__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1


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

4

Youjin Moon

"Callisto is an experimental video that travels through surreal scenes which move in and out of abstraction and representation. Paintings, photographs, and videos are layered to build sculptural structures and poetic movements. "

14

Pablo Molina Guerrero

"When I was a child I used to watch too many horror movies. These images still come to me sometimes. In my most recent appropriation video Children’s playground I used some movies I still remember as part of my childhood to go further in the themes I work like childhood, violence, death, relationships, essay film and found footage."

24

Katrina Stamatopoulos & Alexandra Spence

"The idea of Wind Up Bird developed with Alex, through working together and continuously exchanging sounds and images. We then established a theme that would help us, and began working with that. "

32

Melissa Bruno

"I created Wondering during my last year of art school and it was inspired by the film, Last Year at Marienbad in class. I loved the ambiguity of the film, which focused more on mood than telling a cohesive story. I wanted to emulate that and tell a story about escapism. "

42

Eliott Chemana

In the beginning of summer 2014, Eliott Chemana travelled across Iceland where he made this short film in Single 8. The main purpose of the film is to create an atmosphere and a story only through an image and a voice. The image is shoted in the North, and the voice is in Greek, South of Europe.

52

Arezou Zibaei

Image of "Born in Middle East" began when I found out about my people's strange obsession about daily news, melancholic obsession. Sometimes they watch the news more than 10 times a day and adjust their lives with it and more tragic than that, I found out there was a big fear behind this obsession!


Kelly Oliver and Keary Rosen

60

Keary Rosen and Kelly Oliver create video work that explores the conjunction between language and imagery. In each piece, the audio portion was written and performed by Keary Rosen and then set to video shot and edited by Kelly Oliver.

Flora Bradwell

70

"Within Flora’s fictional realm the notions of façade and performance play a central role. In her paintings Flora’s brilliantly coloured and patterned players distort themselves for their audience, showing off their luxurious paint and vibrant palette. "

Julius Brown

78

"I write custom software to create large scale ambient visual images. I project these visuals on walls to create immersive environments. My work is defined by very slowly changing imagery intended to help promote a state of non-directed awareness in the viewer. While working in a technology medium, I strive to achieve a soft organic look in my work."

Fabian Heitzhausen

86

""I'm Game" is a videocollage composed from a slick videogame world, neat intior design and talking furniture. These aesthetic phenomena ease into each other effortlessly and they even appear to enjoy it. Only the ensouled objects seem to wonder where they are. "

David & Tara Gladden

94

"Word Pieces is a modular series ofshort audiovisual performancecompositions. Each shortcomposition takes a word, breaks itdown into its smallest parts. Ratherthan serving words, in Word Pieces,the voice is deconstructing andreconstructing them in new ways. "

Guillaume Vallée

107

"Vallée' work is an exploration of materiality within the creative process. In attempts of creating a more complex relationship with his subject matter, Vallée makes use of cross-medium forms that range from camera-less techniques to optical effects and found-footage, often resulting in surreal and chaotic imagery. "

Rafael Garrdo

118

The video “The end of a clockwork orange” studies the single element of the final credits of the movie “A Clockwork Orange” directed by Stanley Kubrick from 1971. In this landmark of world cinema as well as other movies by Kubrick, was the starting and the ending credits carriers of symbolism and hidden meanings, where it would contrast by his selection of background songs and music which added to its satirical and sardonic effect.

Benjamin Glas "The presented piece is a wonderful relic of my studies in contemporary media. This piece came into being during a time of great introspection and learning; the learning to simply experience and feel fleeting moments, no matter what emotional value they hold, in the everyday mundane. "

144


Youjin Moon An artist's statement

Callisto is an experimental video that travels through surreal scenes which move in and out of abstraction and representation. Paintings, photographs, and videos are layered to build

sculptural structures and poetic movements. A fluid scene that unfolds into other worlds visualizes micro and macro spaces through a contemplative point of view. Tension between organic and digital, painting and moving image create new dimensions in space and time.


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 A still from Callisto

Youjin Moon is a visual artist from Busan, Korea who works between painting and film. She received her MFA in Painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and holds BFA in Oriental Painting at Hong-Ik University in Seoul. She has screened and exhibited in both national and international shows. She recently screened at the Seoul International

Experimental Film Festival and the Seoul International NewMedia Festival. She has also held gallery shows with DM Contemporary in New York, and with Bakalar and Paine Gallery in Boston. She currently lives and works in Boston, and is an MFA candidate in Film/Video at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.


An interview with

Youjin Moon Youjin Moon's surreal imagery reveals a remarkable effort to explore new dimensions of time and space through the use of different techniques and media. From the first time we watched her work Callisto, we were impressed with Youjin's multi-disciplinary approach to filmmaking. We are glad to present Callisto for this special Videofocus Edition. Youjin, how did you get started in experimental cinema? I was always interested in the relationship between media, film and painting. I’ve questioned myself about how some of the properties of each medium can be shared and interplayed with each other. Using light as a material connection between two mediums, I started working on hundreds of handmade slides and using slide projection as a vehicle to combine paint, found materials, sound and light to create a cinematic experience. I re-photographed the tiny collages using an optical printer as a means of expressing abstract textures and rhythmic movement. I was interested in the meditative and intuitive process of optical printing. I used the tempo of twenty-four frames per second to create a singular visual expression with variable intensities of light and speed. At the same time, I worked directly on the surface of celluloid film and experimented with materials to manipulate the surface of the film. I began with handmade filmmaking, and found a correlation between handmade film and slide work in terms of creating distinctive rhythm, color, framing, and space. This is the evolution of my filmmaking process. We have been really impressed by the balance they have been capable of achieving in this work between classical sensibility and futuristic vision in your work Callisto. How did you come up with the idea for this film? I came up with the idea for this film from the previous work I did for the three- channel

Youjin Moon

video installation entitled Water on Mars, in which I created an imaginary landscape of the surface of Mars by combining moving water with computer graphics. I was fascinated by the images of Mars, which are scientific on one hand, and fantastical on the other, and drawn to the possibilities that I could imagine and reinterpret the space in my own way. This work gave me an idea of making a place, conjuring up uncertainty as to whether they come from a natural or virtual world. Attempting to recreate actual space, I started thinking further about the boundaries between real space and an invented world, and how they could coexist in our imagination on many different levels. Within a realm of visual dialog between abstraction and representation, picturing an abstract form of natural architecture was a starting point to shape my idea for this film. I explored recognizable subjects in nature by taking an abstract form and focusing more on an unconventional moment to express a sense of wonder, or the uncanny, throughout the film. I was also interested in traditional environments and urban spaces that reflect on human life but evoke a void and some kind of alienation. The futuristic vision in your question stems


A still from Callisto

from the atmosphere of the film that unfolds with an absence of the human. Callisto demonstrates your effort to get under the skin of cinema. In particular, we are fascinated by your use of video layers: could you better introduce our readers to this fundamental aspect of your art process? I’m interested in exploring material hybridity in my video work. The interaction between illusion and reality in the film relate closely with the process of composing scenes with the video layers that traverse the surface of the screen. Many moments of realistic depictions are concealed by painting, photograph and video to build colors and tones of the surroundings. I generally envision what the final image would look like before I start making layers, and then construct them digitally. One part of this

process is very organized and planned. It’s also really spontaneous in terms of making decisions by looking at all visual materials and footage that I shot and created. Each layer to me is like a visual instrument that contains its own movements and textured atmospheres. Ultimately, I intended to make a cohesive whole within the complex structure of moving composition. For me, the process of layering acts as a weaving of different times and spaces together and transforming familiar scale and scope into new perspective. We find that your art is rich of references. In particular, many segments from Callisto remind us of the works by Antoni Tàpies. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? Yes, I haven’t made the connection between


A still from Callisto


A still from Around A Statue


A still from Callisto

Antoni Tàpies and my film before but now I see it. His use of tactile material and the aesthetic of meditative space are something I would like to reference in my work in the future. In the realm of film, I admire Jordan Belson. I’m impressed with the compositional structure of visual and sound in his work, and how they integrate well with the abstract space that reminds me of another universe. I‘ve explored ways to enhance the perception of visuals through sound in my film. Sound can evoke tactile senses, colored lights, and undulating forms. Belson’s films influence me to think further on sensory experiences between sound and vision. Surrealism is closely connected to Callisto. What’s intrigued me is surrealists’ ideas of liberating imagination and bringing the outside world

into an internal, subconscious world to question unknown sides of reality. I like the surrealistic moments in the work of Max Ernst and Joan Miro. Other artists I admire are works of Charline von Heyl, Mark Rothko, Olafur Eliasson, Bill Viola, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Stan Brakhage. In your statement describing Callisto, you refer to a "fluid scene". Throughout your work every frame seems to continuously reshaping itself. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your work? That’s a good question. I think that the flow of each scene resembles the structure of a stream-of-consciousness. It takes us on a journey into the unknown by moving in and out of macro and micro, bright and dark, floating


A still from Callisto

and frozen space within the realm of digital time. I wanted to create a poetic rhythm that keeps on moving through my non-linear trajectory. Each scene unfolds and follows a certain emotion, light and/or formal element. In order to explore the transitions, I focused on the changes in pace and the relationship between appearance and disappearance. I used the split screen in conjunction with symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions to build other layers of fluidity in the surreal imagery. I got this idea from the accordion fold format of a sketchbook, which I used for drawing when I studied Korean ink painting. I started drawing a mountain and turned the page to draw continuously with a different perspective, then unfolded it and connected the two drawings. As I made more drawings in

the sketchbook, the lines and forms flowed from page to page. The resulting imagery was flowing through the space without interruption. This experience influenced my idea of editing for this piece, and gave me new ways of unfolding and refolding the split screen in a more sculptural way. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? I work by making small paper collages, drawings or short videos as a point of departure for the idea I want to develop. This gives me freedom to play around with smaller formats, and room for things to grow. During this process, I work intuitively and often new problems or unexpected results will open up


the possibilities to experiment with new layers. I’m interested in finding an entry point that is both spontaneous and controlled. There are other times where the ideas for a new project gradually come to me through traveling and shooting. When I encounter something in brief moments or capture the unique atmosphere, I write down thoughts that come into my mind. I envision the atmospheric spaces, elaborate my idea through the visual imagery and the words that are slowly building up in my head. I allow thoughts to flow in the realm of the familiar and the mysterious. Depending on the project, l do research on related ideas as another source of inspiration. For me, the specific descriptions and the visual references stimulate my imagination to form abstract imagery in my work. What draws you to a particular subject? I’m drawn to subjects that play with opposite qualities. I’m particularly attracted to a tension between wet and dry, organic and inorganic, light and shadow. Dealing with certain emotions and gestures between the two, I like to explore how these relationships could reveal a new meaning through different media. I’m also interested in subjects reminiscent of water such as instability, softness, and transparency. A free-forming motion and fluidity are something that I would like to maintain in the structure of my film. Thanks for sharing your time, Youjin, we wish you all the best with your filmmaker career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind? Thanks for your thoughtful questions. I’ve been working on a film entitled “Io”, which is named after a moon of Jupiter. I’m fascinated by the color and its unique painterly surface. I have created a virtual landscape that evokes a tension between water and fire. I am continuously working on this piece and also have a new project in my mind, in which I envision a space conjuring up a sense of softness, and delicacy. I plan to keep working between handmade and digital to bring organic sensibility into a feeling of digital texture and vice versa. My upcoming news and screenings will be updated on my website at www.youjinmoon.com

A still from Callisto


Pablo Molina Children’s playground statement When I was a child I used to watch too many horror movies. These images still come to me sometimes. In my most recent appropriation video Children’s playground I used some movies I still remember as part of my childhood to go further in the themes I work like childhood, violence, death, relationships, essay film and†found footage.

