MEREDITH DRUM MADELINE WALKER ANNA MACDONALD MARKO SCHIEFELBEIN CHARLES WOODMAN ROBERT DOHRMANN RALPH KLEWITZ PAUL GLENNON SANDRA EBER MARTA IVANOVA SVEN DE SWERTS JAY KIM TODD HERMAN PAUL TURANO TRISHA McCRAE PATRICK MOSER
“And if from the point of view of the human eye, montage is undoubtedly a construction, from the point of view of another eye, it ceases to be one; it is the purest vision of a non-human eye, of an eye which would be in things.” Gilles Deleuze
STIGMART/10 is pleased to announce the list of artists selected for our special Issue VIDEOFOCUS 2013: more than 700 video works were submitted for this year's edition. We thank you all for your interest in our review. Our primary responsibility has always been not only to explore the most significants trends, in videoart and experimental cinema but also to stress the rhizomatic nature of the flux of contemporariness .
We strongly believe that the ever-expanding role of the curator should not be considered in terms of conflict with the role of the artist. Due to the advent of technologies like DSLR, Digital Bolex and
microbudget cinecameras, in the last decade it came a true revolution in the videoart field. The fusion of two worlds, videoart and experimental cinema, is attested by the increasing number of videoartists cooperating with filmmakers in the last decade, though this synergy is not limited to the improvement of the overall quality in mainstream cinema terms, but shows the great potential of a new generation of video artists able to renew the cinematographic language itself from the inside. Stigmart10 Team
MEREDITH DRUM………………….. 4 TODD HERMAN…………………….. 8 MARKO SCHIEFELBEIN………… 12 JAY KIM…….………………………...16 ROBERT DOHRMANN……..………20 RALPH KLEWITZ……………..….…24 PAUL GLENNON…………………….28 SANDRA EBER…………………….. 32 38.……………MARTA IVANOVA 42…….…SVEN DE SWERTS 46.…….…MADELINE WALKER 50.….……..……PAUL TURANO 54………..……TRISHA McCRAE 62…….………PATRICK MOSER 66…………ANNA MACDONALD 70………CHARLES WOODMAN
A still from The Double USA, 2009, 9.5 min., digital video
An artist’s statement
essential "critical negativity" (211) can sometimes arise that keeps open the idea of radically transforming our social systems.
Using cinematic tools, I look to the near future. I am curious about the ways that future predictions and depictions might function culturally. Some of my projects document existing plans and possibilities for leaving future generations a legacy of health and justice. A different set of projects take form as narrative science fictions set in utopian or heterotopian space-times. I would like to think these later works are contributing to the utopian thread in SF. This important counter-mode resists a common perspective that discounts SF as juvenile escapism; it resists the pressure to accept things as they are.
My SF video, THE DOUBLE, is one in a series of short SF narratives set in a feral sea-side park. First came my interest in the place; the stories arose as I explored the shabby park. It struck me as completely other, alterity geographically bounded, both familiar and alien, reflecting and distorting the everyday: a heterotopia - a zone as imagined by Tarkovsky and the Strugatsky brothers. In THE DOUBLE, my female stalker risks entering the zone, with all of its hidden dangers, in search of lost love. The story has a classical goal, but instead of a human antagonist, hers is an alien landscape. She must pass several trials; these I stole, in part, from the Magic Flute - appropriating them from a chauvinistic 18th-century masonic context. The force of the flute becomes the instrument of a woman.
It seems clear that the SF utopian impulse is primarily about the present. Does it do anything for us? If so, how? Fredric Jameson's writing about SF provides some guidance. Are we able to use these narratives as blueprints or sketches for constructing a new society? Jameson thinks not. But this doesn't diminish the importance of imagining futures with less suffering and more pleasure. Jameson posits: the utopian imagination is a "rattling of the bars and an intense spiritual concentration and preparation for another stage which has not yet arrived" (233). From SF an
Jameson, Fredric. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. New York: Verso, 2005.
An interview with Meredith Drum
In your work science fiction is explored beyond the cliches. How did you develop your style? In Ken Johnson's review of THE DOUBLE in the New York Times, he labels it a low-fi sci-fi. I like this description and continue to use it. I employed a visual style referencing 1970s television and B cinema science fiction and fantasy, such as Buck Rogers, The Six Million Dollar Man, Zardoz and Logan's Run. Why? The story is a faery tale, so I wanted to avoid the slickness of the contemporary Hollywood versions and refrain from nostalgia for the early days of cinema. I used standard definition DV tape, not film or HD.
Meredith Drum movements of liberation and emancipation, does it make sense to again raise well-rehearsed questions? Yes. The opera is still very popular. And there are far too many contemporary injustices driven by racism and sexism. I admit that THE DOUBLE doesn't have enough structure to hold these sociological concerns. As a very short comedy it can only playfully suggest an elsewhere. Still, it does contain a spirit of utopia, a spirit worthy of investment. More about utopia below.
I like the soap-opera-flat feel of DV. There is a social honesty and ugliness to popular culture that I appreciate, that I intend to access. I want the medium to create a distancing affect, to allow still getting caught by the music (created by Shannon Fields). My style continues to change. I often watch, read, and think about work by my heroes, such as Bertolt Brecht and Ulrike Ottinger.
I pull my materials from a variety of sources. After assembly, the pieces maintain some independence. In making THE DOUBLE I was also quoting Tarkovsky's Stalker. My hero is a female stalker, just as much as she is Tamino. She is also Britomart from The Faerie Queene.
In THE DOUBLE we can find an ironical quotation of Magic Flute. In what manner has this theme influenced your work? And, more n general, where do your materials come from, and how do you go about putting them together?
Can you better explain to our readers the role of the flute?
It does, indeed, contain an ironical quotation of Mozart's opera. A woman completes the archetypal male journey across a landscape of cultural trials, and her partner, at first, is her pregnant sister.
In the original, the flute is, of course, phallic. In my version the whistle is a clitoris. Granting her courage and powers of seduction, discernment and steadfastness, the tool allows her to overcome challenges and reach a satisfactory conclusion. (The two lovers ride off on a bicycle and she is in the driver's seat.)
While I adore the music of the opera, as well as the comic fantasy of desire, success, commitment and pleasure, I am irritated, as are many, by the work's chauvinism and racism. The roles of the Queen of the Night and Monostatos reify Enlightenment ideas of equality -- equality limited to white, European men. The masonic message: women and people of color do not have the capacity to be reasonable and just leaders. Considering the 200 plus years since the opera premiered, and the significant advances made by
In what manner the advent of DSLRs and low budget cinema cameras has affected your filmmaking? I now use a canon 7D. I love the freedom to change lens. Yet I enjoyed my Panasonic DVX100 camera, with which I shot THE DOUBLE. I love cameras but I am not a tech geek and I don't get
A still from The Double USA, 2009, 9.5 min., digital video
attached to technology. I prefer, when I can, to hire a knowledgeable cameraperson and learn from them. I am a fan of low budget cinema. I find it frustrating when video art and independent cinema mimics Hollywood. There are so many styles to explore outside the mainstream.
terature and art; theory is a stretch. I am an armchair philosopher. So I used the text as a script for a cooking show with a recipe from Child's The Art of French Cooking. Made in 2004, the video is comic. Though I still enjoy the text, I am less interested in the rhizome and the nomad. The ideas, as I make them out, don't parallel my current view of the world.
As Deleuze lovers, we couldn't not notice your early work titled "Body without Organs", a definition from Deleuze's masterpiece "Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia", which has been applied to the paintings of Francis Bacon, or Artaud's theater of cruelty. Could you introduce our readers to this work?
In your statement, quoting Jameson, you say "the utopian imagination is rattling of the bars and an intense spiritual concentration and preparation for another stage which has not yet arrived". Could you comment this sentence?
I wish I had the ability to clearly and succinctly introduce the concept of a Body without Organs according to Deleuze and Guattari. But this probably isn't possible or desirable. When, in 2002, I first read Massumi's English translation of A Thousand Plateaus I was taken with the book's nonlinear style and the language of a nomadic identity. But I also recognized that I didn't understand the text. I am schooled in li
The quote is from Jameson's Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. While it is impossible to predict the future, it is important to imagine and describe more just worlds. It is likely that humans have some tough times ahead, times with less food, less clean water, and more violent weather. As resources dwindle, justice might too. I would like to be a part of the project to
A still from The Double USA, 2009, 9.5 min., digital video
envision solutions, fantastic and practical. They may never be realized but they can keep alive the hope that we can radically improve everyone's life. Justice, equality, education, clean water, healthy food, friendship and pleasure for everyone. Utopia.
THE DOUBLE (Meredith Drum, USA, 2009, 9.5 min., digital video) is a low budget science fiction short that re-imagines Mozart's The Magic Flute with a female hero threading her way through a zone (a nod to Tarkovsky) . It featuring performances by Juliana Francis Kelly, Nadia Mahdi and Kameron Steele and a sound scape by Shannon Fields.
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?
Thank you for this interview: what's next for Meredith? Have you a particular project in mind ?
Yes, I think the frontier will continue to exist, in some ways. It is a strength that Video Art does not demand linear viewing. There are many exceptions, including THE DOUBLE. Yet it is terrific when a viewer can have a powerful experience but not have to sit through a specific duration. It is liberating and tantalizing to decide when to come and go. As with Marclay's The Clock. While I do not object to vague and shifting frontiers, I hope that experimentation will always be encouraged and supported.
I am making an augmented reality iOS app in collaboration with Rachel Stevens and Phoenix Toews. Called Oyster City, it is a walking tour and game located in lower Manhattan and Governors Island. It should be available for download, for free, this fall. I like working with augmented reality and mobile media. With a company called Augmented Mountain, I have helped release six AR apps over the last 18 months.
A still from When I Stop Looking, 2013
An Artist’s Statement
Much of my current work displays a preoccupation with psychosocial influences that impact our experiences, understandings, and representations of the human form: ableism, medicalization, sexual politics, and the legacy of eugenics to name a few. I develop these areas of inquiry into visual works, which are contemplative, poetic, and formally experimental, often combining practical and theoretical approaches from both film and photography. The viewpoints from all of my works are personal and make no claims to journalistic inquiry. For over a decade I’ve produced several intimate film portraits of persons with both cognitive and physical disabilities. These films underscore as well as offer a re-reading of the many commonplaces found in public disability imagery, which continue to have a strong hold on the contemporary psyche. One such film is I Cannot Speak Without Shaking which re-works several Nazi propaganda films that were made to advance arguments against people with disabilities during world war two, and is then intercut with the intimate journal entries of a disabled woman of color living today – herself a survivor of significant physical trauma. My ongoing study of the cultural genesis of disability imagery lead me to Morocco and Nepal where I documented psychiatric hospitals, leprosariums and rehabilitation centers for disabled
persons, culminating in the exhibit Kathmandu: Impressions of the City at its Margins at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Other key themes in my work include our divergent understandings of death and dying and depictions of mourning and loss. For instance, I was curator of In Passing: A Show About Death also at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and directed the film Cabinet, which was the winner of the 51st San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award for best Bay Area short film. Both the exhibit and film explore our complicated interactions with the images, and memories of death. My current project entitled When I Stop Looking furthers my interest in unpacking those biases seen in the figuration of present day disability imagery. Going beyond the imprint of appearances, the work invokes the subtle interstices that exist between viewers and the intensely private world of those portrayed, each of whom lives with significant facial and cranial conditions. Using extended takes and often appropriating the bright and reductive space of medical portraiture, When I Stop Looking invites viewers to re-envisage the possibility of life simply connecting to itself, while cultivating a deep appreciation for all forms of embodiment.
An interview with
Todd Herman The "clinical shot" and long takes in your video reminds us of Pasolini's cinematography, a sort of barbaric and original sight of things. In When I Stop Looking we recognize an "excess of presence", to quote Gilles Deleuze in his essay entitled The Logic of Sensation. How did you develop your approach to this project? Some viewers mentioned feeling an uncomfortable sense of complicity after a recent screening of When I Stop Looking. I work with this edge often, opening up areas for viewers to critique both the way an image is being presented as well as their roles as spectators. Viewers are invited to "enter into" the emotional tone of the film while backing into an encounter with the sources of their own discomfort or empathy. Complicity, here, can show up as sentimentalizing (the experience of pity is a form of this), or in the form of denying emotion, denying interiority to someone who is different from us, which might be called objectification. The film advances with this in mind. At one point When I Stop Looking directly references an obscure film made for the Nazi eugenics campaigns during the early 1940’s consisting of several portraits of psychiatric patients. In the original an anonymous German filmmaker gives a subversive kick to the artifice of the Nazi propaganda machine by simply adjusting a bottom-light situated somewhere offscreen while the camera is rolling. In effect, heavy shadows are seen moving artificially across a woman’s face, in my view unfixing all efforts to falsely represent her as a “menace” and a “worthy candidate” for extermination. I was seeing a person emerge from behind a mask -- a compelling moment in the film for me. It's ok if viewers don't catch all of the references I might include in a film. If viewers are puzzled or experience a sense of open-endedness in a work, I think this creates more room to engage imaginatively with it and to create their own interpretations. The title When I Stop Looking is based on a quote from Lucy Grealy's memoir Autobiography of a Face where the author writes about her childhood experience of an aggressive sarcoma in her jaw and the many reconstructive surgeries she endured. Grealy writes: "I couldn't make what I saw in the mirror correspond to the person I thought I was. I simply could not conceive of the image as belonging to me. I'd Butcher Rules known this feeling before but that had been an
Todd Herman Todd Herman is a visual artist living in San Francisco California. Much of his current work displays a preoccupation with psychosocial influences that impact our experiences, understandings, and representations of the human form. He develops these concerns into contemplative and poetic visual works, often combining practical and theoretical approaches from both film and photography. The viewpoints informing all of his works are personal and make no claims to journalistic inquiry His work exhibits widely. http://www.todd-herman.com
when my face was unfinished. The person in the mirror was impostor. Why couldn't anyone else see this? The only solution I could think of was to stop looking." What interests me are the subtle ideational shifts that occur as we look at the film. The occasional appearances of a very "normal" looking face or hand are the very images that begin to feel more jarring and out of place than any of the other portraits comprising the work. I really had to be restrained in my approach, try not to "do" too much, allow the people in front of the camera to set the terms of engagement; a vivid affirmation of existence comes forward, before anything else. We have quoted the Italian filmmaker and artist, Pier Paolo Pasolini at the beginning of this interview. Apart from him, which international artists have influenced your work? I am quite fond of Pasolini's films and I do appreciate his efforts toward a "return" to the
A still from I Cannot Speak Without Shaking, 2007
performance project on sexuality and disability that centralizes artists of color, artists with disabilities, queer and gender-variant artists). Patricia and I have worked on other films together, including Other People's Stories, which looks at the film narrator’s own sexual masochism relative to a news story about a disabled woman who was brutally beaten, raped and eventually murdered several years ago. In both films the texts were excerpted from Patty's personal journal entries about her disability, her own sexuality, and abuse. The emotional tone of one image is displaced onto another to create divergent understandings and to move the material along in each film. In I Cannot Speak Without Shaking for example, the peaceful image of a “normal” and "healthy" nursing baby is interrupted by an aerial thermal imaging view of American soldiers shooting at a human target. Boxers in a ring are followed by the shot of a pride of lions devouring their kill, while we hear voices of the soldiers expressing their inability to locate an actual target. The face of a pregnant woman in the throes of labor opens Other People's Stories, while the murder victim’s sister speaks an epitaph. Next we see the face of a woman orgasming to a room of anonymous onlookers. Viewers often doubt the pleasure expressed on her face, reading it as something else, as a seizure, drowning, as disorientation, or as an actual part of the torture described in the film. We hear the narrator’s voice at this point, struggling with her nuanced
possibilities of a poetry of cinema; this is quite important to me in my own work. Artists who have influenced my work? The list is vast. I'm as much influenced by what I see on the monitor of a security camera as by Shirley Clarke (particularly her Portrait of Jason). Maybe the trick for me is to be less susceptible to everything I see out there. In your video I Cannot Speak Without Shaking you rework different material from old Nazi propaganda films to a disabled women's story. Where do your materials come from, and how do you go about putting them together? Part of my decision to make I Cannot Speak Without Shaking, although only indirectly apparent in the final piece was my interest in researching aspects of my cultural and family history. I was drawn by how Judaism and genocide overlaps with disability and genocide, particularly around the “Aktion T4” program, which developed from the Nazi’s policy of “racial hygiene” resulting in the extermination of hundreds of thousands of disabled persons. The images comprising I Cannot Speak Without Shaking are excerpts of films from this period, exhumed from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Film and Video Archive in Washington D.C. The text was written by my dear friend and colleague Patricia Berne, herself a woman with a disability and the director of Sins Invalid (a
relationship with torture, masochism and ableism. Visually it is a very simple film, essentially a seven-minute shot of the face of a woman coming. Yet viewer responses to it have been quite complex. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? At times I’ve started new projects from a single image, one that keeps showing up just behind my eyes so to speak. If I see a truth or even a sustaining relevance to it then I might decide that it’s a good place to begin. From the deep bond and love I have for my daughter came an image of a parent in profile kissing a child. The child was glowing, like some rare, unfamiliar, and precious gem, but the details were not very clear to me. Nonetheless that’s what I went with, risking all of the potential snares of sentimentality. The final image of When I Stop Looking, where a mother kisses her son, is that image realized; the image that the entire project began with and is built around.
