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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 990 applicants have sumitted their video works and CV in 2013 - 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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Michael Lasater

Most of my work is centered on issues and processes of perception, memory, personal narrative, and the construction of meaning over time.

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Kelin Kaardal

Doomsday / Celebrate Us acts as a document of this significant date as well as a document of the all-inclusive style of vacationing that has overtaken most coast cities in Mexico

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Jennie Feyen

I realised it was time to prove myself as an emerging filmmaker and attempt to produce work about issues I deeply care about outside the parametres of an assignment.

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Raina Kim

Black Halo is a silent poem-film in three parts that explores light as a means and source of scientific and spiritual knowledge.

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Nelson Enriquez

For my generation born in Cuba, each of us participated in a revolutionary project. We were told by our parents, by our teachers, by our classmates, to be like the great revolu-tionary Ernesto “Che� Guevara.

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Christine Lucy Latimer

The video takes viewers through an auditory initiation with witches who, through the use of their magic, aim to create a just and sustainable world

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Joe Duffy

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Joe Duffy is an artist and filmmaker based in Manchester. He has a widening interest in landscapes, environments and the senses of places with historical, social or political uses.

Rebecca Loyche

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The actual people I interviewed did not want to be recorded nor did they want their voices recorded and their identity known

Jeroen Ter Welle

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After all a portrait is not an abstract thing. But the drawings I especially made for this film are part of a bigger series of pastel drawings that have “Abstract Portraits�

Balam Soto

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Balam Soto merges existing and custom, digital technology with artistic concepts and aesthetics to create exploratory works, including interactive art installations, digital murals, art video and performance

Morgen Christie

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Sightseeing explores the cityscape and its inhabitants through a composition of color and sound. The video is graphically abstracted to match any industrialized urban area - while portraying the vibrance of every city.

Ryan Wurst

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In The Mouth Breathers Discuss the Threat of Kittens, we are unable to understand anything they are saying and we are completely unable to locate them, which puts them squarely in the vacuum of the technological world

Catron Booker

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Jazz becomes a metaphor for plurality in that itasserts itself as unfixed and in a constant state of invention

Matthew Humphreys My current work constitutes a core interest in the languages of communication embedded in thesocial relationships and contexts of the everyday: The moving image is my main medium for the realisation of these ideas

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Butcher Rules

A still from Act II (2009)

Michael Lasater Most of my work is centered on issues and processes of perception, memory, personal narrative, and the construction of meaning over time. I'm interested in who and what we are, both personally and culturally, especially as a result of choices we make in the process of self-definition. I'm equally interested in issues of perception, definition, and expression in art; I'm interested in vocabulary, structure, technique, and methods.

are concerned with political and mass media discourse as social narrative text. Some pieces-Act II, Crawl, Five Modernist Essays, Solving for X-- are about art. I work with any number of elements--video, sampled and synthesized sound and music, photography, film, painting, text--anything digital or that can be digitized. Many of my gallery pieces are video/animation/sound objects meant to be encountered in the same sense and mode in which one encounters traditional gallery media such as painting or sculpture. I often use video, a time-medium, to isolate, freeze, and explore a subject, event, or moment in time. A musician, I tend to build time-structures in refe-

The majority of my pieces, such as Flight, In tempo, Passing Figure, and One, two deal with the construction of meaning and personal narrative from biographical sources. Others, such as Epiphany, Signs and Wonders, and Billboard,

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A still from Crossing, Berlin (2008)

rence to strategies and techniques, such as counterpoint, employed in musical composition.

media are organized within traditional formal structures.

Dziga Vertov (film), Anton Webern (music), and Gerhard Richter (painting) are representative of artists who have had a significant influence on my work. Vertov's ethos in his declaration I am cinema-eye, I am camera-eye, his development of film as a separate reality, nearly an alternative consciousness, have influenced my conception of media composition as a self-referencing language, much like music. Webern's serial work, in which every note is a planet, every movement a universe, suggests to me strategies for the composition of time-forms or time-objects in which the elements of new

I am enormously attracted to the work of Gerhard Richter, who often bases his art on photographs and other preexisting sources, and whose technique includes the ability to control radically different vocabularies, sometimes within the same frame.

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An interview with Michael Lasater

Michael Lasater

Courtesy: Malory Pecina

ment. Each element or voice refers to and derives from the aesthetic and history of its genre while at the same time operating within the overall aesthetic of the piece. The challenge—and opportunity--is always one of synthesis.

Contemporary music is fundamental in your artistic research: the music of the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, for example, is a starting point for your video work Birthday. However, it would be more appropriate in your case to say that the starting point is not music itself, but musical thinking, which is at the same time philosophical and architectonic. Could you introduce our readers to the multidisciplinary nature of your art?

In Flight (2006) for instance, I wrapped soup cans with monochrome images from my family and flew the cans over a river cityscape. The visual rhythm of the soup cans provides an ostinato over which I composed a musical soundscape using processed Sprechgesang voices of poets from my earlier documentaries, percussion, and two part synthesized piano inventions I composed using a Webern tone row as subject. To me, the piece reads as a kind of passacaglia object referencing a number of artists, starting with the soup cans.

I began as a concert musician—a trombonist—then transitioned to filmmaking, then transitio-ned yet again to art video. One’s first experien-ces always carry forward, of course, and for that reason the strategies, forms, and protocols of music have consistently been significant in all my work. My compositions range from process to object. I use anything digital or that can be digitized—video, photographs, painting, text, speech, sound, scanned objects, music—as a composer uses instruments and voices in a sco-re. I’ve found this to be a very rich, inherently interdisciplinary environ-

Untitled, Kansas; One, Two; and Crossing, Berlin 1927, all from 2008, are counterpoint. Untitled, Kansas is a minimalist visual exposition of subject and countersubject developed in the play between clouds and shadows across time.

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A still from Flight (2006), Collection of Allen and Kelli Questrom

One, Two is a Bogen form composition based on a single photo split down the middle, paired with a single claves strike doubled at the octave; the audio and video develop in mirrored, algorithmic counterpoint. Berlin is a kind of frozen visual fugue anchored by a cantus firmus of stills extracted from the subject. More recently, I’ve explored similar formal issues in Ready, Set and Maquette, both from 2012.

politics of mass culture—Signs and Wonders (2009), a four-channel composition deeply indebted to Magritte’s On the Threshold of Liberty; Billboard (2007), riffing on my experience performing in show bands in New York Catskills resorts as well as my years in broadcast television; and Epiphany (2006), a pinball pop excursion through American TV of the 1950s and 60s, the time in which I was growing up.

Like Flight, Birthday (2012) is a decidedly visual composition in the classical sense—it almost says as much as a still as it does as a video/sound object—and I’ve written extensively about what I believe is its poetic structure. and then (2011) is closely related to Birthday in theme and architecture, and is more overtly poetic in its use of strophic text. Tryst (2013) began almost as illustration—the story of Iphigenia. Act II (2009) may be my most outright painterly work, and is the piece that continues to pose questions for me; it works, but possibly on terms I didn’t know I had negotiated.

Not by chance, in your statement, introducing your video Birthday, you say "Clocks are everywhere in the audio, but they don’t tell time", which is a very Ligetian sentence, reminding us of classical pieces like "Clocks and clouds" , the chamber concert and the String quartet no.2... …and Boulez’s explosante-fixe, Riley’s In C, Glass, Adams…a very large number of works that tend—in Ligeti’s sense—to object more than process (dialectic). But I think we’ve been here before. To my ear, Perotin’s Viderunt Omnes sounds quite at home today—a polyphonic installation—to me resonant with works like Sa-

Finally, I have a few pieces that derive from the

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Butcher Rules

A still from Birthday (2012)

tyagraha. Maybe, across the centuries, we simply explore the same things again and again. I once asked the poet Jim Wayne Miller what elements he thought absolutely essential to poetry, to art. His answer: metaphor and structure. Everything else is just detail.

mobile-like structure of poetry. It was luck, all the more so since the piece that attracted the most comment in my South Bend show was Birthday. I knew intuitively that I had things right in that composition; Ciardi gave me a framework not only for an explication of Birthday, but the means by which I could connect to other pieces in the show via poetry and narrative, thus increasing the comfort zone for a substantial number of people in the audience.

When did you come across John Ciardi's How Does a Poem Mean? I was in a high school English class and creative writing club taught by a superb teacher. This was 1964-65. I now remember reading parts of Ciardi’s How Does a Poem Mean in this class, and discussing the book in our writing club. But in fact I had forgotten all about it, across more than forty years, until I was asked to give an artist’s talk at my 2012 show at the South Bend Museum of Art. While thinking about what I might say about my work--especially Birthday, and then, and Act II--Ciardi’s book somehow surfaced. I located a copy and read it again, finding gold in his last chapter description of the

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? You ask a question about something that surely must go simply to who I am. I can offer that my family is of the American south, and in such

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A still from and then (2011)

families time is memory. No moment is lived except in reference to the past, a past that can be—is—as close as one’s heartbeat. For me, the past is never negative space. Faulkner has a lot to say about this.

generation. Nothing is ever lost. All is told again and again and again. We find that your art is rich of references. Apart from contemporary composers we have quoted in our interview, can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

Several years ago I wrote a gallery note to accompany Flight. This might be the best I can provide.

I get quite a lot from artists, primarily painters, who work from found objects, snapshots, advertisements, pre-existing media, even junk— the stuff of postmodern and conceptual art. But I also want structure and elegance. Gerhard Richter provides much to think about. I’m really interested in his ability to control multiple vocabularies with consistent mastery. I’m also interested in his range of subjects, from toilet paper to Titian’s Annunciation. His series paintings Portraits and Eight Student Nurses were much on my mind when I was composing Flight, and I think that he shows up in Maquette via Ruttmann’s transformed locomotive wheel.

Although my brother and I were born and grew up in central Kansas, our family is southern, from east Texas back to Mississippi and Louisiana on our mother's side, and from Arkansas back to Tennessee and North Carolina on our father's. In such families the living and the dead often are equally present in story and reference; a great-grandmother appears at the dinner ta-ble when her favorite dish is passed; a despised third cousin, long in his grave, attempts yet another swindle; the unjust death of an infant rings heavily down through generation after

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A still from One, Two (2008)

Jasper Johns is another painter whose choice of materials, especially, has been influential— Act II began in the wake of having seen Johns’ retrospective of grey paintings and objects at the Art Institute of Chicago. Works like Voice and No I find still wonderful after many years—I like things showing up where they’re not supposed to be. Several of my pieces are somewhat to decidedly surreal; one must pay court to Dali, but it’s Magritte whom I find more useful—Signs and Wonders, Ready, Set and Messenger are perhaps the most obviously influenced of my pieces.

about Dziga Vertov’s influence, and it is very large. But, like Ligeti, Vertov works for me as credo, a meta architecture within which I pursue composition. What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind ? I have a strong start on a longer-form piece that will, if it works, more overtly explore musical, poetic, and painterly elements than I’ve attempted before. My recent solo shows in South Bend and Kansas City made me aware of how many of my pieces work together, as if I had hung a single composition in several movements. Immediately following Kansas City, I picked up a collection of recently published poems—The Poet’s Wife Speaks—by my friend Mary Ellen Miller, an exploration of grief following her husband Jim Miller’s death in 1996. These are excellent; even more, the structure of her book as a whole has helped me see my way toward a larger composition that simply says itself, as music says itself.

I like the work of a number of photographers, but the most useful has been Bill Brandt, especially his portraits and more especially his figure work—elegantly surreal. I return constantly to the film work of Ingmar Bergman and Frederico Fellini. Nykvist’s painterly passages in Bergman’s Persona and the barge of freaks in Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits mark the range of visual vocabulary I find compelling in these two artists. I’m deeply touched by Bergman, but use Fellini more. I’ve written

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A still from Tryst (2013)

A still from Untitled, Kansas (2008)

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Butcher Rules

A still from Doomsday/Celebrate Us, Video

Kelin Kaardal Doomsday / Celebrate Us is a documentation of a trip to Playa Del Carmen in the winter of 2012.

disaster. This project acts as a document of this significant date as well as a document of the all-inclusive style of vacationing that has overtaken most coast cities in Mexico.