In a way, Children’s playground is familiarized with two of my older videos: Outtakes (from ‘This mashed potato doesn’t even exist’) an appropriation of some footage that weren’t used in a documentary where I was cameraman, that follows the everyday life of a five year old kid and as a critic of modern life’s family in a essay film manner; and Street anal-ysis, a meditation about violence and friendship in chilean protests through some texts related to anarquist points of


Guerrero A still from Children’s playground

A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014

view. The violence and childhood theme, gathered until it became Children’s playground.

world to join them and erradicate the adults from the face of earth.

Kids are the real deal in horror movies. People who become their victims, have to fight to the moral dilemma that they are young and inexperted and cannot be their enemies. Kids are the ultimate nemesis for adults. I read once, that kids have no moral dilemmas and they learn it as they grow, so as they are proyects of being can be anything, like inviting the whole kids of the

I decided not to mix whole scenes in a normal way, but to deconstruct them in a temporary chaotic way so it can create some kind of vertigo while watching and listening it, so every frame could be a non-linear and almost independent layer in a mash-up killer spread made by these special children.


An interview with

Pablo Molina Guerrero Pablo Molina Guerrero's pictures make us believe in their truthfulness, because he captures private moments in close-up. In his film Children's playground he explores the blurry boundaries between childhood imagery and grotesque, revealing a remarkable effort to get under the skin of the cinema. We are glad to present his work for this Videofocus Edition. Pablo, we want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for Children's playground? Before I started I already had in mind that a lot of movies had children as the main antagonists. Once I read a text about it as how the children were a kind of archetip of the ultimate fear for adults. And one day I dreamed about it, and I kind of like the way I dreamed it, so I started working in selecting the movies some of them I knew about and others were real surprises for me like øQuiÈn puede matar a un niÒo? (Who can kill a boy?, 1976, Narciso Ib·Òez Serrador), a spanish movie very similar to Village of the Damned. A great movie and very cryptic with these children just communicating each other with almost only laughs.††Definitely it was a dream that helped find the form. After that I started the edition. Your sense of juxaposition give your films a playful yet utterly subversive sensibility: how did you get started in filmmaking? I came from the drawing so the obvious was to start with hand animation. It taught me about the time and dedication you have to give to a video, and how every frame matters. After tests and one short cut I decided to move on and I started to do fictions, documentarys and experimental films. Since animation to the experimental films I started to understand the edition as the main stage of the filmmaking process, where ideas and images get together and from that crossing appears the meaning of the footage. Defining your artistic vision, the topos of labyrinth is no doubt a starting point of your filmmaking. In Children's playground you deconstruct images in a temporary cha-

Pablo Molina Guerrero

BIO Pablo Molina Guerrero (b. ConcÛn 1989) is a chilean videomaker and audiovisual recycler. He has made fictions, animations, documentaries, music videos and mostly appropriation videos. His work has been exhibited and screened mostly in Europe and Latin America in places like the Museo de Bellas Artes y M100 (Santiago), Bideodromo


Experimental Film and Video Festival (Bilbao), Bienal de Artes Mediales (Santiago), Jornadas de ReapropiaciÛn (MÈxico D. F.), Fesancor (Santiago), Cine Under (Buenos Aires), Cine//B Film Festival (Santiago), Festival de CreaciÛn Visual (Ecuador), Arqfilmfest (Santiago), Surdocs (Puerto Varas), The Wrong: New Digital Art Biennale, Video Raymi (Cuzco), One with a Movie Camera (Marburg), Visiones

Laterales (Santiago) and several others festivals and exhibitions. He writes in certain media about cinema, literature and culture. He is currently coordinator and one of the several directors of the collective film “Epistolario”, also is writer and co-editor of Roberto Mathews’ feature documentary “SALEIA”. Web: https://vimeo.com/pablomolina


A still from Children’s playground


A still from Around A Statue


A still from Children’s playground

otic way, creating a a transcendent timespace continuum. Could you introduce our readers to this fundamental aspect of your cinema? This way of making cinema that deconstructsdestroys all the time-space continuum is something I’ve just recently started to do. In a way it’s a game, an exploration of elemental characteristics of film that usually are not distorted. Peter Tscherkassky, a filmmaker I started to admire, said that his work is a frame-by-frame creation. His idea of films and his own work really inspired me, at last for Children’s playground. Also I believe that every short or audiovisual work has to get its own form, and I try to do that in every new piece I do.

We find that your art is rich of references: while your childish imagery reminds us of Victor Erice's films, your found-footage sensibility seems to be close to Alberto Grifi's experimental works. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? I must say that Histoire(s) du cinÈma by JeanLuc Godard and Sans soleil by Chris Marker are the two biggest influences to me. Their work has the seeds I’ve been developing in every video I’ve made, sometimes it works and sometimes not. Both works are unclassifiable and really inspiring. After them I also knew and like the films of Matthias M¸ller and Christoph Girardet, Peter Tscherkassky, Jean-Gabriel


this as a whole mix of references and it's something that happens to everyone, some may say it and others won't. As I am still working in found footage I prefer to call it appropriation video, all the work is just about getting images in good quality and while I edit I think about the best way to mix the images, the in-between of meaning. After all the images-massacre I watch it usually alone and if I like it while watching it I’m happy. So then I consider it finished. The Chilean scene is often underrated, nonetheless we have found it very interesting and rich of experimental filmmakers, often working with low budget, but with great results. What do you think of the Chilean artistic scene, from a filmmaker's point of view?

PÈriot, AndrÈs Duque, Juan Daniel Molero and Harun Farocki, all of them for their ways to work with the footage, the textures, times, themes and ethics of the found footage in experimental and documentary contexts. I started with animation so they have become my new and biggest influences in thinking about-from images I don’t own. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? Usually I read a lot about the subject or I investigate other movies just to know what has been thought or made before, just like a starting point not to try to do something different, I don’t believe in the originality because I thought of

It’s funny about the Chilean scene, many of the filmmakers especially the experimental ones we know about each other just when we have screenings in Europe or US film festivals. There’re few places to show experimental films and usually aren’t screened. Of course I really love Raul Ruiz’s films and Juan Downey’s videos, maybe the most famous experimental Chilean filmmakers. Also there’s other people who work with found footage like Paulina Soto, or Tizianna Paniza; or other people like JoaquÌn CociÒa and CristÛbal LeÛn who work with a very experimental kind of stop-motion and Francisco Huichaqueo with his videopaintings. I especially like the documentary scene, there’s a lot of great films and filmmakers that work a documentary’s point of view in a very experimental way. Some of them are Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff or JosÈ Luis Torres Leiva. I think Chilean filmmaking scene is very interesting and diverse but we have a real debt with an experimental scene that is very marginal and often not known as I said even between us. What's the future of found-footage art in your opinion? What will be the influence of platform like vimeo and youtube? It seems there’s a great boom with the found footage, above all in internet. Platforms like vimeo or youtube for a lot of creators those are their only way to show what they are doing and also almost their only way to know what’s going on today in film. There’s always the problem about copyrights and all that stuff but that’s another story. I think it’s very healthy the fact that found footage is growing


A still from Children’s playground

a lot, that means there are a lot of people who are active spectators or are obsessive recyclers of the medias or just want to have fun while they get fun of the images we always watch. Thanks for sharing your time, Pablo , we wish you all the best with your filmmaker career. What's next for Pablo Molina Guerrero'? Have you a particular film in mind? I’m currently working on three projects: I’m

finishing a documentary short that is called The Eternal Return, a co-direction with my friend Roberto Mathews, it’s a philosophical portrait (related to Nietzsche’s Eternal Return theory) of the Chilean city ValparaÌso after the great fire in april 2014. A city very related historically to fires that we thought we couldn’t avoid the idea of the ouroboros. Also I’m working in a collective feature film I’ve been coordinating called “Epistolary”, it’s conformed of


very multifacetic Chilean directors and everyone develop a film-letter in absolute freedom with every technique they want. And I’m currently working in my first feature film it’s a essay film with a found footage ethic. I found a notebook in the subway with a lot of thoughts about the way we live in the city and the loneliness of it, these thoughts will be read by a girl while we travel through the city.

It’s a long time project I have been building while traveling and as a puzzle, as a fragmentum I’m still getting the pieces together so it can works.


Katrina Stamatop & Alexandra Spen The subjects in this film are characters of their own worlds, their own realities. Observing from afar, you are a hidden witness. Inspired by imaginary journeys, "Wind Up Bird" is a result of an audiovisual collaboration between Sydney artist Katrina Stamatopoulos and Toronto based artist Alexandra Spence. This film is part of an ongoing project that explores the powerful

and inextricable link between sound and the moving image. ‘Collecting used footage from eBay, I am always uncertain of its age, content and history. My expectations are lost as I view the films, and a journey begins to a far away land, that appears so close as if it to be dreamt or imagined.’ Katrina Stamatopoulos.


oulos ce ‘Wind Up Bird developed intuitively into a sound world built on undulating waves of static. The sounds, taken from my archives of field recordings and improvisations, beckon with suggestions of melody and memory, creaking, twirling and fragmented.’ Alexandra Spence

A still from Callisto


An interview with

Katrina Stamatopoulos & Alexandra Spence Katrina Stamatopulos's cinema disassembles the forms of contemporary cinema and uses their flimsy structures to rebuild a separate€ world where identity is transitory. The materic and painterly qualities of her films, combined with a peculiar use of 16mm found footage, presents a€remarkable effort to get under the skin of the cinema. For this€Videofocus€Ediiton we have selected€Wind Up Bird, a stunning collaboration between the Toronto based sound artist Alexandra Spence€and Katrina. Katrina, could you describe this collaborative experience? A: Despite having lived and met in Sydney, Australia Katrina and my collaborative partnership actually developed via email correspondence once I had relocated to Toronto, Canada. Amazingly our artistic processes seem to follow similar patterns, we both work quite intuitively, as such our collaborative relationship developed very naturally. It never feels like work with Katrina. Even though we are constantly collaborating across continents, and from various ends of the globe, via email and file-sharing, we share a mutual respect for each others work. Thus allowing each other great flexibility and freedom within our collaborations. K: Alex and I exchange ideas and skills through our response to collecting. We are both gatherers, and have been able to establish a digital home for our work to cross over and build. It is very instinctual and our professional relationship can be quite spontaneous, depending on what we are up to or where we are geographically and psychologically. It’s a way of engaging and introducing each other to ideas that we can identify with and find stimulating. There’s a sense of autonomy in our relationship, where we can nurture each other’s work and explore different territory through collaboration.