A still from When I Stop Looking, 2013
or measurable thing and for the visual artist in me, this can be disconcerting. For the most part I am engaged with these uncertainties, yet even after decades of making films, I still need to remind myself that the fluctuating sense of disorder I feel is simply part of the continuum of artistic practice. Your works deal with psychosocial influences that impact our lives. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society?
For other works I have used my camera as a way to hold certain moments in my life, which carry a powerful emotional register. For example my film Cabinet contains images from around the time of my father's death and my daughter's birth. The images were indelible. I had to let them find their own ways of meaning through me. It took several years to even revisit what I had shot, but these two inextricably linked experiences eventually became the starting point for that film.
Our respective psychosocial peculiarities mixedup with all of the flesh, bone, and fluids are the inseparable stuff of human form. This form constitutes a lens through which to measure what's going on inside of us as well as around us. And however we articulate these measurements, it’s because of and through the limits of that form. At their best artists can question habits of understanding, looking, and story telling, thereby investigating the ways personal and historical identities/forms are constructed rather than fixed. For me, this means generating a cinema that examines how images compose, enforce, or undermine -- rather than simply reflect -- history, dominant values, identity, and authorship.
The space “between” projects is always a delicate one. I’ll have more time to get work into festivals and galleries and it can also be a period filled with many doubts, and the feeling that nothing at all is being accomplished. Of course I always seem to be garnering new material, but it's only evident when the current formed by a new work has been firmly established. I am not a person who carries a camera at all times, and for that matter don’t particularly enjoy shooting. So accumulating material is not always a visible
Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over selftaught artists? My experience facilitating art and filmmaking workshops for persons with disabilities (often coined “self- taught” or “outsider” artists) confirms a kind of ubiquity of human expression native to all of us, and I sincerely wish I could just leave it at that. But rather than posit "self-taught" artists against formally trained artists, the key tension, as I see it, is all artists being at odds with arts bureaucracies at large. What’s next for Todd Herman? Are there any new projects on the horizon? Not sure. I've always wanted to direct a satire.
A still from Other People’s Stories, 2011
A still from I can. You can. 2012, HD (4K), 7:25 min, video, color, stereo audio
THIS WORK WAS EXHIBITED (E)/SCREENED (S) AT:
SYNOPSIS: A women is sitting on a couch while focussing her iron view into the camera and suddenly starts to talk. Out of her grows a canny and calm monologue which manifests her world of thoughts and ideas. The at first independently created monologue starts to get tangled up into contradictions, torn between different views and ideologies. It is a result of phrases taken out from different commercials which were combined into a continuously ongoing monologue. The monologue turns out to be commanded and alienated by advertisement.
RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR (S) MONITORING, Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest, Kassel, DE (E) PIONEERING VALUES, WRO International Media Art Biennale, Wroclaw, PL (E) ATHENS VIDEO ART FESTIVAL 2013, Historic Center of Athen, GR MULTILOOKS, New Museum – Museo Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, BR (E)
THE PLUTO IN ME, transmediale reSource 003:P2P, Berlin, DE (E)
Marko Schiefelbein (1984) is a German artist living and working in Berlin. He studied Art History and graduated in Fine Arts in 2011 from University of Fine Arts Braunschweig (Germany). He is a master student of Prof. Candice Breitz. His works deals with the human estrangement in the century of modern life in a consumer society and was shown in various exhibitions and video art
GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE, International Video Art Festival, UK/EST/FI/NO (S)
An interview with Marko Schiefelbein
In your work "I can. You can." we recognize a deep introspection: in neutral set with warm light, calm monologue are detourned in a postgodardian way: what seemed at first a warm shot reveals to be a disturbing scene. How do you achieve this effect? Intentionally I wanted to create a space which is trivial and ordinary on the one hand but inherits a staging character on the other. Although we can suspect the scene to be staged it seems to be a plausible situation which could be found mostly everywhere. The sofa expresses comfort and the feeling of security up to a certain degree.
Marko Schiefelbein Marko Schiefelbein
The actress leans forward to its counterpart, she accepts and denies this comfort at the same time. She feels the urge to express herself and confront who ever may sit or stay on the other side. Her eyes stares at you and she tries to trap you into her world. So this in-between creates what you describe as a disturbing scene.
The first time I exhibited "I can. You can." a friend of mine indicated to me a weird optical experience. She told me that she had the feeling of her eyes following her when she walks around in the space. This was nothing I had planned and even today I wonder what this may caused.Â
A still from I can. You can. 2012, HD (4K), 7:25 min, video, color, stereo audio Butcher Rules
Artist: Marko Schiefelbein
You have shooted in 4K, a very huge format used mainly for advertisement and Hollywood films. Is this choice meant to increase the contrast between flat-style images and the alienated monologue? I simply decided to use a clean and sharp setting as we know it from advertisements, where people are sitting in front of a monochrome wall isolated from their surroundings. Suggesting to be good friends with you and telling you a honest secret in a private conversation. Shooting in a high resolution format is just a natural consequence. Everything else related to the shooting format is part of a bigger technical consideration enabling more control over the image. Now we wonder if you would like to answer to our cliché question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? Before I started shooting I was working with found footage. My practice was basically limited to researching and selecting the footage, followed by hardcore editing or compositing sessions. Sitting alone in the studio, stuffing myself with food and drinks which should keep me awake and hunting for the right frame to be selected. Sounds very stereotypical in retrospective, don´t you think? I began to distance myself from the material, even though the starting point (advertisement phrases) was still found footage. I concentrated on the text and gave up the images which was a very important step. It lead me into shooting by myself and to work with a team. It is fantastic to have reliable people helping you to realize your projects. I have to admit that I was always afraid of giving up control and handing over responsibilities to others. I wanted to have my work 100% controlled by myself. But I was dead wrong. I am an artists not an actor nor a camera operator. And as much as there are people who are doing better then me I have to ask them to help me. This creates more space and energy to work on my concepts.
There is this very important moment when everything comes together, it is the day of the shoot. Everyone did his/her part, the light and camera is set, the actor/actress has learned his/her role. So everyone's competence is in the room and merges into a very unique experience which is captured by the camera. I work with one shot sequences which take several minutes to shoot, so every new take is different from the one before even if the task and concept is the same.
A still from I can. You can. 2012, HD (4K), 7:25 min, video, color, stereo audio Artist: Marko Schiefelbein
When the actor/actress starts to deliver a 7 minute monologue you feel a condensed concentration and tension in the room which can not be reproduced. Those are the moments you know that everything worked out and they are probably the most satisfying one.
pective of its main character as if they have experienced it on their own. They basically developed their character by themselves with little instruction from my side. Currently I am planing a new work where I want to create a character whose identity is taken over by a brand. So the actor/actress ingested all its characteristics which hopefully reveals the psychotic and neurotic personality of a brand.
Whatâ€™s next for Marko? Are there any new projects on the horizon? I lately shot a series where I asked actors to retell a story of a commercial from the pers-
A still from DIE BEKEHRTE
Butcher Rules Experimental Short / Video Art (2013) TRT: 3min 14sec
Film/Video Editor, Video Artist
Until We Meet Again(2011), short film /
Bingo and His Mom (2012), short film/ Editor
Strain (2012), short film/ Associate Editor
: 2012 Sacramento International Film Festival
My Life in Your Memories (on post-production),
: 2012 BARE BONES International Film&Music
Circus (2013), videoart/ Creator
Festival Official Selection
: 2013 Portland Experimental Film Festival
: 2012 Academy of Art University Epic Film
‘Element Shorts’ top 5 videos in General
Festival Best Drama Awards
Dirty, Little, Amusement (2013), videoart/
Orange Jumpsuit(2011), short film / Editor
: 2011 Vegas Independent Film Festival Official
: 2013 Portland Experimental Film Festival
‘Element Shorts’ most voted video in Ff
Dinner with Monster (2011), extreme short
Die Bekehrte (2013), videoart/ Creator
film / Director, producer, editor
: 2013 Videoholica Official Selection
: 2013 Leamington Underground Film Festival
: flEXiff 2013 Official Selection
Falling Blossom (2013), videoart/ Creator
Dying Grace (2011), short film / Editor
: 2013 The Curator and Ruminate Video Art
100-1=18(2011), extreme short film/
Director, producer, writer, editor
: 2013 Korean Closet Film Festival Official
: 2011 MISE-EN-SCENE Short Film Festival Official selection for ‘Hair in CUT’
An interview with Jay Kim
Jay Jihyun Kim completed MFA course at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, United States with a focus on Film/Video production.Â She works as a freelance film/video editor and video artist in New York City.
Your works are deeply pervaded with hidden meanings which deals with memory: this practise was common among narrative artists, however your approach is fresh and modern. Why did you decide to make this work?
Film Credit Assassin (2009) , extreme short/ Director, producer, writer, editor Kaleighâ€™s Wings (2010), extreme short film / Editor Foxy Club (2010), short film / Editor Tile M for Murder (2010), short film / Editor The Office Hour (2011), short film / Editor Red (2011), short film / Editor Until We Meet Again(2011), short film / Editor
It is true that my work has hidden meanings but I wanted to make it very clear of its duplicity. The original old German song "Die Bekehrte" has beautiful melody and lyrics (written by Goethe), but also it has dark sadness at the same time. When I heard this song, I questioned by myself, Who sings this song? I could create narrative short love story with this song, but I want that audience watch my work and create their own story of the woman who sings the song in my work. That's why I just make the woman sings the song on a actual stage with a pianist. Because she wears a nun's habit, there's ironical meaning when she sings this love song. We don't know who is her true love, it's not clear why she is singing this song on a stage. Her actual face is hidden under her mask as its meanings are hidden. Butcher Rules
Have other artists influenced your work? Die Bekehrte has not influenced by any other artist, but I always search and watch other video artists' works. One of my favorite video artists is David Wojnarowicz. I was very impressed by his work 'Fire in the Belly'. Die Bekehrte shows a powerful balance between a sort of artificial "amauterism" 17
A still from DIE BEKEHRTE Experimental Short / Video Art (2013) TRT: 3min 14sec
and a cinematographic vision. How do you achieve this balance?
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?
Because I wanted to show raw, rough images, I didn't make 'designed' set. I could make the stage more dramatic, I could give more beautiful costumes to my heroin, I could use vivid color for my work. Actually, I made two different version of this. One is rough, black and white, other one is vivid, more sophisti-cated. I believe black and white one is closer to my original vision.
The idea of my work "Die Bekehrte" was from old German song. It is true that it's beautiful love song but also it's very sad at the same time. I wanted to create grotesquely beautiful images with those complex emotions. I didn't want it to be technically beautiful but it has raw feeling to it and I think that my the biggest satisfaction is the roughness of it.
From a technical point of view, we have found very impressive the use of black and white in your artwork. Can you tell our readers some more about the realization of Die Bekehrte? I want to create both sophisticated and rough image, and black and white is perfect for my vision. When images are in black and white, I think we can see details more clearly. Also contrast of black and white is very strong and powerful, so I liked to work with those things in my work. Besides, due to the use of black and white, it looks like old story, we can't guess when it happened. I like that ambiguousness.
A still from DIE BEKEHRTE Experimental Short / Video Art (2013) TRT: 3min 14sec
Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over selftaught artists? I don't think that a formal education have an advantage over self-taught artists. Because there are various style of video arts and every artists has different point of view to see this world, a formal education is not important to create video arts. Of course what they've learned from school may effect on their work, but I think it's not an advantage over self-taught artists. Whatâ€™s next for Jay Kim? Are there any new projects on the horizon? I am preparing short documentary for next. I've known many artist in New York City and I found very interesting Japanese artist to work with. I want to try new technics and style for my new documentary to tell story. Hopefully, I can start shooting documentary this year. Besides that, I may complete my new video art "Reunion" which is green screen video work. Theme is 'anti-war' and I am mixing new images that I created with archive war footage to create experimental video.
A still from All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong Running Time: 3 minutes 14 seconds
An artistâ€™s statement
I am essentially a RE/mix and mash up artist. Much like the appropriation artists of the late twentieth century (and going back as far as the DADA artists), I take/borrow/paraphrase useful imagery -most notably in these works, stills and video from the NASA web site- recontextualize them, combine them with my own imagery, and re-distribute a finished work through time-based digital programs. In combination with this visual structure, the same strategy is applied in the audio portions of the videos. With deep roots in handmade books and the cut-and-paste tactics of the punk rock, do-it-yourself ethos, I freely find, clip and remediate the electronic
landscape of my history and popular culture with thoughtful purpose. All three of these videos draw on an array of inspired American iconography to evoke viewer response to the above concepts. These culture-specific signifiers tend to impart a personal conviction as well as a familiarity to a wide audience. This verbal structure offers the viewer an index helping to illuminate or depict the meaning of the work. If my images do not appear to make sense at first, the relationships between them are nourished, perhaps even subliminally, and result in multiple layers of meaning when I am finally able to execute them effectively. http://www.robertdohrmann.com
An interview with Robert Dohrmann This year, 20 years will pass from Guy practise. In your opinion appropriation in art is still a "political" act? Yes it is still a valid political act. Nothing is dead under the contemporary lens which it was created. However, the gap between effective appropriation (of any form) and visual clutter can be as vast as, say?... The work of Banksy and Mr. Brainwash. I wonder how Shepard Fairey might answer this question? Appropriation – shunned by many of my colleagues in academiais also a useful iconographic practice. We all have strong symbolic and personal connections to mediated images. In the late 1980’s and early 90’s, I was self-consciously appropriating with a strong degree of social anarchy and nihilism.
Robert Dohrmann and transitions to communicate ideas effectively. Albeit linear, non-linear, or cyclical, editing is the road map. Although trained as a painter, I am a bit of a film nerd. So I closely observe cuts, shots, timing, and pace when I watch any film. This also has a strong relationship to comics, another passion of mine. But the technology and process of my work is relatively straightforward (to me at least). I start off with labor intensive Photoshop images (upwards to 50 files, many I end up not using), animate them in Adobe After Effects, render these individual clips in hi-rez QuickTime files, edit them several different ways in Final Cut Pro, rinse and repeat as needed, then I decide if it’s finished or not. The exact same strategy is used in the audio portion of my works.
But there was a true sense of power spending time (and many quarters) at a Xerox machine recombining, rerouting, and repurposing imagery. To those of us who were sociopolitically minded, those who actually gave a shit about something, this was a very irresistible thing to do. And it still is today. The French Impressionists, for example, used nature (land/cityscapes, genre, and still-life) as their vehicle to translate their images. Today, Jean Baudrillard’s simulacra and simulation has come to near full fruition. For me, appropriating – sampling, remixing, mashing, whatever the theoretical buzz word- is as natural as breathing. At times I feel like a cultural anthropologist mining and reviving these found images. Now that we have become a truly digital culture, I believe this is the “natural” landscape; a constant spattering of electronic images like no other culture before at an ever-increasing rate, only serving to distort reality more and more. So it makes sense to me to try and re-make sense out this glut and have something to say about it in return.
Like Paolo Gioli' s 16mm works, in your videos the relationships between the images are often subliminal, however through your editing technique you are able to transmit intricately and complexly layered levels of meaning, often revealing a subtle irony and humor. How did you develop your style? This style came out of my love for paper collage and hand-made books. I had accumulated nearly 15 years of making mixed media objects before
In your refined video we can recognize a masterly work of editing: what kind of technology have you used in producing it? Thank you for the editing nod. I spend an enormous amount of time working on this element. And it is definitely one of the main arteries for delivering my esoteric ideas. I try to think of it as writing; words organized into thoughtful Butcher Rules paragraphs that require structure
A still from All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong
A still from All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong Running Time: 3 minutes 14 seconds
ever attempting to create a video. Around 2002, I simply tried to figure out ways to translate my work to video. I have always been comfortable with irrational and non-linear thought. Multiple layers of referential meaning has always been much more interesting to me than singular “Do you get it?” Concepts.
imagery, blur the line, and interpretation to the viewer.
How long does it usually take to finish a piece? Do you work on one at a time? This production is a complete one-man operation from start to finish. A geek professor alone at his computer for countless hours, so?... I have never really added the hours/days/months of any one video? But I usually devote an entire summer to approximately four minutes of completed video (counting the audio portion). By an entire summer, that means I get a jump on them before school is out in April, and all the slaps and tickles (including the DIY DVD graphics, glitches fixed, tweaks applied, etc.) are completed by October. So it’s generally about a four to five month time frame. I do work on one video at a time. I prefer to work on other things during the school year because this process is dense and demanding, so I like to work continuously, compulsively, and without interruptions.
