create a dual screen within a screen. I wanted the viewer of this video to be aware simultaneously of up and down or the landscape and of the sky. Proximate Cause looks outward and inward simultaneously; Inward, the visual footage is of the Earth, our home. It is small and safe, nestled in the perfect position in which to sustain life for all creatures who inhabit it. Outward, the clouds passing by and out to space where the abstract audio, reminiscent of an earthly breeze, is a sound recording obtained by the spacecraft Voyager I’s plasma wave receiver instrument, originating from the edge of our Solar System in an area known as the Heliopause. In comparison, the Earth is a tiny, almost insignificant element in this large, seemingly infinite universe; the utter totality of existence that may be larger than our species may ever be able to comprehend. And although the wind in our own sky and the solar wind are not of the same origin, just as the forest sways in our breeze he-

Valentina Schulte (photo by Jasmine Poole)

re on earth, the solar system also sways in its own gentle motion of energy, reminding us of our own relative insignificance and fragility. Your production is very miscellaneous: how has your production processes changed over the years? Production wise my process is very much the same even when working in other mediums. With video specifically, I have found that I like to put together lots of cuts and layers giving the film depth and my preferred style of abstracted aesthetic. This is similar to the way I make all of my work across all mediums, throwing everything together then smoothing it out once a project starts to take form. The way I arrive at making work has always been the same; I have always kept art journals, and I keep a small notebook with me so I can write my ideas, quotes from books, reference material for research, anything I find along the way.


A still from Scope


A still from Proximate Cause

They are written down and when the time comes where the ideas feel right, I come back to them for further development.

worrying about how or why I was doing it is certainly my preference; full immersion in the moment and always creating with a sense of urgency.

Looking back on my work over the years I can see how a lot of my work is very responsive to my environment, meaning I am influenced by experience and the places I am in, the decisive moment in a way. Coupled with this I have been keeping a journal of the crazy and vivid dreams I’ve had all my life. These have been a great source for everything from photographic works to artists books, and most recently has influenced the aesthetic of my video works. When I get an idea, I work all the angles until it is finished, it might end up a book, or it might end up a video, I never know.

Photography was my choice as the main form of my artistic expression, though it may seem more rigid, with a stricter set of rules than most art forms, I like the discovery process each photograph comes with, and because of its rigid processes there are more rules to be broken. I believe this is what lead me, quite organically, to video production; I can still make images, I can filter and abstract them just as easily, and its the discovery process I enjoy with each video. Plus, I enjoy experimenting with the moving image and sound too.

You are a multidisciplinary artist, you have worked using drawings and photography too: in what manner other media influences your videomaking?

You have also produced a video entitled "Slide", where the concept of landscape is revisited under an original point of view: what was your inspiration for it?

When I first attended art school, I took classes in all art forms; photography, life drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture. Getting my hands dirty and making art expressively without

This video really came about after I spent a month traveling through Japan. I did what I usually do when I travel which is shoot and capture anything and everything which takes my


A still from Proximate Cause

interest. Knowing that I would be making a new work either photographic or video once I returned, I didn’t have any preconceived ideas as to what it would contain. So on train journeys, I would set my camera up in the window and let it capture the scenery as I moved through it or filmed the streets and people going about their daily lives. When I reviewed my footage, what I saw got me thinking about what it means to travel. I had written my honours thesis on the flaneur and the urban environment; linking it to memory and the everyday world around us; one of the key reference books in my research was Alain de Botton’s ‘The Art of Travel’. I realised the scenery from travel or life in general goes by so quickly - a †total blur - and it’s impossible to remember every detail. We can remember some parts and others are memories triggered through images or photographs. These moving lines, or horizon line in the case of Slide, is representative of the quick and furious onslaught of visual information when im transit and of everyday life. They form part of the landscapes we frequent everyday, in any terrain, in any country.

Now we wonder if you would like to answer to our cliché question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? I will be the first to admit I understand very little of what I am doing exactly when it comes to the moving image. So for me the part I enjoy the most is the experimentation. Never really being sure what I am aiming towards for a final product keeps me focused in refining and pushing the work until I like the effect or it has the desired aesthetic that I am satisfied with. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us, Valentina. What are your next projects on the horizon? My latest project is a film created by drawing on old photographic negatives with ink. I collaborated with a Sydney based music producer who responded to the images in the film with a lush and thick soundtrack. We hope that the ideas I have to animate the footage will work, but I remain confident that the aesthetic I imagine in my head will turn out completely different - it is all about the process and experimentation!