Katrina Stamatopoulos

We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for€Wind Up Bird? Could you tell us a particular episode that has helped the birth of this project? The idea of Wind Up Bird developed with Alex, through working together and continuously exchanging sounds and images. We then established a theme that would help us, and began working with that. Images I was initially sending her were of children eating and crop producing, and are images I would still like to use, but were not appropriate at the time. The movement of Alex’s sound piece has a positive and illusive ease, so I needed to focus on images that would work with that. There was some footage I hadn’t viewed at all after having it in my cupboard for a year or two; this was mainly because it was in poor physical condition. I ended up cutting pieces that I was able to view (even if it was through a magnifying glass), and found some


Alexandra Spence

unexpected scenes, which was exciting at the time. Your approach to old analog media like 16mm is absolutely unique. Could you describe this aspect of your experimental filmmaking? I had been researching 16mm film on Ebay to shoot, but found myself distracted by a variety of super 8 and 16mm found footage. Instead of seeking my own images out on the streets, I became interested in browsing online and identifying films that were presented with very little information such as vague labels, dates, written descriptions or just a description of the films physical condition; I am always unsure of what the content will be. Relying upon chance encounters through my and working with material that landed at my doorstep became a nice challenge/ obsession. There are so many available images to see and work with that already have a past and come from past lives, and people are selling their films because they either have no use for

them, have had them passed down by relatives, have a lack of access to viewing equipment, or are simply taking up too much space in peoples homes. Having little experience with 16mm film editing, I began to delve into an exploration of films where I was unsure of what I was seeking - contextually, creatively and technically. Perhaps it is an attempt to rejuvenate potentially forgotten pictures, or maybe I am seeking new images through others’ experiences. How did you select the film fragments? What criteria have you used? I didn’t begin with any criteria, sure there was footage I was attracted to, but I had to find out what I needed through viewing. The fragments being collected were of themes that began forming with others, through a process of accumulation. Water elements are always recurring in my work and are always mysterious to me. Water environments are places we share some sense of understanding with, yet as an impossible existence for us, remain unfamiliar.


A still from Wind Up Bird


Not being able to relate to such footage like fishing in the 1940’s or professional water sports, I have been trying to engage with previous relations to water environments. Making a collage with film is like breaking down research and translating it into a particular understanding. I had viewed a lot of footage before I could find any purpose. What's the future of found-footage art in your opinion? What will be the influence of platforms like vimeo and youtube? People have been utilising existing images since the early 1900’s, and I think people will continue to use found footage. Whether or not it’s through digital or analogue mediums, platforms like vimeo and youtube can provide a plethora of visual material that will be accessible in different ways. Perhaps these mediums will help to create new ways of working with found media. From the first time we watched€Wind Up Bird, your filmmaking and editing style reminded us of Bruce Conner's films. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? My influences are quite broad and stem from many things like meeting people, the biologist Jakob Von Uexküll, Composer Nico Muhly, my family; my grandma probably plays a big part. I have been intrigued by Directors such as Michael Haneke and Věra Chytilová, and some artists I like are Carolyn Jansson, Halim Al Karim, Esther Teichmann, Jessica Eaton, Pipilotti Rist and Aki Inomata. We have found really stimulating the€soundscape€of your work realized by€Alexandra.€€Alexandra, could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? A: My artistic process is very intuitive; often I am inspired by a single sound source and will begin by processing this sound in various ways, experimenting to see where one sound can lead. I am€interested in€the relationship between humans and their sonic environments, in the notion of geographical identity, the ways in which€sounds can shape identity and place, and the various meanings & feelings that sound can communicate. I find sound fascinating and am constantly listening out for everyday ‘noises’ that might pique my interest. I make field recordings and use these, in combination with compositional

A still from Wind Up Bird

ideas, as my main sound material. Perhaps this is also why Katrina and I work so well together, as we both like working with ‘found’ materials. € Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Katrina and Alexandra. What's next for you? Have you a particular collaboration in mind ? A: Right now we’re working on another audio/video piece, I can say that the sound is inspired by the soundscapes of our cities, and is composed€solely of sounds from the electro-


magnetic spectra of Vancouver. Using these sounds of irregular origin, it connects us both sonically and viscerally to the soundscape we never knew we had, to the technological and communication networks of our cities, thus connecting us to each other and to the world. In part it feels a bit like a three-way collaboration, with Katrina, myself and with the city. K: Alex presented me with a sound piece that sounds quite mechanistic, it flows and ebbs and interprets a growth of electromagnetic signals. Having listened to this piece for the past couple of months, I began to respond to it

by shooting some hand held visuals. Using a range of footage I shot on a recent trip to Athens, the film is beginning to take form in exploring notions of the ‘underground’ of city environments. This project is being tendered to as we speak, and I think is going to be very different from Wind Up Bird in terms of idea, form and aesthetic.


A still from Orgasmatique, Dramatique, Horror


Melissa Bruno A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro

2014

"A critique on the use of the female face in popular body genres such as melodrama, pornography and horror, in order to convey emotion. This film directly questions whether the viewer can understand meaning once context is removed."


An interview with

Melissa Bruno Melissa Bruno disassembles the forms of Hollywood cinema and uses their flimsy structures to rebuild a separate world where identity is transitory. In Wondering, a highly original 16mm short film, drama is stripped down to its essential elements to introduce space, gaps and temps mort, in which the viewer project his own emotions. Melissa's films are unique in that they deliberately announce themselves as artifice, and yet they achieve an usually intense psychological realism. Indeed, it would be interesting to compare her films to the cinema of Chantal Akerman. Melissa, How did you get started in filmmaking?

As a teenager, I was in love with writing but more drawn to poetry than anything in longer form. I also experimented with photography and I realized that film was the perfect marriage of writing and photography. I think my films have evolved to match my original interests- in particular poetry. Breaking the rules of convention and creating an original style of filmmaking. We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for Wondering?

I created Wondering during my last year of art school and it was inspired by the film, Last Year at Marienbad in class. I loved the ambiguity of the film, which focused more on mood than telling a cohesive story. I wanted to emulate that and tell a story about escapism. Melissa Bruno Wondering has a sensual, grainy black and white cinematography. Could you describe your experience working with 16mm film?

In school, even though we had the freedom to use whatever medium we wanted, I chose to film as much as possible, knowing that my opportunities after graduation would be limited. We shot the film on an Arriflex BL and I had a small crew of 4 people (including

myself). There is actually footage of me slating my shots, then putting the slate away and acting in the scene. I loved the experience of shooting on film; however, the costs and additional resources definitely place a burden on the filmmaker and I have since embraced


the emergence of digital video and the freedom it provides. Your art is rich of reference: we have previously quoted Chantal Akerman, however the visual style of Wondering reminds us of Agnes Varda and Jean Luc

Godard's early films. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

I love Agnes Varda's films and actually only recently discovered her work. What draws me most to her early films is unlike Jean Luc


A still from Orgasmatique, Dramatique, Horror


A still from Around A Statue


A still from Orgasmatique, Dramatique, Horror

Godard, I find Varda's films have a more ernest feel to them, rather than trying to be irreverent. Her approach feels more feminine and therefore inviting to someone like me- a female viewer. I am drawn to relationships, emotions and sexuality, specifically female desire. I admire how female desire is represented in Catherine Breillat's and Claire Denis' films- very bold and intelligent.

In your video work Orgasmatique, Dramatique, Horror you explore popular body genres. Besides the ironic counterpoint, this work work reveals a playful yet utterly subversive sensibility. Could you introduce our readers to this video?

The concept for Orgasmatique came from an article written by film theorist Linda Williams, in which she discusses at length body genres: pornography, melodrama, horror, etc. The


intention of these films is to make the audience react bodily to the characters on screen. Dispersed throughout the article were several images from these genres, mainly of women's face. As I read the article, I was fixated on these images and if I didn't have the captions beneath identifying the type of film I would have thought they were all from the same body genre. So, I decided to conduct an experiment utilizing performance art. In the film, I lay on a

bed in front of the camera and in each instance, I mimic facially the following body genres: pornography, melodrama and horror, focusing on the moment of full bodily release (the orgasm, the look for terror, mid-cry). In editing, I cut up and rearranged the images and in between placed title cards posing a question to the audience to identify the body genre. The facial gestures begin to resemble one another and then identifying the genre itself becomes impossible.


In this peculiar work context is removed, creating a estrangement effect like in Beckett's plays. It's not by chance that the first researches on this process known as Verfremdungseffekt were conducted by Sergej Ä–jzenĹĄtejn, the pioneer of modern cinema with great theatrical background. Could you comment this peculiar aspect of your work?

As a filmmaker, there is always a moment of panic when you feel that your audience may not understand your story. What I'm interested in is once context is removed for a work, how as an audience member do we resolve to enjoy the work for what it is? Or if we do attach meaning, I believe that it reveals more about the viewer than the film and I find that intriguing as opening a space for audience contribution and engagement rather than passive viewing. What draws you to a particular subject?

Film for me has always been an outlet for my emotions. If I'm going through something in my personal life, I like to use film as a way to work through my problems. My films have vague endings and this is something I try to achieve in my personal life- to not get wrapped up in forcing resolutions but to observe and let things be. Thanks for sharing your time, Melissa, we wish you all the best with your filmmaker career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind?

Thank you very much for your time. Recently, my short film Balaboosta was screened in Romania at the Simultan Festival. I am in preproduction for two films, one is a short experimental-narrative film called "My Monkey". The other is a feature film (my first!) based on a script written by my partner, Egan Reich, and it is an off-beat romantic comedy about losing faith in one's self.

A still from Orgasmatique, Dramatique, Horror


Eliott Chemana An artist's statement

In the beginning of summer 2014, Eliott Chemana travelled across Iceland where he made this short film in Single 8. The main

purpose of the film is to create an atmosphere and a story only through an image and a voice. The image is shoted in the North, and the voice is in Greek, South of Europe. The meaning is to confront both part of Europe where revolution


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 A still from Anadyomenes Topio

and crisis happened. The distorted voice can be translated from greek as follow: ‘The wind blows but does not reach me. It drives at my place, slowly fades and dies in the valley It is raining but this is tears that I feel. When the

tears and the blows of the scenary will stop, I will only be a rock rolling forever on a road without end.�


An interview with

Eliott Chemana How did you come up with the idea for Anadyomenes Topio ? Iceland is a marvellous land, full of mystery and intimate landscapes. It is also a land that is asking questions. In the summer time there is no night, no dark. The dream becomes reverie at any point of the day and your biological system slowly changes. Time does not exist anymore. ‘Anadyomenes Topio’ (‘Emerging Landscapes’ in Greek) comes from the feeling of being constantly awake but the presence of Hypnos, the personnification of sleep in Greek mythology, is still palpable. I started tu use my Single 8 camera the second day of the journey and I had only 3 rolls of films. When you use this kind of analogic material, it is the immediacy that prevails, instantaneity. The choice of Black & White came by itself, it corroborates the idea of ‘no time’ but in the same movement I wanted to come across contemporary questions which are achieved by the voice. The recurrent use of static shots marked by barely perceivable inner movements à la Bela Tarr highlight the dualism between movement and fixation, reminding us of Pierre Boulez's modernist composition explosante fixe. Could you introduce our readers to this concept characterizing Anadyomenes Topio? Movements and fixations are at the core of my work. Previously I have fragmented my first experimentation and extracted 24 stills in a very moving film, ’24 Pictures Extracted From An Unifinished Experimentation / The Mechanical Cat’ (2009). To fix the movement, to stop the process of time, of life itself. But in the same time other meanings come, other dimensions and sensations of vapors emerge. It demultiplies the images, giving them several significations. In ‘Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask – Vaporware 05’ (2013), I have added an almost fixed image of a young boy to the scrolling images in Single 8. It brings a

Eliott Chemana

kaleiodoscopic feeling emphasized by the ambient and surreal music and I continued to question this in ‘Anadyomenes Topio’. As a matter of fact, Boulez based himself on a sentence by french surrealist André Breton. The full title of the piece of music is ‘…explosante – fixe…’ I think what is important here are the three points, beyond the two words. It is not an end by itself, something came before, and it will continue but in a different way: it is a multiplication unfixed, a moment in which everything comes at once and where all the datas are expanding whereas they come from the same source. A great contemporary japanese photographer, Naoya Hatakeyama, made photographies of dynamited grounds. He instantized explosions in his own land after the earthquake of 2011. Although it is a different subject, I am following in ‘Anadyomenes Topio’ these ‘funeral tributes’ as ‘…explosante – fixe…’ is reminiscent of. Your art is rich of references. We have previously quoted T.S.Eliot, referring to the mythopoetical method of his poems, however your visual imagery seems to be closer to Sergei Paradjanov's rarefied atmospheres and Bela Tarr's black and white cinematography. Can you tell us your


A still from Around A Statue

biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

linked to the ephemeral qualitities of this rare format today?