A friend versed in psychology once told me I was an abstract/random thinker as opposed to a concrete/sequential thinker. I prefer to show the viewer many possible paths as opposed to pointing to just one. And I believe in asking the right questions as opposed to solving a (socalled) universally understood answer. I have tried before and have been unable to create a successful linear narrative. It comes from a personal propensity of looking at the world backwards, sideways, and upside down. Therefore, the application of irony in my work, when I juxtapose images effectively, endows them with new meanings, often personal and metaphorical to the viewer. And yes, there is always at least one drop of quirky humor in everything I have made over the past 20 years. Although I consider myself a serious sociopolitical artist, I am not a minister. Nor do I have a personal agenda. I prefer to present evocative
What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? My background as an “above average” painter did aid me immensely when I made the transition
to this medium. So when you say “technical aspects,” I rely much more on my fine art background than the inclusive language and medium of film (or technology itself, for that matter). So the form and substance of pictorial space, design, color theory, composition, surface, etc. are the true technical aspects of my videos. However, I do try to implement at least one appropriate “technical trick” into each new video. As mentioned above, I also have a background in paper collage/montage and handmade books. This was an essential conceptual proving and testing ground prior to seeing how I could make my imagery move. I often still think of myself as a paper collage artists using timebased mediums. I realize there is a certain art film “charm” to my works, as they obviously look as though a trained filmmaker did not create them (insert smiley face here*). Again, that DIY aesthetic…
A still from All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong
rized by the dark, complexity of the Northern Renaissance artist. As I worked through things in my studio courses, I fell head over heal, of course, with DADA. These artists seemed well in line with my already formed punk rock aesthetic. Having grown up in the punk and hardcore scene, their social consciousness, angst, and iconoclastic approaches seem a perfect fit for me around the late 80’s. Plus it was honest to who was (and still am in many way). Around that time, art had reached a highly theoretical point and I was not immune to it. So postmodern and post-structuralist theory were pretty much eating away at me from the inside. I was happy to see it go away, but there were many things I held on to that coexist with the flavor of today. Also influential are many musicians who have used the above concepts. Such as Negativeland, NWA, Big Audio Dynamite, The Beastie Boys, Devo, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Beck, and too many others to name.
We have selected for publication your work entitled "All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong": could you introduce it to our readers? Okay then… Ladies and gentlemen! For your viewing pleasure, we bring to you part two of Robert Dohrmann’s Spaceman Trilogy, “All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong.” A mysterious oblong television set is your personal guide through the far reaches of outer space as it guides you through a series of animated scenes. Along this journey, our guide presents a number of downsized robots whose purposes and functions are not exactly known. Enjoy! (… eat more popcorn… drink more coke-a-cola…) Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?
What’s next for Robert Dohrmann? Are there any new projects on the horizon?
My works are most informed by post-World War II American history, allegory, the journey of the hero, mythology, philosophy, and death. At their core, I have based these works in the duality of spirituality and technology. But as far as actual influences, while in art school, I was first mesme-
In addition to my work in digital video (I currently have two ideas waiting for me on my computer), I have been interested in the potential of concept web art/interactive art. In 2007 I began work on a fictitious corporation called Davison Grant Genetics. This work is a simulated biotech company using the Internet, digital prints, video, and performance as its primary forms of delivery. Initially, the frantic race to map and patent human DNA during the 1990’s was the most inspiring element for this project. Therein I found a complex framework to fabricate an artificial empire seemingly dedicated to healing and improving the human body through science and technology. I have an upcoming solo exhibition of this work in October and I plan to combine more banner sized prints, video, and utilize the 3D printer where I work. (www.davisongrnat.com)
A still from All Systems Go, Neil Armstrong
WZ42_Mont5 (2012) Video, single channel (colour; stereo sound); 10:53 min.; loop
Ralph Klewitz Ralph Klewitz was born in 1965, raised in Switzerland, studied typography and graphic design at the Basel School of Design and graduated with a Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice from the Bern University of the Arts. His professional and academic destinations have been so far located in European, Asian and Australian cities; presently he is based in Borneo.
fine arts raise cultural, ethical, political and aesthetical questions and he negotiates those in various contexts with meaningful and meaningless; intangible and tangible contents. Ralphâ€™s artwork has been show internationally in physical and virtual locations. http://ralphklewitz.blogspot.com/
He works inter- and post-disciplinary by experimenting with timebased media, expanded cinema, sculpture, photography, language, performance, hybrid forms of the former and more. The topics of his artistic practice and research in 24
An interview with
Ralph Klewitz What's the main idea behind WZ42_Mont5?
There were several starting points in WZ42_Mont5. Initially I have produced the three interweaved video tracks independently and have had different motivations. For the park sequence, shot nearby my apartment, I was trying to master a camera stabiliser that I have borrowed. My interest for the animated pie charts was bringing together abstract terms – the meanings in their combinations sometimes made sense to me, sometimes not. The photographic slide show was a kind of an inventory take of a person’s cupboard content. For the fourth component I have stringed on the timeline terms such as ‘subjective’, ‘specific’ and ‘qualitative’; in the final artwork they occasionally flow across the visuals. Such terms occupied my mind at a time where I was engaged in an artistic research task. Whilst editing WZ42_Mont5 I constantly changed it’s components, created new ones
and browsed my archive for footage that I had not used yet in another artwork. During this process I combined and juxtaposed the sequences that are inherent in the artwork now. In the process of composing the soundtrack I proceeded with a similar multifaceted investigation. In the first phase, I didn’t know what I was doing, listened to and produced analogue, digital and hybrid sounds, left the project for several days alone, picked it up again, browsed my archives, played randomly with various sound editing software, etc. At some stage I explored certain synthesizer sounds that intrigued me but, whilst playing them, I also wanted to avoid the rigidness and precision of an unaltered digital composition. In the following days I composed and played the instrument and discovered musical sequences, including distortions,which told their own stories, and carried the visuals forward.
At the end, all visual and audio pieces fell into place. In WZ42_Mont5 clips are fragmented, assimilated, rearranged. What critics consider with nonchalance, just an opposing trend to high definition, could be the most important revolution of this decade: the use of found footage, our "digital heritage". In your opinion, how can this "opposing trend" change - in a "political" but not ideological way - our relationship with the images surrounding us?
In creating WZ42_Mont5, it was the process of constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing narratives that intrigued me. Furthermore, I was interested in the playfulness between these fragments that I perceived as parallel and/or successive stories. Whilst making this artwork, clip fragmentation was thus never just for the fragmentation’s sake, nor to follow an “opposing trend”. I realise it is challenging to learn
the skills of selecting which images, and information in a wider sense, I want to surround myself with and which ones I want to filter out. To develop and slowly master such competences empowers me to act and react as an autonomous citizen, which then could change my political attitude. But in general, I question the social constructed ‘political’ concept and ask myself what role politics play today in our profit-driven society. In finding such answers, I try to refocus myself and rediscover personal values that I allow myself to influence my art. Such values may include comments of how I experience life; these statements are then sometimes affirming, criticising, ironic, paradoxical, provocative, boring and something just factual. Answering your question with a prognosis in mind, I believe the notion of ‘nonchalance’ has a great potential to find truth; a term that also reflects many other aspects of the contemporary life. Besides producing your videos, you are also a teacher: how does it influence your career as an artist? It satisfies me when I experience students exploring and developing their individual artistic expressions. In such circumstances, when students are intrinsically motivated, I enjoy mentoring them. Next to facilitating their learning, one of my main pedagogical goals is to empower my students to become independent critical thinkers who are then also willing and capable to be responsible of their actions and take risks to question the status quo. Establishing and nurturing such creative spaces where students can grow reflects back on me and influences my practice. It is probably also because I challenge my students to continuously learn – an energy that also drives my own artistic process, which then spirals the motivation between my students and me upwards. Electronic music is essential in your work. In "WZ42_Mont5" we can find poly-rhythms with harmonic frequencies, which reminds us of Ligeti's last periocomposition reworked with
a contemporary sensibility. More and more video artists are (re)discovering today the power of the interaction between video and sound, not meant as a simple "soundtrack", interaction that has created great results in the experimental cinema, just think of the admirable collaboration between two great artists like Alain Robbe Grillet, writer and filmmaker, and Michel Fano, composer in the 70's. What's your view on this interaction between sound and video?
From a formal training point of view, unfortunately, I do not play an instrument. But thanks to music sequencers, I am able to compose and produce my own soundtracks; it can be said that MIDI enabled me to play data for WZ42_Mont5. Nevertheless, I do not call myself a musician and I admit to be a novice, in some instance naïve and a dilettante when contributing to discussions about contemporary classical music.
Your Ligeti association is quite fascinating because he is a composer whose music draws my attention. In the recent past I have also listened to Steve Reich’s phasing patterns, Olivier Messiaen’s complex rhythms and I admire John Cage’s playfulness, for instance in Suite for Toy Piano I–V. But it might be too easy to conclude that these were the only influences when I composed the soundtrack of WZ42_Mont5.
You mention the potentials of artistic collaboration. At this time in my life, it is not something that I strive for. A few years back, it was my mentor René Pulfer who suggested that I watch ‘Making One11’, a documentary about John Cage making the visuals and the music for ‘One11’, that encouraged me to empower myself in composing my own soundtracks. I have made some good experiences with this attitude so
that these days, the generalist approach in art making reflects my needs and interests. My view about the interaction between sound and video is that I always strive to give the soundtrack its own voice rather than composing it to support or juxtapose the visuals. Such an approach might make the sound more independent and thus more important as opposed to it just being an under-laying audio track. This might then also be an explanation that both the visual and the sound track could evoke more than if they would be perceived by their own.
my work is exhibited. The non-existing physical location of online exhibitions and digital publications are also platforms that I value. In essence, what I appreciate it is when a selected artwork contributes to a discourse that interests me personally as well. Because I can seldom be present at the openings abroad, what I miss most is to be able to interact with the visitors of the exhibitions. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?
What interests me in my artistic process is: Uncertainties and unpredictability, chance and randomness, vagueness, incompleteness, What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? fuzzy logic, paradoxes, surprises, playfulness and discoveries – all What is the difference between not really qualities that are desiraexhibiting, for example, in Switzerland and exhibiting in North- ble in our professional worlds, with the exception of the latter. ern Ireland? But in the rational world discoverWhere I presently reside, in Bories must lead into some sort of neo, there is unfortunately no disusefulness and be made profitable course that my art could in one or the other way. In the art contribute. Because of this current world, it is the process and not the circumstance, I thus have and objects of my artistic discoveries want to reach out across the which excite me. boarders. Consequently, my When my artwork triggers a perpresent strategy is to answer international open calls for artwork. ceiver’s thoughts, insights and emotions – when it ignites change Whilst browsing through these and enables experiences, then, I calls I sometimes find interesting believe, I have produced someconnection between a curator’s thing of value. aim and an artwork that I have already completed, which then Who among international artists motivates me to submit the reinfluenced your work? sponding piece. If I have the opportunity, I would So, for me the geography is not as visit exhibitions with works from important as the context in which Francis Alÿs, Pierre Huyghe, David
Signer, Christian Marclay and, to include one of many female artists who I respect, Berlinde De Bruyckere. I easily could extend this list by including emerging artists and those who are not amongst us anymore – the book ‘The Writings of Marcel Duchamp’ keeps my attention –, musicians, philosophers, art historians, art critics, etc. Furthermore, I am influenced by popular culture, punk – daily life in general. What’s next for Ralph Klewitz? Are there any new projects on the horizon?
I still have a few time-based media piece that are work in progress. Beside my interest to express my ideas digitally, being pragmatic, the production and storage of portable data also complements my nomadic lifestyle. Saying that, in the last months I have started to produce small sculptures, which triggered my interest to do more of those. Also, on and off, I have made first steps in performance art. When there is the right time and place I strive to combine media that could lead to more holistic art forms such as expanded cinema or installations. Curating exhibitions with my own and other artists’ works would then only be just the next step. A preview of WZ42_Mont5 can be accessed here: https://vimeo.com/53768783
A still from VOYAGE
Paul Glennon Memories of our movements through time and space are interconnected on new levels with the arrival of Digital Cultures such as mobile media and the Internet. In normal terms we accept a variety of dimensional travel and toy with ideas of other dimensions - but have we not already found them? V O Y A G E merges time, space and memory using a range of media to evoke notions of extra dimensional travel. Although the film narrative is presented as a flat moving image, there are collected layers that ask the viewer to question possible new dimensions. â€˜Still and still movingâ€Śâ€™ T.S. Eliot. 28
An interview with
Paul Glennon In April 2011 you have participated in the ArcheTime Film Screenings in Brooklyn. Could introduce our readers to your conception of space, time and memory? Moments come and go in a flash and some are more important than others. When I try to remember a moment in time my mind displays a fragment – not unlike a screen shot that most computers are capable of recording. This fragment then allows me access to emotions and thoughts from the time that my mind recorded them. The film I showed in New York at the ArcheTime screenings was like a digital canvas version of that process. Like memories the fragments were blurry (or pixilated).
I try my best to show my films in screenings and festivals around the world, but primarily, they exist on the Internet. They are on my website (www.paulglennon.co.uk) – the home for all my artworks – and they also exist on social media networks like youtube and vimeo. In a way, I liken my own memories to elements stored on the Internet. We can access these when we want to through url links – as long as we have Internet access (or as humans, as long as we are alive).
In 2012 I showed a film at the Cinesonika Festival in Vancouver. At this festival I was invited, not only to show one of my films at their cinema screening, but was also asked to present my ideas at the conference that accompanied the festival. This is happening more now in Europe, but North America seems to have been embracing this for much longer. Perhaps this is because there is more long-term funding for Artists in North America. In Europe (and more recently in the UK due to repeating recessions) I get the feeling that there is more pressure on Artists to part-fund opportunities. This is an unfortunate trend.
Carl Jung talked about the collective unconscious – for me, having all my artwork on a website and therefore on the Internet, permanently, is some form of contribution to this new 21st century collective unconscious.
Can you describe a little bit about your creative process? How do you even come up with such creative concepts?
In your opinion, how does the art/curatorial scene in Europe operate in comparison to the North American scene? What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries?
It is always a challenge for me to talk about my ideas, in particular to give meaning to my artworks. If I could write or talk about my artworks with any real clarity then I would probably not feel the need to make them in the first place. The artworks I create are borne out of a disappointment with language – it lets me (and I think us as a human race) down on so many levels. Therefore, I rely on visual imagery to convey feelings and ideas.
There are masses of opportunities to show work around the world – especially digital work. It is easier to transport and if online needs no physical postage at all. The key to tapping into this massive source of opportunity is to look at themes from these festivals, exhibitions or screenings and ascertain if your work can lend itself to the concept.
In terms of the creative process, I have themes that I am interested in and I explore ideas around these themes. I draw up the concepts and alongside these I list words that I feel are relevant.
In North America, there is much more of an open approach to practice-based research (i.e. research as practical output rather than traditional paper-based journal and conference). Butcher Rules
A still from VOYAGE I mentioned the collective unconscious earlier – this is a theme I explore along with things like balance, simplicity and order. As an Artist, I am concerned with the lack of clarity within everyday subjects like politics, economy and race.
ever so slightly. Ridley Scott calls this ‘movie magic’ in his audio commentary of the film. For me it is much more than this – it is a visual representation of Elliot’s ‘still but still moving’ quote. The combination of Elliot’s line and Scott’s ‘movie magic’ resonates with me and makes me question my existence. In a way, even when we are still are we all still moving? Much of my artwork is about capturing stillness and movement – both in real life and in memories. Great moments can come and go in seconds in our lives. This troubles me and through my artworks I try to hold onto these moments. In order to capture them I am forever trying to find new ways to keep the memories alive. In most cases, this is an extreme challenge for me – but this challenge underpins my work.
In your statement, you have quoted the great poet T.S. Eliot. Mythopoeic conception of time is very close to the poetics of your artwork V O Y A G E. Can you tell us Eliot’s influence on your video? There is one poem in particular that stands out for me – East Coker (from The Four Quartets). In one line from this poem Elliot says, ‘still and still moving’. This line has always reminded me of a scene in Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ (1982). After an argument with Deckard (Harrison Ford) about whether or not Rachael (Sean Young) is a replicant (android), Rachael throws a picture on the floor and she storms out of his apartment. Deckard picks it up and looks at it. For a very brief moment the photo comes to life as the shadows from the trees that scatter across a porch where Rachael and her mother sit, move,
Apart from T.S. Eliot, have other artists influenced your work? I mentioned Ridley Scott. Film is a very important genre for me and a constant source of inspiration. After reading Rudolf Arnheim’s ‘Film as Art’ (1957) I realised the importance of
A still from VOYAGE
A still from VOYAGE
moving image as an Art form. This has compelled me to seek out filmmakers who sit precariously on the boundary of ‘feature film’ (commercial) and ‘art house film’ (video art or moving image): people like Jim Jarmusch, Terrence Malick, Jane Campion and more recently, Steve McQueen. Some of the early short films of these individuals are very interesting in terms of their experimentation. In contrast to this I am also interested in Land Art and Conceptual Art (basically anything post1973 – the year I was born onwards).
the Internet. During my Masters Degree in Computer Arts I became very interested in Flash. As an editing tool I found it much more intuitive than editing short films in Final Cut Pro. Of course Flash has been crushed by Apple post-ipad, but I still enjoy editing in Flash and screen grabbing the content. As I was skilled in using Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign, I hadno problem translating these skills into Flash. For the first time ever, I could design and control moving images the way I wanted to. Right away my interest in making short films began. As a student I studied prolific creatives such as Saul Bass (film credit designer, especially for Hitchcock, and graphic designer). His reduc-tionist approach to motion graphics flowed naturally on from the Bauhaus era. By studying him and the Bauhaus I have always tried to blur the lines between Art & Design.