The film is structured around my visit to the Mayan ruins in Tulum on December 21, 2012 the end-date of the 5, 126 year long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. In Mayan belief, this day was a celebration of the end of an era and of new beginnings.

From the Tulum ruins to the private beaches and nightly renditions of Western Broadway classics, this film brings the dynamic between the tourists and the locals, land and culture out of its usual context.

In Western culture many believed it signified the end of life on earth or a similar

Kelin Kaardal

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An interview with Kelin Kaardal

Kelin Kaardal

How did you come up with the idea for Doomsday/Celebrate Us?

going, there was so much hype around the day and so many people at the site. I think as soon as I started filming at Tulum is when I thought the footage I had so far could be used together as a narrative. After that, things just started falling into place, the experience of being at an all-inclusive resort during both Christmas and the end of the Mesoamerican long count calendar was too strange not to make a video.

It was a project that kind of just happened. I wanted to film something in another country, so when my mom, Rhonda, said she bought tickets to Playa Del Carmen in December of 2012 I was very excited. I had never been to Mexico before and I was curious to see what it was going to be like, especially during Christmas. I researched the resort we were going to be staying at and it turned out it was extremely close to the Mayan Ruins in Tulum. I knew I was going to be there on "Doomsday", December 21st, 2012, I told my family and she thought it would be fun for us all to go. To be honest, I was a little anxious about

Despite of the ironical touch, which is always remarkable in your artworks, your dystrophic vision show powerful "social effort". It could seem a specious question, however: in your opinion what role does the artist have in society? I am very inquisitive going into new situations,

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A still from Doomsday/Celebrate Us, Video

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

I try very hard not to make assumptions. At times I think this approach can do more harm than good, but I think when you begin to accept an object/environment/situation for what it is and use what is already in front of you instead of wishing that or the other thing was different, you can make something that is intricate and compelling. There is are so many forces all around us and the longer we observe the more comes to the surface. In this film, all I had to do was point and shoot, all the footage was already so socially loaded, so it was easy for me to accentuate this in the editing process.

I think it really varies from project to project. In the case of "Doomsday/Celebrate Us", it wasn't overly planned. I think I had a general idea where things were going but I got most of my ideas during and after filming. Generally if I get an idea or become interested in a topic I have a tendency to apply that idea or topic to everything. I would say a large percentage of my creative process is research based, from there I collect found footage, audio, and quotes and combine them with my personal videos and audio that I produce. The beginning of the editing process is quite overwhelming, and most of my ideas come while I am piecing everything together.

This video turned out at the forefront very socially critical, more so than any other work I've made. Its very serious and humorous, I think that is a constant for me, its important to me that both of those elements are always there.

Audio has a huge importance in your works. The use of soundtrack has not a diegethical aims, but tend to sabotage the common perception mechanims like in the films of the french director Alain-Robbe Grillet. In your video self-produced audio is present

But to answer your question more directly, I think artists are observers, their role is to communicate the connections that come naturally to them and to help others see things from new perspectives.

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A still from Doomsday/Celebrate Us, Video

too. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your filmmaking?

culture and symbols have mainteined their creative appeal intact?

People respond quickly to sound or music and that’s why I use it so often. The properties of a conventional song and that of a movie are structurally similar which has made it an obvious tool in film.

I think the fact that it was such a powerful civilization during its time and that the Mayan people withstood subjugation by Spain for so long (170 years). Although many ancient artifact and sacred texts were destroyed and Mayan religious practices were made illegal, their beliefs and predictions for the future have stood the test of time.

I am attracted to the fact that it is obvious, for this reason I often play between using audio that sounds generically like a soundtrack and audio that is meant to be jarring and doesn't often comply with what is happe-ning on screen.

Although Western pop culture used the end of the Meso- American 126 day long count calendar as a fear tactic, there are still many people who celebrated the true meaning of this date. From the many Mayan descendants that still speak a version of the ancient Mayan language and to this day retain some of the cultural practices of the Mayan civilization to people who are interested in the ontology of spirituality outside of western culture, the fact that this religion is still alive, relevant and evolving is very appealing. It doesn't surprise me that a director like Fellini was interested in Tulum, there is so much mysticism surrounding the bea-

Much like in Grillet's films, I want the audience to be hyper aware of their part, the film and it's language. Tulum has been the subject for many video works, even Federico Fellini had a project in mind, which wasn't realized for budget problems, and in the late 80s was transposed into comics with the collaboration of the refined drawer Milo Manara. In your opinion, what's the main reason why Maya

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ches, the caves and the ruins. I think artist are attracted to the secretive essence of Tulum and the Mayan culture, but also the strange and overwhelming feeling of unification that comes from being there. What's next for Kelin? what are your next projects on the horizon? At the moment I am working on a new film called, "If You Don't Know, Now You Know", starring Tila Tequila and myself. The film is similar to "Doomsday/Celebrate Us" in many ways but is turning out to be a lot more personal, even a little embarrassing, which is a new thing for me. I am interested in showing work that I enjoy the process of but makes me uncomfortable, I am editing a lot less and leaving most of the footage as is. Tila Tequila's Anonymous Truth Blog is a central theme of the video as well as my personal diary. The film deals with society's disregard of the "mentally ill", more specifically those living with bi polar and schizophrenia.

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Butcher Rules

A still from Held Down Video

Jennie Feyen Before I made Held Down I had a modest portfolio of short experimental films and a short documentary, each of which had been produced specifically for university assign-ments. In 2011 I was due to go to Japan for a student exchange program, however my plans were postponed by the tragedy of the eartquake and tsunami that hit in March of that year. Confronted with such a horrifying situation, I realised it was time to prove myself as an emer-ging filmmaker and attempt to produce work about issues I deeply care about outside the parametres of an assignment.

I used it as an impetus to start producing some new work. After the completion of a silent super 8 film I wrote and directed called Marigold, I read an article about sex slavery and started to reflect on all the media I'd been exposed to that had dared to show the grim reality of women tricked and sold into sex slavery. My mother recommended that I read a book called 'Half The Sky' and from there I decided what my next short film would be about. As sex slavery is such a huge issue and very difficult to comprehend when all one has known is safety and privilege, I tried to relate to the issue in the simplest way possible; by focusing on the face of a woman. Soon my mind had created a montage of womens' faces, whether they be characters (particularly Lilya from Lukas Moodysson's film Lilya 4-ever) or photos of former victims I had seen online and in print

Around this time I also started to have a recurring image of a girl standing alone in a dark space, her bare back facing me and her hands raised up in the air. I didn't understand who she was or what it meant, but there was something about the raw simplicity of it that struck me, and

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A still from Held Down Video

media. I then realised that they were all human beings who had their own hopes, dreams and fears. With seven billion people in the world it can be shockingly easy to reduce people to data and statistics, so I thought that by focusing on one woman we could remember that, despite the fact that her circumstances are so extreme, she has a mind, a soul and a heart.

the image of the girl with her hands raised in the air was the character in this film - she was reaching out for her survival.

It's important to note that although I conducted my own research, I will never be an expert on the issue and was in no position to try and make a film that offered answers and solutions. I decided that the most respectful thing I could do was try to raise awareness about the issue and focus on the humanity of the character by exploring her psychology; I wanted to show someone who was drawing on her own strength to survive such violence and humiliation. This was when I made the simple connection that

Jennie Feyen www.jenniefeyen.com

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An interview with

Jennie Feyen In your statement, referring to a concrete image which has inspired your work, you say "The raw simplicity of it that struck me". We are deeply interested in your art process, and in particular we would like to explore the way your imagination lead you toward the final idea. What is the first step of your filmmaking? Is this process always beginning with a sort of visual apparition? When I become obsessed with an idea, or a theme, or a topical issue, my approach is very much the “scrapbook method" in which I feel compelled to collect a variety of art forms and media that I feel have a connection to the piece. These can range from news articles to quotations, a series of photographs or even creating a track-list of music. My objective is to create a world for the film from which I can draw inspiration to create an appropriate atmosphere. his can become quite an emotional expe-rience depending on how traumatic the mate-rial is, but there is always a key image in my mind that is guiding me towards the full reali-sation of the piece.

Jennie Feyen

"I will never be an expert on the issue and was in no position to try and make a film that offered answers". In your opinion, what is the most political act by an artist? I can really only speak for myself, but I’m quite turned off by creative work that dictates how one must feel and what one must do. We do have some urgent, pressing issues that must be addressed immediately, but as we’re already bombarded and manipulated by advertisements that tell us what to think and how to spend our money, I prefer art that presents something important and gives the audience room to breathe. A perfect example is PJ Harvey and her album Let England Shake (2010). At no point does Harvey declare ‘war is bad’, but instead she addresses the harrowing aftermath through descriptions of war-torn landscapes and first hand accounts from soldiers, friends and townsfolk. The artist plays the role of the messenger, not the preacher.

In Held down you treat the face of women not only as a body element, but as a "mental" place: like in the contemporary theatre piece by Romeo Castellucci On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God. Could your better explain this aspect of your work? I’m not very familiar with contemporary theatre, but I understand that the face can be a very powerful and expressive tool as it can communicate so much without the use of words. Even a neutral expression can communicate so many things, and each person has individual facial features that can influence another person’s mood, which I find fascinating. As Held Down deals with incredibly heavy mate-rial and is based on the darker side of huma-nity, I thought the most respectful thing I could do as a filmmaker would be to remove any gratuity and simply focus on the face of the individual to show that she is a human being undergoing a traumatic experience.

A recurrent characteristic of many of your artworks is experience as a starting point of artistic production: in your opinion, is experience an absolutely necessary part of the creative process? It really does depend on the work. As an artist I could potentially draw upon incredibly personal experiences that have affected my life and relationships in order to create a visual experience,

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A still from Held Down Video

but in the grand scheme of things the scope of the material would be quite limited as I’m only one person in a population of seven billion. With that said I believe that if one possesses a strong ability to empathise with others and a willingness to work hard to research factual information to align with their emotional response, then one is capable of telling stories outside of their immediate first-hand experiences.

which also extends to music videos and documentaries. However, I think that the frontier definitely remains as the majority of commercially successful films tend to be linear pieces of narrative and less conceptual in design. In relation to other art practices, both cinema and video art are relatively new, so it ultimately depends on the development of new media technology and the way in which the viewer engages with the visual information.

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 exist longer?

Thanks for sharing your time with us, Jennie. What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind? I have several projects that are in different stages of development and have recently been invited to create video art for an opera that will be performed in Perth, Western Australia, all of which is very exciting. One project that I’m particularly excited about is called ‘Together’ and will involve the local community of Perth, but that’s about all I can share at the moment!

In terms of how the general public absorbs visual media and entertainment, to many a film is familiar and video art is foreign, unless one takes the time to go to galleries or search for online material. There are several filmmakers who employ video art aesthetics in their work to great effect,

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Butcher Rules

A still from Black Halo

Raina Kim Black Halo is a silent poem-film in three parts that explores light as a means and source of scientific and spiritual knowledge. Everything we understand about the universe is based on the physical light emanating from the skies, light that we have been able to capture and interpret through our humbly ambitious mechanisms of lenses. Likewise, our access to the realm of spirituality, perhaps even transcendence, is dependent upon our ability to seek and follow the illuminations cast by some source of metaphorical light, whether it be within ourselves or provided by a higher being.

that most ephemeral, elusive and rich source of truth: light. The title, a reminder of the inherent mystery of the universe and our limited ability to wholly understand it, despite our indefatigable desire to capture and consume it with our minds and hearts, refers to the sphere of dark matter that surrounds each galaxy, a humbling reminder that for all we have achieved in harnessing the truths of the universe through its light, only about 5% of it is visibly detectable matter. The remaining 95% of the universe – the black halo – is composed of dark matter and energy that, in their luminous recalcitrance, leave us prostrate before its inscrutable nature yet uplifted in its stirring of eternal awe and wonder. The underlying concept of Black Halo dictated the media I used. I felt it imperative to utilize 16mm film for its direct physical and organic relationship to light.