My influences are multiples, from cinema to music, from photography to architecture. I am mostly influenced by films and filmmakers that develop a contradiction between their style and their subject: ‘Ordet’ (1955) by C.T. Dreyer is one of them. It is a fairytale that is absolutely believable. Mystic but still implanted into a reality by a critic of mysticsm. This is what I try to achieve. To question your own images, to have the right distance to them is the most important. In ‘Anadyomenes Topio’ I confront both North and South of Europe where economic crisis happened. The viewer has to feel something and the questions come through the voice.

It is not the first time that I use this format. Previously I made two others films with it. For ‘Anadyomenes Topio’ I wanted to shoot landscapes in Black & White in order to have the sensation of a constant yet vulnerable geography. There is no particular reason linked to the ephemeral qualitities. This is simply a wonderful medium. Further on, when you shoot in Single 8, you do not have any immediate return. Technicaly speaking the viewfinder is so small that you hardly see what you capture. It is like filming almost blind. The frame cannot be perfect and the image develops a centrifugal force. I had to wait to come back, to develop and scan the reels. This process takes approximatively 1 month. During this time you cannot really feel completely what you have made yet. You rediscover later what you have been filming, you travel again in a different way and start rethinking your

For Anadyomenes Topio you have chosen Single 8 film as shooting format: why have you used this peculiar footage for your project? There is a particular reason


A still from Around A Statue


A still from Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask - Vaporware 05

film. It is a strange process in a digital world but a very exciting one. Your collaboration with Cedric Elisabeth has been fundamental for the birth of this work: could you describe this experience? Cedric contacted me after having seen my film

‘De Kaars’ (‘The Candle’, 2011) that I made with a part of Bela Batok’s ‘The Miraculous Mandarin’. He is french and based in Copenhagen. I have been very impressed by his compositions and talked to him about an experimental film I was about to make in Iceland. After many mails and exchanges we agreed on working with a


greek voice (it is him who is speaking) to add a southern mythology to the northern mythological landscapes. His voice is distorted but by the end it becomes almost human, like a cry, an echo in a deserted landscape. Working with him was a great experience. How did you get started in filmmaking?

I knew quite early that I would make films, especially because of ‘Le Trou’ (1960) directed by Jacques Becker that I saw at a very young age. I got my fist camera at the age of 14, when my sister Noémie was born. She was my first subject to film, alongside other small films I made with friends. Later I studied Cinema in high school where I made a few exercises. After


University and during a year in Montreal, I took a camera and filmed my environment. The outside in and the inside out. Experimental films are important to express and develop your own handwriting. A lot of films are experimental, even those we don’t necessarily think of because they are presumed from another ‘genre’. It should not be the genre that has to define the form but the form that should define the genre. You have formal training, and you have studied Cinema and Aesthetics of Arts in Paris Sorbonne: how much training has influenced your art vision? I studied in Paris III Sorbonne-Nouvelle and specialized into aesthetic and psychoanalysis of arts. Psychoanalyst Murielle Gagnebin helped me to discover a new way of approching filmmaking by analyzing concrete situations in films and paintings based on theories of psychoanalysis, and at the same time using your imagination. The training has been mostly theoretical but the practice was never far. It brought me a clear vision and multiple ways to answer the question ‘what is a film ?’. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Eliott. What's next for Eliott Chemana? Are there any film projects on the horizon? I am working on a short film entitled ‘Algonquine’ that I wrote a few years ago and I think it is a time to finally make it. I will also use Single 8 in some parts. Parrallel to that I develop 2 full-lenghts films, one has the working title ‘Spring Garden’ and the other one is a free adaption of a Montesquieu novel. One is an intimist hitchockian drama and the other is a fantasy about humanity. If you ask me the link between both I would say that intimacy and the universal are strongly connected. Thanks. A still from The Mechanical Cat


A still from Born In Middle East


Arezou Zibaei Hear my voice, I'm here in the heart of Middle East. In the arms of Persian Gulf to Mediterranean In Countries which are humankind civilization desire, The desire of premier written rules, I'm here, among the oil rich countries, Oil, the wealth which became fire in the life of Middle East people, I'm here in the countries which life of nobody is worth same as his western equivalent, Yes I'm here, With worried eyes, I don't want war, Also the fear of war, Hear my voice. Arezou Zibaei was born 1979 in Tehran , Iran . She studied Graphic in shariati University and Painting in Azad university Art & Architectur, she works A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey with Bro different mediums and materials 2014 , such as Painting, Video Art ,Illustration,... she has been more focused on human and social issues. She has participated in several International Festival, Group and solo Exhibitions ,she has member of video artist group in Iran.


An interview with

Arezou Zibaei Arezou Zibaei's work reveals a stunning effort to combine poetry and surreal atmospheres through a refined cinematography. The mythopoetical quality of his short film Born In Middle East remimd us of the poems by T.S.Eliot as well as the early works by Bruce Conner. We are glad to present Arezou's cinema for this special Videofocus Edition. Arezou, how did you get started in filmmaking?

I am a painter and more familiar with roles and colors than cinema, but sometimes, some ideas and words need soul, movement, sound and life. They want to penetrate in the moments of audience beyond the canvas and brush. They want to keep the audience and do miracles for them; I believe more than any other art, this is possible in cinema. The magic of cinema is undeniable and it is a powerful influencing tool! We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for Born In Middle East? Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this project?

… This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man’s hand Under the twinkle of a fading star Is it like this In death's other kingdom Waking alone At the hour when we are … “Born in Middle East”, raised in the land which is depicted in Eliot's poetry. Amidst the lives of children and women who don't image a bright future for themselves. Among people

Arezou Zibaei

who wish to have a better day tomorrow. From the middle of terrible political games and cheering of the United Nations and human rights and people lacking these rights in those countries. Image of "Born in Middle East" began when I found out about my people's strange obsession about daily news, melancholic obsession. Sometimes they watch the news more than 10 times a day and adjust their lives with it and more tragic than that, I found out there was a big fear behind this obsession! But the image that caused was birth this video more than anything was news about an 8-yearold Suri boy embracing a gun the same size as his body, so old overnight if he had never known childhood. We have been deeply impressed with your film "unfinished": from the first time we watched it, its cinematography reminded us of Raul Ruiz's films. Can you introduce our readers to this peculiar work marked by a performative approach?

“Unfinished”, sneaks in the loneliness of all the women who lose themselves and their demands behind the life routines.


A still from Born In Middle East

To picture such a woman I have displayed a truth beyond the truth using edit, a woman who cleanses herself. I believe what Michael Gould said that if the image appears to be very heavy for a sane mind then it cannot be rejected it comes from the unconscious to the conscious. In "unfinished" your use of color is not merely aimed at achieving extremely refined composition: your cinematography seems to be deeply influenced by the emotional potential of color: could you better explain this aspect of your shooting style?

In "Unfinished" a part of the impact and transition of feeling of the image is through the colors, I tried to create the desired atmosphere this way, a sad lonely atmosphere full of boredom and grief.

I think the sensory relationship between color and movie is a significant close relationship, As Eisenstein said: Psychological interpretation of color is very difficult and sensitive but colors help the director to transfer more feelings to the viewer. In addition to the visual appeal of color it also tries to express the meaning of the movie. I believe one of the best instances we can present about this issue is the movie of "Saving Private Ryan" by Ridley Scott in which changing the color palette of the movie expresses the feeling of different scenes. This movie shows a clever use of color. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project?

I am involved in my concerns without initially thinking about how to express the idea. I develop the idea, expand and prune it again,


A still from Born In Middle East Element : Archetype


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014


A still from Born In Middle East

whatever the result is I will find the suitable materials for it. If cinema is the best choice, I'll try to make the best out of the features and capabilities that are available to me although I might not get 100% result from my efforts due to financial issues and facilities of profession, but I won't stop working. We find that your art is rich of references: we have previously mentioned the Chilean director Raul Ruiz. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

As you have already mentioned the influence of literature, especially in poetry is evident in my work, it is not only included in my video

arts but also understandable in my paintings. Creation of spaces that understand the philosophy of man, society and life! The best examples of a poem that inspire me with this space belong to Ahmad Shamloo, Iranian poet and TS Eliot, the greatest critic of twentieth century in the English-speaking world. But in cinema more than Raúl Ruiz, perhaps Luis Buñuel's special montages and absurd scenes attract me. He makes a miraculous poem of a bare truth, according to Roman Gubern. Just like Andre Breton, Buñuel knows what is admirable in fantasy is that there is no fantasy, everything is real, that’s why his surrealism is all-powerful and capable; of course in the


A still from Born In Middle East

process of my work I certainly will not adhere to any particular style or method. The definite way is to find the best way to express the ideas. 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?

Visualizing imagination in cinema, specially a dynamic and live visual, is very glamorous. In creation of a piece, there is always a hidden tension between the theme and the artist, the feeling of artist's victory means his view and personality in the theme or expressing the topic in a personal way is very pleasant, but

what makes me satisfied most of all, is making a connection between the piece and the audience. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Arezou. What's next for Arezou Zibaei? Are there any film projects on the horizon?

I also thank you for trying to introduce and promote the art of video art. At present I have two projects in the storyboard stage in both of which my concerns remain on social, cultural and human issues! and I will soon open one of them, but unfortunately due to lack of sponsorship and funding shortages, usually the process is very slow. But I hope the result is satisfactory.


An artist's statement

Keary Rosen and Kelly Oliver create video work that explores the conjunction between language

and imagery. In each piece, the audio portion was written and performed by Keary Rosen and then set to video shot and edited by Kelly Oliver. They have exhibited their work both


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 A still from Anadyomenes Topio image from Second Firing

nationally and internationally in such venues as The New York Underground Film Festival, Art Basel, The Liverpool Biennial, Off-Loop Barcelona Video Art Festival, GloguaAIR Berlin,

Carnegie Museum of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.


An interview with

Kelly Oliver and Keary Rosen Kelly Oliver and Keary Rosen's video collaborations explore the blurry boundaries between imagery and language. Their works have been exhibited in international venues such as The Liverpool Biennial and Art Basel. We are pleased to present their video€Second Firing€for this special Videofocus Edition. Kelly and Keary, could you tell us if there was a particular episode or subject that inspired the creation of this work? KO & KR: We would both like to thank you for this opportunity to offer some insight into our work and process. KR: When I’m working on this type of piece, I’m usually pretty tuned into what’s occurring around me. I take queues from snippets of conversations, movies, and radio programs. I also start to pay very close attention to whatever I happen to be reading. KO: Our processes are pretty similar in that we both begin by collecting bits and pieces of things that appeal to us, or that intrigue or stimulate us. I carry my cameras around (both 16mm and digital) and record a lot of footage. When Keary gives me his writing or audio recording, I then have a clearer sense of what kind subject matter I should be looking for. In Second Firing, I was really inspired by The Cowtown Rodeo and Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show. From a visual perspective,€we find your juxtaposition of the fixed or static and the sequences rich in inner movement to be really interesting. We recognize a trace of Futurism in your art: for example, the horse scene in the ending reminds us of Umberto Boccioni's studies on the nature of movement- a filmic depiction of light, movement and speed. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of€your work? KO: It is very much about pacing, rhythm, and balance. I’m being sensitive to the

image from Second Firing

structure and content of Keary’s audio performance as well as the visual composition I’m constructing. In the end, I want the viewer to have moments when they are engaged by the visual aspects of the work and moments where they are able to concentrate on the audio.