Pawel Stasievicz

Ekaterina Craftsova

A still from 1-2-3-4


A still from 1-2-3-4


An interview with

Pawel Stasievicz Avoiding description that could suggest possible interpretation, your approach to filmmaking remind us of Alain-Robbe Grillet non-linear narration form and sliding of sense, serial film. How did you develop your style? I can not tell that references to the classic cinema are important for my works, are irrelevant. To be honest I watch very few movies, it bores me. I think that photography had the greatest influence on my video works. I mean the documentary photography here, especially stream German photography, so-called. "Dßsseldorf School", which was started by a couple Bernd and Hilla Becher. I’m interested in their approach to cataloging motifs within the selected theme, rather than in method of imaging or constructing individual frames. Essentially, since I remember large collections of identical or similar things impressed me very much. So I think that narrative, shifting meanings, some kind of repeatability is a byproduct of this approach. Never postulate this, it comes while adding further elements on timeline. The more I can find and mark items the more this non-linearity is more perceptible. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? The process of creating a new project comes from what I mentioned earlier. I find things / processes that are characterized by a certain repetitiveness. I catalogue and record it. We might say that my actions reminds performance to the camera. Most of my works are combination of video art, documentary and performance.

Pawel Stasievicz

Where do you get the ideas for your work? Out of my mind. We have been impressed by the balance between absence and presence in your video, which is not conceived as a classical balance, as the relationships between solids and voids in architecture for example, but a sort of coexistence between past and present in imagination and perception. How do you achieve this balance? Balance? Probably, neutrality, what you mentioned before, would better define my work. In fact, everything in this film is neutral. Starting from the recording of theme that does not arouse emotions of the recipient. Through the way of leading the narration, which is slow, repetitive. Finally, in a style of imaging by similar frames and and using low contrast, black-and-white images.


A sequence of stills from 1-2-3-4

In addition, this effect is amplified by the fact that in this video any emphasis weren't intended. It doesn't need the beginning or the end, can be looped . Some elements can be added or deducted. Theoretically this set can be infinite. What’s next for Pawel? Are there any new projects on the horizon? Currently several videos is being made at the same time. The material for two films have been filmed. Now it is in the phase of post-production. I complete additional components. Perhaps animated film will be made from collected components. I also plan 3 more realization by the end of the year. In addition, I work on several objectssculptures. Preparing for the exhibition in Warsaw.


A still from Virtualities

Yiorgos Nalpantidis Virtualities is the product of my obsession: observing image as a means of deformation/reification of reality, while representing it at the same time. I understand this both in the context of the culture industry (mainstream cinema, visual media, advertising industry, etc.) and of the transcoded perception of reality in our “new media”, digital age. Virtualities consists of four parts: The first is an attempt to question the relationship of the digital image to the captured “physical” object. Digital image is a numeric representation, easily manipulated by algorithms, or code. The second is focused on representation. In front of a movie clip that presents itself as a documentation, do we

watch the representation of an actual action, or a representation of the representation of the action? The third, “found footage” part, is a combination of clips of various sources, where captured reality becomes a spectacle; both when it concerns important historical moments, or everyday life instances. All those unrelated, “spectacular” fragments, seem to construct a new “whole”, where everything can be viewed as a spectacle, and everyday life has to become a narrative in order to become worthy to be lived. The last part is a sequence of print ads, accompanied by a computer-female voice, announcing encyclopedia definitions. The attempt here is to expose a “hidden”


A still from Virtualities

narrative and the absurdity of dominant ideology of our times. I think that the situation in my country, Greece, at the time of creating Virtualities, becomes visible in this part: a rapid turn from a consumerism, “demonstration effect” period, to the infamous “economic crisis” one. The creation of Virtualities included 2 days of shooting, a lot of effects/animation work, and a long period of searching for images and video footage to appropriate. Looking at this film almost three years after its creation, there are surely things that I would handle differently if I made it now. For instance, the polar wind sound at the end of the third part seems a bit “clichéd”, the effects of the first part could be much

more minimal, or the animation of the starting title, that doesn’t seem as ironic as I thought it would be (it’s a bit clumsy, to be honest). Despite that, Virtualities remains a work that I am proud of; mainly because it was the first work in which I managed to express myself clearly, both in terms of form and content. And I am very happy that many people seem to find it a work worthy of attention, even more when their perceptions are not in line with my intentions.

Yiorgos Nalpantidis


An interview with Yiorgos Nalpantidis

Yiorgos Nalpantidis In your statement, you describe your approach to the image as a means of deformation/reification of reality. We are really interested in this aspect of your filmmaking: the reification of reality through the image, a concept which remind us of the French literary movement which created the nouveau roman in the late 50s, explored through a contemporary sensibility. Could you better introduce our readers to your personal vision of filmmaking? My approach mainly derives from Guy Debord’s (Society of the Spectacle) and Adorno&Horkheimer’s (The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception) thoughts on mass culture as a domination mechanism that has replaced life with its representation: “Everything that was

directly lived has receded into a representation”. I see –moving or still- image as a critical part of this procedure: Image (in the framework of the culture industry) presents itself as a pure “representation of reality”, while it’s main function is to be used as a “model” that “reality” is forced to imitate. In my work I try to re-think from this perspective, adding a nowadays point of view. After the “new media” revolution and the development of the worldwide web, we are living in a transcoded world –virtual and digitized in its entirety- where life is lived through the social media and has to be presented as a narrative, in order to be worthy to be lived. Virtualities is a 2010 work: how did your


A still from Virtualities

early work differ from what you're doing now?