As a film/video artist, the camera is the means by which I can journey with light, capturing it and inquiring the resulting imagery for some truth about the universe, God and myself. ĂœIn my yearning for understanding and connection to that which lies immeasurably beyond and within myself, the camera allows me to capture

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film, reached its final form, at once inextricable yet entirely distinct from its origins (although, of course, it underwent yet another translation in the telecine process that brought it to its true final form, high definition digital video). Though my primary mode of expression is through imagery, text is significant to me insofar as it can create mental imagery in the viewer in the context of the actual imagery presented on the screen, thereby inviting a left and right brain dialogue that can perhaps lead to that elusive mental state which allows for higher connection, intuition and understanding. ÜThus, in the second part of Black Halo, the juxtaposition of texts from news sources, holy writings, and fiction serves to inspire mental images that must coexist with the actual screen images. ÜThe viewer is thereby invited to enter into a process of reconciliation and meaningmaking that I hope is an expansive and introspective one that creates in him/her an open and receiving state of being for the final segment of the film, an ecstatic m»lange of black and white negative, black and white reversal, and color reversal hand-processed 16mm film injected with lightning flickers of text.

A still from Black Halo

Moreover, while some of the 16mm film was developed by a lab, hand-processing much of the 16mm imagery was also a choice based largely on the concept of Black Halo. ÜThe chance occurrences in the process of developing film by hand reinvigorates the human element in our deciphering of luminance data for truth, and, on a personal, artistic level, reconnects me physically to the image object as well as the images themselves. Black Halo, however, is composed of analog and digital video as well as hand-processed 16mm film. ÜAgain, the concept of Black Halo played a role in my utilization of an assortment of media in order to reflect the various means by which we attempt to capture and understand light in the 21st century (indeed, some of the imagery was shot on a cellular phone). Furthermore, as an artist whose medium is moving images, one of my interests is exploring and uniting various formats of imagery, both by juxtaposing such imagery with one another and also by translating from one to another. For example, the imagery in Part I of Black Halo (the girl on a bicycle) that was originally captured on tape-based digital video was manipulated by analog means (audio synthesizers in the CalArts Videographics lab), then filmed onto 16mm black and white reversal film, which was then hand-processed.

This final segment is where, I hope, language no longer serves a pragmatic purpose but is embedded in imagery and memory, much as it is in our subconsciousness and in our most primal relationship to the world.

The journey of the imagery thus began with sunlight captured on digital tape whose replay of electronic light on a monitor was then captured by chemical compounds that organically transformed the electronic light into reconfigured reactionary molecules on celluloid, which then, through the inherently unpredictable experience of hand-processing

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A still from Black Halo

An interview with

Raina Kim example, influences not only our perspective on the relationships amongst stars and trees and insects and ourselves but also our understanding of our sense of consciousness and the human soul.

The first time we have watched your astonishing silent film Black Halo we have been really impressed by the way you are able mix different format, analogic and digital media, in a coherent work, a pure piece of film-poetry. How did you come up with the idea for Black Halo?

What analogic tools have you used to alter the 16mm footage?

I was (and still am) very interested in theoretical physics and astronomy, and during the year prior to making Black Halo, I read quite a bit about the subject matter, both nonfiction and fiction. The immense scale of this field of study – the study of the universe, essentially – captivated not only my imagination, allowing for ruminative daydreams of stars, but also reactivated my relationship to the immediate world around me, placing my home, my neighborhood, this planet, into perspective in comparison with the wider universe. After all, the knowledge scientists have gleaned from the skies has direct impact on our understanding of our immediate surroundings – the idea that the composition of all matter stems from the same source, for

I’ve used 16mm film in various ways in Black Halo. In Part I of the film, I shot 16mm film through a hand-made camera obscura using a Bolex intervalometer, thus accounting for the circular vignettes, upside-down imagery, and altered passage of time. Much of the superimposed imagery was created in-camera, while some of them were optically printed to superimpose the imagery, but also to create an extremely high contrast version of them. In a different segment of Part I, I reshot images originally captured on digital tape onto black and white reversal 16mm film. I then hand-processed the film.

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A still from Black Halo

force of the film is the wonder of light. As such, I felt that the imagery should be the focus. Sound has a grounding effect on images, bringing the film into our bodies and therefore into a physiologically familiar experience. Without sound, the film remains slightly out of physiological reach such that, I hope, the film inspires that other state of being in the viewer, that receptive extra-cerebral, perhaps even spiritual state, in order to participate in its journey of light.

(referred to in my statement also). Part III is a mix of images I shot on black and white 16mm print stock with a Bolex with extension tubes (for magnification) and images I re-shot with a Bolex intervalometer from a monitor displaying the imagery in its original digital form. This latter process allowed for me to experiment with controlling both the movement of the images being shot as well as the timing of the intervalometer used to shoot them. The images from this process were shot onto black and white and color reversal film stock, and all the imagery from Part III was hand-processed. Exploring the balance between control and chance is a significant part of my creative process.

Black Halo is your CalArts MFA thesis film. In your opinion, how much training influences art? I am so fortunate to have studied under the most caring, open-minded and brilliant filmmakers during my time at CalArts.

Specifically with respect to Black Halo, the choice of silence was in line with the concept of the film. Because the seeds of the film came from the contemplation of the universe and the vast unknown of space, where silence reigns in a way that we cannot comprehend, I felt that silence was appropriate. Moreover, the driving

While I do not believe formal training is necessary to make impactful art, my training provided me technical knowledge of my medium that was tied to its history and its underlying philosophi-

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cal concerns, which served to open within me ideas, considerations and questions in a way that I personally would not have been able to do on my own, thanks largely to the guidance of the esteemed CalArts faculty. That said, I believe any experience, indeed any moment of our days, can open something within us, be it wonder, awe, fear, or mystery. I think my training has taught me to be even more sensitive to these opportunities for internal growth and exploration and to use the creative process to pursue these new openings with faith that such pursuit will be worthwhile at worst, and life-changing at best. On a practical level, my training, which included learning about the science of film chemistry and the history of optics, reinvigorated my intense love affair with light and inspired Black Halo by connecting this love affair to the broader exploration of the universe and the yearning for truth. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? As perhaps is evident by Black Halo and some of my other work, I enjoy discerning or creating patterns out of disparate elements. Thus, my creative process often begins with distinct and seemingly unrelated seedlings that inexplicably want to be woven together in my mind. The seedlings can be almost anything: a scientific concept, a word, a sound, an emotional state, a film or video technique, a new camera lens, a structure, a color, etc. At some point, enough of these seedlings will mesh together into potential images and rhythms that I can then explore as a project and, ultimately, for unifying themes. Your video production is very miscellanous: how has your production processes changed over the years?

A still from Black Halo

I’ve always been drawn to mixing analog and digital elements, but my process was much shorter. Black Halo, as a CalArts thesis film, demanded of me a lengthier, more intense incubation period during which I discovered how much more complex and nuanced some seedlings can become when nourished with time and exploration. I find myself now enjoying longer incubation times and looking forward to what it bears.

What are your next projects on the horizon, Raina? I currently have two projects on the immediate horizon. One is another multi-segmented film incorporating pieces of nature glued onto 35mm film, imagery from my personal home videos, which are on VHS, and long takes taken on my cell phone. Text will be incorporated throughout as well. I plan to use sound in this film,

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which will be the first sound project I’ve done in a while now, so I’m very excited about

through film, which, if one draws out the essential concept of mapping to its ultimate magnification, is essentially what mapping is: photography.

that. I expect to end the film digitally but would like to explore the possibility of creating a companion installation piece with the film made with materials used to make the film. The other immediate project is more conceptually driven. I’ve always been fascinated by maps, and so I’m excited to explore the theme and object of maps

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Butcher Rules

A still from Pepe, 1976, construyendo el socialismo, Video

Nelson Enriquez Pepe, 1976, construyendo el socialismo

society, who valued the community above all else.

For my generation born in Cuba, each of us participated in a revolutionary project. We were told by our parents, by our teachers, by our classmates, to be like the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Creating a socialist society is an act of constant creation, a process of building. From the literal construction of concrete slab high rise buildings to the teaching of Marxism and Leninism in Cuban classrooms, socialism is created every day in Cuba.

We grew up hearing about “the new man,” a man who would work for the betterment of all

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An interview with Nelson Enriquez

Nelson Enriquez "For me, Cuba has many surrealistic qualities, and I choose to represent this act of shoveling through a visual quality that resembles a moving painting. " With these words, Nelson Enriquez introduce his video "pepe 1976 (construyendo el socialismo)", a delicious balance of surrealism and Fellinishimaginery. When did you decide to start this project, Nelson?

build his apartment. I saw that his act of constant shoveling was a metaphorical one for me and chose to portray this moment. How has your history influenced the way you have realized "pepe 1976"? For my generation born in Cuba, each of us participated in a revolutionary project. We were told by our parents, by our teachers, by our classmates, to be like the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che� Guevara.

I began this project in 2012 as a continuation of a series of video shorts of scenes from daily Cuban life. Pepe from the video was helping another friend of ours repair and

Creating a socialist society is an act of constant creation, a process of building. From the literal construction of concrete slab

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A still from Pepe, 1976, construyendo el socialismo, Video

high rise buildings to the teaching of Marxism and Leninism in Cuban classrooms, socialism is created every day in Cuba.

his sense of humor has been an influence in the way I choose and portray subjects. What do you think about the contemporary underground Cuban cinema scene, from a filmmaker's point of view?

This video was created as a way to understand and portray my personal history and that of other Cubans my age. Let’s speak about influences. Have any Cuban filmmakersfrom the older generation inspired you?

There are many interesting things happening, especially by younger artists. There are many artists focused on video art and video installations.

Yes, the classic Tomas Gutierrez Alea. He always shows his subjects in a complex and nuanced way, and also weaves in a sense of dark humor I relate to. While visually my style and aesthetic is different from that of Alea,

People are creating work that focuses on very sociological themes, they’re dealing with the political and economic realities of Cuba and questioning and examining the past, the present, and the future of Cuba.

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A still from Pepe, 1976, construyendo el socialismo, Video

It is a clichè question, but have to do it: what role does the artist have in society?

called Blackball Universe starting in June 2014. I’m especially interested in promoting audiovisual artists.

For me, an artist has the capacity to perceive and make meaning of the many layers and facets of society and how they interact with one another.

I will be showing works from Cuban artists, California artists, and artists from all around the world. One of my upcoming personal projects is called Red Brigade and involves public installation/performance in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Being a Cuban artist and born into a very political country, art can be a way to make social change. Thanks for sharing you art and thoughts with us. What’s next for Nelson? Are there any new projects on the horizon? I have been invited to become the curator for a gallery and arts collective in Oakland, CA

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Rules A still fromButcher The Pool

Christine Lucy Latimer This project is a spastic depiction of an attempted journey to the beach on my sister's birthday. Windshield wipers punctuate and jump-cut our rapid movement through white-knuckle moments of abstraction.

We head towards the beach with best intentions in our mother’s car. Black clouds marble the daytime sunlight. The sky volleys between oppressive darkness and promising luminance. All the while, I’m optimistic that fair weather will prevail. If we can just get our bodies into the lake, all will reset, and we’ll have an experience befitting a birthday celebration.

To celebrate Jane’s 30 th birthday last June, we planned a day trip with our mother to our favorite childhood destination, a tiny beach on Lake Erie, Ontario.

25 kilometres from the beach, the rain begins. It quickly overtakes the landscape, and an assaulting downpour ensues. My mother pulls the car to the side of the road, and we wait for it to pass. It lets up, ever so slightly, and we begin driving again. Driving is still a dangerous venture. Visibility is impossible. Everyone in the car is frightened.