I do think about the nature of movement when I work. Adding a second layer of animation to the horse is more tied to my desire to visually underscore some specific element of a scene then it is about referencing anything external. I like the comparison you’ve made. I’ll take that as a compliment!

We want to know more about your collaborative process?€Do you work separately for a little while, and then come together or work together from beginning to end? KR: We work very independently. I begin


Captions image from Second Firing


A still from Around A Statue


image from Second Firing

writing/composing and when I get to the point where I have a fairly solid rough draft, I send Kelly a copy. She then interprets my work and begins to cull out the elements that speak to her or have visual thematic potential. This is when she begins to collect footage. After I’ve finished my recording, she has the voice and pace to consider. I don’t get to see the work until she’s finished. KO: Yes, I don’t interfere with his process or modify his work and he stays away and doesn’t influence me when I construct the final work. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? KR: The thing I enjoy the most about my contribution to our work is writing. I allow

myself a lot of freedom in how a work of writing takes shape. I consider it a form of play. KO: It’s the editing process for me. We have previously cited Umberto Boccioni and the Italian Futurist movement. Can you tell us your biggest influences and how they have affected your work? KO: Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and Chris Marker had a big impact on me when I first began working with film. To me, they represent the truly alternative potential of film. KR: There are many sculptors, installation artists, painters, writers, musicians, filmmakers and actors that have profoundly influenced my work in many different ways. My influences


image from Second Firing

change a lot as I develop too. I’ll mention just a few that I continue to go back to.

film. It led me to explore and fall in love with science and science fiction.

I love The Marx Brothers films because of their absurdist humor (especially A Night at the Opera and Duck Soup).

Keary, you are a multidisciplinary artist: in what manner does your work as photographer and sculptor influences your writing?

I’m a huge fan of the work of Mel Blanc. He was a pioneering voice actor with incredible range. I really admire the work of contemporary sculptor Ron Mueck. I appreciate his attention to detail and his exploration of scale. His work makes me think about how fragile or vulnerable we can be. Finally, I have to mention the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. I love everything about this

KR: All of my work is connected. One idea or investigation leads to the next. The experiences or research I conduct while creating a written work might influence a drawing series. A sculpture might inspire a performance. There’s always overlap. The audiotrack composed by Keary has a huge importance in your works. The use of audiotrack doesn’t seem diegetic, but rather, sometimes tends to sabotage the


image from Second Firing

visual. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your work? KR: My goal is to create a spoken word recording that I’m proud of. If there are any points of conflict between the imagery and the audiotrack, it is because Kelly decided to create them. Her process is much more complex then mine. She weaves my voice, structure and content into her own vision. Personally, I really enjoy the discordant moments. How has your video production process changed over the years? KO: Technically, I have gone from working strictly with film to combining 16mm film and video. In some of my more recent pieces I’ve worked frame by frame on sections of the

video to create a more painterly quality to the images. Content wise, I try to stay open to whatever inspires me on a project to project basis. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Kelly and Keary. What's next for you? Are there any film projects on the horizon? KR: We’re working on a new piece right now. It’s an experimental absurdist short about death titled Still. I’m just about to go into the studio to make an audio recording and Kelly has been collecting a lot of interesting footage.


image from Second Firing


Flora Bradwell An artist's statement Take away my make up and underneath is merely not Buffo. An absence. A vacancy Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter The desire to playfully rub the fantastical up against the everyday drives Flora Bradwell’s practice. Over the last five year’s Flora has been populating illusory worlds, appropriating snippets of history, visual traditions and fragments of narrative in order inform the impossible characters she describes. This magpie approach to research is mirrored in Flora’s multi-strained

methods of connecting her world with that of her audience through painting, installation, interaction and moving artist image. Within Flora’s fictional realm the notions of façade and performance play a central role. In her paintings Flora’s brilliantly coloured and patterned players distort themselves for their audience, showing off their luxurious paint and vibrant palette. The heightened colour and textured surface mirror the exhibition of display and theatricality associated with the show. Beneath the gaudy exterior peer sharp eyes that appear


A still from BOZO (The Clown Who Ran Away) Feat. The Lordwarfs

to belong somewhere else. This dichotomy between the unnervingly vibrant world of the painting and realism of the character’s eyes creates a disturbing tension in each piece. Does the mask of the painting conceal, trap or liberate the person who is standing behind it?

existence to preserve the Cluens for posterity.

Bella Lordwarf is an extension of this obsession with facade and concealment. Bella is one of Flora's paintings brought to life. A bulbous and distorted mask is all that separates the artist from her projected and fictional other-self. Initially Bella was The theatre and circus have been an integral created to act as a living mouthpiece, context in which to explore notions of someone who could chronicle andI: translate still from Through the oceans of space and time Hey Bro pretence and performance. Flora'sAresearch the fictional worlds, a figure who stood at Edinburgh Festival and at numerous 2014 across the threshold. However Bella's role circuses and stage doors provided the has now surpassed that of mere translator inspiration to create her own distorted and and she yearns to be centre stage. Still a discoloured circus dynasty of her own. The historian of the celebrated Cluen Family by Cluen Dynasty was born – a family of day, Bella is the front-woman of a power performers whose exploits were chronicled disco girl group: Bella & The Lordwarfs by in The Cluen Dynasty: A Brief History, night written by Flora's alter-ego Bella Lordwarf. A family tree, several long lost heirlooms Flora Bradwell and a series of family portraits emerged and before long an entire museum sprung into


An interview with

Flora Bradwell Flora Bradwell stresses the dark bizarre aspects of life and tries to explore them through visual imagery. It would be hard to find anyone else who creates images in such a complex and refined form as she does in her film and paintings. Her Fellinesque imagery combines incantatory images with pop-cultural references.We are glad to present her work for this Videofocus Edition. Flora, how did you get started in filmmaking? I am a painter and have been creating my own fictional worlds in paint for the last six years. I was working on a series about a troupe of trapeze artists whose careers had come to an end and wondered London's borough of Harringey in their circus costumes eating fried chicken and waiting for their laundry to dry. I needed to find a sequential way of telling their story and film seemed the best medium. In the end the short I made RIGHTING was a massive departure from the Imfamous Pyramid Gang I had been painting, but the film won Best Short at Reel Islington Film Festival in 2012 and went on to be screened internationally so I got a taste for it. Can you introduce our readers to your film Ladies premiered at the London Short Film Festival? Ladies follows Mads and Fi as they gossip in the Ladies' toilets of a night club. They enter into a joyfully vitriolic character assassination of their friend Amy. Though deeply cruel I feel quite loving towards the characters. We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for Ladies? It's really just about that glorious experience of having an indulgent bitch with a friend in a toilet. I've spent many a gleeful hour with friends dissecting what's going on in the pub or club from the view of the Ladies' loo and it is always immense fun. I suppose facade and concealment are also key themes in my

Flora Bradwell (photo by Alix Taylor)

practice and I see Ladies as a small peek underneath at least one layer of our daily mask. Your video Bella Lordwarf [BOZO: The Clown Who Ran Away] reveals a kaleidoscope-style, very far from the atmosphere of Ladies. Since the first scenes, the viewer enters into a dreamy filmic mystery. We have been impressed by your palette marked by the use of primary striking colors: how did you develop your stunning visual imagery? BOZO is really my paintings come to life. I started using a heightened palette in early paintings of club scenes to reflect the artificial lighting and hyped up atmosphere. The themes of posturing for the crowd led to me portraying the vibrant grubby world of circus. The bright stock colours of vintage circus posters have been a constant source of reference in my paintings and seeped into the film. The shapes and colours also reflect the bawdy patterns of the circus, you can see the deconstructed harlequin diamonds and the ever-changing circle of the spotlight. Your alter-ego Bella Lordwarf assumes a fundamental role in your art practice.


A still from BOZO (The Clown Who Ran Away) Feat. The Lordwarfs

Could you explore this peculiar aspect of you art? Bella Lordwarf exists as an extension of my obsession with facade and concealment. She is one of my paintings brought to life. A bulbous and distorted mask is all that separates the artist from her projected and fictional otherself. Initially Bella was created to act as a living mouthpiece for my fictional worlds, a bit of a liminal figure. However Bella's role has now surpassed that of translator and she yearns to be centre stage. Having an alter-ego can be incredibly liberating, I indulge Bella in an awful lot and if I have a craving to play out naff fantasies or enter an experiment that could fail catastrophically, having Bella's mask will often embolden me. The Cult of Bella is definitely rising. You are a multidisciplinary artist: in what manner does your work as painter influence your cinema? My painting practice and film practice are inescapably linked. The fantastical and narrative drive of my painting pushed me into making films. Now the experience of making

the films is informing my painting. The cut-out quality of green-screen used in BOZO is seeping through to a new series of Bella Lordwarf self portraits. Your art is rich in references. We have previously mentioned the Italian director Federico Fellini, since your imagery reminds us of his obsessions with the circus, spiritual redemption and societal decadence. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? I love the carnivalesque absurdity in the work of David Lynch, the wit, strength and joyfulness of Angela Carter's books. The visceral physicality of Francis Bacon's paintings always has the power to wind me. And I am definitely drawn to the strange other world-ness found in works by artists like Paula Rego and Max Beckmann . These and about a million more reference points are especially appealing as they offer alternate realities that are comparable to our own, but off-kilter somehow. I think these thresholds into strange worlds open up the possibility of play, which I find completely enticing, even if it can be very dark.


A still A still from from Callisto BOZO (The Clown Who Ran Away) Feat. The Lordwarfs


A still from Around A Statue


A still from BOZO (The Clown Who Ran Away) Feat. The Lordwarfs

Thanks for sharing your time, Flora, we wish you all the best with your filmmaker and artist career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind? Bella and the Lordwarfs are working on their second single: I Am Bella Hear Me Roar. The video explores themes of identity and

empowerment and also celebrates Bella's calves of thunder. All going well filming will be in February and post-production in March, so this grime inspired dance track should be with you soon...


Julius Brown I write custom software to create large scale ambient visual images. I project these visuals on walls to create immersive environments. My work is defined by very slowly changing imagery intended to help promote a state of non-directed awareness in the viewer. While working in a technology medium, I strive to achieve a soft organic look in my work. Tokyo Subway was originally shown at the Toride Japan International Video Projection Contest 2014. This piece was projected in the Toride train station on a specially built wall in a passageway within the station. Tokyo Subway is designed to increase calmness in a busy space, while simultaneously conveying the inherent busy nature of the space.


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014

Studio Time


An interview with

Julius Brown Julius Brown is a video artist: it would be hard to find anyone else who creates images in such a complex and refined form as he does in his film installations. Light and film are combined in such a dynamic way that it is as if they are in motion, and their perception is in motion. In his hands, the camera became a contemplative instrument. We are glad to present his work Tokyo Subway for this Videofocus edition. Julius, could you introduce our readers to this film? Hello and thank you for the kind introduction! Tokyo Subway is one of a series of works which I term "ambient light paintings". I started writing software to create these abstract paintings about five years ago and have been continually extending and refining the process. I make camera images to create color palettes and forms and execute the software to produce the ambient motion. For quite some time we increasingly live in a world of rapid fire images. My work is consciously an alternative to this barrage of the senses. I invite the viewer to slow down. The goal is to create a heightened state of non-directed awareness for the viewer. We find stimulating the site-specific nature of your video installation. We want to take a closer look at the genesis of Tokyo Subway: how did you come up with the idea for this work? Earlier last year I learned of an international call for video projection artists in Toride Japan. While I had a few works completed that I considered of a quality worthy of entry, I wanted to create something new for the space. The work was to be presented in a passageway at the train station in Toride. Having not personally been in the station, I visualized commuters passing by the space.