I am interested when artworks make strong statements that challenge or potentially change people. I am also interested in Art that nonartists find interesting. Could you describe your background, and how you first became interested in video making as a visual medium?
What’s next for Paul Glennon? Are there any new projects on the horizon?
It would be wrong of me not to mention my design background. My degree was in Visual Communication and I have been designing graphics for a range of areas for over 20 years. This close relationship with image and text (typography), extended through the use of Adobe software, allowed me to take graphics to
There are four main areas that I focus on within my artwork: Image, Film, Object and the Internet. The latter of these is where all my artworks live, but I am being increasingly asked to extend my work into the physical world. Indeed, until the Internet becomes ubiquitous in our world (and I believe one day it will) I have to engage with this extension of my work. I do so by collating what I call ‘evidence articles’. These are collages or ‘packs’ that combine the sum of the parts that make up a whole or finished artwork on my website. The idea for these extensions derives from my interest in conceptual and land art from the 1970s. Some of the Artworks from this era no longer exist. Instead drawings, recordings and transcripts are hoarded by collectors and occasionally make their way into contemporary art galleries today. I’m intrigued by this paradoxical approach to the curation of historical artwork and I use it as a cue to inform my ‘evidence articles’.
A still from VOYAGE
A still from Unfettered, 2013
An artistâ€™s statement practices. It is an experience of sitting in the dirt under the sun instead of in a dim room. And it involves being hyper aware of what was in front of me because there is no preview. It is a relinquishing of perfection even while exerting frame by frame control, and it is a process that is at once technically challenging and yet liberating. It is this sense of liberation that I wanted to capture in the content.
My approach to animation has always been one of experimentation both in content and technology. Animation has huge unexplored potential as an art form and yet it is still largely approached as light narrative entertainment. My current project was inspired by the lo tech techniques of pinhole and slit photography which have been experiencing a revival full of innovative twists. My project began as a personal challenge to explore what more can be made of these techniques with the addition of the third dimension coupled with the fanatical frame by frame control of animation.
The result of my exploration is a short film called "Con Brio" which is choreographed to music. This project was completed part-time over a six year period and involved much innovation in methods of capturing images and generating effects in camera that are surprisingly lo-tech and yet effective. "Unfettered" is a drastically different and silent version. Both feature flowers as bold and dynamic graphic elements instead of pretty and static icons of sentiment yet in some ways I feel "Unfettered" is in some ways more successful and closer to the spirit in content that I intended.
What the pinhole afforded me was extra long exposure times (up to 20 seconds/frame). With that time I was able to isolate background and foreground elements and blur them to simulate motion. I was able to capture a huge sense of space with the pinhole's 'infinite' depth of field. The images from a double-slit aperture are, I believe, more effective in sequences than as stills as the distortions they produce can be followed in time.
Images free from a lens Flowers free from roots Rhythm free from sound
The process of image acquisition using pinhole is a complete rejection of all current high-tech
An interview with Sandra Ebers In your statement, you say "The process of image acquisition using pinhole is a complete rejection of all current hightech practices". Your practise reminds us of the pionieristic work of the great Italian filmmaker and photographer Paolo Gioli, who used to work in the 70s in Italy and France with pinhole camera, and even with camera obscuras in loaves and so on. Lo-techs methods like these are in your opinion "political" ways to produce films in direct opposition Hollywood and great-budget studios, or more challenging efforts to start from the beginning of the history of human preception? I don't think lo-tech methods when used experimentally in the way of Paolo Gioli are political as there is little intention of competing with the large studios, addressing the same audience, or questioning the role of either. I much more agree with the second statement. David Bordwell wrote an interesting essay on Paolo Gioli's films and how they challenge the horizontal bias of films by being more self-consciously vertical in composition and movement. Oriental cultures have a long history of vertical compositions in fine arts so why has film evolved to be limited to only 50% of compositional possibilities? This is interesting to think about even if we might automatically conclude that there is surely a practical technological reason behind it. In this same vein I think a lot of lo-tech methods either directly or indirectly challenge the viewer to question why conventions have evolved the way they have and put forward different modes of engagement.
Paul Turano Sandra Eber has always had a foot in both the arts & sciences. With degrees in both anthropology and animation and a minor in computer science, she enjoyed an extensive career as a software developer. As a programmer for Discreet Logic – an industry leader in visual effects – Eber contributed to innovative products that featured real-time animation for live-broadcast, special effects and editing for the motion picture industry. In 1998, she began teaching in the film animation program at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In her research she enjoys experimenting with high and low technology of all kinds taking a materialist approach to production. Currently she spends her time teaching, exploring animation, and raising her young son in Montreal Canada.
Even while making an intentionally unconventional film, I found myself debating several conventions I hadn't fully considered, making the process an education in why it is I do what I do. For example, in some shots of my pinhole film Con Brio there was considerable dirt on the glass holding the Butcher Rules film in place that loomed large and sharp on
the developed image. The dirt was a distracting presence and the first person I showed it to – an award winning filmmaker – told me “dirt is dirt”, best to digitally remove it. And this was also my first, unreflective, reaction. But when I did remove it, some charm was also removed. It looked slightly more 33
A still from Unfettered, 2013
Silent stop-motion pinhole film: an experimental study in rhythm and movement that converts flowers from static and delicate icons of sentiment into bold and dynamic graphic elements. The images were patiently acquired one frame at a time entirely without a computer or lens, using a 16mm film camera adapted for a variety of pinhole and double-slit techniques
conventional in a bland way. I happened at the time to attend a talk by the charismatic filmmaker Barry Purves who recounted how animator Nick Park fought to keep the fingerprints on the characters in Chicken Run to retain the presence of the artist. The penny dropped. It was one of those small things I had been aware of but not reflected on. In the end, I did remove the dirt but only in shots where it was important for me that the viewer lose sight of the process. In any case, I'm now more conscious of the effect and use of dirt.
the domestic tasks and obligations). I have learned to intensely plan and think about each project during my ample time taking public transit, making detailed notes and diagrams. Just about everything I've made has been precisely scripted or storyboarded in that time. It can be frustrating because my creative ambitions don't match up with available time to execute them. In fact, I wrote a blog (since destroyed by hackers) following my progress and creative process that included the domestic daily trials since it all became inseparable (e.g. Curious child â€“ or perhaps the cat - opens camera, des-troys footage. Need to rethink after calming down. Leads to better idea or solution. The world does not end.). One project at a time is all I can manage for sanity's sake but there are about a half dozen in the back drawer. In the animation world though, it's quite typical to spend a staggering number of years for a few minutes of output â€“ even when working fulltime on the project. At this snail's pace, it took me seven years to complete my two pinhole films â€“ a total of roughly seven minutes of output.
Frame by frame control in animation is a very long process. Award winner animators like Simone Massi have worked for years in order to finish their five-minutes master-pieces. How long does it usually take to finish a piece? Do you work on one at a time? At my current point in life, the reality is that filmmaking is given the attention left over after earning a living and taking care of my child. It means that my process is both slow (taking years of part-time effort) and frantic (efficiently using the hour or two between 34
chart that will determine with reasonable accuracy what will be in frame. A tiny hole replacing the lens is just the beginning of possibilities with pinhole technology. Consider multiple holes, moving holes, shapes other than holes, or intriguing double slits. It's hard to describe a double slit without drawing an illustration. Picture two slits on separate sheets spaced apart and positioned so that the slits form an 'X'. This in effect creates a hole but one that distorts the image as in a fun house mirror. It does not have to be limited to straight slits – any shape of line will work.
A still from Fallout A still from Unfettered, 2013
Can you introduce our readers to the process of image acquisition using pinhole?
"Animation has huge unexplored potential as an art form and yet it is still largely approached as light narrative entertainment." . Despite of that, even more artists like you are exploring in the last decade the power of lo-tech animation not only create a sort of "revival" but in order to explore new possibilities. In your opinion what's the future of animation?
On a pinhole camera – which can be digital or analogue - the lens is removed and replaced with a tiny hole usually in thin metal. There is a mathematical relationship between the size of the hole and its distance from the 'film plane' that affects the sharpness of the image. One of the most interesting aspects of a pinhole image is that it has infinite depth of field – something a lens can never achieve. This means that everything in front of the hole whether a fraction of a millimeter or a kilometer away will be in exactly the same focus (remember the dirt?).
Having taught animation for about 15 years now puts me in a position of having experienced students in several different waves of ambitions and expectations. There was a time when 3-D computer generated images was seen as the pinnacle of the craft – at least to some students.
Having a tiny hole instead of a lens has some consequences, the most immediate is that the exposure time is dramatically longer, one second or more - not an issue for an animator who works frame by frame in any case. Another slight inconvenience, or maybe for some it's a huge one, is that an image preview is impossible - but not unpredictable. It is possible through math calculations, or downloadable freeware, to calculate the angle of view and construct a
A still from Unfettered, 2013
At the moment I get a sense of boredom with that aesthetic. This generation has grown up with it and it is not hot and new. I think this jibes with the lo-tech revival you mention. It comes from a jadedness with the predictability and sameness of commercial films. New technology has proven that anything is possible and now that we are over-saturated with CGI, we move on to fill in what was overlooked with that wave of enthusiasm: with the awe of skill behind someA still from Unfettered, 2013
A still from Unfettered, 2013
something more obviously handmade, more subtle and thoughtful content, as well as new and innovative ways of working with 3D graphics that pushes the current boundaries. On this last point I'm thinking of the work of David Oreilly and his deconstructed use of 3D and clichĂŠd animation themes. Now is the time for 3D to mature and evolve with efforts like his.
devices and taking over billboards and subway cars. It's a good time for questioning conventions and challenging modes of engagement.
Cinema has a history of enthusiasm for new technology followed by a period of reflection and maturation. At this point CGI is mainstream and digital filmmaking has been around just long enough not be a challenge in and of itself. One consequence of these new technologies is that the lines have been blurred between animation and live action, and between video and cinema. Now we can perhaps move past hollow debates about the superiority of one technology over another, or one medium over another and go about exploiting and combining each technology and medium for their strengths as appropriate or needed. The way we consume moving images is also radically changing. Attendance in traditional theatres is fluctuating, even waning, all the while moving images are being viewed on mobile
The satisfaction has changed as I grow older. It started way back as a student with the applause after a screening which was enough to send be back to months of painstaking work just to get another fix of applause. I've become more complex since then.
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?
upside-down projection of reality, so it's hard to describe the utter sense of wonder something so simple can have. My thinking is that we're used to experiencing reality mediated by a hi-tech screen – and here reality is again mediated by a no-tech screen at the back of a box, perfect and inverted. But knowing the immediacy of the reality being shown – that it's just behind you – and that it's the result of a nothing more than a hole, is somehow strange and alluring. It proves that how something is made forms part of our appreciation of it. What was particularly satisfying about that experience was the direct contact with the participants and being able to see my enthusiasm for something transferred to others. Eventually, I would love to get more into workshops and installations.
A still from Unfettered, 2013
As I grappled to find my own place I came to understand that I am most interested in technical and formal aspects. One of my favourite works is Norman McLaren's Mosaic. What an amazing concept: drawing perfectly straight lines down a strip of film as an exercise in timing and rhythm to create Lignes verticales, then optically rotating the frames for another film, Lignes horizontales, and finally combining the two for Mosaic. I'm inspired by how far exploring a line can take you, how the look defies expectations of the medium used, and how skilled is the buildup and release of tension. I wish my ideas were this elegant but it's the pursuit of this kind of experimentation that propels me to go forward.
A still from Unfettered, 2013
Increasingly however, I find I have things I want to say. I believe that art has the power and a responsibility to affect change, or at least thought, in society and I wonder how I can combine social commentary with an experimental or semi-documentary approach in animation.
In the meanwhile I have several projects waiting to be realized. After seven years of obsessing over pinhole images I have more ideas now than before for pinhole technology. I would like to make a companion piece to Con Brio to explore animated double slit apertures. But a more advanced plan is for something on the opposite end of the technological spectrum: A steroscopic project using SANDDE, an exciting software that allows you to 'draw' in three dimensional space. It's a software that takes time to adjust to but is surprisingly organic and artist friendly. The premise is socio-political with completely abstract images employing only timing and rhythm to get across a subtle point – part of a foray into experimenting more with content. I just hope the cat leaves me alone after my son goes to bed.
What's next for Sandra? Have you a particular project in mind ? Last summer I had a booth in the Montreal Mini Maker's Faire together with my friend and colleague Alison Loader. We built a large walk-in camera obscura (part of Alison's doctorate research) out of PVC pipes and garbage bags. Although we both share a nerdy fascination with this simple technology, neither of us expected the almost exuberant reactions from people, especially children, as they hesitantly stepped into our pitch black sweltering box. It's only an
Body is a battleground
Marta Ivanova yourself and the sound of relief discovering yourself. Every collision with Marta's body is the cure of the fear to undress. The body leaves the marks and it is a marked place. Having noticed that Marta begins to expand research field, and to question everyday life, where the body works. The work Neckties reveals how much anxiety and how many various neuroses may reveal neckties or suddenly meet in a dark room. At the same time they are even funny - dramatic masculinity remains alone and twitches a fake phallus ... The artist makes her Portfolio of bra clasps whose labels indicate the titles of her works. This form can accommodate a lot of laughter from the representation and from the woman‘s daily reduction to a speaking chest, but at the same time, it is a fair reference to the personality of her works. The newest Marta's work O is characterized by special conceptualism and easy esotericism of everyday life. Natural processes, wavy and vanishing relationships, life processes are focused on the moon. In round photographs and in the slowly absorbed water of florists oasis unfolds the moon garden where everything tells endangered and dying flowers. Marta‘s works are very aesthetic. They are pure and concentrated as a well clenched fist. The work Week uses greatly the kitsch as a surprise, still new mask of the second face makes its week count and feel differently. 1/1 (ONE OF ONE) is a not affordable work of art, an experiment at the same time with yourself and with Japanese aesthetic ideals. Namely works beauty is the final Marta‘s weapon, not releasing the viewer who is accustomed to a covered, commodificated and silent body and preventing him averting his eyes. It is openly feminist creation uncovering the battle for the right to yourself, rampant in millions of bodies. Marta Ivanova is a war photographer with a sword that is sharper than any lens.
Marta Ivanova (born in 1991 in Russia) - a young Lithuanian artist, revealing the body, femininity and everyday life intimately and unexpectedly in her works. After Gymnasium, she chose Photography and Media Arts studies at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Namely photographic and video material dominates in the artist's works, but installation or performance expression is also familiar to her. Marta's works have been repeatedly exhibited in Lithuania, also observed in the United States, published in London photography magazine Flip. Marta's work is a unique phenomenon in Lithuanian art scene, and in a global art context, she is appreciable for her relevance and unique aesthetics. Marta explores woman and femininity. She roams her body, finding its universal images and meanings. In a society that is accustomed to the body - especially the shame of a female body, it is that the entire natural coat is the largest terra incognita whose researcher becomes the artist. She reveals a variety of familiar, but often passed over in silence body meanings. The body is a battleground ready to fight with weapons (Body is a battleground), including the package bloody as armour. The body is the combination of virginity and purity myths, which plays Sun lace and softness of white material in (The absence of the ring and Behind white curtain). The body has several faces, one of them - between legs (Also face). By painting red labia (Lips), Marta exposes the "real" facial care ritual, little sketches while capturing red associations with risk, bleeding and trauma. The tension between tenderness and trauma is very important to Marta through which it is usual to define the female body – losing weight, virginity and hair. The body is unforgettable brutish – in the work Performance the artist is crawling on the floor as a female marking the territory, and the microphone broadcasts her vagina sounds. A muffled purr – the sound of anxiety hearing
An interview with Marta Ivanova How do your studies in Sculpure influence your current practice in Photography? Would you like to tell us something about what has lead you to be a multidisciplinary artist? I could say that my sculpture practice like a “Devil’s Seed” has constructed my following discursive field where the roots of the present “Malicious Flowers” became resilient. Through this sculpture field I took my first steps towards focusing the space and it’s relation with an object and a viewer; perceiving the space as not a physical construct, but rather as a specific subject with its surroundings, objectivity and materiality. With all this I was able to construct a new relation between art and concept. Talking about being a multidisciplinary artist, I do not border myself with only one media. I am open to every media and their merging as every one of them has its own energy. Media I choose is dictated by every process and idea of a work. I gather what a work needs for it to thoroughly fulfill its constructed message. It’s important to understand all this and to treat the image accurately. The works Neckties and Lips that we have chosen for publication in this issue are very intriguing, and in particular is seems to be a subtle social criticism: would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these pieces?