Festivities don’t begin well for Jane that day. Waiting to meet me at a Toronto train station, she badly wounds her hand. Finding me on the train, bleeding, she realizes that she has forgotten her luggage and has to get off to go back for it. Then, an accident occurs on the tracks and she winds up stranded on the station platform for over two hours.

Knowing that I can more readily face my fears by bringing a viewfinder to my eye, I ask my sister for her point-and-shoot digital camera. I quickly click through the settings, adjusting shutter speed and resolution, before gingerly

When we finally connect with our mother, it’s clear that Jane’s birthday enthusiasm is fast eroding. I am determined to turn things around.

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A still from The Pool

aiming the lens into the windshield. We feel gusts of wind hitting the side of the car. I am barely able to hold the camera. I keep my eye in the viewfinder and try to stay calm. I focus on the windshield and the water.

analog/digital tension within the piece that mirrors the chaotic tension between my hand’s steadiness and the violent rain. What I appreciate, beyond the narrative of Jane’s Birthday, is the fact that my family is so able to allow me the space for calming artistic interventions, even in high-stress moments.

I reassure my sister, whose birthday happiness is collapsing with every giant raindrop that explodes against the windows. I reassure my mother of her sound driving skills. I am calm because of the viewfinder. I have something to focus on and centre me.

They know that inevitably, I am compelled to document. Their patience with my creative instincts is a huge contributing factor that enables me to be the artist that I am.

I never ventured out that day to make a video project, but unexpectedly treacherous weather coupled with the availability of a camera made it so. Following our journey, I processed the footage, emphasizing its jarring properties, using a VHS deck and feedback loops. The natural jump-cutting of the windshield wipers aided my assembling of the work, helping me to eliminate moments where my hands dropped the camera completely. I wanted to create an

Christine Lucy Latimer

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An interview with Christine Lucy Latimer

Christine Lucy Latimer Christine Lucy Latimer treats the surface of film as if it were skin. Her works are characterized not only by the use of out-of-use formats like 16mm and VHS, but reveal a radical conception of the nature of cinema itself. How did you develop your style, Christine?

log cameras, tape decks, mixing boards and custom effects boxes. It is through this fortunate accumulation of orphan devices that a hybrid practice has emerged. Because I have an abundance of technologies to choose from, I try to incorporate and conflate these formats differently and liberally with each new work I create. Hence, an old, weathered, and incised skin is formed.

My style has evolved through years of experimentation with discarded formats and found technologies. I'm at my happiest when in a state of play with these devices, and deeply enjoy the images revealed by pushing them beyond their originally intended purpose.

I aim to generate scenarios where all of the film and video formats throughout history can be collapsed on one image plane. I want to press generations of juxtaposed moving image artifacts together to create anachronistic imagescapes absent of definitive historical origin.

I have been quite fortunate to have become known to various friends and institutions in my art-making community as a bit of a house mother for out-of-use, hacked and circuit-bent technologies. Iâ€&#x;m frequently given gifts of ana-

In your video The Pool you use a broken glass plate to achieve a special effect, a technique reminding us of Carmelo Bene's

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Our Lady of the Turks. Could you comment on this work?

I'm certain that if I have a project idea that lends itself well to HD, I will explore the available gear and find something appropriate. For the moment though, analog formats are a bit of a priority. As the commercial availability of these forms slowly erodes, I feel a greater sense of urgency to use them before they disappear.

It's an honor to be held in league with a filmmaker such as Carmelo Bene. His films (and the work of other 1960‟s European filmmakers such as Pasolini, Ferreri and Godard) often elegantly incorporate experimental, formal and process-based gestures within the architecture of the cinematic narrative. Those moments of stylistic bridging are very much, for me, at the core of cinematic inquiry. They provide more mainstream audiences an exposure to complexities within the film form that may be otherwise unknown to them.

Can you tell us your biggest influences in experimental cinema and how they have affected your work? Could you suggest some experimental directors from the older generation who have inspired you? I am grateful to cinematic influences both inside and beyond the experimental oeuvre. Specifically, my influences among the „elders" of experimental film include the works of Paul Sharits, David Rimmer, Joyce Wieland, Andy Warhol, Lillian Schwartz, Phil Morton, Malcolm LeGrice, Jürgen Reble, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Paolo Gioli, Andrew Noren and Jim Davis. Within this golden age of experimental film, what has been most compelling for me are those works that create the potential for a spiritual experience or altered state; that open the doors of perception and expand our understanding of what can be evoked or revealed through the moving image.

As for my use of a broken glass plate, I am always building up an image in different ways and utilizing different tactics, be they electronic, tactile or optical. With The Pool, my aim was to distort the source imagery (in this instance, a found roll of 16mm film from the 1950's) optically before further pushing it with various editing techniques and analog effects. I had recently purchased a vintage glass plate at a junk shop in Montréal, which I subsequently broke only days after returning home. The plate was too beautiful not to utilize in some manner, so I began wedging pieces of it in front of my 16mm projector lens. I enjoyed the effect so much that to this very day, all of the broken pieces from that plate are still sitting on my camera shelf, ready to be used again.

I feel that heavy-hitting experimental film classics, such as T.O.U.C.H.I.N.G. by Paul Sharits, Berlin Horse by Malcolm LeGrice, Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper by David Rimmer, and Internal System by Coleen Fitzgibbon all share this quality.

What artistic medium do you prefer to work in? Are there any that you don’t like to use? To paraphrase Woody Allen, I prefer to use formats for which “aesthetic criteria may not yet have fully emerged”. The planned obsolescence of moving image technologies causes frequent shifts in film and video formats, replacing the latest device rather than meditating within it and pushing its aesthetic potential. In this regard, I am still quite preoccupied with analog, antiquated formats. I am interested in exploring the particular aesthetic possibilities within them that may have been glossed over by commercial and consumer interests. The only forms I haven't yet truly engaged with are those that are within the „High Definition" realm. I haven't tried to use a GoPro or a RED camera yet. This is gear that a lot of my filmmaker peers use and are really excited about. Despite my clear analog leanings, I have no real objection to these technologies.

I am additionally very influenced by vignetteism, or what I have playfully come to understand as “all middle, no beginning and no end”. This concept is quite aptly expressed in influential works such as Sailboat by Joyce Wieland, Outer and Inner Space by Andy Warhol, and Fantasies by Lillian Schwartz. Finally, I am tremendously influenced by the work, compassion and momentum of my contemporary Canadian colleagues, including film/video artists James Schidlowsky (Montréal), Scott Fitzpatrick and Aaron Zeghers (Winnipeg), and Kyle Whitehead (Calgary). I also have a core group of Toronto-area film/video peers for whom I am endlessly grateful: Mark Loeser, Stephen Broomer, Andrew James Paterson, John Porter, Jenn E. Norton, Cameron Moneo, Clint Enns, Leslie Supnet, Cliff Caines, Ryan Randall and Dan Browne (to name a few!)

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We have found many experimental filmmakers from Canada who love to work with old shooting formats: it seems that Canada continues to be an interesting underground scene for filmmakers, from masters like Guy Maddin to the younger generation of filmmakers and video artists. What's your view on this? There are interesting factors involved in the use of outmoded technologies in the Canadian film and video scene. They take different trajectories, from medium-specificity as an aesthetic choice to medium- specificity as a socio-economic necessity. Although there are several resources (in the form of grants and other financing) made available to media artists in Canada; many of us still, by necessity, have to live under the radar of capitalism in order to make work. The restrictions that come from being a poor artist can often feel stifling. However, the spirit of the handmade and the inventiveness that ensues as a result of poverty is always inspiring. It is frequently the poor media artists that take up those tools that are plentiful yet commercially unpopular. VHS tapes, small-gauge film cameras, and all of the other technology left behind that industry doesn't want or use anymore – this is what we can afford and therefore, a major factor in governing how we aesthetically explore.

Butcher Rules

How has your production processes changed over the years? My process becomes more diverse and complex as I amass gear, materials and found footage. My focus, however, in the making of work has remained quite consistent. My ongoing creative aim is to explore abandoned formats in an attempt to re-vitalize discarded moments and forgotten histories. I have learned a great deal over the years about various analog technologies and their interchangeability simply through exposure.

A still from The Pool

This has influenced my approach considerably. In my early image-making practice, I had only a limited number of juxtapositions and strategies to exploit. I worked faster, and made generally simpler projects. I have the generosity of my peers (always handing me different cameras, tape decks and other tools) to thank for the expansion of my fluency with these formats.

Inevitably, my work becomes more densely layered as a result of this expansion. However, I still have a great deal to learn. My curiosity towards hard-to-find formats (such as 9.5mm film cameras, toy cameras, broadcast u-matic tape, etc.) grows as my exposure to formats becomes more fluent.

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Korea and exhibiting in Canada, or Spain or in the United States? Every city has its own cultural and artistic priorities and imperatives. Different scenes, culled from different influences and different tangential understandings of a history of experimental film have all simultaneously emerged. The terminology of experimental film is so fundamentally rooted in the subjective that it is wonderful to anticipate how audiences engage and what they respond to. I am blessed to have beneficial discourse with an array of different artists and audience members all over the world. What I love most about exhibiting in different places is experiencing the creative ways in which festivals and galleries bring experimental film and video art to audiences. I screened at a festival in Bangalore, India once where experimental films were projected on the side of a building in a huge field. There was no other facility or space for the festival organizers to utilize, so they intervened directly with the public landscape. Juxtaposing that experience with screening at a larger-scale festival in a major United States city, where there are multiple screening venues, installations and parties held over 1-2 weeks, patterns develop concerning economies and resources. What is inspirational is that there are experimental film festivals everywhere, regardless of the socio- economic state of a place or its cultural and artistic priorities. Festival organizers take incredible agency to make the sharing of experimental film possible within their own unique communities. Appreciating this passion gives value to all of the different exhibition experiences that I have had internationally. What are your upcoming projects? I am in the midst of making a 16mm film that involves the ink-jet printing of single video frames on to clear film leader. I am also interested in making a long strip of small-gaugesized film entirely by knitting or crocheting with sewing thread. I have another project where I want to contact-print translucent foods (thinly sliced prosciutto, onions, limes, etc.) on to expired colour 35mm film stock. My upcoming exhibitions include screenings at San Francisco Cinematheque, Exploded View, EFF Portland and the Images Festival, and an installation at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in my home town of Oshawa, Ontario (June-September, 2014).

Your films have been screened in international galleries and film festivals in all over the world. What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? What is the diffe rence between exhibiting, for example, in

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Butcher Rules

A still from Peripheries

Joe Duffy Joe Duffy is an artist and filmmaker based in Manchester. He has a widening interest in landscapes, environments and the senses of places with historical, social or political uses. This ongoing interest in the traces of habitation, of the places we live in has been examined through photographic, moving image and installation works that cover tower blocks, Tv Towers and the Urban Peripheral, landfill sites, illegal settlements, kids toys and the apocalyptic. Current work is concerned with placemaking and narratives using photography film, performative filmmaking and gps animations from walking through sites such as the Bantar Gebang landfill site in Indonesia, Krakatau and Merapi volcanic disaster sites and Oslo bomb

cordon. The spaces of utopia are examined and explored through his practice. Fractures: Fractures - is a short experimental piece either screened as a single channel or a looped installation. Images that evoke a sense of escape through the obliteration of architectural forms. Apocalyptic dread is layered into notions of paradise and utopian futures via a continual cyclical narrative of disasters unfolding and surfaces scarred with the traces and marks of exit, as the sites of a great evacuation.