Julius Brown

My idea with Tokyo Subway was to make a work that would bring about calmness in a busy space, while simultaneously conveying the inherent busy nature of the space. I called it Tokyo Subway because not as many people outside Japan know of Toride. Finally I knew that people walking past the installation may only view the work for a few seconds as they pass by. As the colors and forms shift, the commuter may see a completely different image each time they pass thereby creating a subtle impression over multiple viewings. We appreciate your use of geometric patterns and primary colors. How did you develop your visual imagery? I have written from scratch a set of customized software algorithms with the specific intent of generating ambient quality moving images. My process is what would generally be considered arcane. I am not highly proficient when it comes to traditional photo and video editing tools so instead I've created my own process. Much of what I do is type commands into text files, visualizing the piece and then using a language interface to realize the final work. Also a while back I built a wall of lights in my studio and spent a couple years creating a


Columns Of Light

catalog of still images via long exposures onto 35mm film. Quite a bit of the form and color in my current work comes from these images. The camera images are fed as input into the software and I use layering techniques to create additional forms and movement. I really try to find organic looking movement and will revise the script as many times as necessary to achieve that effect. Finally there is some magic involved. I have discovered many tricks and unique processes over time. I initially discovered the visual space of Tokyo Subway by failing to remove a line of redundant code from a script. Once I realized what had happened I then worked in a new direction to achieve the final result that you see.

Behind the sensation of calmness that Tokyo Subway conveys, we can explore a huge realization process which is all but na誰ve: what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? How long does it usually take to finish a piece? My area of study in school was Computer Science and I have previously worked professionally as a freelance software designer. With that background many of the skills and techniques I employ in my art were learned in a much different setting. But there was always crossover as I consider software design an art in itself. When I was studying at university one of my projects was developing a machine code interpreter, basically a software program that read and executed strings of hexadecimal


Element : Archetype


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014


A still from Tokyo Subway

numbers. My current software is in fact largely patterned off that experience. As for time it takes to complete a work, that depends. On average I probably iterate a piece 20 to 30 times usually over the course of a week or two. All of my video work is rendered frame by frame to create short movies and that part takes a few days to a couple weeks depending on the complexity of the piece. I usually am working on a few paintings at any given time. In the end I try to make a beautiful piece of art and have the focus be on that and not the technology. Let’s speak about influences. Have any videoartists from the older generation inspired you? Two big influences for me are Nam June Paik and Gary Hill. I was fortunate several years ago

to visit separate retrospective exhibits of both of these artists. I really respected and admired the variety and quality of work presented in both shows. In general I am interested in installation work containing film or video more than singlechannel presentations. To me these are two artists who are at the top of the field and seeing what they have achieved inspires me in my own work. In Tokyo Subway the image finds a particular state of grace when it moves closer to the rhyming structure of minimalist music: could you introduce our readers to the multidisciplinarity of your art research? I have researched the intersection of music and


show. It was really during that time that I developed the intrinsic ability to impress the realization that the visuals are "going to" the music. I've employed these techniques ever since. Back then my style was much more what I think of as "rock and roll" visuals. Now I have embraced my "slow art" ambient style and so I pair the visuals with similar downtempo and chill music. Thanks for sharing your time, Julius, we wish you all the best with your digital artist career. What's next for Julius Brown? Have you a particular video in mind? This is looking to be an exciting and productive year for me. I have extended my software to extract high resolution still frame patterns which are being printed onto fabrics. It is a new direction for me but one that has been very well received and highly encouraged by visitors to my studio. Also I have just started a year long installation project called The Image Maze. I am developing this work at my studio and will be presenting it at a series of open studio events throughout the year.

images for quite some time now. First off I have always had a huge appreciation of music. I became interested in visual music around the time the Commodore Amiga computer was introduced. I read about the color and graphics capabilities of the machine and went out that week and bought one of the first units off the assembly line. About a year later I moved to northern California to work on a sound responsive visual music hardware/software product called the Mindlight. It was quite a cult phenomenon at the time! Later I worked for a few years doing live performance visuals with the trance rock Seattle based band Diamond Fist Werny. I would prepare visual samples and mix them live with a couple computers set up at the

The work features several of my light paintings projected onto various materials arranged to create pathways. The viewer is welcome to wander and perhaps become lost in this contemplative space. I will be incorporating new light paintings as the year goes by as well as making updates to the space configuration for each opening. My goal by spending a full year on this project is to create something bigger. I hope anyone reading this has the opportunity to experience The Image Maze in person. That is it for now, thank you for this opportunity to showcase my work! Tokyo Subway is viewable at vimeo.com/juliusbrown/tokyosubway. I also invite anyone who is interested to visit my website www.juliusbrown.tv or like my page at facebook.com/juliusbrownart.


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014

Fabian Heitzhausen An artist's statement

"I'm Game" is a videocollage composed from a slick videogame world, neat intior design and talking furniture. These aesthetic phenomena ease into each other effortlessly and they even

appear to enjoy it. Only the ensouled objects seem to wonder where they are. Because if all things are animisticly animated in course of the digital, wouldn't they ask what the fuck is going on.


An interview with

Fabian Heitzhausen From the first time we watched I'm Game we were impressed by your use of videocollage technique: your work reveals a remarkable balance between the analysis of specific aesthetic phenomena and a rare satirical vein. Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this video? It actually started very simply with an observation that is also mentioned in the video. I saw a butterfly and thought how strange it is that on the one hand it looks completely perfect concerning the patterns and colors of its wings, and on the other hand it flickers through the air like its broken. As if it had been animated poorly and rendered with not enough frames per second to appear smooth in its motions. I had propably spent too much time on Cinema 4D and as it always is, the things you see become polygons, textures and animated things on a timeline with a lot of keyframes. But thinking about that episode I noticed that there where interesting thoughts in that. For one it is a strange perspective on the world, as if you changed your perspective – looking from a digital point of view on the world rather than the other way around. Exactly how an artificial intelligence must think about its experiences. I thought of SIRI and all the products that are equipped with a fake personality and a semi conciousness. My second feeling was about the camera and the film image. I was wondering if the butterfly really moves like that or if the human eye is just too slow to see it properly and started looking for youtube videos of butterflies. And of course the full HD slow motion butterfly videos are perfectly crisp and the displayed motion of the wings is smooth and elegant. So actually all the youtube commenters that write stuff like "nature is just perfect, amazing" are wrong, because nature sometimes - at least as we perceive it - looks odd and poorly done. Its the camera who creates the image of perfection, our human eyes can’t capture it. Again I was confronted

Fabian Heitzhausen

with a strange shift in my perspective and felt I had to look into that. What kind of process is involved in creating the videocollage? For example, how did you select the video fragments of I'm Game? The perfect process for me is a mixture of looking and selecting. For example in the process of creating "I'm Game" I started with something completely different. I was filming a lot of vanitas inspired still lifes like fruits and flowers, as well as living things in sleek surroundings. As I connected these videofragments with the computergenerated images I made of the postmodernist architecture and furniture objects, I noticed that that wasn’t really that interesting to me. It felt closer to an opposition between life and reality versus digitality and death that seems like a very boring pseudo-normative dialectic to me - it doesn’t help an analytic understanding of either of them. So I noticed


A still from I'm Game, videocollage

while looking at the pictures I made, seeing how they were able to melt into each other, that the design objects with their strange indistinguishable materials were way more interesting. They already seem very digital. A lot of them are probably designed in a digital 3D program and look the way they do because of that. Just like contemporary architecture tends to look like it’s straight out of a digital workflow. At that point in my process I try to learn from what I did, select the things I like and start all over again. I think its crucial for me in the process to take the aesthetic markers that start to emerge very seriously, in a way that helps me to further develop the thoughts I started with. You work with various media: video, photography and text. Could you introduce our readers to the multidisciplinary nature of your art practice? I often start work without a specific medium in

mind. I’ll have a thought that keeps coming back to me that can spring from basically anything - from theoretical text, literature, an observation, to an art piece or all of the above. After that I start thinking about how to approach it and questions of medium and form appear. I'd say im basically open to anything, as long as it caters to both the phenomenon I’m interested in and the medium or discipline I’ve chosen. I think each medium has its own specific topics, its history and vocabulary and for me it’s more about using it in a way that allows you to get closer to something that‘s exciting. How did you get started in experimental cinema? I think at one point I noticed how powerful, ubiquitous and differentiated the moving image is in today’s society. At one point I remember talking to my younger brother about a Youtube video we’d just seen and


A still from I'm Game, videocollage


A still from I'm Game, videocollage

even though he has never been interested in art or any aesthetic discourse he gave me an analysis of that video so precise and perfect, I couldn't have done it myself. So I was fascinated by how deeply connected and accessible video, cinema or moving images seem to be and since I’ve always been

watching a ton of movies, it felt only natural to me to do a video piece. In I'm Game we have noticed that your use of primary colors is not merely aimed at achieving a post-pop atmosphere: your cinematography seems to be deeply


you’re definitley right about that not being the only reason. On that second part it maybe is really simple - maybe I do just go for something I’d like to see myself. And maybe that stems from a lot of hollywood movies, comic books, computer games, club culture and pop in general. So in the end I absolutely do think there is an emotional potential in color and I am mostly trying to use it to locate my work within an broad shared cultural history. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? The biggest influence was probably Manuel Graf, who is an interesting and very complex artist in my eyes. In a way he insists that what you’re doing in art can be basically everything in every form and at the same time he is very aware of the complex history of art as a specific form of discourse. But the question of influence in art is pretty difficult because it says a lot about your point of view on art itself. I’ve been working on an ongoing project since 2012 titled "in love to..." in wich I try to pay respect to and at the time criticise all those artists and theorists that influenced me in one way or the other. And that’s an ongoing list, that project is far from finished. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Fabian. What's next for Fabian Heitzhausen? Are there any video projects on the horizon?

influenced by the emotional potential of color: could you better explain this aspect of your visual style? On one hand I like to take specific aesthetics from already existing visual phenomena as a reference or a footnote. On the other hand

I am right now working on a script for a shortfilm that i'd like to shoot over the next year. It deals with various questions of mine that go way back, mostly concerning whether or not political upheaval is even possible in a world that has cultivated lifestyle on the verge of scifi. Im really looking forward to that, because until now I hadn’t found a way to approach these things. Thanks a lot for asking these questions, some of them I’d never asked myself.


David & Tara Gladden


Revolution David & Tara Gladden

Word Pieces is a current, growing, body of video compositions inspired by Dada text sound artists Kurt Schwitters, Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara, contemporary vocal artists such as Japp Blonk and Joan LaBarbara, as well as visual artists Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger who are working with text and image. Word Pieces is a modular series of short audiovisual performance compositions. Each short composition takes a word, breaks it down into its smallest parts. Rather than serving words, in Word Pieces, the voice is deconstructing and reconstructing them in new ways. Word Pieces dissects and magnifies the audiovisual and physical qualities of both voice and language, expressing them sonically, visually, and experientially. Using my single voice and digital processing, highlighting facial expression through the use of video, and incorporating physicality through action, language is torn to bits in an immersive audiovisual performance experience. Using sonic, visual and physical means, the goal is to both exhaust and exalt language so completely that we might disengage from our conditioned preconceptions of its meaning.