“economic crisis” one. Could you comment these words?

I aim for a less “spectacular” and more minimalistic approach. I continue to rely on manipulative effects/animation/coloring work, but I attempt to be more focused on the “subject” rather than the “beauty” of the moving image. This doesn’t mean that I underestimate the aesthetic part of my films, but that I’m still trying to find the right balance.

The creation process of Virtualities started in 2008, short before the Greek (and EU) debt crisis unfolded. The last section of Virtualities was pointing against consumerism, attempting to present -in an ironic and humorous way- the absurdity of the advertising industry and its philosophy.

In terms of content, I am currently very interested in exploring “narrative” and its structure, seen into the framework that I described replying in the first question. I see “narrative” as the construction of a fake “unity”, where life has been degraded to “fiction” and personal individuality has been deformed to “character”. The last section of your video work presents a remarkable ironic vein. In your statement, you say: I think that the situation in my country, Greece, at the time of creating Virtualities, becomes visible in this part: a rapid turn from a consumerism, “demonstration effect” period, to the infamous

Have in mind that consumerism in Greek society wasn’t heavily present in the 50’s or the 60’s –as in more advanced western world countries- but developed at the early 90’s together with the rise of a sizable middle class. I used the term “demonstration effect” trying to describe the behavior of this rising middle class: expensive clothing, cars, and real estate investments (with the aid of bank credit and loans) helped to make one feel more “classy”, resembling the domestic or European “upper class”. Two years later, while I was still working on this last part, the financial crisis was severely present and purchasing power has been greatly decreased. This led me to emphasize a little bit more on the economic side of the advertising in-


A still from Virtualities

dustry and its sociopolitical role, trying to demonstrate the irrational waste of resources and the magical-religious qualities it assigns on useless commodities. The fact that the financial crisis emerged from the -“virtual”- banking sector, made me feel that the basic notion of the film was –in a way- connected to the events.

more serious testing begins. For instance, in my just finished film –Minore- I started to collect clips (mainly from Vimeo.com and the Internet Archive) having the idea of juxtaposing 8mm & super8mm family movie clips of the 50’s and 60’s to recent analogue and digital video clips of similar content.

Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project?

Closely watching the 8mm&super8mm film clips, made me think of this footage as a documentation of a forgotten, closer connection to the world. This led to a new project: a found footage film consisting of old –mainly super8mm film clips, combined with a 72rpm recording of a Greek traditional song called “Smyrneiko Minore”. The addition of the music resulted in one more, rhythmic topic: the affiliation between audio and moving image.

I start with an “idea”, which could be a concept, a small clip I’ve captured (or imagined), or a line of text. If it continues to feel worthy a few weeks later I start working on it, usually using some test-footage. This process usually leads me to: a) abandon the project b) come up with a new, more “stable” project to work on (that’s what happens most of the time) c) everything goes well, so shooting and/or research work and

The manipulation of moving-images had a


A still from Virtualities

remarkable political aim for the French philosopher Guy Debord, while nowadays artists seem to be attracted by found footage manipulation in order to explore deep psychological issues, whether the footage has a "private" source or not. What's the future of found-footage art in your opinion? What will be the influence of platform like vimeo and youtube? I’m of the opinion that found footage film, although already significantly explored, is a “genre” that will offer many more important works. The great variety of, easily accessible, available sources -thanks to platforms like vimeo or youtube as you suggest- is one important reason to expect this. Furthermore, working with found footage suits to the new media art practice. Digitized

material is modular and easily manipulated. There are numerous found footage videos on youtube, like personal, “handmade” video clips, for instance. And although I don’t think of youtube as the perfect platform for an artwork to be presented and appreciated, I have to admit that some of these videos are extremely inspiring and interesting. From this perspective, we can see found footage as the most widespread genre of experimental film work. Concerning recent developments, the fact that I personally am more interested in political or strucural/materialist approaches, doesn’t mean that I do not appreciate nowadays found footage films that explore deep psychological issues, human perceptions, or collective film memory. I think that both –and other- practices can co-exist and advance when engaged in a dialogue with each other.


What do you think about the contemporary underground cinema scene in Greece, from a maker's point of view? I don’t think there is an “underground cinema scene” in Greece. There is certainly a tendency for underground -or “alternative”- themes and motifs in many recent feature films. This is the so-called New Greek “weird” Wave. Directors like Lanthimos, Tsangari, Avranas and others, provided some excellent films, frequently produced under really difficult financial circumstances. This development is really encouraging and seems to be consistent. There is a small, but interesting, experimental film and video art production, but particularly in the case of experimental film&video, there aren’t any dedicated venues for screening this kind of work. On top of that, in the recent reform of the law on Greek film production the word “experimental” is totally missing, exposing the dominant attitude that film genres are: fiction, documentary and animation (they didn’t even use the term live-action). This is a pity, especially since there is a tiny but significant tradition of experimental filmmaking in Greece, like the films of Kostas Sfikas for example. In the case of video art interview An however, there are 2-3 festivals that provide an adequate framework for the exposal of this kind of work.

with

What’s next for Yiorgos Nalpantidis? Are there any new projects on the horizon? I have just finished Minore, a short (5min) found footage film. My future plans include a project focusing on narrative clichés and structure –seen through a playful ironic attitude- and a more “abstract” work, involving algorithmic editing and randomly applied color grading effects.