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An interview with

Joe Duffy In your video "Fractures" you explore the mythopoetical nature of buildings architectural forms, achieving a stunning and layered balance between apocalyptic imaginery and utopian feelings. How did you come up with the idea for this work? I have been interested in the aesthetics of the built environment and the ideological aspects of habitus. The structures are often invisible networks of flows and patterns which map into the utopian aspirations of social housing plans, and designs for living and it’s these subtexts that I often seek to explore, expose or play with in my work. In Fractures there is very much a sense of the apocalyptic in the destruction of form and the narrative possibilities that the images present. The obliteration of these architectural forms are often associated with the redundancy of ideas, of failed plans, at-tempts to impose utilitarian or utopian ideals and in their demolition there is a sense of relief, in part my inner child seeks to address it’s natural desire to break apart rules and regulations, imposed forms and structures but there is also the deeper interest in the sublime. The fracture is in many ways a symptom of fissures below the surface, with the visual disruption provoking a displacement, a defamiliarisation, of the sense of being exposed to something horrific, traumatic but at same tempered by a curious beauty. It is this paradox I am drawn to within my work, of being mesmerised and transcending through the moment of a crisis.

Joe Duffy

Speaking of "Peripheries", a video work dated 2012 where you explore the urban environs of Jakarta, you say "The daily delivery of the flow of waste from the capital to be processed and repackaged by manual recycling through the socio-economic realities of late capitalism". Could you comment this sentence?

Static shots are often a trademark of your video. How did you develop this style?

Peripheries was a piece of work that developed from a number of site visits to Bantar Gebang, the largest landfill site in Indonesia. This project undertook journeys, interviews and visual documentation of the lives and experiences of communities involved in the informal economies of manual recycling in Jakarta.

The static shot has been developed in my previous work where I constructed films from still images, created durational work from the fixed position and was in part inspired by earlier experimental filmmakers exploring the fixed frame through flicker films. The still image is an ongoing concern within my practice, of which the static position is used as an observational device with the work often framed in this manner through installation within a gallery space enabling movement through the space by the viewer.

It was the personal narratives of experiences from individuals in the communities of trashpickers often residing in squatter settlements, migrants from other parts of Indonesia to the capital that revealed social and economic issues.

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A still from Peripheries

This was informed by site visits and contextualised by theorists such as Luke Boltanski and Eve Chiappelo’s text ‘The New Spirit of Capitalism’ which explored the social formation of the city space and it’s relationship to the sociology of economics. In Peripheries the brownfield sites and extreme environs were the landfill mountains of waste, the packaged goods, paper, wrappers, plastics of commodification and industrial manufacturing and processing delivered daily from the 20 Million people in the Jakarta area. The socio-economic realities in this sense was reflected in the layers of disposed items in the hierarchical positioning of capitalist economics with the informal economies of migrant workers manually recycling discarded items.

hazard of working and living in such difficult conditions. 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? Art has many functions, on one hand it’s an aesthetic exploration, expressive, a visual reflection, an experience and encounter with a different state. On the other hand it’s also a provocation. My practice often has an awareness of surface but layered with meaning, the introspection being an examination of place, concepts of being and the experience of encountering the

The cost of the economic divide was revealed through the personalized narratives, through the relationship to displacement, illness and

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A still from Peripheries

structures that exist around us. It’s an investigation but always with a purpose or underlying question. The relevance of art is that it offers the possibility of new perspectives and ways of looking, of producing and disseminating knowledge and in doing so provides opportunity to understand more of the world we live in.

The editing stage is where I feel that the work becomes as it becomes realised and starts to shift and form, undergoing different existences until it feels fluid. Who among international artists influenced your work?

What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?

I’m influenced by a host of artists and filmmakers from different periods of history, from Dziga Vertov to Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Smithson, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Kutlug Ataman and Anri Sala, William Raban, Paul Sharits and Rosalind Nashibishi. I’m an explorer and eclectic magpie so tend to draw influence from all sources, literature, visual arts, observation, conversation.

My practice is very much working with material as a form of sculpture. The collection of images as materials, either through found footage, or filmed and photographed myself is very important but overall it’s the editing process which I see as a strong focal point. This is where the layers and strands of my work are laid out, with the material being shaped from the mass of images and film to something more minimal, honed and refined but also driven intuitively.

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A still from Peripheries

This was informed by site visits and contextualised by theorists such as Luke Boltanski and Eve Chiappelo’s text ‘The New Spirit of Capitalism’ which explored the social formation of the city space and it’s relationship to the sociology of economics. In Peripheries the brownfield sites and extreme environs were the landfill mountains of waste, the packaged goods, paper, wrappers, plastics of commodification and industrial manufacturing and processing delivered daily from the 20 Million people in the Jakarta area. The socio-economic realities in this sense was reflected in the layers of disposed items in the hierarchical positioning of capitalist economics with the informal economies of migrant workers manually recycling discarded items.

hazard of working and living in such difficult conditions. 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? Art has many functions, on one hand it’s an aesthetic exploration, expressive, a visual reflection, an experience and encounter with a different state. On the other hand it’s also a provocation. My practice often has an awareness of surface but layered with meaning, the introspection being an examination of place, concepts of being and the experience of encountering the

The cost of the economic divide was revealed through the personalized narratives, through the relationship to displacement, illness and

42


A still from Peripheries

structures that exist around us. It’s an investigation but always with a purpose or underlying question. The relevance of art is that it offers the possibility of new perspectives and ways of looking, of producing and disseminating knowledge and in doing so provides opportunity to understand more of the world we live in.

The editing stage is where I feel that the work becomes as it becomes realised and starts to shift and form, undergoing different existences until it feels fluid. Who among international artists influenced your work?

What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?

I’m influenced by a host of artists and filmmakers from different periods of history, from Dziga Vertov to Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Smithson, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Kutlug Ataman and Anri Sala, William Raban, Paul Sharits and Rosalind Nashibishi. I’m an explorer and eclectic magpie so tend to draw influence from all sources, literature, visual arts, observation, conversation.

My practice is very much working with material as a form of sculpture. The collection of images as materials, either through found footage, or filmed and photographed myself is very important but overall it’s the editing process which I see as a strong focal point. This is where the layers and strands of my work are laid out, with the material being shaped from the mass of images and film to something more minimal, honed and refined but also driven intuitively.

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Butcher Rules

A still from Self Profession, Video Installation

Rebecca Loyche The Profession Series

wrote I script based on the conversations and cast actors/actresses to play the role based on some similarities between the actual people and the trained actors/actress.

Profession (Bomb Disposal Technician)

Because of the secretive nature and protection of identity, this dictated that the characters be back lit and shown in silhouette (a recognizable device for showing undercover people in media). The characters all perform the same script but their distinct persona changes each reading and there is a different understanding if someone from North Ireland does this job or a young woman from the deep south of the USA.

The Profession series is a deeper investigation into the jobs and roles that people do. Why does somebody choose the job they are in and what are the stories that come along with certain professions. Themes and monumental moments in life change the paths of people and steer them into a certain field. Profession (Bomb Disposal Technician) is a portrait of some of the people who do this job. The actual people I interviewed did not want to be recorded nor did they want their voices recorded and their identity known. Therefore I

These videos work with cinematic reality and the tropes of journalism and questioning stereotypical representation.

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An interview with Rebecca Loyche

Rebecca Loyche nor did they want their voices recorded and their identity known. Therefore I wrote I script based on the conversations and cast actors/actresses to play the role based on some similarities between the actual people and the trained actors/actress.

Profession (Bomb Disposal Technician) presents a minimalistic approach to filmmaking (through the use of silhouettes, neutral background, human appearance is strongly reduced), however most of the work deals with interviewing and scripting. Could you introduce our readers to this phase of your creation?

Because of the secretive nature and protection of identity, this dictated that the characters be back lit and shown in silhouette (a recognizable method for showing undercover people in media).

The Profession series is a deeper investigation into the jobs and roles that people do. Why does somebody choose the job they are in and what are the stories that come along with certain professions. Themes and monumental moments in life change the paths of people and steer them into a certain field. Profession (Bomb Disposal Technician) is a portrait of some of the people who do this job. The actual people I interviewed did not want to be recorded

The characters all perform the same script but their distinct persona changes each reading and there is a different understanding if someone from Northern Ireland does this job or a young woman from the deep south of the USA. By minimizing the human appearance the

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A still from Self Profession, Video Installation

concentration remains on the subject and why this particular occupation.

that she made several appeals and public statements to try to get the facts out. Even when she authorized a book to be published about her ordeal, entitled I Am A Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, the journalist hired to write the book pressured her into stating that she was raped while being held captive despite that she could not recall ever being sexual assaulted.

These videos work with cinematic reality and the tropes of journalism and questioning stereotypical representation. Another layer that influenced the work was remembering the frenzy of media coverage back in 2003 when the US had their first successful rescue of a woman prisoner of war and this event was widely publicized. Private Jessica Lynch was taken captive during the battle of Nasiriyah in Iraq and later rescued from an Iraqi hospital. This event was highly played up to the point of being propaganda for the military and also demonstrated bias portrayal of a more readily identifiable white, blond haired American woman despite that there were 2 other American women taken captive- a black and a native American Hopi. Jessica Lynch was also misquoted and incorrectly portrayed in the news coverage so much so

The controversy surrounding this event has stayed with me and influenced how I work with representation in video. In the end I found it fascinating the disconnect between false representation of an actual citizen into a blockbuster style storyline, even continuing with the spreading of lies when it was made into a television movie and an actress cast to play the still existing person who had been silence by the media’s fake depiction. You have been awarded artist residencies in Iceland and different countries all over the world. How do residencies

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A still from Self Profession, Video Installation

Being there for the darkening month of November and trying to utilize the 4-5 hours of light each day produced a kinda of urgency and also an appreciation for sun light.

and travel influence your art? Some residencies are more project based because you are going there to utilize equipment or location and to focus on a particular body of work. Others are to really experience another culture and let it influence your practice. A residency in Berlin in 2008 influenced me to move to Berlin in late 2009.

So much so, that when I was adjusting to living in Berlin during the gloomy winter months it inspired me to make Circadian Project which works with light therapy and sound.

Another good example is that I was fortunate and unfortunately in Iceland 3 days after the total crash of their economy at the end of 2008, arriving when all the banks were closed and their currency plummeted. I followed the weekly protests in the town square and was able to create a video work called Hvalreki that captured that moment in time but also produced an almost universal template of a “protest speech”.

Your cycle Profession reveals a deep investigation into the jobs, beyond any clichè, through a style we daresay "clinical": the set is very "cold", and it reminds us of anthropological records. When did you decided to make this work? I guess it comes from being a freelancer to support my art has lead me to have some pretty unusual jobs. Through talking to people you naturally hear about strange professions other people have and how they

My work is usually affected and drawn from my surroundings so the month long stay in Iceland influenced me quiet a bit.

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A still from Self Profession, Video Installation

got them. That was the initial interest and also noticing that people are naturally curious to hear about what others do for a living.

other good artists who can inspire, inform and encourage the ideas your working on. You are a photographer too. We have selected for this Stigmart10 Issue other videoartists who use photography as art medium as well, promoting this special vision, blending the borders between different disciplines and art practises. Could you our readers how your work as photographer affect your videomaking?

The idea to make this a video series was after revisiting August Sander's photo series Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Citizens of the 20th century) and to do a contemporary take on this idea. How have jobs changed, some have become obsolete and others freshly born as the need for them is gleaned- I’m thinking entertainment lawyers, sperm specialists and product conflict foreseers in advertising.

I think in general I am not stuck in one medium and this allows me to approach video making as a sculptor, a performer or as a photographer and not straight away have all the concerns and preconceptions of how to make a perfect video. The ideas behind the work always influence the medium, first the idea then finding the right way to make it.

Have you a particular approach in conceiving your art? Keen observation and of course feeding myself with seeing art, reading good books and articles and in general feeding the fire. It’s also important to be in the company of

What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? What is the

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A still from Self Profession, Video Installation

difference between exhibiting in China, or Italy or in the United States?

with video and photography and how to distinguish works of video art among the daily media bombardment and how to create a genuine experience for someone.