Marta Ivanova (photo by Laura Zala) they are quite funny as they show “dramatic” mascu-linity jerking an artificial phallus. In the performan-ce for the camera “Lips” a body has several faces, and one of them is between the legs (“Also Face”). By painting my vaginal lips red (“Lips”) I show a bare ritual of cherishing one’s “real” face, I caricature it, also employ associations of danger, bleeding and trauma with redness. A tension between tenderness and trauma is crucial as it’s common to define a woman’s body by it – loss of weight, virginity or hair.
The work “Neckties” reveals just how much worry and different neurosis can neckties reveal when are met in a dark room. And at the same time
Would you like to tell us something about your interesting work "1/1" (one of one) ? It has been recently chosen to be featured in the 13th annual Sarah Isom Gender Conference Exhibition and we have found it really interesting. I always try to be very precise, especially when presenting the final work. I think that it was revealed the most in the work “1/1”, based on Japanese art precision and main Japanese aesthetic ideals which are expressed by categories such as makoto (truth, natural sincerity), aware (charm), okashi (charm of playful humor), yugen (mysterious beauty), sabi (cover of antiquity), wabi (restrained beauty), shibui (beauty of simplicity and aristocratism), en (charm), miyabi (calmness), hosomi (subtlety, fragileness), karumi (lightness), yubi (elegance), sabi (greatness), mei (chastity, nobility) etc. This work consists of two components. The first one is a unique print obtained by my body. Nearby to the print is exhibited a tool, made by me – a little bench that helped to obtain the print visually.
1/1 (ONE OF ONE)
„O“, Installation, 2013 Regarding the usage of other bodies, at the moment I don’t intend to work with this. But I don’t reject the idea completely.
By the way, is there a particular reason for which you primarily use your own body as a mean of expression and view the female body? Do you plan to work with a multitude of other bodies as well or do you think that the usage of the artist's body itself gives a different value to an artwork?
And we would dare to ask you: do you consider yourself a feminist artist?
I will start with this, that art is a crucial part of my life. Art is based on the context of a daily life. The viewers are looking through the visual side of my diary. I can cite C. Shneemann: “My body as a visual territory” – all my works are formed from my body’s ripened sap that play a big role in my works.
Well… it’s not uncommon for me to be considered as a feminist. Yes, I am deeply immersed in the word starting with capital letter – a Woman. Womanly line strongly dominates in my creative work where notions of a woman and an artist interchange. In every work I talk from my experience, basing it on, as I call it, my main message conveying tool – my body.
I can find everything in my body and the surrounding space, I see myself as a tool box and all is left to do is to come up how to use those tools successfully.
More or less I reflect on a feminist discourse and refer to the feminist theories, but in all I don’t state myself as a feminist. Being a woman doesn’t limit me.
A still from Neckties, 2012, video
A still from Neckties, 2012, video
PERFORMANCE FOR THE CAMERA “LIPS”, 2012
Your artworks have received a lot of positive feedbacks and you have exhibited your pieces both in Lithuania, where you are currently based, and abroad. What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries?
The Work consists of two parts. In both videos I use video as a tool creating an intermediate situation/layer between make up and black eye; between tenderness and violence. First part of screening is more meditative, as a referral to the painting process used as labia correction through the shadowing system. It speaks of virginity and hymen repair. Second part of screening refers to the subliminal aspect of make-up that “all women highlight their cheeks for their face to look like after an orgasm”. All in all the object of desire turns into red spot as a warning sign or symbol.
I wouldn’t say that in Lithuania I receive a lot of positive feedback. It seems as if Lithuania craves more for decorative images, “nice pictures”. I don’t fit in with the objects I capture. Bringing the bodily experiences doesn’t fit in the system frames and cause inconvenience by questioning living in Lithuania. In the foreign market I feel more comfortable where I receive a lot of attention and proposals. In every country I gather new various experiences which are very valuable for me as an artist and help me grow a thicker skin.
my men. I always keep my notes that are tied with a bra hook close to me as there is a constant mapping of ideas. It’s a part of my creative process no matter where I am. Womanly line can be compared to an ocean. It’s emotional, vast, lively and experiences flows and tides in the creative field. I continue to question the main definition of my creative work – “body as a battle field”.
What's next for Marta? What direction are you moving in creatively? We have read that you upcoming project is entitled “O”, and it seems that you will introduce some references to a male viewpoint.
At the moment I am expanding several components which will go further and will become independent objects and new works. They will convey strong intermediate situations between me nd him, a direct link between a hand and work, they will refer to Abject art and the chosen language of the works will show a masculinity line.
Actually work “O” is already accomplished, but hasn’t been shown yet. Work’s main point is the Moon. It is interpreted as a satellite’s projection to the male pole of personal relation between me
Swan de Swerts people walking by for helping. Tommy Vangompel who plays Frederic did the acting coaching and actually everyone was behind the camera during the process as before the camera.al was shooted in two days and a half.
Nobody You can’t hold love like a knife. Summary Nobody is a gallery owner who just hired struggling Artist Frederic to do some paintings. He finds out that Frederic is seeing the same girl as he is and begin to plans he’s revenge. The Woman is having a hard time leading her double life and crashes. Nobody hires assassin Wolf To take them out for good. For better or worse. Nobody is a sociopath that hates Artist and average people and just want to ryule his world. The story is based on a true news report of a woman found dead in a basement, A crime her lover inflicted to her. In the movie the bad guys wins, we inspired us on old French B films and Hitchcock animalistic violence. We found our lead actor the day we start shooting the film. We filmed with an analog camera in the houses of the actors and Parks and hotels nearby my house in Zoersel en Antwerp. For everything else we just asked
Kun Fang who wrote the script told us between the scenes where the story was heading and witch emotions need to be captured.so we had to figure everything out on the spot. This film is a practice in showing the cruelty behind everyone, the wild animal inside us, In a culture where you swim or die and who would live to tell. We didn’t use voice overs cause It’s the antagonist who tells this story to us as a collector of his fraud. A perspective ignored in other films can have the most interesting angle of it. Sven de swerts. 42
Sven de Swerts writes theatric poetry and started organizing open mice’s in Belgium From 2006 till 2010.wrote a theatre play that premiered in Croatia, Did a monologue, and performed in Croatia, Vienna, The Netherlands, and all around Belgium. Is in the organization of the Belgium Championship Poetry Slam and studied Multi Media in Antwerp, makes short low budget movies and documentary’s and theatre projections. Film Shortmovies: Inventors Of Panda present Beijing Story (2OO7) : Arenberg (13/04/08) -Shortfilmfestival Trafagalar (September 08) Welcome to the Panda Restaurant (2009) Borders And Segments (14/11/09 Romania) International Film festival Vienna (04/11/09) Serge Strosberg @ Ludwig Trossart (2012) Two hour interview with Artist Serge Strosberg from NY in Antwerp. Made for promotion purpose. Inside –outside 2012 Documentary about the life of Manu Bruynseraede (outsider art) (youtube) Nobody: You Can’t Hold love like a knife 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5wcdYq bV_E&feature=youtu.be OTHERS… MURDER AT ANTWERP SOUTH 2013 Shortfilm for finals school (youtube) TAMIYA CUP 2013 Documentary for school (youtube) DEAD TO POETRY (2013 (postproduction)… Nobody (link film)
Swan de Swerts
An interview with
Swan de Swerts Tommy Vangompel Kun Fang Nobody's plot is based on a true news report. How did you decide to make a film on this particular subject? Kun: It's based on a true story of a friend befriended with a galerist who killed his wife,after finding out she had an affaire and disappeared after the crime.i was touched because it happened in my hometown Beijing. The film presents quotes from old French B movies and Hitchcock's imaginary. Can you elaborate a bit on your interest in these works? What other artists are on your mind lately? Tommy: When i watched movies of jean paul godard or alfred hitchcock i'm especially moved by the psychological tense, he laid in his characters and the relation to their enviroment. Most of this characters are driven by an obsession their
life. after 2011 the world is suddenly aware of violence in their comfort zone while before it was almost like a tv show. "Violence in art is not not pain, but rather a violent, austere, physical determination to shatter the false reality". They are Artaud's words. What's you view on the representation of violence in the movies? Sven: camera views made it straight in your face,meaning to entertain and leave you breathless.while westerns,slapstick,old horror,psychological thrillers in the old days had a class and style,films more where distant,human panic was controled like a colour on wall.nowadays the violence is so outrageous.
Kun Fang Butcher Rules
really wanna work thru. By their own will or just in the circumstance their involved. That's what's basically the character in our movie go through. In our movie the character of the artist is the outcast. He's world is disturbed by events that's go beyond him, and his view on reality is changing moments after moment. His struggle is to find out who is his unknown enemy.
Among your activities, you have written theatre plays and shooted documentaries. Could you describe your background, and how you first became interested in video making as a visual medium? Sven: i'm a poet for starters,everything i do
Kun:Nobody could be anyone.there is evil inside all of them, like in real life. In your personal statement, you say "Itâ€™s the antagonist who tells this story to us as a collector of his fraud. A perspective ignored in other films can have the most interesting angle of it." Could you comment this sentence? Sven: Yes, look at marvel heroes. flat empty cardboard caracters with no sexual desire or human needs. I'm found on true stories where you forget that it's a movie,persons you can meet on a daily base, we repress the antagonist among us while he/she actually changes human view on a normal regulated
is writing and see in wich medium it fits. All is possible with media these days.but films and music are printed on the visual mind an eye. People like to see poets perform more then reading poetry for example. I rolled into theatre tru poetry and tru theatre to film.starting to film for other people and eventually finding the right crews to grow up in.grow up in is the right sentence cause i started working for theatre and as nightgaurd on belgium filmsets.its all coming organic.
in the creative output of a 66 year old man: Stephen King. Recently he writes a sequel to the shining, collaborated with Steven Spielberg on making a serie out of Under the Dome, write with his son a very funny short story, he's setting up movie plans etc. And still dominate after 4O years the popular culture. THERE IS NO TREND THAT LAST MORE THAN 5 YEARS.
Cooperation is essential in any low budget film project. Nobody is not a film realized by an only artist, but the result of th unanimous effort of Sven de Swerts, Kun Fang, Tommy Vangompel . Could you describe this experience?
Tommy: Writing a biography on Stephen king, and starting in october filming " Pelican Street" with the same crew, a completely different film from Nobody.
What are you going to be working on next?
Kun: I did a performance in Beijing,working on a new series called "lovesick" and there is a new exhibition in october at Biennale
Tommy: yes, intens.we work in the philosophy of D.I.Y of the 70's, everyone is equal, every scene is on the spot, the actor is the cameraman and the cameraman is the actor.
Sven: I played in dutch/holland shortfilm called "Death to Poetry" (postproduction) that will hopefully will go to filmfestivals.and then later who knows.to be continued.
Do you see any emerging local or national trends that interest you? A still from VOYAGE Tommy: I speak for all, we're really interest
A still from Generation
time, technology, and content. I am interested in images of the past that we view as artifacts, as a frame of reference for humanity's progress. Even the most media filled magazines that were written before my time influence my work. The na e sensibilities of these past advertisements inspire my work as I look to the past as both a forecast and misconception of the present. Our attitude towards technology is now one of excitement, frustration, and uncertainty and this dynamic relationship continually amazes me.
My work embodies the absurdities of American culture and human existence by subverting multi-media. Primary influences of my work include environmental philosophy, dystopic literature, the evolution of technology, dream analysis, the media, consumption, urban planning, and my experiences with OCD. I hope to eliminate the mentality of paralysis and acceptance that is imbedded in our culture. I experiment with materials that last in combination with those that do not, as a means of documentation and preservation.This furthermore addresses our relationship to the intangible and physical.
More specifically, the title Generation refers to the generation of society, which ranges from handmade tools to the mass production of food and other utilitarian objects. This titles also ironically refers to the generational changes that exist within our methods of creating. This piece directly deals with the evolution of tools, object making, and the flux of technology as a tool for both advancement and decline. Hands serve as a primitive symbol of civilization, physical labor, and that which has the power to both create and destroy. It is through the creation of these hands that the organic components of my process begin. The symbols, sounds, and drawing itself begin in subtle and natural ways. The use of photos of prehistoric tools and art reflect the changes we have made as a species through time. These symbols and various layered elements become significantly more mechanical throughout the piece. This to me reflects our increasing reliance on technology and the disconnectedness that we often have with ourselves and society.
My setup and use of objects in videos and photographs symbolize obsessions that lead one to overconsume, as well as the paradox of creation and destruction. The irony of my work is that some of the methods I am engaging in, I am also criticizing. Furthermore the process I engage in parallels the content I am suggesting. I point out our evolution with technology through the combination of organic and geometric, in order to show the potential balance I see for humanity. This also expresses the chaos that is a result of our technological advances on the perceived natural world. Generation was essentially created through a process that I begun in December of 2012. This process begins with the stop motion documentation of charcoal drawings, where each mark eventually becomes an essential element of a finalized video. Eventually, I eliminate myself from these drawings which result in an animation. Also during this process I am collecting various photographs, some of which I have taken, while others are from old LIFE magazines and newer media sources. I edit all of these photographs similarly, regardless of the source. These photographs are layered and spliced over my drawings sequentially in terms of
I am also interested in the way technology impacts the communication within and outside of humanity. I am interested in the irony of technology as it both perpetuates and limits our abilities. Generation is a glimpse of these changes we have made over time and a reminder of our creative potential.
An interview with
Madeline Walker Your artworks aim to subverting multimedia, revaluing methods like dĂŠtournement, a technique developed by the French philosopher Guy Debord, which was very popular in the 60's among the artists who contributed to the Situationist International. However, after more than fifty years, your research goes beyond the ancient dualism which tipify the XX century, trying to explore the inner side of American culture, from a sort of "molecular point of view", which show us the boundaries between organic and not-organic. Can you introduce our readers to your artistic research?
It's interesting that you refer to detournement as it relates to anti-authoritarian, avant-garde, Dadaist and Surrealist movements. The assemblage, collage, and methods particularly those of the Dadaists, taking seemingly meaningless objects or words and pair them to create new meaning. You can draw many parallels here with the way I assemble old advertisements and imagery. These elements of chance and ideas reflective of contemporary events of Dadaism align with my process, while the nonsensical, anti-art aspects are a bit different. The variations of imagery are deliberately chosen, while a range of meanings can be derived from them.
Madeline Walker Madeline Walker is currently a mixed media artist at Northern Kentucky University earning her BFA in New Media. She most recently received a grant for the Regional Ecological Stewardship Initiative to create a documentary on Citizen Science. She also worked as a production assistant for the Covington Ohio River Erosion Documentary during the summer of 2012. Primary influences of her work include the evolution of technology, modern communication methods, and environmental issues. Several recent exhibitions of her work include University Open : LexArts Gallery, Our Liquid Asset, VISion: A New Media Art Exhibition, and Germination: Photos by Madeline Walker.
Another great example is the exquisite corpse, the way they used their words is similar to the way I am splicing some of my images and audio, but with a dynamic range and sort of musical crescendo. The boundaries between the organic and inorganic that I see are those I see with the lack and presence of technology in the actual art making. The drawing and planning have a flowing nature that starkly contrasts the way I edit these drawings, videos, and photographs. I see this inorganic side as a tool while the physical process generates the raw, impulsive nature of my drawings. In terms of artistic research directly related to this piece, I am interested in any type of science news/journals and books that deal with transhumanism and how technology is impacting the environment. The Nature of Butcher Rules Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves
talks about this concept of perpetuation based on previous innovations. It raises questions about how this evolution takes place and what innovation consists of. Similarly Ray Kurzweil's Singularity talks about human limitations with technology. In your video Generation you use old LIFE magazines and newer media sources. More in general, where do your materials come
A still from Generation
from, and how do you go about putting them together?
extremely apathetic about these sources and I think it is because of this disconnect that technology can create. It's largely generational, and while our sustenance depends upon them, we have almost no true connection to them. Yet, in the midst of this technological disconnect, we are more connected than ever with social media, science, and health discoveries.
My materials come from various sources, including thrift shops, garage sales, and most recently even cheap online thrift auctions. Some of the obsolete technology and magazines that I collect really just come by word of mouth and eventually these things begin to accumulate. The charcoal and other basic drawing materials mainly come from Plaza Art Supply and Suder's downtown. To document my drawings, I use either my DSLR Canon 60D or Panasonic HD.
Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? Could change people's behavior?
It absolutely has the potential, but I think a lot of it has to do with accessibility to the public and various elitist mentalities. In a lot of museum and gallery settings, you have a very small demographic reaching the actual artwork. I think we need art that respects the history of making but still communicates new ideas to citizens without art backgrounds. This ties back to the design of our cities and overall infrastructure. The way we design our cities impacts the way society incorporates or disregards art as a part of culture.