A still from Virtualities


A still from Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch

Peter Whittenberger Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch

The United States is a country of fear. Parts of us either fear our government, our neighbors, terrorists, or anyone that is different. For a country that prides itself as a melting pot, some members of our society live in constant fear of becoming a victim. America’s media and political parties are constantly trying to sell us an imaginary threat to our physical being, freedom, property, or way of life. Predicatively, this barrage of misinformation leads to violence, specifically gun violence, the United State’s favorite kind. There seems to be no limit to the amount of gun

violence that will cause any change in the country. When children murder each other in schools, there is no real push for change, only an increase in gun sales. When a liberal president is elected, fearful citizens hoard ammunition, then wrongfully blame the government for the self-inflicted ammunition shortage. Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch is a video that makes the viewer a witness to the dizzying gun violence that is destroying any sense of innocence or security in our country. If citizens do not demand change for responsible gun control, are we not complicit in the deaths of all gun violence victims? Peter Whittenberger


An interview with

Peter Whittenberger "Perfect complicity in our active shooter glitch" deals with the way misinformation leads to gun violence. In your work we can recognize a deep introspection: do you think art’s purpose is simply to provide a platform for an artist’s expression? Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? Could art steer or even change people's behavior?

I believe art making is a practice that allows the artist to navigate and process the world around them. I do think that art has always played a role in facing social questions, but art’s role in society has greatly diminished in the last century or so. With this is in mind, I have to optimistically believe that art can plant a new idea into someone’s head that may influence them to look at the world differently. I don’t think there is a scientific way to measure this influence on viewers, but I have to hold on to the possibility. Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this project, or simply an epiphany, a sudden illumination?? ? The 26 murders at Newtown, Connecticut and the horrible trend of gun violence in the United States. We have a new mass shooting about every week now.? ? In your statement, you say "If citizens do not demand change for responsible gun control, are we not complicit in the deaths of all gun violence victims?". Could? you introduce our readers to this concept?

In full disclosure, I am a gun owner. Growing up in Eastern Montana, the hunter’s safety class is equivalent to a young man’s bar mitzvah. I enjoy firearm sports, but I don’t understand why someone would need a military grade weapon. People seem to be under the delusion that the government is coming to get them or a zombie uprising will happen. I think when the economy is bad and your family is facing hardship, people cling to things that give them a sense of control. In the United States, gun ownership is protected by our constitution. No one is trying to take

Peter Whittenberger

guns away from people, but there has to be a middle ground that should protect everyone from deranged psychos who want to kill people randomly. I’m asking other gun owners and sportsmen to ponder their responsibility to our society. We need to find a compromise for the greater good. “Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch” is a visual presentation of the consequences of our current gun laws and what we can continue to expect if we don’t make serious and sensible changes. I’m not addressing anything new but, I’m always left wondering what level of violent atrocities will be required to make a change to the gun laws of the United States. The lack of mental health care and poverty are another huge problem that needs to be addressed.


A still from Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch

It is easier to buy guns in the United States than it is to get mental health care, an education, financial support, whatever. The right to bear arms in America is a very complicated issue that we don’t seem to be addressing seriously, even though the body count continues to rise at a terrifying rate. Symbols, logos, archetypes are fundamental in your art. In your animation "art 245 sp13" symbols related with fear are present, showing a sort of post-pop accumulation and iteration. How did you develop your style? I can’t really take any credit for this work. This piece was created by students in my Introduction to Digital Media class at the University of Nevada, Reno. The work is a collaborative animation project based on the theme “Apocalypse”. I taught them how to use the animation tools, but all the imagery and ideas are their own. I have a feeling these talented, emerging artists will be excited you

mentioned their work in your publication. I bet they would put this in the win column. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? Normally, when I begin a project, the idea stems from me asking myself, “You know what would be funny?” “Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch” was a departure from my normal way of working. This piece was horribly difficult to make because of the content. I usually giggle when I make art, not so with this video. Making this piece was something I felt I needed to do. As cheesy as it sounds, “Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch” was an idea I needed to get out of myself. I cannot even imagine the pain of the families who lose their children to gun violence and our society doesn’t demand change to further prevent such tragedies. There seems to be a new mass shooting every week. Sadly, the United States appears to apathetic to this problem.