David & Tara Gladden

A still from „David & Tara Gladden“


An interview with

David & Tara Gladden Since the first time we have watched your works, we have been really impressed with your verbal deconstruction techniques: your experimental cinema faces a territory which is rarely explored today: just think of Carmelo Bene or Chiara Guidi's incredible effort to develop glossolalic acting methods in the last decades, respectively in cinema and theater. How did you develop your synesthetic approach to filmmaking? Our synesthetic approach is most evident in our performance video, Revolution, which is part of Word Pieces, a current, growing, body of video compositions inspired by Dada text sound artists Kurt Schwitters, Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara; contemporary vocal artists such as Japp Blonk and Joan LaBarbara; as well as visual artists Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger, who work with text and image. Word Pieces is a modular series of short audiovisual performance compositions. Each short composition takes a word and breaks it down into its smallest parts. Rather than serving words, the voice is deconstructing and reconstructing them in new ways. Word Pieces dissects and magnifies the audiovisual and physical qualities of both voice and language, expressing them sonically, visually, and experientially.

Your research focuses on the not-verbal aspects and ramifications of voice: could you introduce our readers to this peculiar aspect of your art?

Using a single voice and digital processing, we highlight facial expression through the use of video and an enhanced color palette. We incorporate physicality through action and tear words into bits. Using sonic, visual, and physical means, we both exhaust and exalt language so that we might disengage from our conditioned preconceptions of its meaning.

Tara: I was trained as a classical musician but over time I began to feel that classical music was very limiting in terms of honest expression: all of the emphasis was on beauty of tone. I became exposed to, and began to research, experimental vocal techniques, and I quickly adopted them into my practice. Instead of using only the bel canto method, I started to explore the voice


for all of its sound making capabilities. I accepted the voice as an instrument of its own; an instrument that can live apart from language. I am interested in exploring the full scope of the voice, its capacity to make any sound imaginable: beautiful, ugly and everything in-between, whether connected or disconnected from language. But furthermore, I am interested in the visual experience of voice and how the visual aspects of voice’s physicality tie into our perception of the sound. We have found that the concept of

feedback loop is fundamental in your works: why do you use this formula for your videos? Our video work reveals hidden structures through subversive means.€ With optical feedback, we turn the video camera back on itself to discover secret, self-generating worlds.€ These worlds are created within a feedback loop; a reciprocity between camera and video monitor that in the early days of television was not permitted due to fear of equipment damage.€ Broadcast television is part of that dramatic rather than poetic


A still from „David & Tara Gladden“


heritage. Our use of optical feedback is an undermining act on two fronts:€ an exposure of the television’s inner workings- its phosphor dots and electron beam, and a rejection of entertainment in favor of poetry and concept. We have selected for this year's edition of Videofocus Ylla Dreams, which is part of a project titled Transmissions. could you give our readersan overview of it? Ylla Dreams is a piece of visual music. The title, Ylla Dreams, is taken from a chapter title in Ray Bradbury’s the Martian Chronicles. Like Bradbury’s story, our film explores themes of culture collision and the intertwined nature of the exotic and the erotic. Ylla Dreams is about yearning for new experience, unspoken sympathy between cultures, telepathic communication, and lost opportunity. David performs on his EML-101 Analog Synthesizer while Tara works with her voice and electronics. The video is made using video feedback devices: a DV Camera and JVC-7000 & Sony Trinitron Video Monitors. Ylla Dreams is part of a series of visual music films called Transmissions. A vinyl record of the music from Transmissions will be pressed in early 2015. We have previously quoted Carmelo Bene and Chiara Guidi, Italian directors and actors, can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? Foremost, we are influenced by Dada, especially the text sound work of Kurt Schwitters and Huga Ball. We are also inspired by vocal artists who use extended techniques, such as Meredith Monk, Joan LaBarbara, Kathy Berberian, Jaap Blonk, and Fatima Miranda, and by experimental composers who write for the voice, such as Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, and John Cage. These artists/composers are truly interested in the full capacity of the voice for sound-making. Meredith Monk is especially concerned with the integration of voice and movement and some of our interest in representing the physicality of the voice has come from

A still from „David & Tara Gladden“

thinking about her work and participating in her workshops. Joan LaBarbara is interested in audiovisual synesthesia and the more abstract sounds the voice can make, and she has been very influential to any synesthetic approaches in our work. Jaap Blonk and the Dadaists bring absurdity and a sort of sorcery to vocal performance, and we very much appreciate this aspect of art. Like the Dadaists, we break language apart to break


up its control mechanisms. Like William Burroughs, we are deeply concerned with the way that language is an anonymous tool of social control and we are devoted to Surrealist techniques, like the cut-up method, that subvert power. We studied with Vito Acconci in Brooklyn New York, and his approaches and methods to private/public, real/mediatized, and inside/outside have been transformative to

our thought and growth as artists. You are educators too. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? We both teach at a small public university on the Eastern Shore of Maryland called Salisbury University. We get great enjoyment helping students along their own


A still from „Ylla Dreams


A still from „Ylla Dreams

path of self-expression and self-discovery. Most of our students are young and impressionable and are just finding their way. We take great pride and responsibility in sharing our knowledge, skills, ideas, and influences to the next generation of artists. We both learn and teach best through doing and we like to get our hands dirty. We find it inspiring to be part of a vibrant community

of students, teachers, and artists. Collaboration is most satisfying for us. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts. What's next for you? Have you a particular collaboration in mind ? We are working on a large-scale performance/installation project that will


incorporate various tableaus, projections, sound, lights, smell, and a guided tour. A room full of mirrors with black lights and fluorescent papers is being constructed as part of this project. The performance will be work-shopped at our shared studio/gallery/venue, which is called W.O.R.K., in Salisbury, MD. W.O.R.K. is a changing acronym, currently standing for

“Wallaby Orgy Requests Kangaroos.� After work-shopping this piece locally, we look to take it on the road in the coming year.


An artist's statement

Graduated from Concordia University with a Major in Film Animation and MFA in Studio Arts Film Production option, Guillaume Vallée is interested in radical forms of animation and analogue techniques as a way of considering the direct interaction between different mediums. His

work is an exploration of materiality within the creative process. In attempts of creating a more complex relationship with his subject matter, Vallée makes use of cross-medium forms that range from camera-less techniques to optical effects and found-footage, often resulting in surreal and chaotic imagery. Vallée is now exploring the possibilites of magnetic video tape


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 A still from Antiprism

and creates hybrid video and performative work based on the materiality of these analogue supports. As a member of Montreal's artists collective Groop Index, he's activly involved in events organization that bring forward the idea of hybridity, acting as performer, installation artist and experimental film & video director. He's the cofounder of Organes Variables collective ,

founded in 2013 with french artists Marine Vergne Figliolini & Floriane Musseau. The main goal is the diffusion of work from emergents artists from Québec and France with a quarterly publication and distribution via different platforms. Guillaume Vallée's starting a PhDÉtudes et Pratiques des Arts at UQAM in the fall 2014.


An interview with

Guillaume Vallée Crossing the boundaries of film and video, Antiprism explores the decaying state of memory through the use of analog media. From the first time we watched Guillaume Vallée's work we were impressed by the way he highlights the strong correlation between lo-fi technologies and organic material. We are glad to present Antiprism for this Videofocus Edition. Guillaume, how did you come up with the idea for this work? I’ve always been interested in the moment when a memory disappears; we are not aware of this when it happens. I wanted to work on a film which the memory becomes a physical matter and in a material state, I’d be able to create some sort of decaying state of memory by decaying the material. Along with this, I wanted to include a phenomenon called the illusion of memory, concept described in De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité by Jacques Lacan; when your mind creates a false memory and you don’t really know if it’s real or not, and you can develop a destructive obsession that takes away your psychological balance. I’ve been working for some time with foundfootage Super8 (from an unknown family film), particularly one scene where we see a woman walking on a dock. I wanted to work with repetition and create a loop with this footage. I was stuck in this cycle where I wasn’t able to see an end to the material process on the film itself. I’ve started to work with the idea of progressive destruction, where the film in the beginning is quite clean and figurative and the more the footage repeats itself, the more it becomes organically abstracted. After working for

Guillaume Vallée

some time with a JK optical printer to format everything to 16mm and to reprint the physical interventions made directly on film. I knew something was missing. I felt there was a lack of visual balance until I started working with analog video. I started experimenting with analog and decided to transfer all the footage onto a VHS tape and with the use of an old video mixer, I’ve created this unstable hybrid work where all the different original formats complement and complete each other. After this process the loop no longer felt redundant and I’ve been able to find an end to this destruction/reconstruction process. For the soundtrack, I approached a friend of mine, Charles Barabé, a talented musican whose work has a cinematic and organic feel to it. When I collaborate with artists, I think it’s important that you erase the boundaries between artistic practices and allow everybody to have complete creative freedom.


A still from Antiprism

Artists are often asked about the inspiration for their work. The influence of Al Razutis' s art on your work has been fundamental : can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? My background is in film animation, so my earliest inspiration comes from animation. My biggest influence has been the work of the Czech animator Jan Svankmajer. The way he works with the materiality of animated objects is fascinating. Unlike the majority of traditional animators who try to hide the creative mechanisms in the work, Svankmajer shows his creative process within his films and doesn’t hide the fact that we are actually watching a film. Despite his transparency in terms of his process, as an audience we are still become immersed in his surreal universe. I use a lot of found footage in my work and I am interested in the way

Svankmajer uses found objects and material for his animated films, it’s like we’re both giving new life to otherwise discard by destroying it and reinventing it in a new context. I’m really interested in cameraless filmmaking and experimental animation. I think your relationship with the materiality of a medium defines the creative process and allows you to deeply explore the medium. As experimental animator/filmmaker, I’d say my main inspirations are, just to name a few on top of my mind right now: Steven Woloshen, Peter Tcherkassky, Jürgen Reble, Stan Brakhage, Paul Sharits. All of them have different animated processes (which can be argued and not considered animation to some purist), that focus on the materiality of the medium and push the actual boundaries of it. For now, my main inspiration comes from the


A still from Antiprism


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 A still from Antiprism


A still from Antiprism

musicians and artists from the collective I’m part of, called Groop Index, who are mostly friends with who I collaborate in different audiovisual projects. There’s a strong community of talented artists in Montreal and I very happy to be able to work with them. The variety of genres and practices inspire and allow me to explore new ways of creation (Hazy Montagne Mystique & YlangYlang from the Montreal label Jeunesse Cosmique, Black Givre, Francesco de Gallo, Jane L Kasowicz, just to name a few). I love to collaborate with different artists and being inspired by them. With Groop Index, we’re an artistic family, with different art practices. It’s always good not to be alone with our creations and to be able to share and help each other in the blooming of our practice.

The correlation between lo-fi technologies and organic material is a fundamental concept of Antiprism. Could you introduce our readers to your peculiar vision of analog media? When working with analog media, as an artist, you have physical contact with your medium. You eliminate the intermediate element between your hands and your creative matter. In my work, its one of the most important parts and this is the main reason why I work with analog media. You can develop a creative and physical dialogue/relationship with the work and create something that is ‘’living’’. I use computers for editing and exporting only when I work on my own projects. As I mentioned earlier, Antiprism is a hybrid combining two different analog media, film and video (video signal & magnetic tape). I was able to develop a double creative dialogue


A still from Antiprism

with each medium. Their actual physicality is different, so I don’t manually work on them the same way. We really appreciate the materic and painterly quality of your analog footage, especially the 16mm film you have used in your work Trojan Horse of Meaning : in your hands analog film become a sort of "cinematic skin". How do you achieve this peculiar "immersive" sensation in the viewer? I’ve been doing a lot of audio-visual performances for the last 2 years. I wanted to expand my cinematic practice and collaborate with other people in a live context. Prompted by the concept of infinity and inspired by Jorge Luis Borges and his book The Book of Sand, Trojan Horse of Meaning is a collaborative audio-visual performance that explores a conceptual axis

between immersion and detachment. Beginning randomly with either amplified sound or projected visuals, both elements serendipitously come together in a psychedelic and chaotic symbiosis, in collaboration with Alain Lefebvre, a sound artist and musician based in Montreal. There’s certain flatness in my cameraless work, which I like, being a characteristic of this kind of practice. When I use this kind of footage in an expanded context, it becomes an issue. Being able to use analog video gear and create video feedback of the 16mm footage gives a depth in the moving images, some sort of lo-fi psychedelic 3D cameraless and painted footage, which gives an immersive sensation. Alain Lefebvre used contact microphones on all the projection apparatuses and uses their sounds to create a physical soundscape which reinforces the immersive state of the work.