In your statement, you say "This piece directly deals with the evolution of tools, object making, and the flux of technology as a tool for both advancement and decline." Could you comment this sentence?
Basically what I am referring to here is the evolution of hand making up to mass production. I'm also referring to the irony of technology's opposing capabilities. I think we're extremely disconnected as makers and consumers in the US, and I really see this as an awareness problem about where and how these sources become a part of our lives. This relates to literally everything we do and consume food, water, natural gas/mineral resources, coal, nuclear energy, and the list goes on. Our society can be
Animation is a hard-work process. How long does it usually take to finish a piece?
My pieces take anywhere from two weeks to three months depending on the length. This 48
also depends on what other projects I am working on. Incorporating every mark making of three drawings combined into one video will obviously take much more time than a still image. The editing of the drawing process is the most time consuming, as I am cutting myself out of every drawn mark, while the audio and photo editing probably take about one third of the overall time.
technology could be seen as deterritorialization, as we are potentially standardizing scientific processes not only for local streams, but worldwide.
Your works are full of irony. In your opinion, irony has a great power of deterritorialization?
What are your upcoming projects?
With the spread of internet accessibility, some are already arguing these boundaries no longer exist. These internet subcultures ultimately become a part of our global culture.
I'm currently finishing up a stop motion piece that talks about the evolution of cameras as a frame of reference for humanity's progress with technology. The drawing itself is an eye that transforms into an abstracted cityscape. I'm also working on coming up with a design for a sculpture made entirely of floppy disks, similar to the nature of a recent keyboard sculpture.
I see my works as ironic primarily because I am truly commenting on something that I am also engaging in and very much a part of. The idea of deterritorialization to undo what has been done is very interesting to me, like taking a society submerged in technology and reverting back to more primitive lifestyles.
My next few projects will continue to deal with sensory overload with the media, vision, time, communication, technology, and environmental issues.
At the same time, I see that as unrealistic, and while my work references global concerns, I really believe a lot of our problems are fixed by starting more locally, for example with local water quality monitoring. I-devices are becoming a huge part of citizen science and even this use of
A still from Generation
A still from Fallout Butcher Rules
An artist’s statement I can trace the main roots my development as an artist to three primary influences from my youth. First, watching my family’s home movies, with their stored memories of time, people, and places, left a lasting impression of the power of film to document personal history. Second, as a teenager in the 1980s, I identified with the culture of punk rock and its critique of hegemonic political and social values. Its emphasis on personal empowerment, DIY (do-it-yourself) strategies, appropriation, and radical ideologies informed my budding artistic practice. Finally, growing up in a rural area, I spent many weekends in the woods learning from my father – an amateur earth scientist – about the beauty and complexity of the natural world that surrounded us and the imperative of protecting and maintaining it. This experience emphasized a deep sense of the significance of human ecology – our relationship to the environment, and how it shapes and influences us. My current work is informed by all these seminal inspirations, and falls into three often-overlapping categories – autobiography, subjective reportage, and long form essay films.
I often use my life and my surroundings as the subject of my work and I embrace autobiographical approaches as a means to examine the larger issues that both intrigue and challenge me. My recent work in 16mm – Windows onto Montebello Road (2009), Albumleaf (2010), and First Light on South St. (2013) – depicts domestic space as a site for individualized transformative experiences. My use of quotidian images and sounds in these works provides both an emotional register and a contextual grounding in a larger personal, social, or political moment. A recent sub-strand is work that depicts the landscape I grew up in. Not Clear Cut (2012) and my forthcoming Pond Film (2014) are part of a recent series of films that poetically explore memory sites located on my parent’s rural property. Landscapes are treated as metaphors for familial relationships, catalysts for personal transformation, and microcosms of environmental consciousness. Taken as a whole these 16mm works present a creative treatment of lived experiences – places I have occupied and events from my past – that chronicle my development as a human being. 50
A still from Fallout HD, Color, Sound, 4:30 minutes, 2012 A futile gesture marking the oneyear anniversary of the collateral calamity at the Fukushima nuclear power facility, surveying a more invisible tsunami. Scientific predictions of the residual effects are undercut by the cheerfully benign day-glow colors assigned to the threat. A gradual contamination of the image and increasing waves of fear give way to an irradiated bloom.
While these film-based works represent my private engagement with the immediate environment, my video works engage in a kind of subjective reportage investigating the effects of mediated experience on personal identity, memory, and history drawn from the public sphere. The recent works I Covered My Eyes (2008) and Repurposed Web Reports distill representations from historical and contemporary public archives, recasting history through a subjective lens, with an eye toward the human capacity for malevolence. Fallout (2012) is an example from the Repurposed Web Reports – a series of “reports” composed entirely of media collected from the Internet. Using the web as an investigative archive, these works mine the margins of the public sphere for vicarious insights into the contemporary state of humanity. Each work is prompted by a google search, with the results creating the parameters of information and research as well as the dynamic media (image and sound) to be used as source material. Typically the subjects or events are at the fringe of Western media representation and the content is often generated by nonprofessionals – amateurs, tourists, and other on-site witnesses using portable personal recording devices (cell phones, flip cams, consumer camcorders) – but in some instances it is either mixed with reports from conventional media outlets or originates from them singularly. I then recast that material, in an approach akin to the Situationists’ strategy of detournement – a form of appropriation where the materials are altered and subverted in order to put across a more radical or oppositional message. Butcher Rules
My work in long form essay films began with the experimental documentary approach of This is a Film about Mars. This feature length work measures and surveys ideas about our planetary neighbor, from myth to modern science, depicting its imagined rise and fall as a metaphor for our own currently precarious relationship to the terrestrial environment. My current project, a multi-part non-fiction work called Ecotopia: New England, picks up many of the themes of This is a Film about Mars but hypothesizes solutions to our contemporary ecological crisis by imagining the region I live in as an environmentally sustainable utopia. The first work of this series, Wander, Wonder, Wilderness, is an interactive documentary project that enlists users to be part of a community of wanderers who engage with nature in urban environments. Through the use of mobile devices, online technologies and film, participants will be encouraged to create responses with text, image, and sound, while roaming the green spaces, or urban wilds, of greater Boston. The project’s goal is to raise awareness about the relevance and vibrancy of green spaces in the urban setting and their efficacy in raising consciousness about our complex relationship to the natural environment. Each of the Ecotopia: New England chapters will exist as a transmedia project comprising single channel film, gallery installation, and locative interactive new media. I see this expanded media approach as an important next step in my creative endeavors.
An interview with Paul Turano In your works you face autobiographical themes. How has your history influenced the way you create art? I have always gravitated towards autobiographical content. One of my ways into filmmaking was seeing the home movies my father shot on super 8 film of me as a kid, and I see much of my work as a continuation of those documents. I work in 16mm, which seemed an ideal medium that fit in with the strategy of creating a personal archive and an amateur strand of film practice. I was also intrigued by the chronicle it provided of my early life, and went on to make several films using those home movies as source material to hypothesize how public events effected my sense of the world and my place in it. When I was a Kid I Wanted to be an Astronaut used the Lunar Landing and I Covered My Eyes explored the impact of TV news broadcasts I remembered from 1968 to 1986 that had a traumatic and profound impact on me. I see my private history as deeply intertwined with public history and have often charted the intersection within my domestic space at a specific time and place. My history is really one of insignificance in relation to the larger landscape of public “official” history.
Paul Turano today. However, 16mm has been for decades the ace in the hole of experimental filmmakers from Maya Deren to Carmelo Bene, thanks to its unique visual style. What's your approach with "film" and analogic cameras? Given the ongoing, hopefully life-long, exploration of my autobiography, 16mm accomplishes several things – it was and still is the only medium that has had staying power as a format over the several decades since I first starting to make films in the late 80’s (many video formats have come on gone in that time). It is also intimately connected to the personal/amateur/experimental/independent tradition of film practice that goes against industrial or commercial moviemaking. The idea of the analog film image – an original mechanical and photochemical recording of light onto acetate has an archival viability and a certain hieroglyphic quality. It can be interpreted as an image object and while a 16mm projector helps translate it into movement and increases scale, it can still be viewed as an image strip, as an ideographic or pictographic form of representation not necessarily dependent on a translating language or device. It is the last generation of this kind of image making technology and that gives it more significance to me as a romantic concept connected to outliving or circumventing my mortality. It also looks fantastic! – it captures light like our eyes, it has a warmth and potential for intimacy with an accuracy towards light that electronic video and digital can’t yet achieve. I still like listening to music on vinyl records, so I am perhaps just old-school that way, but the fact that film contains all these additional personal and cultural symbolic values, conceptually helps me
In the late 19th and early 20th century the development of the technology of home movies and amateur photography put the tools of representation into the hands of the anonymous “insignificant” subject. So history and the telling of history has become more complex due to the democratization of image and sound making technology – the digital revolution coupled with the development of the internet has expanded this imperative and opportunity even further. I have approached autobiography as an embrace of this opportunity to tell my story, though in a very personal poetic and subjective manner. On another level it is a desperately futile reaction to the reality of my mortality. I feel my work in autobiography is a way of preserving my story, but in a way that only I could tell it. Many of the images I make and the sounds I juxtapose them with, have meanings that only I understand, but can at the same time hopefully resonate with an emotion, idea, or experience that others can relate to in their own life. Your autobiographical works are filmed in 16mm, a medium which seems to have fallen into disuse among young filmmakers
A still from Fallout
A still from Fallout
rationalize why I continue to use it for this strand of my work. While I identify with the experimental film tradition I feel I am really just a personal filmmaker. Maya Deren in her article Amateur vrs. Professional discusses the original sense of “amateur” as meaning the love of something – the love of making films. I think it is unfortunate that there is an increasingly narrow sense of what an experimental film is. This is partly driven by the choices of curators and programmers as well as what the people writing the history of experimental film think the canonical works and makers are and less by the filmmakers themselves, but it effects what gets shown and talked about.
work with appropriation in the Repurposed Web Reports series (of which Fallout is an example) are all digitally based and co-opted images and sounds from the archive of the internet that are compressed and are meant to be seen on a computer or smart phone/pad. They are ephemeral and only briefly responsive to a marginal moment or event, something reported and quickly forgotten. While these reports “document” it, they are electronically lo-fi and lo-res and compressible and limited in the range of color tones they can represent. This lack of “detail” is conceptually driven by their ephemeral nature as marginal events in the public sphere. Whereas the autobiographical moments I capture in film are precious and drawn like profound memories, stored in my brain to be recalled again and again, and contain the essence of an experience. For me analog film is a symbolic artifact that can contain those subjective and personal details.
Do you think that there's a "contrast" between our analogic tradition and the use of technologies like DSLR or Digital Bolex cameras? My Bolex is a mechanical spring wound device – there are no electronics, no battery, it is a totally green technology. I can just wind it up and shoot without any need for electricity. It takes time to set up a shot – it is not a point and shoot, out of the bag automatic imaging device, so it forces me to think about why I am making the image that is in front of me. Just like the expenditure for film makes me weigh more carefully what kinds of things I want to represent in my images. I embrace that thoughtful deliberative approach that analog filmmaking has towards this creative decision-making. I also understand the things that are amazing about DSLR’s and other affordable high quality digital image capture. With digital you can shoot much more cheaply, it is easy to duplicate and manipulate, you often can use existing light (though I hardly use any artificial light in my film based work) and it is a high quality and increasingly accessible platform that works well with digital and web based distribution that avoids having to scan and digitize the analog image. For me the contrast is conceptually motivated – certain strands of my work are conceptually suited to analog and other strands are suited to digital. For instance, my
How long does it usually take to finish a piece? It varies widely. I can complete a Repurposed Web Report in a matter of days from conceptualization to posting it on the internet and my autobiographical and essay films can take seasons or years to make. I often shoot something as an autobiographical gesture then put it away and revisit it years later in editing, very often because I don’t know what to do with the footage when I shot it, only later figuring it out. I find I edit the material very differently as a result of my time away from the period of my life that I shot it, and it often proves to be very illuminating to respond retrospectively through insights I have had about myself in the interim. There is also just never enough time! I am a teacher and recently a father of twins and as I don’t make a living through my work, it is always a challenge to find time to really focus on finishing a film. Lately I have been making a short film and web report on average once a year. I have gone many years with a project on and off. It’s something I think my students don’t have enough
A still from Lemons and Tacks
Together we explore the digital medium and the expanded filmic space. We regularly work with musicians and sound artists. Being trained as a sculptor and painter has helped hugely. I am acutely aware of compositional techniques and three dimensionality. When planning an installation space, directing performers and musicians or shooting a film, I am always open to chance yet equally trying to find the best way to harness the symbolic, emotional and dramatic elements of my work together for public discern.
As a filmmaker I am committed to experimentation. My work is often raw, immediate and provocative. I use the language of film and the editing process to tell stories which carry powerful personal meaning. I experiment with creating visual streams of consciousness that enriches the experience of time. I am particularly interested in making films that relate to sounds and texts, to the ways people see; to the theory of the visual and the mindâ€™s eye. The idea is to promote different types of viewing that will transfer attention from what we look at, to us as the subject.
My films often start from reading a text. I research the topic in-depth and then try and find visual and aural equivalents. I am focusing on Beckettâ€™s work at the moment and making my way through his short texts on the absurd. The absurd stems from conflict, which arises when we search for inherent value and the significance of our lives but have an inability to find it in a world, which is meaningless and full of uncertainty. Camus says this gives us three choices; to opt out; to turn to God for a purpose to our lives or to accept the absurd world we live in and find our own meaning. Beckett played in and with the world of the absurd showing us that there is no meaning to be found in the world beyond the
I love the immediacy of film and how it allows us to examine, extend and shift our reality to the abstract. Through the editing process and increasingly the expanded space, I investigate theatrical experiences that lure the viewer into a perceptual and intimate world where they can participate in the act of seeing. They can in that moment move from a conscious level of looking to a more unconscious level and project elements of their own memories, desires and fears onto what they see. I am actively engaged in the collaborative process and am a co-founder of Neuf, a group of experimental filmmakers.
A still from Lemons and Tacks
meaning we create. It is this I am exploring in my Beckett inspired series of works. Rockaby, Ban an Farraige Come and Go and Quad I II. I also love the abstract because it is open. I think that is why I am interested in experimentation and elements of chance. They are all very free visually, aurally and conceptually.
Although the curtain footage acts as a formal scaffolding this is to an extent subservient to the action of the color. When the wind blows it creates a flow of colors twisting and turning against each other, this creates innumerable sequences each of which throws up a color sensation. Each colour sensation touches the viewer in a particular way and is dependant on their path of seeing, and what the colors personally evoke. At itâ€™s best color goes deep and harnesses the raw emotional state of the viewer. Itâ€™s like as if the color is breathing energy and for some this will be a lyrical breathe, for others a corporeal stab. What Do We See is open, itâ€™s an abstract piece it is there to be unlocked and felt and articulated by the viewer.
Looking at colour: For me color is a language; it has meaning and a vocabulary that communicates feelings and emotions. In What Do We See, there is an energy that is produced by the colour combinations. These colors are vivid and they talk to each other in emotive terms. I have encouraged this communication by using animation techniques, giving a flicker to the viewing experience similar to lights being turned on and off. These gaps in the animation allow a tiny space to open up, a liminal space that allows the viewer in and encourages them to fill it with their own thoughts. Therein the viewer becomes an active participant in the viewing experience. I spent my childhood by the sea so am greatly influenced by wave like movement and the effect the light has on the water. The different hews of the sea change according to its depths and current.I have harnessed this same quality of perpetual motion in the curtain Butcher Rules blowing in the wind in What Do We See.
For me though, my intention was to create a memorial to the holocaust by using the subtle interjection of recognizable images of tunnels and the sounds of trains and the haunting black and white skeletal images of family members drifting into nothingness. The musical accompaniment by Serge Vergerov adds to Jewish memorial and is a sincere moving piece. His lamenting sounds are overwhelming but the color saturation of the flickering animations is its equal.
An interview with Trisha McCrae Hello Trisha and welcome to Stigmart: to start this interview I would ask you what in your opinion defines a work of art. The term ‘art’ certainly has a big remit but it’s the underlying aspects that make good art stand out, whether it is a piece of music, a film, a poem, a performance or a painting. For me, a work of art has to initially grab me with some sort of aesthetic emotion, a visceral reaction that says stay a bit longer and in these moments of waiting my imagination and understanding go off into free play. I‘m allowed into the piece. I like to think this happens when the intensity of the artist’s passion comes through and I appreciate work that is fresh, memorable and of its time. I also suggest a work of art has to have a coherency, an over all sense of what it’s “about”, an inner logic in the Focillon sense, even if it is an abstract form, it must have underlying signs that link to a thematic content or harmony. Lastly I think a work of art has to have a reason to be, it has to have meaning. I appreciate art as craft and art for arts sake, but for me great art has underlying meaning.