A still from Perfect Complicity in Our Active Shooter Glitch

In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer? I think we live in a wonderfully fun world of moving images. Cinema and Video Art will always be separate in terms of how they are shown and their histories, but I feel artists are inspired from all moving-image art, regardless of medium. Another medium, contemporary video games, can be extremely cinematic, creating new ways for viewers or players to relate to narratives and characters. Distinguishing between the different mediums will always be important to some people, but I don’t find it very interesting or useful.? ? What’s next for Peter Whittenberger? Are there any new projects on the horizon? My wife passed away suddenly this month.

Right now I’m just trying to figure out how I go forward. I know art is the answer but I can’t emotionally comprehend what that looks like yet.


Butcher Rules

A still from A Space Odyssey,

Video Loop 8, minutes 8 seconds, 2013

Barry Whittaker A wireframe figure floats, rotating in a void. There is no background, no scene, only a figure within an empty space, serenaded by the sound of a faint electronic signal. Drifting in this vacuum, coded messages, transmissions, and internal thoughts all merge into a constant din. Here an explorer, void of context, will be transformed continually into shapes that suggest an abstracted alien landscape. The individual becomes one with the idea of his destination. Increasingly, humanity is connected through signals. Great distances are easily overcome through digitally abstracted communications. Images and sounds are captured, coded, and sent great distances, to be translated later and—we hope—understood. While human influence and knowledge continue to expand,

our connections seem tenuous. We bounce a beam of light or sound off a distant object or we send a coded packet through protracted wires, all with the expectation of connecting with someone or something in a faraway land. Exploration has always fascinated me. I’m captivated by the never-ending search for information, meaning, and a purpose for our existence. Regardless of date, distance, direction, or technology, this pushing of boundaries has played an essential role in the development of human consciousness. Exploration is a platform upon which science, art, philosophy, and mythology all merge to extend our collective human impact and imagination. There was a time, now long past, when monsters populated the edges of maps. This was a period


A still from A Space Odyssey,

Video Loop 8, minutes 8 seconds, 2013 when recollections, drawings, and samples lands. Now, we are able to explore neighborhoods, streets, continents, and other planets with the aid of flying, all-seeing satellites. Tools to aid our indirect observation of anywhere, from our backyards to distant moons, are now available 24/7. As technology proliferates, our daily existence is increasingly influenced by information and connections with people from all over the earth. Distance has become a relative concept. There is virtually no delay in communications between people on opposite sides of the earth. While sea voyages once took months or years to complete, a short video chat, SMS, or social media message now takes only seconds. It seems as though time and space are being folded into an unseen digital dimension. Our history books were once filled with stories of great explorers like Magellan, Cook, Gagarin, and Armstrong. Now, we hear stories of Voyager, Pioneer, Spirit, and Opportunity, the fearless pioneers whose bionic eyes enable us to see and experience a greater universe. We no longer need to experience a directly in order to understand something about it. Photographs, spectral analysis, and numerous other data sources in order to give us the experience of

distant places. We even come to know well without ever having met. I am also fascinated by obstacles to communication. Having lived abroad and traveled extensively, I am aware of how rarely simple communication is a simple act. Subjected to distance, language, or digital interference, our messages risk confusion at every turn. This possibility becomes far more dynamic when transmissions rely upon technology. While making this work, I wondered what it might look like to see the noise that surrounds us. How could messages, sounds, and signals envelop a person? Imagining this, I wanted to stay within the concept of space exploration. Maps, 3D models, and games were all sources of visual inspiration for this project. As I thought of these, I began to imagine sound more as a physical distortion than as static or image glitch. In this , the resulting transformations look similar to low-resolution 3D landscape models, while the accompanying soundscape sways between familiar and manipulated tones. This anonymous character is left to float indefinitely between representation and digital abstraction. Barry Whittaker


A still from A Space Odyssey,

Video Loop 8, minutes 8 seconds, 2013


An interview with

Barry Whittaker How did you come up with the idea for "Abstracted: A Space Odyssey"? The video began as a series of quick sketches. After a few complex projects I was interested in returning to something more visually minimal. I started by experimenting with geometric abstraction in different programs. I’ve always been interested in space exploration so working with some kind of space theme seemed to be an obvious starting point. In many scenes of your video, the explorer's details turn into a sort of abstract texture, the universe seems to be made of the same matter of the explorer himself, and behind the clean strokes, the distinction between the subject and the landscape become more and more ephemeral.€ Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your art? I’m always interested in schematics, wireframes, and architectural plans. I like the idea of a hidden structure or code behind what is seen. I’ve created a number of projects based on space exploration. In each, isolation, discovery, and transformation play a role, among other more ridiculous elements. In this case, I was interested in the idea of figure and landscape confused as one entity. What technique have you used in producing it? Initially this began as a coding exercise, but later, it evolved to incorporate live video effects and still later, video editing software. During this time I was also experimenting with soundscapes in different audio programs. As these sketches were happening simultaneously, they seemed to fit together logically.