Well this all depends on the venues where the work is shown. For China this has been in a traveling Video Festival that a friend of mine, Clemens Wilhelm has organized and in this case he is bringing contemporary video art to an audience that has limited access to international work and therefore quiet hungry to see it.

What are you going to be working on next? The Profession series has changed since the initial three-channel Bomb Disposal Technician piece, the work is now single channel and more factually based by using the actual subjects in the videos and not actors. I’m currently editing the third video in the Profession series, it is about one of the pioneers of Sexual Assistants. After that I plan to work with a Sperm Specialists at one of the US’s leading fertility centers. The Profession series is slowly developing due to the process of getting to know each subject well enough to collaborate and make a video piece. I do not rush this process; it is very much about earning someone’s trust and collaborating with the subject to produce a genuine portrait.

The United States has many; varying possibilities to exhibit work and this can influence the work that you show. For a whitecube, proper gallery I would want the work to push the boundaries a little of what is expected in such a space, what kind of audience might be coming. This is also where it is very important to have awareness on how your work is installed and how it influences the viewer. This becomes a bigger issue when you work

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Butcher Rules

Jeroen Ter Welle The title consists of two words which are difficult or perhaps impossible to combine, so you can very simple see it as a useless title. After all a portrait is not an abstract thing. But the drawings I especially made for this film are part of a bigger series of pastel drawings that have “Abstract Portraits” as a title. And in those you can always find parts of a face which you will also find in portraits like we know (e.g. a nose, eyes and/or ears).

video. Although these drawings are abstract they also become more or less “realistic” and perhaps it will be possible to make a “journey” through these portraits. In this video we take a different look at a drawing (actually at a series of drawings which are more or less presented as “one” drawing). If we like a piece of art or not, is a decision we normally make in a couple of seconds. After that our brains start the process of understanding why. In this video we have 5 minutes and 52 seconds to make that decision. In it I give people the opportunity to look in a different way at this series and at the same time

For this video I photographed these drawings about 2300 times and I used small parts of

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to make a journey you will never make in reality. And somewhere towards the end you maybe get the idea that you are watching something… But that is an illusion.

some people are very successful But when you are too obsessed with what can be successful (or not) your work will obviously show one thing and that is: “you have not anything to tell at all”. True, digital media create new oppor-tunities in the field of film/video. Even perhaps for those who know how to make the same work with analogue material. That’s what I like about it: it gives us the possibility to find ways to create “new” forms of art in a world where everything was already made more or less.

Indeed it are the digital media which make it a lot easier for a lot of people to work with the media film or video. “Portrait” is a very good example of a work you can also make with analogue material. You can easily find a super 8 camera for less than 50 euros, but the film material itself is indeed still relatively expensive. Moreover, a super 8 camera does not have a delete function. Of course you can try to erase the material with a piece of Indianrubber. The result will be a film with which

Jeroen Ter Welle

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An interview with

Jeroen Ter Welle In your statement you say "For me, far too many photographers are too busy copying art history with a camera or, anyway, try to copy it. I think it a waste of time paying too much attention to things you do not like". We find this concept really interesting, could you better comment this sentence? If I would only speak for myself I would probably talk about landscape photography. But there is more in this world and in general I do have to admit that there are photographers who do get beyond copying things already made in the past. Returning to the subject of landscape photography there is the fact that the way how we look at the world and how we think about it has something to do with how the western world has developed itself in general and with the role the church played in it. Painters played perhaps only a small roll in history. I do not want to copy something I have very little interest in. (There is a book – not very thick and not difficult to understand – by Boudewijn Bakker called “Land scape and religion, from van Eyck to Rembrandt” which tells something about the subject). And instead of continuing with the feeling that I am fighting against windmills, I think it is better to forget the windmills.

Jeroen Ter Welle

did you find that experience? A selection of a film is nice. After all I do not make work for myself and everybody can put work on the internet. I am not a fan of doing this (until now I never did it and I do not think I will ever do). A video from 2011 (Tranquillity) was selected for festivals in four different countries. A better result (although for “Portraits” more can follow of course), but I think that experimental video and/or film will always stay a bit marginal. And for some people it will always stay something incomprehensible and that is a reality you have to live with.

We have selected for this issue artists whose artistic path and research envolves different media. What's the influence of your work as a photographer on your videoart? I made one video that contains one of my photos . This specific one comes back in about 2300/2400 (or more) different new images. But this one did not get selected anywhere actually and can simply be considered as a non-shown video. More in general I think that my influence as a photographer can mainly be found in having some knowledge of how a camera works and some other technical aspects. But using a mix is of different media is not totally new for me, I graduated as a photographer But I have worked with different media before. "Portraits" has been selected at Naoussa International Film Festival 2013, which is a well-know festival screening the best experimental short film in the world. How

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Could introduce our readers to this film?

to enjoy, to watch and to listen to. The work is more about playing a game with the moment that follows after that first decision than trying to criticize scientific theories about it. After all, the theories are true but this first moment is and stays something personal.

For this video I photographed the drawings around 2300 times and I used small parts of it. Perhaps it will be possible to make a “journey” through these portraits and take different looks at each drawing (actually a series of drawings which are presented as “one” drawing). The first decision if we like a piece of art is normally made in a couple of seconds. After that the process of understanding why we like it starts somewhere in our brains. In this video one has 5 minutes and 52 seconds to make a decision or to pretend making one.Of course we also have 5 minutes and 52 seconds of images and sound, something weird, something strange

Your animation have a real "analogic" feel which seemed to be lost nowadays in a digital 3D scenario. The choice of manual drawing is a sort of "political" act, in these terms? Do you think that there's a "contrast" between tradition and contemporary? The choice for analogue materials is a personal

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and not a political one. If you want to make work about a political subject I am afraid that you have to think of a subject people are really willing to fight for and not something like a “contrast” between tradition and the contemporary. That is for me not the most interesting thing in the world. The digital world is a reality, it has negative and positive aspects and the one that can be called positive is that it makes life easier in some aspects. You can also make this video totally analogue. But you have to work very precisely; you might copy the super-8 material to a HD-file and then you will have the option to edit everything digital. A lot of people will simply say goodbye to any analogue technique. Next to that I am from 1970 and saw computers enter this world and although I did not grow up with them, I can see the practical advantages but do not see them as a holy tool. How long does it usually take to finish a piece? And what are your next projects? This depends strongly on the materials I use. I have been working on “Portraits” about 6/7 months, deviding my time between drawing, photographing the drawings, editing and adding the sound. For “Tranquillity” it was a bit more. At the end of 2013 I did finish the least serious work I made until now and that took me just 2 months. I also work (a bit) on something which will become a triptych and if this will become one video, it will last 30 (or more) minutes and that will be too long. Anyway, talking about this is very ambitious at the moment because I think that the first part will not be finished before 2015 (yes, it will be a very intensive job). Moreover, I am also working on something else, something shorter which will only contain digital video. It can be nice to see what will happen with that video after having made one using a combination of analogue and digital materials. One that is a bit more analogue and one that is more digital than “Tranquillity”. Next to this all I continue the series of drawings and a bit of photography as well.

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A still from Family Fortunes , Video Butcher Rules

Balam Soto Africa; the Art and Technology Corridor at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA and Museum Miraflores in Guatemala City, Guatemala among numerous others.

Balam Soto merges existing and custom, digital technology with artistic concepts and aesthetics to create exploratory works, including interactive art installations, digital murals, art video and performance.

Balam has received three “Editor’s Choice” awards from the World Maker Faire held at the New York Hall of Science Museum in 2010 and 2012. In November 2009, he was awarded the “Latino de Oro [Golden Latino] Award for Arts & Culture" in Connecticut; he has also received "Official Citations" from the Mayor of the City of Hartford, CT and the Governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In April 2008, Balam was honored with a Diploma of Recognition as a “Maestro,” a Master of Visual Arts, by the National Congress of Guatemala for “being a valuable and outstanding artist with international success.”

By merging art and technology, Balam provides a seamless interaction between humans and technology, creating artworks that react to the presence or behaviors of individuals. Balam works independently on the artistic and technical sides of his artworks. An award winning, internationally acclaimed new media artist, Balam has exhibited in fine art venues worldwide. Venues include the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science Museum in Queens, NY; El Museo del Barrio in Manhattan, NY; Gallery of Oi Futuro in Brazil; Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Queens Museum of Art in Queens, NY; Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art in Scranton, PA; the Centre Cultural in Brussels, Belgium; the National Library of Cameroon in West

Balam is the owner of Balam Soto Studio and coowner of Open Wire Lab, both located in Hartford, Connecticut.

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An interview with

Balam Soto You have developed a new software to conceive this work. At the same time, we have found astonishing the "analogic and painterly" feel of Self Portrait Videos. Could you introduce our readers to the kind of technology have you developed and used in producing it? The software that I have created was based on the idea painting self portraits, where an artist utilizes his/her favorite medium(s) to portray an image of themselves. In my case, my favorite medium is digital technology. Therefore, I created a software that handles pixels as an artistic expression and used a webcam to capture my video. My objective was to create a work that combines/represents my work and artistic mind.

Balam Soto

The software I developed analyzes pixel proximity and brightness from the webcam. Based on the parameters that I set in the software, the pixels begin to flow as if you are adding water to paint.

"Self Portrait Videos" is caractherized by a dark screen. Why? What's the main idea of this work?

Audio has a huge importance in your works, since you are an electronic musician too, and the author of your soundtrack. The use of original soundtrack has not a diegethical aims, but tend to sabotage the common perception mechanims like in the films of the french director Alain-Robbe Grillet. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your filmmaking?

In this case a dark screen creates contrast, making the light pixels stand out and generate a dream-like aesthetic. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? I spend alot of time ruminating before I begin to put anything on paper. I decide what I want to do, not worrying whether I think I can do it. I develop the aesthetics and technology completely, then I draw my design up. Next comes the research, and more research, and more ruminating. I decide which technologies to use, what I need to develop, what artistic materials I need and what I need to build.

Thanks for referring to me as a musician! I love music, however I do not consider myself a musician. My approach to sound is based on the electronic music that I love so much and after several years of listening to music, my ears have the tendency to find harmonies in sound. In one my video “Pixel Aesthetics�, the sounds are generated by the motion of the pixels rendered in the movie. I love to explore the patterns of sound that do not have direct human intervention so the relationship between the visuals and sound is in a symbiotic relationship.

Only then do I begin to work. As I find problems in my original design, I search for solutions. Only when I reach an impasse, do I modify the artwork. I combine discipline and flexibility in my process. Perhaps flexibility is my best friend.

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A still from Unison Video

Now we wonder if you would like to answer to our cliche question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?

What’s next for Balam? Are there any new projects on the horizon? I am in the process of defining an idea for a new artwork based on robotics concepts. I would like to implement a new approach to incorporating aesthetics into robotics.

I love when I get a challenge. When I find problems in designing my artwork and have to search for solutions, that is my favorite part. I feel like pulling my hair out, but I learn so much and I’m proud when I find solutions others’ haven’t considered, or at least haven’t documented. I also enjoy seeing how an artwork changes from conception to actualization. The changes in it fascinate me.

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Butcher Rules

A still from Sighseeing

Morgen Christie Sightseeing explores the cityscape and its inhabitants through a composition of color and sound. The video is graphically abstracted to match any industrialized urban area while portraying the vibrance of every city.

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An interview with

Morgen Christie How did you come up with the idea for Sighseeing? Sightseeing started as a photo book. I had been traveling for about a year. I spent half a year in Florence, Italy, and that following summer I drove cross country- from Pennsylvania to California and back. I was really just looking to use the photographs I had taken during my expeditions. I was finally stabilized in Baltimore for two years and had the time to really investigate what it was I was trying to show. This led to shooting completely new work. I had gotten accustomed to filming in tourist traps, mostly because it was were I felt the most comfortable filming people.