Trisha McCrae from six or seven projectors simultaneously on the walls, floors, ceilings of a huge gallery space, whilst performers and musicians interacted with the footage and played live improvised music. Have a look here: https://vimeo.com/57959347
By the way, how did you first become interested in video making as a visual medium? I was lucky enough to be selected, along with 10 other artists, by the Arts Council UK, (in collaboration with Kettles Yard Gallery, Cambridge Film Consortium and Anglia Ruskin University), to be part of an experimental video art course in Cambridge. The idea was to see if artists could bring anything new to film. Immediately it opened up a whole new visual and auditory world for me. I was suddenly collaborating with filmmakers, performers and musicians on a regular basis and it allowed me to tap into my love of the cinematic experience. I was able to delve into the concepts of time, reverie and new ways of seeing and move into the expanded space.
Could you describe your background? You are trained as a painter and as a sculptor, moreover I have read that you hold a BA with honors in Art and Art History that you have recently received from Cambridge School of Art: how have these experiences impacted on the way you make art these days? Yes I trained as a painter and sculptor and was happy getting to know those materials. I loved mixing paint and discovering its properties. When I look at my films they possess a painterly quality, which I suspect, stems from gaining an understating of colour combinations. I learned a lot from immersing myself in oil paint. I was greatly influenced by Frank Auerbach’s choice of palate and the Dutch 17th Century obsession with light. They still inform my work today. I also explored wood and metals particularly cold cast bronze and have been fortunate to have had commissioned sculptures for businesses and even a school. I never really thought I would
So, for me, and the people I collaborate with, is a very exciting place to be. Just prior to the course I was beginning to explore the performative elements of my work by doing installations using sound and sculpture so the move to video was a natural step. In a recent residency with Neuf, (an experimental film collective I co-founded), we used our projectors as interactive performers and screened film
Also there is always a portion of my life that seeps into the work too. So in that sense my films are autobiographical. I am drawn to the sea, certain palates, certain topics, certain sequences, patterns, music and sounds. These all filter into my films. For example I am hugely into Beckett at the moment. When he was in his 70â€™s he wrote several short plays and I am working my way through these as source inspirational material. I have made several films inspired by his work and ideas. I am drawn to him because he has similar Irish sensibilities, we have a lot of history, religion and language in common. I love his stream of consciousness and try to echo this style in my films. I love his attention to the absurd, the idea that there is no meaning to be found in the world beyond the meaning that we give to it.
A still from Lemons and Tacks
give up these mediums for film, but it just happened. The experimental nature and exploration of materials and ideas, that I learnt from fine art, continues in my films today. Editing is like painting, you compose, attend to colour, work on lighting, shape and movement in space. Learning new digital techniques is the same as discovering a new paint or carving tool. It moves your practice in a different direction. Also a huge influencing factor on my practice today, which I am very grateful for, was that I was taught by inspiring art historians. They introduced me to the wide-ranging approaches to understanding art. They taught me about the great artists, thinkers and movements, they showed me that I could present my work in my own way, I could step back from it and analyse and articulate my ideas. They gave me an understanding of context. They introduced me to theoretical concepts, visual theories and a world of different psychoanalytical, cultural and feminist readings of art. They taught me how to research and formulate the language to criticize and gave me an authority and voice to say what I had to say.
Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start with What Do We See, a work that we have found extremely stimulating: can you describe a little bit about your creative process for this piece? What Do We See started out as part of a collaborative project with Neuf (cf). Every one of us shot 3 minutes of footage, pooled it together then we each made a film from that footage. Whilst making the film I wanted to leave as much of it open and as abstract as possible. I actually exported the footage as stills and manipulated each still in a colourful painterly way and re imported the 6,000 stills as an animation. For me colour is a language; it has meaning and a vocabulary that communicates feelings and emotions. In What Do We See, there is an energy that is produced by the colour combinations. These colours are vivid and they talk to each other in emotive terms. I have encouraged this communication by using animation techniques, giving a flicker to the viewing experience similar
Can you describe a little bit about your creative process? How do you even come up with such creative concepts? I am an ideas person. I have to contain them there are so many so what I have found that helps get an idea to fruition is to work simultaneously in two ways. One part of my process is very structured; the other is free and experimental. My ideas come from everywhere but quite often they start from reading a text and then I try and find visual and aural equivalents. I make a plan which is in essence is scaffolding that holds the idea together, and then I let the free experimental filmmaker side loose and actively open up to chance. A good proportion, say 40%, of the finished piece will not have been part of the initial plan as, for example, a chance meeting happens which leads the work in another direction, or a chance edit happens on the timeline or a chance sound I hear ends up in the piece.
A still from What We Do We See
A still from What We Do We See
to lights being turned on and off. These gaps in the animation allow a tiny space to open up, a liminal space that allows the viewer in and encourages them to fill it with their own thoughts. Therein the viewer becomes an active participant in the viewing experience.
and harnesses the raw emotional state of the viewer. Itâ€™s like as if the color is breathing energy and for some this will be a lyrical breathe, for others a corporeal stab. What Do We See is an open and abstract piece to be unlocked and felt and articulated by the viewer. For me though, my intention was to create a memorial to the holocaust by using the subtle interjection of recognizable images of tunnels and the sounds of trains and the haunting black and white skeletal images of family members drifting into nothingness. The musical accompaniment by Serge Vergerov adds to the Jewish memorial and is a sincere moving piece. His lamenting sounds are overwhelming but the color saturation of the flickering animations is its equal.
I spent my childhood by the sea, so Iâ€™m greatly influenced by wave like movement and the effect the light has on the water. The different hues of the sea change according to its depths and current. I have harnessed this same quality of perpetual motion in the curtain blowing in What Do We See. Although the curtain footage acts as a formal scaffolding this is to an extent subservient to the action of the color. When the wind blows it creates a flow of colors twisting and turning against each other, this creates innumerable sequences each of which throws up a color sensation. Each colour sensation touches the viewer in a particular way and is dependant on their path of seeing, and what the colors personally evoke. At itâ€™s best color goes deep
One of the features that have mostly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is the way you have created a so deep involvement with your audience: I totally agree with you, when you remark in your artist's statement, that the
filmmakers: remind Peter Tabor who once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists? My work is enriched by collaboration. When I work with others it brings new energy to what ever I am working on, whether its a group gallery residency with Neuf involving live performers and musicians, or a live improvised musical evening with the ensemble Triptik playing to my film, or an installation of filmmakers work in a domestic setting. Each encounter brings with it a new flavor to my work. There has to be openness on everyone’s part.
A still from What We Do We See
viewer becomes an active participant in the viewing experience. By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? When you conceive a piece, do you happen to think to whom will enjoy it?
Let me explain a bit about our film collective Neuf. We are a diverse group of individual artists working in performance, sculpture, painting, theatre, curatorial practice and writing we all work together with the common purpose of experimenting with the digital medium, the collaborative process and the installation space. We aim to challenge existing modes of production, curation and installation to explore the viewer’s relationship to the viewing experience. We are interested in an on-going question of how and where to locate experimental ‘film’ work and how the ‘viewing space’ can alter the work.
Yes the viewer is very important to me. They complete the piece. I agree with Jauss’s reception theory that the meaning of the piece is not inherent in the work itself but is created within the relationship between the viewer and the piece. I actively try and give as much space to the viewer as possible. It is the opposite of the Hollywood experience where the viewer sits back and is a passive recipient. For me I want my audience to participate in the viewing experience, to be alert to the diegetic and nondiegetic sounds, to move around the space, surrender to the liminal space and allow their thoughts to wander.
We are actively engaged in the collaborative exploration of video art in the expanded space and inclusive of performance. Our unique perspective as a group offers insight to the collaborative and experimental process. We avoid predictable paths and are dedicated to pushing our own personal boundaries and knowledge as artists working with film.
This happens, because when I have screened in front of an audience at the Whitechapel Gallery in London or even our local Mediatheque here in France, I’m always amazed that different people see different things, experience different emotions, focus on certain areas of the film and completely bring to the film their own fears and desires. For example one French viewer was very moved and disturbed by what I thought was a fairly lighthearted approach to the absurd. In one part of my film Ban an Farraige (Woman of the Sea) the performance artist is on the beach and starts sucking stones in a repetitive manner. This action really upset the viewer; it obviously struck a chord with her and projected her thoughts towards fear.
By the way, let’s look at the online video ecosystem, which is emblematic for the recent boom of creativity. Web services present the works that are completely accessible for immediate feedback on a wide scale and attract massive attention. What is your take on the impact of networked technologies on aesthetics of collaborative practices? It’s vast and fast and yes it has changed the way we make video. At the click of a button you can rip a film, you can beg borrow and steal sounds and images from everywhere and everyone. For me this bottomless pit of creativity is a huge source of inspiration. It’s exciting and explosive. We can’t do with out it.
So in essence I start the piece but it’s the viewer that completes it. You are actively engaged in many interesting collaboration: moreover you have co-founded Neuf, a group of experimental
In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is
growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer? I understand what you are saying there are wonderful moments in cinema now that couldnâ€™t have existed a few years ago for example in Joe Wrights film The Soloist there was ONE WHOLE MINUTE of experimental colour fields: Absolutely amazing to sit in the cinema for that length of time in front of such overtly experimental art in a Hollywood genre film. Cinema is definitely expanding into the cinema space with 3D films and surround sound and participant cult films to give the viewer the whole experience. Itâ€™s also moved into the gallery space. I am happy for experimental video art to influence cinema by recognizing a more artistic, sensory and active view. But for me I actually hope the frontier remains because, and obviously I am hugely biased here, I love the short experimental art film as a perfect little genre in itself. Itâ€™s short enough to fit anywhere, in a gallery, in a home, in your pocket or on the street. Its short enough to play and experiment with as a genre and the perfect size to develop its nature in the expanded field. Thank you very much for this interview, Trisha. What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind? Yes I have a few projects on the go. Neuf are installing again At Home 3, in a domestic setting in Cambridge in November and I have just completed my film for that entitled Drive Over. I am also working with a cellist at the moment who is recording four different short pieces in irregular time signature to accompany my film inspired by Beckets work Quadrat. This piece is an animation of four sculptures by the wonderful artist Valerie Blake. And I am working with a French artist Laurence Cappelletto animating her great hybrid sculpture Motard for an exhibition in November in Bergerac. Thanks for this interview! www.trishamccrae.com
Patrick R. Moser Professor Moser earned his M.F.A. from The University of Florida and his B.A. from East Carolina University. At Flagler College, in addition to his duties as Department Chair, he teaches painting and drawing and exhibits his work regularly in both solo and group exhibitions.
Paradoxes in Video, 4141 Garage Gallery, San Diego, CA TRAPS: Screening Series, Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA August 2012 Hesa Inprint, Finnish/English Web Magazine, April 2012 Traps Video Art Screening, Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA Strange Beauty Film Festival, Manbites Dog Theater, Durham, NC Situation Range, LegalArt, Miami, FL FUNDADA Film Festival, Wakefield, UK Paradoxes in Video, 4141 Garage Gallery, San Diego, CA Citamina Animation Portal, University of Wisconsin-Stout The Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle Washington Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS FISH 2012, Lightwell Gallery, University of Oklahoma School of Fine Arts, October-November Folio Weekly Invitational, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, FL, August-December Screaming Love, Solo Exhibition, Wynn Bone Gallery, Annapolis, MD OctoberNovember Situation Range, Legal Arts Miami, 1035 N Miami Blvd, May Filmideo 7th, Annual Contemporary Film and Video Screening, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ
His works are featured in collections including McGraw Hill Companies, The Ringling Museum of Art, Robert Henry Adams Fine Art, Rocky Mount Museum of Art and numerous private collections 4
An interview with
Patrick R. Moser Hello Patrick and welcome to Stigmart: I'd start this interview with an introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And what does make an artwork a piece of contemporary Art? Hello Stigmart. I'm delighted to be included in your publication. It seems foolish to attempt to answer your first question, so I will give it a try. For me a work of art creates a living space, allowing you to embrace the strange vitality of immediate experience without indulging the generalities of idealism. I don't think you can consciously make something contemporary without it becoming mannered and trite. All you can do is try to make it well, open to complexity and humor without losing all integrity. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there particuIar experiences that have deeply impacted on your evolution as an artist? By the way, how have your studies influenced you and how has your art practice developed since you have left school?
Patrick R. Moser
what technical aspects do you mainly focus in your work? I move back and forth between various kinds of work including paintings, drawings and video. I'm enthusiastic about technology but unwilling to be completely seduced by it. As a result my video work involves individual performances, recorded and pieced together. The human experience is so beautiful and tragic that it doesn't take much. The element of time inherent in video encourages some loose form of narrative, no matter how absurd or illogical. I love the cinematic experience, so thats always hovering around the edges. Finally, I have a young son. That in itself is not extraordinary, but I think his energy has allowed me to embrace a more playful and ridiculous sensibility, particularly in the last few years.
As it relates to these specific videos, I grew up in the American South where I spent a great deal of my youth playing basketball and fishing. These experiences shaped me in part, teaching me how to see, how to lose, and how to turn failure into a learning experience, which is painfully cliche to say but completely true. Early on I developed a kind of physical intelligence and perception that I trust. Graduate school was crucial for me because it revealed how little I actually knew, how little I understood the intellectual world around me, how incredibly vast the possibilities are.
By the way, how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?
Before starting to elaborate about your artworks, would you tell us something about your usual process and set up for Butcher Rules making your videos? In particular, on
This question is surprisingly difficult to answer. On one level I feel like I harbor ideas 5
86, performance for years before acting on them. On the other hand I tend to compile video actions intuitively, then construct them into independent works. Sometimes the beginning concept holds, but often it is transformed into something better as I make choices in real time. The editing process is thrilling. The speed at which significant formal decisions can be made still astonishes me.
Another interesting video of yours on which I would like to spend some words is a performative piece entitled "86": how did you come up to this idea? By the way, do you happen to think to whom will enjoy your works when you conceive your Art? I don't anticipate any specific audience for my work but I also believe if I can find my particular vision it will somehow translate to others. I tend to make things I want to see, then run them by my wife and son. 86 is the first work of video art I ever created. As I mentioned earlier, I dedicated considerable hours of solitude to shooting free throws with the partial goal of becoming proficient at it. This piece is an attempt to make the practice the content, to transform the work into ritual, to reveal the living particularities of gesture, sound and repetition beneath the generalities of statistics (86 being the number made out of 100). It also just feels good to shoot baskets.
Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Saturn Fishing, whose stills can be admired by our readers in the starting pages of this article. What was you initial inspiration? This video is the result of combining two seemingly disparate ideas. As you have likely noticed already, I am attracted to the deliberate misuse of tools. It makes a routine task feel alive, seeding entirely new gestures, new outcomes. What could you possible catch if you went fishing in the street? The other idea here involves the representation of violence. I wanted to consciously explore a kind of gratuitous violence without it resulting in an empty gesture. I eventually put these two performances together and with a nod to Goya created this backyard version of an ancient Roman myth. I wanted it to be contrived and real all at once.
And we couldn't do without mentioning The Raking, that is definitely my favourite one. Could you lead us through the development of this interesting project? Thanks. This is another variation on the idea of reinventing tools or more precisely using 6
The Raking tools and tasks to reveal the occasional absurdity of lived experience. You work hard to find the answers, you capture a glimmer of something, perhaps just yourself, the universe washes it away and you have to decide to keep working.
wing me to act without being overly self conscious. I've been making work in this manner for a couple of years and I still favor its qualities. Hopefully it reflects a combination of wide eyed wonder and blank emptiness. Your point about the fish symbolism is right on. Occasionally we all suffer the vulnerability of bait.
This video and the Saturn Fishing piece both feature a doll I have fashioned to represent something, myself, my youth, my death, my son, something magic, something funny....
During these years you have also gained a wide experience as a teacher: how has this influenced your career as an artist? Moreover, do you think that being a teacher, with the consequent direct contact with your students, has -in a way- influenced your Art practice?
Moreover, even though I'm aware that this will sound a bit naif question, would you like to tell us something the mask that you often use in your works? It goes without saying that the fish is a recurring symbol of the cultural identity throughout the millennia...
Being a good teacher is important to me and I'm certain my students influence me all the time. In order to teach studio art you must be engaged in your own creative work, otherwise you are just an imposter.
Yes, I should tell the story of the mask. It was initially inspired by my retired, ailing neighbor who would amble past my window every afternoon on his daily walks. At the time he was suffering from terminal brain cancer and he repeatedly expressed a deep desire to escape our small town and return to New York. Unfortunately that never happened. I created the mask rather quickly and crudely with materials available in the moment.
Helping students to become informed, to think and make creative choices for themselves is extremely rewarding. For me teaching and making art are completely intertwined. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us, Patrick: what direction are you moving in creatively? Thanks again for inviting me to take part in this collection. I've enjoyed responding to your questions.