Barry Whittaker Barry Whittaker is a multi-media artist who explores myth, language, and miscommunication through a variety of technology and collaboration-based projects. A native Texan, he received a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Whittaker has taught in the U.S., France, and Japan and continues to exhibit artwork internationally. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo.

We have been impressed, by the unit of digital and analogic-organic in your works. A sort of constant tension is evident in any instant of "Terra Incognita", a video-installation from 2009. This is very different from "Abstracted: A Space Odys-sey". How did your early work differ from what you're doing now? My earlier work focused primarily on photography and video. Since that time I have begun to incorporate a wider range of media types.


A still from A Space Odyssey,

Video Loop 8, minutes 8 seconds, 2013

Terra Incognita was the first serious interactive project I had made beyond designing websites. My recent work is more collaborative. I frequently like to include elements of graphic design, games, interactivity, installation, performance, and occasionally, some combination of all these. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? The biggest influences in my work tend to be the most ridiculous. I like artists that can make me think by making me laugh. A good example of this would be Roman Signer. When I first discovered his work, I was excited to see such an impressive combination of play, humor, and curiosity. His work was different than anything I had been accustomed to calling “art.” I try to incorporate play, humor, and curiosity in most of my work, though it seems more apparent in some projects than in others.

What are your next projects on the horizon, Barry? I am currently developing new projects with Sam Sheffield—we collaborate under the name SaBa. This past summer we exhibited a new game installation in Nagoya, Japan, that was partially controlled by decaying vegetables. Our new work will likely incorporate similarly unusual components and interactions. Additionally, I am developing a public art project with Michael Bernhardt—we collaborate as Barchael. This work will involve aspects of performance, language, and bicycles.


A still from DISTANCE BETWEEN, a three-channel video installation

Xiaowen Zhu An artist's statement I consider myself as a visual poet, social critic, and aesthetic researcher. My work, investigating ideas of individual perception in a global nomadic context, integrates interpretive narrative, experimental documentary, photography, performance, and installation. I am interested in challenging settled understandings of truth and reality in the rapidly changing social, political, technological, and multicultural environment in everyday life. I inquire into the boundaries among the real, the unreal, and the surreal, using creative means to blur genre distinctions and to explore the notion of “elsewhere”, “inbetween space”, “dualism”, and “oneness”. For instance, “DISTANCE BETWEEN” offers a portrait of international couples involved in long-distance relationships, combining documentary footage with designed scenarios and mi-

xed re-enactments of real interviews to highlight transformation of communication in a mediated and technologically enabled exchange. In “Wereable Urban Routine”, I restructured walking meditation inspired by the Japanese Marathon Monks aiming to transform the routine of urban life into a meditative process of self-discovery. Terminal Island is a singlechannel video investigating an alternative perception of time and space in a geologically specific yet philosophically ambiguous space through nuanced manipulation of documentary footage. I believe that in the matrix of worldly phenomenon, there exists some fundamental truth that may explain the puzzle if we choose to look at things in an alternative way. Therefore, it is my goal to represent the different angle without actually telling the truth that I think is true.


A still from DISTANCE BETWEEN, a three-channel video installation

I grew up in Shanghai. My grandfather was a filmmaker, my parents were music and literature lovers. I went to a former-Christian girl's boarding school - Shanghai No.3 Girl's High School, where some of the most important modern and contemporary Chinese female writers, politicians, musicians, and artists came from. I roamed around in Europe in my early twenties, primarily in Germany and the Netherlands. Since 2009 I have been living in the United States, previously in New York and currently in Los Angeles. From those experience, it is not hard to understand why my work conveys a sense of homelessness, the quandary of geological existence in relation to one's psychological conviction of inner emptiness, the intimacy of a deeper objectless longing, and so on. I was trained in documentary and fiction filmmaking, and used to work as screenwriter

and talk show editor for Shanghai TV station. Having a professional background in filmmaking and television production enables me to envision and plan my art projects both artistically and practically. I am also fluent in working with different video/audio editing and visual effects programs. It is extremely important for me to be able to work with the medium skillfully. I like learning, teaching, and above all, I believe that art is a form of communication. Exploration is essential to my practice as an artist and my way of living as a functional human being in the society. When I finish a piece, I absolutely move on to my next journey. Being on the road encourages me to keep focus on the present moment. Sometimes there is a nostalgic feeling expressed in my work, but overall I am far more interested in interpreting the complexity of human's emotions rather than the emotions themselves.