Morgen Christie

So, I used Baltimore as a new place of exploration. I filmed at the Aquarium and the World Trade Center. Both had really pictureesque cityscapes. I feel the video is a lot about passing through, and there is a great deal of voyeurism to it. Both of which took place while I was shooting.

How did you select the film fragments for the urban scenes? Have you used a specific criteria?

In many scenes of your video, for example at 2'38" urban details turn into an abstract texture, revealing an incredible effort to deterritorialize the detail. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your art?

The fragments were selected based on what I could zoom in on or cut up. So, if I'm looking to pull out certain colors from the footage, like in the one scene with the construction truck. The next scene is that same footage pixelated and zoomed in on to reveal the individual colors. It almost looks like colored film. I didn't have a strict criteria but I would always find those moments that I wanted to pull out or slow down. I observe the environment for a long time before I start shooting.

The abstraction is really about immersion into the scene. Just pure color and shape simplifies the ideas I'm trying to portray. I often use this technique in my editing process. Early Jim Henson animation films have influenced my abstraction a lot. Where the screen is just shapes in rhythm to the music.

Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

In your refined video "Sighseeing" we can recognize a simple at the same time masterly work of processing: what kind of technology have you used in producing it?

My biggest influences in art have been experimental filmmakers like Maya Deren, Chris Marker, Bill Morrison, Pipilotti Rist, and Isaac Julien. Pipilotti for her color. Maya for her camera placement. Chris for his sense of travel and story. Bill because he brings a whole new meaning to montage. And Isaac for his simplicity.

Thank you, I took an After Effects class right out of college. It changed everything I even think of making now. It's almost like Photoshop for video. I also used a bit of Final Cut Pro.

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A still from Sighseeing

You have studied in Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, focusing on Video and Film Arts. In your opinion,how much training influences art?

out on long hikes while filming. I think it reduces the cabin fever. Then, next fall, I'm planning on going on a residency in Vermont for a couple of weeks.

If it hadn't been for MICA I would still probably be a painter. We were really introduced to new techniques and uses of material. I paid to experiment. For me, training has definitely influenced my art. What are your next projects on the horizon, Morgen? Right now, I'm working on a video loosely titled East Coast Collective. In Pennsylvania, we've been snowed in for sometime. I've been going

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Sound in Motion III. Still from Video

A still from Sighseeing

A still from Sighseeing

A still from Sighseeing

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Butcher Rules

The Mouth Breathers Discuss The Threat of Kittens

Ryan Wurst inherent in our technological existence. We primarily identify with the Mouth Breathers, not through their looks, but through a recognizable technology, like video chat. In The Mouth Breathers Discuss the Threat of Kittens, we are unable to understand anything they are saying and we are completely unable to locate them, which puts them squarely in the vacuum of the

The Mouth Breathers Discuss the Threat of Kittens is part of a larger, ongoing project called: The Mouth Breathers. They are a group of nonhumans that I created to explore failure and stupidity in a technological world that focuses on innovation and success. They are 3D animated beings whose movement is generated by 3D cameras and motion capture techniques. In the piece there are two Mouth Breathers, Bobbi and Alex, who are video chatting in front of flashing desktop background pictures. Their voices are generated by the German texttospeech interpretation of the English, Cat Video Film Festival Wikipedia page. The Mouth Breathers act as a mirror revealing the stupidity

technological world. The movement of the Mouth Breathers is jerky, not quite human, but close. They are constantly fumbling with their technology. We don’t see them as ourselves, but we are still able to create a relationship with them through our shared use of technology.

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Meet the Mouth Breathers, Still from Video

When the Mouth Breathers use technology poorly, we are then able to see ourselves using the technology poorly. The Mouth Breathers reveal the failures inherent in our technological relationships and it is through the recognition of these failures we are able to redefine success in a technological world. Once we realize that technology can be stupid, we can call it a failure. Using failure, we are able to poke holes in the established systems and norms we find in society. When we see objects or humans fail, we are able to see the potential for approachability. The Mouth Breathers proudly display themselves as stupid failures. Ryan Wurst

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An interview with

Ryan Wurst We have really appreciated your ironical way to explore the failure of technology and technocracy, however, sarcasm in your work is only an aspect of the tragedy in always behind the corner. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of "The Mouth Breathers"? I really like that you call it ironic! I have always found the Mouth Breathers very ironic, mostly because I always start making a Mouth Breather project with a ridiculous idea. I started working on some photographs where the Mouth Breathers are taking selfies in front of cathedrals. I am still trying to figure that one out… but it is very much about starting with a thought that I find hilarious.

Ryan Wurst

to use the Mouth Breathers as a way to reveal that kind of stupid thought.

"The Mouth Breathers Discuss the Threat of Kittens" I made after doing a video chat with my parents. On both ends of the chat, we were having some issues framing our faces correctly and the service kept cutting out on our iPhones, so there was a lot of actually communicating with each other. I never found the experience frustrating, but I did find it pretty funny. Here we are, trying to communicate, but the technology is getting in the way. I really find moments like that very hilarious, but like you said, tragic.

I think on the surface, The Mouth Breathers are very playful and quite funny, but it is when the audience identifies with them, that the Mouth Breathers become powerfully tragic. Your art is a mix of performance, interaction and 3D animation. How did you develop your style? I actually have a degree in music composition, which is pretty funny looking back at the way I used to work… you know paper, pencil and a piano. I think my style really developed out of improvisation and a kind of Free Jazz meets Techno mentality. I usually start a piece by recording an improvisation with some sort of technical aspect I am interested in, like the Xbox Kinect. Then I will go back and watch or listen to what I just did, and I begin editing. While editing, I usually get interested in very small loops and then I like to repeat them. I will take that small edit and try playing it for a long time in the same way you hear the same drum beat for ten minutes in a techno song. Then I do it again… and again… and again… In essence this is what I do for every piece I make. I really like to think that I am always listening to my work. By that I mean, I am in constant engagement with the work. I try not to over conceptualize a piece before it is done.

The biggest tragedy of the Mouth Breathers is the fact that they have no idea they are tragic. They are utterly stupid. Stupidity is largely defined by ignorance and the fact that one cannot see their own reflection. The Mouth Breathers show a lot of the stupid aspects of technology and reveal them to us. Much of the Mouth Breather work I make is aimed at getting the audience to identify with some aspect of the Mouth Breathers. I will often use very generic computer visuals like, standard desktop backgrounds. I think the tragedy of so much of the technology that we use, is the fact that we cannot find the stupidity in it. For many, technology becomes a necessity. "I must get the newest HD TV. Why? Because it has more pixels!" I have heard people say things like that! To me this is completely stupid. I try

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Sound in Motion III. Still from Video

Specifically, the Mouth Breather style was developed out of the immense amount of time I spent on the computer. Seriously, I spend a lot of time in computer space and I have very few issues with it. The 3D animation started because I really wanted to work more with the idea of computer space. It is still very insane to me that I can create a totally believable 3D space, on a screen, in my lap. Its amazing! Using 3D animation is like being able to create a totally new world, which was very important to me when I started making the Mouth Breathers.

Breathers Discuss the Threat of Kittens" took a week of very focused work, but that is pretty rare. I find that I can't work on one piece constantly, so I usually working on 3 or 4 at the same time. I would say on average it takes about 3-4 weeks to complete a 5-6 minute video. Apart from your reflection upon the use of technology today, do you think that there's a "contrast" between tradition and contemporary? I think that there is a tradition in video art, in that there is no tradition. When video artists like Nam June Paik started making video art, there was no tradition established. Video art did not have to be film because it was live, which is why so many experimental musicians did work with video. Video art is definitely one of the most difficult genres, if you can call it that, to peg down. Really, video art has ended‌ at least in the way that it was established. Now it gets lumped in with, New Media, Experimental, Digital, and a whole treasure trove of different terms. But, that is really the beauty of it. Video art established itself as a genre that wouldn't be defined by tradition, like painting.

I think the performance aspect of the Mouth Breathers came out the the fact that I wanted a quicker, more believable style of animation. For all of the Mouth Breather's movement, I used the Xbox Kinect as a motion capture device. I was then very interested in the mistakes the Kinect was making in trying to interpret the motion data. It was then mostly about improvising with the mistakes. How long does it usually take to finish a video? It usually depends on the piece. "The Mouth

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Video art is far more dependent on constantly changing technologies, so it obvious that the genre is always going to change. I think Video Art is now widely used as a term for a lot of the screen based art that gets shown in galleries and museums. Have other artists influenced your work? Many! I think first and foremost is Michael Theodore. I studied with Michael and am still very good friends with him. He helped me so much with my process and showed me what a truly creative mind is like. (michaeltheodore.info) Right now I have been very interested in the work of Ian Cheng (iancheng.com) and Jacolby Satterwhite (jacolby.com). Both of them use 3D animation and have a very very unique style. I am also a very active collaborator, so I get very influenced by the people I work with like, Jamie Kinroy (jamiekinroy.wordpress.com), Patrick Beseda (pbeseda.cc), Esmeralda Kundanis-Grow, (Josh McGarvey (joshuamcgarvey.com), and many many more. 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 feel very lucky right now! I get immense joy out of most aspects of my work, which makes me think I am on the right track. A lot of the time I get so invested in projects, I am unable to take a step back from the work and see it as new. It is always extremely gratifying when someone looks at my work and tells me something completely new about it. I really like seeing other people engage with the work. They bring so many things to it that I could have never dreamed of! Thats a pretty great moment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Ryan. What are you going to be working on next? I am currently finishing a 20 channel Mouth Breather installation, that will have a bunch of dancing Mouth Breathers. I currently run a tape label called Always Human Tapes (alwayshumantapes.bandcamp.com). We release audio tapes and VHS tapes. I am also working on a sound wall with Patrick Beseda that will be shown in Minneapolis at the end of May.

Terri Shows Some Fighting Technique.jpg

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A still from Unison, Video Butcher Rules

A still from Betwixt and Between, 2013 Video

Catron Booker A tribute. A creative act of mourning. An expression of archival desire.

understand what happened to Valaida Snow. Largely inspired by Isaac Julien’s LOOKING FOR LANGSTON and Cheryl Dunye’s WATERMELON WOMAN, Betwixt and Between became my own performative act to trouble otherwise 'forgotten' histories of jazz instrumentalists and performance artists.

I first learned about Valaida Snow years ago in one of Chicago’s queer newspapers, The Windy City Times. Born c.1904, Valaida Snow was a jazz musician who toured northern Europe prior to World War II. The story goes that Valaida was imprisoned for her “friendships” with women and thus exposed for expressing gay desire in Nazi era Denmark. This article remained with me and I pressed on for years in search of a larger context to

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An interview with

Catron Booker Photo by Sean Kafer, http://seankafer.net

Catron Booker Forgotten histories of jazz instrumentalists are often extraordinary. A couple of years ago, a marvelous film by the Italian director Franco Maresco was released about the life of Tony Scott, one of the best clarinet players in the world. When Franco Maresco was asked why a courageous and innovative filmmaker decides to make a biographical documentary, he replied that the language of the film, and in particular experimental movies, have more things in common with jazz than we can imagine. Do you share this vision of cinema and jazz?

tional nature of jazz performance has always been incredibly attractive to me because it suggests infinite possibility in the space of the creative process and ultimately represents my desire to survive as an artist. Jazz becomes a metaphor for plurality in that it asserts itself as unfixed and in a constant state of invention. I can only imagine the possibility that jazz presented artists such as Valaida Snow who was not only given more opportunities to perform in Europe but also film roles and the opportunity utilize her wide range of skills including conducting and starring in Blackbirds in 1934 at the London Coliseum.

It’s such a fascinating question because I played a street performance artist in my first professional drama role in The Lights, by Howard Korder, directed by Val Hendrickson and performed with a live jazz score by the Marcus Shelby Jazz Ensemble. The improvisa-

And so perhaps Maresco was suggesting that this sense of possibility that the language of experimental film and jazz open up space in terms of adventurously pushing form and con-

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A still from Betwixt and Between, 2013 Video

tent without needing ‘permission’ from any powers that be to do so. I am also fascinated by the endless possibilities that experimental film presents to reconstruct history and reflect on notions of presence and absence.

biography for the first time? Years ago, I was struck by an article in Chicago’s Windy City Times which is one the city’s older gay publications. The article, “Black, queer, in Nazi Germany?” sparked my attention and remained with me for years.