The idea was to construct a persona that might serve as a proxy for his wishes. When someone is dying you can almost see them trapped inside the deteriorating mask of their bodies. Over time the masked figure has became my performance identity, allo-
Moving forward the video work will begin to involve other people more directly, but beyond that I cannot say. 7
A still from I Will Not Hope
An artistâ€™s statement Running through many of the screen works is a tension between the profound and the casual, between deliberation and apparent immediacy, between that which leaves a permanent trace and that which is permanently lost. I am interested in exploring the complex relationship of ephemeral events and film, and the delicate tension between contingency and structure, which results from this relationship.
My background is in dance and live arts and I began work, with my company Forecast dance, creating performance pieces that focused on people, memory and space. In recent years, however, my work has developed two new strands; public engagement projects, including site specific practice and installations, and video works. Both of these areas bring a choreographic sense of spatial dynamic to visual media. Many of my pieces have a warm quality and focus on framing everyday events in a way that allows them to be re-seen in more detail. They have a romantic, contemplative aesthetic but have also been described as rigorous and relentless. At the centre of the work is a fascination with movement patterns and the way they can convey something of our lived experience in a non-literal and yet wholly direct way.
Anna Macdonald Senior Lecturer Contemporary Arts: MMU www.forecastdance.org
An interview with Anna MAcdonald How did you first become interested in video and dance? Part of the pleasure of dance, for me, is its sense of immediacy. When we watch dance we watch a live body moving in real time and this live-ness emphasizes the specificity of the moment of watching. Working with video had always felt logical to me for, although images are bound to their time of production, arguably they have a similar connection to the specificity of the moment as dance, because of their descriptive, as opposed to symbolic nature. In a way I think film and dance both appear to offer access to the world as it happens, they have a similar sense of immutable immanence. As Screendance maker Adam Roberts notes, film points to something and says â€˜this is happeningâ€™ (Roberts 2012:110) rather than, this has happened and may happen again.
Anna Macdonald Short Biography
Anna Macdonald has received International recognition for her screen works including being selected for VideodanzBA, Argentina, Dascamdanse in Belgium, Miden Videoart Festival, Greece, International Festival of Movement on Screen, Liverpool, Roar, Raw, Rare International arts festival, and being nominated for the International Video Dance awards in Barcelona. She has been exhibited in galleries nationally and has recently received the 2012 Shimmy Commission and the 2013 Million Minutes commission funded by Arts Council England.
In what manner have your background as a choreographer and dancer influenced your videomaking? On reflection, I used very similar devising techniques, for this trilogy of screen works, to the ones I use when making live work. I set up a series of situations/scores, let them happen/recorded them, and then selected bits to happen again/cut from the raw footage. From there I explored what the artwork might be, by arranging, and rearranging, the material/footage that I had.
Anna is a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She has had articles about her screendance works published in Body, Space Technology Journal and Choreo-graphic Practices Journal.
This is the obvious affinity between video and experimental dance, as opposed to film and dance, as the inexpensive nature of video means that you can improvise for long periods of time and then select from the footage. In I will not hope, for example, there were only two handheld camera and ten static cameras placed round the site, this meant I had twelve hours of very hit and miss footage to select from. As an artist, relying on captured, rather than constructed footage, is anxiety provoking but also liberating. I feel less accountable in some way in that I can only make what I can make with the ingredients I have.
to my kinesthetic response to the images. For example, when I felt less physically engaged with the material, when my back shortens and I shifted my weight, I would cut the shot. I was aware of the dialogue at play, when I edited, between the rhythms of the movement onscreen and the rhythm of my own bodily attention span and I worked very quickly, capturing shots for I will not hope, editing in a way that echoed the process of hunting for leaves; images would catch my eye and I would keep them to show others.
The movement in the film is wholly pedestrian, in that there are no choreographed sequences or movements requiring specific technique. My background as a choreographer is, therefore, perhaps more evident in the editing process. Here, having no clear narrative or emotional Butcher Rules imperative to follow, I tended to edit according
I cut when I began to desire difference, when I physically needed something else to happen.
I also cut when I sensed a significant difference in an image’s movement quality making a division, for example, when I felt that one event was over and another had begun. Desiring, or being sensitive to, kinaesthetic difference, in terms of quality, direction, energy or shape, is an intrinsic part of being a choreographer and dancer as contrast is the foundation for all dynamic shape and rhythm. It is a basic choreographic tool that, like tasting sugar after salt, accentuates the qualities of each individual element.
male relationships that I found deeply moving, in a way seemed to go beyond the effects of morenarrative-based art forms. It is this combination of the immediately experienced and long known that is so fascinating about her work. So although I had not made this interesting connection with Die Klage der Kaiserin and I will not hope, I think Bausch, along with other artists such as Trisha Brown, have had a strong influence on my concern with movement that is intrinsically expressive, like the act of trying to catch leaves.
The leaves theme in "I will not hope" remind us of the beginning of a masterpiece of experimental cinema, Die Klage der Kaiserin. It is not just a chance that its author, was the great Pina Bausch, choreographer and performer. Have other artists influenced your work?
In your statement you say "The work explores the role of the cut, the moment where images shift from presence to absence, in cinema’s ‘narrativization of chance". Could you comment this sentence? In The emergence of cinematic time (2002) Doane describes the single shot in film as, the shot that contains all possibility. When a camera is pointed in a single direction, we feel as if a real moment in time is being recorded, a real moment where anything could happen. The single shot however, also ‘raises the spectre of pure loss’ (Doane 2002:140) for, in simple terms, if we feel as if anything could happen, then we are also made aware that anything can stop happening. Hence, for Doane, film’s alliance with transience and chance make it a place of both freedom and anxiety.
It is a truly lovely to have my own, and Bausch’s, name mentioned on the same page! Café Muller was one of the first pieces of dance that I saw when I started studying dance and I remember thinking, although I didn’t have these words then, here dance means something profound without recourse to acting, text or representation. In the piece there is an image of a man whose only role is to try and protect the women in the piece, by making sure they do not walk into the chairs. It is a real and immediate action, for the women walk, and run, around the space with their eyes closed. If he did not help them they would hurt themselves. However, it is also a reenactment of a deeper pattern of male/fe-
Editing, however, can evoke a sense of design, narrative directionality and causality for the viewer, as it is clear that what we see has been
A still from I Will Not Hope
A still from I Will Not Hope
I will not hope is the final Screendance in a trilogy of works, made between 2010 and 2013, which explore the relationship of Screendance and transience. The trilogy, which includes Things that start slowly and Snow film, was made in response to the loss of my first baby and it documents my attempts to re-establish a sense of certainty and permanence after loss.
shaped and we are not simply at the mercy of events. Editing allows me to construct a version of events where one thing leads, reassuringly and causally, to another, easing our sense of temporal unease. The complexity with this, however, as Doane goes on to say, is that although edits can provide stability, they also involve loss for editing demands that the image ceases.
Screendance seems to invite the exploration of feelings of fear or safety around mortality, because of the particular relationship of the body on film to time. Filmâ€™s offer to preserve and narrativize events is seductive, but both preservation, and the shaping of events as events, require that movement ceases, and a living body is never still. It is this tension within Screendance, between predictability, stillness and death, and contingency, movement and life, which underpins both the trilogy and itâ€™s final work I will not hope (2013).
This theoretical position resonates with my exploration of loss and transience in I will not hope. When I became pregnant again, after losing my first baby, I did not want to hope, I wanted to know. I wanted certainty. For others (for the leaf catchers perhaps) hope appeared to be a positive and exciting place but for me, at that time, I felt I could not bear it. The difficulty with this, of course, is that certainty can only be created by stillness, by endings.
To make I will not hope, I invited seven people of different ages to come and try to catch the leaves falling from trees for an hour in Autumn 2012. Twelve cameras were placed around the site to record their movement. The film is seven minutes long and shifts between long single shots, where people are looking up at the tree watching for leaves, and fast montages made up from images of people running to try and catch them. The people in the film are completely engaged with the task and, as they dart and grasp for leaves, their movements appear child-like and excited. The film focuses on small moments where the vigilant body shifts from waiting to action. We watch people tip their weight forward in readiness, throwing themselves off balance to reach for a leaf, twisting as one goes past them and being curiously still as they wait for leaves to fall.
Thank you for this interview: what's next for Anna? Have you a particular project in mind? My next few projects are very diverse. One involves working with motion capture and crowd theory to create an interactive installation, where one live individual interacts with a crowd of simulated dancers. The next is a short video made with two women who are going through profound experiences of bereavement. The other is a research project, which will result in an installation of some kind, working with a medical ethics researcher who is exploring the notion of integrity in medical negligence cases.
Like the other films in the trilogy, I will not hope explores the anxiety and joy of transience. It is almost impossible to predict when leaves will fall, but equally hard not to believe that, if you just wait long enough, or are attentive enough, you will not eventually get one. As such the simple activity of trying to catch a falling leaf, provokes some complex ideas about luck, chance and how far we feel we can determine our successes.
viDEO sAVant w/Ubudis Quartet at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, detail 2013
Charles Woodman viDEO sAVant Audio/Visual Improvisation â€œ Live Cinema: real-time mixing of images and sound for an audience, where the sounds and images no longer exist in a fixed and finished form but evolve as they occur, and the artist's role becomes performative..." Holly Willis
viDEO sAVant makes LIVE CINEMA, performances in which the images and sounds are improvised in real-time in front of the audience. As the musicians watch the screen, they react to the flow of pictures, the music evolving in response to the visual score. The images in turn in are being composed and manipulated in response to the music. The work is improvisational, with an emphasis on process and the dynamic evolution of the material, as sound and image lead each other back and forth in the mix.
news, and sports. The archive of media history, the bits and segments of our shared past as moving image consumers, becomes the raw material which is being mined and then fused together into a new media form and a new media composition. Over the course of the performance a new entity, a new narrative is built up out of these cinematic fragments. The effect is not unlike that of using sampling in music, the sampled images occupy two roles simultaneously, quoting from and referring to, their original contexts,
The images themselves derive from wide a range of media sources. The work draws heavily on the histories of the avant-garde and European arthouse cinemas but also quotes from more contemporary sources: music videos, advertising,
while at the same time becoming structural elements in the creation of a new composition. But unlike much sample based music which may have been constructed one piece at a time
A still from Cowboy Romance 92 remix
The work engages audiences on several levels. First, the live interaction of artwork, performer, and audience, creates an insistence on the immediacy of the event and its specificity.
The driving forces in the work are collaborative and improvisational and the entire enterprise is dependent on collaborative networks and inputs for its realization.
Second, we propose an interrogation of forms, asking viewers to contextualize the event within histories of cinema, video, performance, art, and music.
The project draws on multiple modes, genres and historical traditions, the image sources are diverse, and in selecting sonic collaborators I seek out partners from a broad range of traditions and idioms.
Third, the work plays on the liquidity of information and the sense that we exist in a world characterized not by concrete spatial boundaries and fixed temporal coordinates, but instead by a mobile, accelerating experience of fluidity and flows, as the materials specific to cinema and its history become highly plastic digital artefacts, easily reshaped for new uses.
viDEO sAVant have been performing since the early 1990â€™s. The group has appeared in a wide variety of contexts and with a broad range of sonic collaborators. Recent appearances include performances at the Albright â€“Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, NY, International House, Philadelphia, PA New Genres Festival, Tulsa, OK, Devotions Gallery Brooklyn, NY, Atlas Center for the Arts, Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Cinematheque, CA.
Fourth, the work emphasizes hybridism, blending media and art forms, allowing each to affect and influence the other. The result is truly a new media art form, driven by notions of expanded cinema first explored in the 1960â€™s, enabled and recontextualized by 21st century technological developments. Butcher Rules
An interview with
presence of the audience, and I might add another element, the interaction of both within the architecture of the venue. The players improvise in response to each other and the audience immediately sees and hears the result as the material changes dynamically. The effect is very different from sitting in the cinema watching a film unreel.
Your video works reveal an astonishing realtime control of images and sounds, according to a post-bergsonian way to conceive time and space. Could you introduce our readers to your concept of real-time video? Real-time video as I use it is an effort to engage with an essential quality of the medium time. While all video has duration, real-time work engages with a unique type of duration, the instantaneous. Simply put the program is being edited on the fly and the actions and decisions of the performer/editor, the VJ, are presented to the audience as they are happening.
The audience is a witness to the creation and evolution of the artwork in the moment in which it happens. The presence of the performers and the immediacy of their interaction becomes a critical element of the experience.
The principle involved is not dissimilar to live television, as in the coverage of a sporting event. In this case however, the intent is the creation of an aesthetic experience and the immediate manifestation of an improvisatory impulse.
Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?
In your statement you say:"live interaction of artwork, performer, and audience, creates an insistence on the immediacy of the event and its specificity." Could you comment this sentence?
The idea that looking at things carefully was important and that the rewards might be a sensual experience is something that was instilled in me at an early age.
My work is closely connected to historical traditions in painting. Growing up in a family of artists is probably the single biggest influence.
Itâ€™s way of looking which informs all my artwork. Some specific artists who have inspired me: the Vasulkas, Pierre Bonnard, Sol LeWitt, Miles Davis
The fact that these elements are operating simultaneously in the space in which the action, the art making activity, takes place calls attention to the relationship between the players, the
viDEO savant and Friends w/dancers, New Genres Festival, 2012
Could you better describe the interaction between musicians and videographers in your works?
The musicians are taking a similar approach, they are all reacting to the changing images but they are also responding to each other.
The model might be thought of analogous to the tradition of improvisation in jazz. I have a collection of almost a thousand of small video loops, which I have built up over time, and I always make some new ones for every show.
t is a complex, fluid, dynamic and one that I find very exciting to participate in. Where do you get the ideas for your work? Inspiration comes from many places, other artists’ work, cinema, music, books, and travel all inspire me. The work also drives itself. Most projects are derived from things that happened in creating previous artworks. Discovery leads to investigation, which leads to discovery.
Typically I start by selecting from these to build a palette of images, which I draw on during the show. I choose about 100 for any one performance, many more than I will actually use. This selection might be linked by a theme or a group of themes.
How has your history influenced the way you produce art?
I devise an initial arrangement, a starting sequence of 5 to 10 clips and another sequence for an ending. This is somewhat analogous to the tune or melody that might be the basis for improvisation in music. Once the sequence starts and the musicians begin responding to the images, I can draw from my palette at will. The individual clips are fairly plastic; I can manipulate them in any number of ways. I also layer the images on top of each other and move from one group to the next in a manner that can be either jagged or smooth. All these decisions are made in response to the music and the changes that are happening there.
Some specific incidents in my youth, with light shows and rock and roll, deeply impressed me and led me to the live video work I’m doing today. Residencies at the Experimental TV Center, put me in touch with the video signal as a plastic thing to be manipulated rather than seeing the image as essentially a fixed object produced by a camera. An initial collaboration with a friend, Matt Dibble, led to the formation of my first “video band”.
viDEO sAVant w/ Ubudis Quartet at the Albright Knox Art Gallery 2013
Now we wonder if you would like to answer to our clich question: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
I think of these different modes as two sides of my practice, hot and cold. Whatâ€™s next for Charles Woodman? Are there any new projects on the horizon?
Live performance is thrilling in the moment of interaction and improvisation. The sense of being part of an ensemble and the way things can shift and grow, being caught up in a dynamic sweep, is deeply satisfying. While the freedom and immediacy of live performance is exhilarating, my solo work entails a very different kind of creative pleasure. Each detail is carefully considered and refined into a complex construction. Crafting these kinds of formal structures provides a very different satisfaction.
Performances this fall in San Francisco and NY. A one-person gallery show in Cincinnati in the spring, along with another live performance, and all with some different, exciting, sonic collaborators. Beyond that, hopefully a cinema dance project w/ a choreographer next year.
CHARLES WOODMAN email@example.com http://www.videosavant.org Education MFA Design Film/Video, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1982. BA Art/Communications, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH, 1979. Exhibitions 2013 viDEO sAVant w/ Ubdis Quartet, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Performance Megurs Ehd Ffleweh, w/ Chris Bailey and the Meitar Ensemble, MATA Festival, Roulette, New York, NY. Video projection w live music St Vrains Woods, Four Woodmans, Nina Fruedenhiem Gallery, Buffalo NY BOOM! LIVE CINEMA & SOUND, The Coup, Clarksville TN, Performance 2012
viDEO sAVant and Friends, WaVe Currents Series, International House, Philadelphia, PA, Performance viDEO sAVant and Friends, Devotions, Brooklyn, NY, Performance Table of Elements, The Wodmans, Diet Gallery, Miami, FL, Installation viDEO sAVant and Friends, New Genres Festival, Living Arts of Tulsa. Tulsa, OK, Performance
viDEO sAVant with Collide-O-Scope Music, Intersections New American Performing Arts Festival, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington, DC, Performance HEAVEN, Wall Drawings, Samson Projects, Boston MA viDEO sAVant with Collide-O-Scope Music, Aspect Project Room, Brooklyn, NY, Performance viDEO sAVant with Discerning Crane, Center for Contemporary Arts, Cininnati OH, Performance
Screen capture from live video mix 2013