An interview with

Xiaowen Zhu In your work TERMINAL ISLAND, a surreal journey in the "world of materials ends and restarts" you incite the viewer to rediscuss its notions of the space and time. A process which has a huge important in your artistic research as well as in your videomaking, indeed. Could you introduce our readers to this concept? About 15 years ago, I read "The Book of Sand", a short story by Jorge Luis Borges for the very first time. It describes a book, written in an unknown language, is in fact infinite: if one page is turned, more pages seem to grow out of it. I was instantly obsessed with the idea of chronological and spatial infinity. Actually it was the notion of non-linearity, uncertainty, and dualism in one's perception of reality that I felt strongly identified with. Growing up in late 80's and early 90's in China, I have experienced the drastic shift from dogmatic inculcation of socialist ideology to fanatical praise of capitalist practices in less than 30 years. Among people of my generation, a general disinterest and mistrust shed light on the void of belief and faith. I don't necessarily view it as a negative phenomenon, on the contrary, the environment's lack of conviction trigers and reassures my objectless longing for an inner emptiness. That is - neither yes or no, this or that, black or white. It is an infinite infill of absence, the "otherness" in presence, a pure, playful, becalmed elucidation of nothingness. Hence, I am saying everything about nothing, and nothing about everything. The video "Terminal Island", for instance, begins and ends with a metaphorical world of materials. It is a dump, full of waste, trash, junk, yet it is visually beautiful, surreal, poetic. It stretches time, questions every productive activity we conduct in mundane life that carries out the world of "otherness". I am an observer and dreamer in creating this piece. I leave trace of my experience and memory without making comments.

Xiaowen Zhu

You can say that I artfully manipulate documentary footage, extending and highlighting the distance between reality and our perception of it. To me, time and space are relative anyway. I am not particularly interested in calling the viewers away from ordinary life, rather, I invite them to see it in an alternative way, where uncertainty falls into chaos - the stretched time, twisted space, humanized machine, absurd formality, looped narrative, and unexpected absurdity. In the end of his story, Borges is terrified by the infinite book and decides to hide it in the basement in the National Library. He reasons that "the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest". In the 60s the manipulation of mainstream moving-images had a remarkable political aim, while nowadays artists seem to be attracted by found footage manipu-


A still from DISTANCE BETWEEN, a three-channel video installation

lation in order to explore deep psychological issues, whether the footage has a "private" source (old super8 home movies) or not (fragments from documentaries). In your works, you success in mixing these two aspects, creating a sort of "micropolitics of desire". We daresay that this aspect of your art is present not only in TERMINAL ISLAND, but concours to the balance between fiction and documentary in your work DISTANCE BETWEEN . How do you achieve this balance between "political" and "private"? In some of my previous works I appropriated found footage, directly or indirectly incorporating political content. I did not use found footage in Terminal Island or DISTANCE BETWEEN, however, my manipulation of documentary footage or the combination of both fiction and non-fiction may appear to share similar quality to an appropriated video piece. I think this approach comes from my interest in telling "our" story rather than "my own" story. There are basically two kinds of artists - ones who express and magnify who they are, and ones who share and communicate what

they think. To me, the balance between "political" and "private" reflects on what kind of artist I am. I appreciate genius-type-ofartist who are driven by instinct and a great clearness of vision to carry his/her work to completion, but I also believe, as an ordi-nary person, in the process of exploring, defining, and configuring a language of my own, meanwhile understandable for others. One of the greatest things in our time, in my opinion, is the democracy in sharing information, including visual art. I come from an academic background, but I am in fact not interested at all in the traditional elitist formality of art as high culture. Thanks to the Internet, collective intelligence and creation have become one of the biggest things ever in art making. Artists like Koki Tanaka, who actually admits that he is not the type of artist who can "make stuff", challenges settled notion of originality and appropriation, as well as the role of institution, artist, curator, viewers, and the crowd in the cloud. I think his work is very political, but still feels private, because the concept and form is so easy to relate to.


A still from DISTANCE BETWEEN, a three-channel video installation

DISTANCE BETWEEN: an artist's statement

DISTANCE BETWEEN is a 3-channel video installation ostensibly on the topic of longdistance relationships, as referred to romantic relationships between people who are separated by considerable distance. The interviews, filmed with 6 subjects, recount individual stories as confessions, beginning with the innocent excitement of growing intimacy through simple means of text messages and phone calls, to the complexity of Skype, examining the inherent properties of the medium. The project begins by interviewing couples involved in long distance romantic relationships, focusing on particular traits and benefits of a mediated and technologically enabled exchange.

Taking this source material, the artist mixes spontaneous interviews with reenactments by 6 subjects based on quotes taken from actual interviews. The material was then re-configured and re-contextualized by the artist. Using staged scenarios, designed stenography and cinematography, the piece encourages the viewer to re-examine their notions of the Documentary Interview and to ponder the boundary between fact and fiction. “Long-distance relationships� is used as a subject to open a discourse about self-identification, individual perception of home and travel, personal value of family and marriage, ideology of life and understandings of the issues of love and trust.


In my work DISTANCE BETWEEN, I was mainly interested in instructing a private conversation in a global nomadic context. Mixing documentary and fiction based on real interviews demolishes the boundary defined by category. It is not about documentary or fiction, it is not even about the stories. It is the moments and nuances in people's experience that all together belong to a projection of our time.