And because jazz is a musical tradition deeply rooted in African-American histories, it is this richness, which has gives it the ability to speak to questions of agency and social resistance.

Until 2008, there was very little information available on Valaida Snow outside of a couple of texts such as Candace Allen’s novel, Valaida, and Mark Miller’s High Hat, Trumpet, and Rhythm: The Life and Music of Valaida Snow. While these were useful in helping me piece together the basic details of her life, I was still in search of a deeper historical and cultural studies driven analysis to give me a context for her life especially as it related to other jazz performers both from the US and abroad of the time. We are often familiar with iconic figures

I am also specifically interested in blurring the lines between acting and performance art and experimental film is a thrilling place to do so. In this respect, a cinematic exploration of jazz offers me a deeper subtext to embody desire, longing and futurity. The story of Valaida Snow is incredible. When did you get in contact with this

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B&B Courtyard.tiff

such as Josephine Baker, but what about those lesser known or, as I think of Cheryl Dunye’s Watermelon Woman, those ‘forgotten artists’?

And at the same time, her story speaks to my own desire to engage in a kind of historical signifying that suggests possibility rather than nostalgia or heroism.

Around this same time, I was finding my own path as an artist and transitioning from acting into performance art and filmmaking. Having graduated from UCLA’s MFA program in Acting, I left Los Angeles seeking ways to continue building performance works without the insane pressure of an acting industry which felt as though it was shrinking not only in terms of opportunities for myself as a Black woman, but also in the amount of film production as a whole.

The operation of "rescuing" forgotten artists is not but a sort of "political act", to quote the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, a step toward a "minoritarian history of the world" (Toward a Minor Literature, G. Deleuze and F. Guattari).€ Could you introduce our reader to this aspect of your work? While I am only a bit familiar with Deleuze and Guattari’s Toward a Minor Literature, I will say that the main thrust of my work is focused on questioning constructs of power. I truly enjoy the idea the “A minor literature doesn’t come from a minor language; it is rather that which a minority constructs within a major language.” (Deleuze & Guattari: 16). And for me this somehow also relates to Audre Lorde’s famous statement: “The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.” I am interested in work that questions the larger framework of

I was looking for a way to blend biography and performance art in order to fill in many of the questions that Ms. Snow’s legacy seemed to provoke. I landed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a great opportunity to attend film school and found Jayna Brown’s Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern. This text gave me the grounding to explore Valaida Snow’s life as an act of agency as well as one of creative mourning.

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A still from Valaida Archival

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power and is of course, inherently political in this act. Filmmakers such as Trinh T. Minh Ha, Marlon T. Riggs have deeply influenced my artistic perception not only of the possibilities for experimental film but also in my ability to embrace and assert my own aesthetic desires. I work to center these video works in a framework that uses cinematic form the centers a feminist formal framework.

new frameworks for equality and yet, I am very much in keeping with the Deleuze & Guattari’s points in that I do not create work in need of recognition by the dominant framework. And so when I think about Betwixt and Between, I am interested in the notion of “becoming” Valaida but never quite arriving without her presence in mind. This act of transitioning from the archival footage to “performing” her was, for me, a generative space to question rather than “consume” her image or arrive at a solid conclusion.

I was also fortunate to have access to the wealth of resources at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and at the Chicago’s Video Data Bank which allowed me to me immerse myself in artist works such as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, Mona Hatoum’s Measures of Distance and Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langtson. I was fascinated by how each used formal strategies to critique power and categorical notions of gender, race, desire, and the body. And so I am interested in how I can create work that speaks to the possibility for creating

In the interest of time and space which I may have actually consumed here, I am combining theseExperimental documentary are a genre which is finally gaining popularity: what's your approach to filmmaking? I work very slowly over the course of many months in terms of accumulating the archival

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A still from Betwixt and Between, 2013 Video

materials as well as finalizing the edit. My performance work begins and finishes early on and serves as the basic framework for a piece such as this. I also need time to digest the performance and decide (from a distance) what works. I was interested in finding an edit that spoke to the rhythms of jazz and also celebrated the archive as a space of longing and desire. In the future, I would like to spend a ton more time on sound as I am finding that it is a fascinating place to explore the constructs of race, gender, and sexuality.

rable experiences. They are all ephemeral moments but the film, I hope, embodies a sense of intimacy which only comes with the time of getting to sort through an endless amount of archival footage, digital newspapers, recordings, and old school dusty library texts. What’s next for Catron Booker? Are there any new projects on the horizon? ’m writing this from the children’s corner of a library in Oaxaca, Mexico, which gives me abundant inspiration. As I work to finish a video project inspired by Afrofuturism, improvisational movement and social resistance movements (both present and past) here in Mexico including its Afro-Diasporic communities. I’ll also be presenting some new performance art works in Harrisonburg, Virginia as part of the Old Furnace Artist Residency this spring! Thanks for the opportunity to share my reflections with you.

As a child I was always reprimanded by many (across racial lines) for not sounding “Black.” So, I am interested in this notion of sounding out desires versus expectations. I enjoy working on every aspect of filmmaking and getting to tangibly experience He Sun’s trombone solos as well as research the public domain archives hour after hour are all exceptionally memo-

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WZ42_Mont5 (2012) Video, single channel (colour; stereo sound); 10:53 min.; loop Butcher Rules

Matthew Humphreys My current work constitutes a core interest in the languages of communication embedded in the social relationships and contexts of the everyday. The moving image is my main medium for the realisation of these ideas; it is within this realm, through research, artistic experimentation coupled with the skills gained from my professional practice, I develop and clarify concepts. My current research and practice methodology can be divided into three main strands; firstly the personal that bridges my diaristic work; the second is an exploration of the medium, which encompasses the history of the moving image and its recent technological advancements; finally a philosophical strand that investigates areas of consciousness, melancholia, memory, perception and language. It is my holistic approach to life, art and work that compels me to produce my art. I channel personally emotive subject matter, clarifying my concepts for appreciation and discussion to wider audiences. I trained at the Newport Film School where I established a confidence in the medium of

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film and video, this has in turn allowed me to work more spontaneously without technical fear. Within my engagement and routine with the camera I have nurtured a relationship with the subject and the apparatus. For about a decade the camera has played a role within my family rituals and as of the previous two years I have had a contract with the iPhone. As I evolve, technology advances and thus I react constantly with this, shifting within the forms, building relationships with each new piece of equipment, each chapter of my life punctuated with advancement in scientific change. At present I have been reviewing all of the footage taken with my iPhone for the first time. All loaded up on my laptop, I am examining and reliving memories on the go; engaging in routines with the camera I start to notice patterns. I do not pick up the camera with a fixed agenda in which I intend to follow, the pattern of these moments flow from the process of me having the camera.


supported by studies into the progression of the moving image, both historical and scientific. The recent development of the lens-based medium has enabled many people to document their life. As an artist I find this immensely engaging, I have always been drawn to amateur forms of production.

Some routines fade whereas some flourish into bodies of individual work. From fragmented signed speech in Suspended Monologue, to the 105 videos from Goodbye; I test the boundaries of documentary, always searching for poetics and realism within the content and look of my art. I examine the issues that surround presentation in Living Room, one of the installations requires a bench and flat screen which is intended to resemble a domestic form. I created a seamless loop of this film, immersing the viewer in this subtle and poignant piece. I explore themes of loss and belonging with an atmosphere of both stopped and passing time within a specific domestic context of lived daily life, which is affecting. My research into the new technologies of video, their social implications and artistic contexts, is very much practice led. I am constantly creating and reviewing material, finding vignettes and laying sound; drawing upon a personal archive of fifteen years worth of video, in order to find a poetical presentation that is removed from tradition forms of exhibition. I employ universal signifiers that enable the viewer to relate and connect with the work. This is

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This pathway led me onto research into avantgarde film making histories, understanding the entire frameworks of the medium and adapting research within my practice, utilising current technologies. I use an iPhone as my main camera in my present practice as a moving image artist, the intimacy and accessibility of this device enables me to explore further unobtrusive documentary techniques. Digital technology catalogues each image with a number, time stamp and GPS data pinpointing to its place in history. Arriving at the end of contracts I absorb myself within periods of logging sketched fragments of video. Transcribing text I become connected and reflective to the material, experimenting with edits, juxtapositions and presentation of video away from the darkened cinema room.

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An interview with Ralph Klewitz

Matthew Humphreys Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a BA that you received from the International Film School of Wales and you are currently studying for your MFA: how do these experiences impact on your art practice? Moreover, what's your point about formal training? I think formal training should be a considered route, I left school at 16 and started work trying to find out what I was interested in. I became interested in film and video where I found an medium in which I could communicate my ideas. and it was 10 years

after completing my BA that I decided to focus my studies into fine art. Formal training is great to clarify your knowledge, but I would say It is also important to play and make mistakes, a marriage of the two has been a key in my journey. We have selected for publication your recent work entitled "Living Room": give us an overview of it. Living Room is literally a continuos video loop of my parents living room, with the sound of the clock ticking and soundbites that have occurred within that space. For me, it is

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an extension of a body of work that I created called Goodbye, where i filmed every goodbye from my parents house. both of my parents became ill and in hospital and i was still filming the house when I left with no one there. I became aware of this environment, a monument traces of them left within this space. Being an artist that works closely with family politics, I amassed a great archive of material around my parents. I selected sounds that illustrated a story of loss, taking the viewer on a


i have developed and strengthened not only the personal relationships I have with my family, also with my relationship with the camera. I continually explore new ways in which to communicate my ideas with the medium. Talking about history on a personal level, both of my parents are deaf, so my language growing up was very visual. I looked rather than heard language and being the ears to my parents sounds were a fascinating landscape. You could say that video has been the perfect medium for me. You have used an iPhone to capture your intimate material, could you tell us your approach with this little and common medium when you are making art?

In your work we can recognize a deep introspection. We daresay that In "Living Room" your vision is someway suspended between your personal universe and a more general sociological intent. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? Could art steer or even change people's behaviour? The artists role in society is one to engage their audiences utilising the medium that they employ, often communicating

ideas that transcend words. In my work it is crucial finding the balance of the personal and allowing the wider message to be articulated. I believe that art can change peoples behaviour, it can be a powerful tool for social change. In "Living Room"that I have collected over 15 years. How has your history influenced the way you produce art? In my journey as an artist and especially working closely with such personal subject matter,

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The iPhone has really revolutionised the way I work, it is a constant notebook that is always there. I mentioned before about the relationship with the camera, it is within this I explore the limitations and also the poetics of the medium. In capturing such delicate and intimate material the iPhone is very unobtrusive, this journey has developed the artistic/documentary approach to my work. I look at the aesthetics and politics of looking through this new lens. Let’s speak about influences. Have any narrative artist from the older generation inspired you? My influences come from the world of film and art, I have a great interest in early and pre cinema, it is fascinating to see where it all started, how the early pioneers developed a visual language, i often refer back there to look for pathways away from the Hollywood narrative. I love the work of


Jonas Mekas, his exploration of New York in the form of his film diaries, they always manage to captivate me. I an Breakwell and Dieter Roth are two other artists that I love, I am inspired when an artist exposes their ritual and process and presents it in such an engaging fashion.

What are you going to be working on next? I am still collecting and reviewing material around my videos from my iPhone, I think this process will go on for some time. I am also working on a photographic / film installation using found archives of family photos/cine film, I am looking

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forward to stepping out of my personal archive, for a moment anyway.


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Stigmart Videofocus February 2014  

We are glad to present this year's edition of Videofocus, our special Stigmart10 review focused on experimental cinema, original fashion vid...

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