In DISTANCE BETWEEN, 3-channel video installation, you explore the theme of long-distance relationships through 6 interviews, where the individual perception of home and travel is continuosly reshaping itself. At the centre of your research here is mainly concept of space itself, not seen as a physical entity, but from a psychological point of view. Could you introduce our readers to this work?

What's the future of found-footage art in your opinion?

DISTANCE BETWEEN is a 3-channel video installation ostensibly on the topic of longdistance relationships, as referred to romantic relationships between people who are separated by considerable distance. The interviews, filmed with 6 subjects, recount individual stories as confessions, beginning with the innocent excitement of growing intimacy through simple means of text messages and

It will be free. One day we won't talk about its future anymore. We will use found footage to reconstruct individual identities and collective memories. There will be even less distinction between what's real and unreal. We can choose to believe whoever we want to be.


A still from DISTANCE BETWEEN. three channel installation

phone calls, to the complexity of Skype, examining the inherent properties of the medium. The project begins by interviewing 13 international couples involved in long distance romantic relationships, focusing on particular traits and benefits of a mediated and technologically enabled exchange. Taking this source material, I mixed spontaneous interviews with reenactments by 6 subjects based on quotes taken from actual interviews. The material was then re-configured and re-contextualized. Using staged scenarios, designed stenography and cinematography, the piece encourages the viewer to re-examine their notions of the Documentary Interview and to ponder the boundary between fact and fiction. “Longdistance relationships� is used as a subject to

open a discourse about self-identification, individual perception of home and travel, personal value of family and marriage, ideology of life and understandings of the issues of love and trust. Your video production is very miscellaneous: how has your production processes changed over the years? My background is in documentary filmmaking and television production. I worked as assistant director for talk shows and script writer for TV series years ago. In my early years of art making, I was eager to explore and experiment with different genres. I like learning and I believe in learning from productivity. But when I felt more defined with my visual language, my concern shifted to the message itself.


I can hardly say that I have settled with my visual style already, and as a person who re-locates fairly frequently (5 countries, 3 continents in 6 years), I gain inspiration from new experience all the time. On the convenient side, I am not that concerned with personal history, therefore I just follow my instinct at the present. If it makes sense to do it now, I do it despite any predetermination. Now I have come to a point to realize that the spontaneous consciousness is a form of consistency itself. Your works show a powerful "social effort". It could seem a specious question, however: in your opinion what role does the artist have in society? In 2007, I collaborated with curator Davide Quadrio and filmmaker Lothar Spree to pro-

duce a documentary project titled "40+4 Art Is Not Enough! Not Enough!". The film puts together a series of questions, personal, public, irreverent and naïve, to understand what is going on in the mind of the artists, who are the pillar stones of the contemporary art scene in Shanghai, especially in the wake of an alienating globalization and commercialization. Forty artists who work and live in Shanghai are interviewed to consider the role of the artist in relation to the external world, the social consequences of their work and the international market’s effect on traditional modes of artistic production. Now this project has a 360-degree interactive panoramic installation version, produced in collaboration with ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, that is currently on view at Chronus Art Center in Shanghai.


A still from Terminal Island


Terminal Island presents a visual and psychological journey inside a recycling company, where the world of materials ends and restarts. Through nuanced manipulation of documentary footage, the artist is interested in presenting an alternative perception of time and space in a geologically specific and yet philosophically ambiguous environment.


I recently visited the new exhibit during a trip home and I was deeply moved by the project myself. Seven years ago I was a student in college. I admired a lot of the artists whom we interviewed. I was excited and puzzled by many of the answers. Now, I have continued practicing art making for years myself and lived in different countries where the cultural environments are not quite the same as in China. What is my view of artist's role in society? I think generally speaking, artists engage in creative activities out of the ordinary life. Some of them amuse, entertain, show off some skills for practical aims, but there are also other type of artists who devotedly pursue truth, whether within themselves or mankind their interest surpasses the ordinary longing for success and understanding. The meaning of creation is complete within itself, as the reward is already attained when they have the ability and freedom to make work. Now we wonder if you would like to answer to our clichĂŠ question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? I usually always create difficult situation for myself when I make work. I like problem solving, but perhaps the biggest satisfaction comes from meaningful interaction with the audience. I am very lucky to have met very intelligent and smart people who are not necessarily artists but can appreciate art than many artists. It doesn't happen very often when you truly feel understood by others, and honestly I don't think it needs to happen frequently. Sometimes, only a few moments in life when you encounter that deep understanding from another person, which makes you feel less alone, it really motivates you to continue making work. Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts, Zhu. What's next for Zhu Xiaowen? I am working on multiple new projects at the moment, including a documentary film about the first Chinese silk importing company in Los Angeles. At the moment I am enjoying my last days of vacation in Shanghai. This is an amazing city and an amazing time for me. I am extremely excited about what will happen next in my life. Till then, I am having a good time here.

A still from Terminal Island


Stigmart VIDEOFOCUS 6th edition Special Issue  

submit your artworks to: stigmart@europe.com

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