A still from Antiprism


A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 A still from Antiprism


In Temporal Drone you explore the hidden nature of movement: we have found this video- performance a reflection on the essence itself of cinema. Could you comment this stunning experience in collaboration with Alessandra Rigano and Hazy Montagne Mystique? That was the first time I worked with Alessandra and Chi (Hazy Montagne Mystique) at the same time. When my collaborative pieces involve a dancer, I usually work with Sonya Stefan, but for this time it didn’t happen for some reasons. Alessandra Rigano has a background in classical dance. She wanted to explore outside of the boundaries of his classical and straight tradition of dance. The three of us, with the help of Catherine Debard (YlangYlang) as a scenic counsellor, we developed Temporal Drone. Using the space as a medium for the dancer and pushing the idea of minimal physicality and movement, I used her body to create video feedback of her exploring the space. That was mixed with some abstract cameraless 16mm footage taken from a 16mm projector with another video camera. For the music, Hazy Montagne Mystique, with his own psychedelic and drone style, created this heavy immersive soundtrack. The performance was a live dialogue between three artistic practices: dance, cinema & music, which each of them feeding the other. After the performance, my friend Alain Lefebvre came to me and told me it was like seeing Alice falling non-stop into the rabbit hole. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? I use to be a purist, working only on film. I realised that being a purist was blocking me in terms of expending my practice and didn’t allow me to explore other mediums. I’ve started including analog media in my performative practice and then my single channel work was transforming at the same time. I love the live aspect of creation and working mainly with intuition and impulsion, I was able to interact and transform the mediums I was working with and keep my particular relation with the materiality of the

creative matter. For my work now (and Antiprism is my pioneer work in this way) I put in place performative apparatus to create film/video hybrid work. It takes more time to setup everything than to actually create the work. For sure I can take 10 or 15 takes before being satisfied with the result. My process is always a learning and exploratory experience where I’m trying to find new ways of creating surreal and chaotic landscapes and new dialogues between myself and the mediums. As source material, I usually work with found footage on physical support (Super8, 16mm, 35mm, VHS, (…)). As mentioned earlier, I’m influenced by Jan Svankmajer’s vision on the use of old objects, using their soul and giving them a new life in a new creative context, showing at the same time the or transparency of the work (for example, showing sprockets, optical soundtrack, working frameless) to make the viewer aware he’s seeing a moving material; the best part is the fact that you can still be immersed in the work even though you’re aware of the mechanism and the creative process of the work. Thanks for sharing your time, Guillaume, we wish you all the best with your artist career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind? Thanks to the Stigmart for this great interview and for sharing my work. For now, I’ve started a research/creation PhD at l’Université du Québec à Montréal in Studies and Art Practices under the direction of David Tomas. I’ve been working for some times with multidisciplinary artist Sonya Stefan on a 16mm film and on a solo 16mm film piece called for now ‘’L’Homme Approximatif’’, inspired by Tristan Tzara’s novel. I’m working on a couple of collaborative audiovisual and multidisciplinary performance pieces with Alessandra Rigano & Hazy Montagne Mystique, a A/V duo with Alain Lefebvre and a A/V trio with Sonya Stefan & Samuel Bobony (Black Givre). With Groop Index, we have some multidisciplinary events planned and we are currently working on the development of an


A still from Antiprism

edition of O.F.N.I. festival in Montreal. O.F.N.I. is a really interesting festival happening in Poitiers, France and hosted by a collective called Nyktalop Mélodie, which includes music shows, A/V and multidisciplinary performances, film screenings, all around experimental works. We did an artist residency there last year at their 11th edition and we’ve created a multidisciplinary performance with Sonya Stefan, Jane L Kasowicz and myself. Antiprism will be part of a VHS/DVD release of four of my film/video hybrids on a small Montreal video art label called Bleu Nuit Video, owned by video artist Rob Feulner, along with music videos for Ritual Inc, A Sacred Cloud and Le Syndicat du Cauchemar Jaune, all based Montreal’s experimental music projects.

and Sonya Mladenova for their help reviewing this interview! Related links Personal website : www.gvallee.com Groop Index : www.groopindex.com Bleu Nuit Video : http://bleunuitvideo.flavors.me/ Excerpt of Trojan Horse of Meaning & Temporal Drone can be found on Groop Index’s Vimeo page : https://vimeo.com/groopindex Jeunesse Cosmique : http://jeunessecosmique.com/ La Cohu : http://www.la-cohu.blogspot.ca/ Sonya Stefan website : www.sonyastefan.com

Special thanks to my friends Mia Donovan


Rafael Garrdo “The end of a clockwork orange” Rafael Garrdo

hidden meanings, where it would contrast by his selection of background songs and music which added to its satirical and sardonic effect.

The video “The end of a clockwork orange” studies the single element of the final credits of the movie “A Clockwork Orange” directed by Stanley Kubrick from 1971. In this landmark of world cinema as well as other movies by Kubrick, was the starting and the ending credits carriers of symbolism and

Without going too much into analysis, (of which there is tons in the web), the psychological dilemma presented at the end of the movie, without spoiling it for those who have not seen it, is whether the main character is cured or not cured. From there on comes what is seen as a last


A still from The end of a clockwork orange A still from Through the oceans of space and time I: Hey Bro 2014 attempt to affect the audience, with a bright colored screen that changes between blue, red, green and purple together with Standard font and music. In the appropriated version the ending credits are altered and choreographed. The superposition of the sequence repeated and desynchronized, creates new color punching combinations, pixelated shapes from the obliterated credits along with the song “Singing in the rain” by Frank

Sinatra in a music box version which doesn’t exactly create new melodies but rather a cacophony. The aim is to absurdly exaggerate with an eerie twist and give an ominous emphasis on the dilemma created at the end of the movie, together with how the credits were shown, being it the last thing the audience would take with them home after have watched the movie. The effect of a psychological experiment, a lobotomy.


An interview with

Rafael Garrdo Rafael Garrdo's experimental cinema takes at heart Harry Smith's lesson "Film frames are hieroglyphs, even when they look like actuality. You should think of the individual frame, always as a glyph, and then you'll understand what cinema is all about". In his video “The end of a clockwork orange” he uses processes like superposition and desynchronization in order to deconstruct the final credits of Kubrick's masterpiece. Rafael, as a mixed media artist you have analyzed and rearranged Kubrick's credits in various form and perspectives. We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for “The end of a clockwork orange”? Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this project? Interesting you mention Harry Smiths quote, reminds my last year at art school I did an analysis of the Shroud of Turin, not in a video manner but with pictures found on the web. I started to zoom up into the Shrouds image, erasing its context and turning it into an abstract image, almost like a Rothko, something very metaphysical started to occur. To extract one pixel out of one very historical and relevant image, blow it up and transform it into a hieroglyph. Something like in the movie “Blow-up” by Michelangelo Antonioni from 1966. I got really interested about decontextualizing an extract of a piece, and stumble upon interesting pieces of abstract art. I mean in contrast to the movie I fantasized about the power of such images without knowing their origin, and find it by zooming out. I found it as interesting as the controversies around the Shroud itself. About the video “The end of the clockwork orange” it started right after I finished school. It was somewhat triggered by a movie still image I stumbled upon in the web where Alex stands in front of their parents and says “I’m completely reformed”, I saved it the image, did some arrangements, and thought it was potentially good, if it stood beside other works

Rafael Garrdo

thematically alike. It was not autonomous enough though, because it pointed towards two big entities that have a lot of space to explore, namely the content of the whole itself and the other being the whole Stanley Kubrick oeuvre. So little by little ideas started to gather around, video sequences, photos and sculptures sketches, works that could fit together and relate to each other. The credits came somewhere in this phase. I mean Kubricks works and sounds have I been using since way back, here and there, randomly. For instance the “Second waltz” from “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999) composed by Dmitri Shostakovich I used as a background song for opening hardcore punk shows. You used a meticulous use of montage techniques in this work: could you introduce our readers to your editing process? I don’t use a specific set of rules on my work, on the contrary. Sometimes I believe it gets too


A still from The end of a clockwork orange

divergent. It happens that the works take shape on the go as well as pauses where one has to sleep over it in order for it to yeast. I make on the other hand use of various appropriation techniques in my work altogether with some exceptions. In this case, the video went through few stages of reconfiguration, 2 or 3 I believe, and every time trying to get further out of the original, partially for legal reasons, one never knows, and secondly to push the entertaining qualities of such a dense sequence that otherwise would pass as “just” the credits. It started with the original version of “Singing in the rain” and super positioning it. Whether it was close to what I wanted, it had to go one more twist to go bananas. It was anyway clear from the beginning that the text in the credits was not the focus but a reference point. I wanted the “lobotomy” factor to be the main perceptual event of the video as well as the humor behind it all.

"frame", which can reveal itself as infinite or claustrophobic. Could you explain this important aspect of your filmmaking?

Boundaries and borders are treated in your work not according to a metaphoric vision, but a sort of metonymic approach evolving the nature itself of cinema: a rare reflection upon the concept of the space, and even about the cinematographic concept itself of

I like to think that the viewers cleverness is not to be underestimated and with that I believe I can leave basic filmic elements and information aside, as drama, dialogue and image therefore allowing the viewer to use their own psyche to complete the work. That relates somehow to

My video productions are mostly reduced sequences, abstract and minimal, in the sense that is not the kind of entertainment as frame/action/second. Zero or low budget productions is somewhat my motto. As I explained before some of my video works are meant to be part of a bigger set of works usually multimedia installations. I’m not saying that the videos cannot be apreciated independently, but one does definitely get a wider picture with the rest of the elements that my mind has put together, and in that context videos usually work as a loop to become as perpetual as the other coworks/objects, and yes, loops have the quality of becoming infinite and claustrophobic as you say, that may be because of the abstract codification elements of art video works.


A still from The end of a clockwork orange

Duchamps quote “the viewer completes the work� and I interpret it as if one gives didactically all the answers in the work then the perception is not pushed nowhere. You want to make the perceptual process the subject of his films by emphasizing the medium's material form, following a

structuralist method. At the same time, the psychological dilemma presented at the end of the movie is the starting point of your analysis: can you comment this fundamental point? Perception is the only tool that I can use, since the video is rather abstract in shape and


content and short, it has to break from its original frame and go further than the original form did, in order to offer as much “entertainment” in the most abstract way in just 3 minutes. There are two brain washings done in the movie, one is the “color punch brain wash” that Kubrick intended with the open and closing credits, as the “there will be

blood here” kind of red at the opening credits, which is kind of difficult to miss , and the second one is the one done on Alex at the hospital. I wonder how it would be like if instead of the credits it was shown the images used on Alex’s therapy. I believe one can see these set of colors in the credits as the images


A still from The end of a clockwork orange

that were shown to Alex, as colored canvases which the viewer is to fill in. I would say that the details that I decided to focus on as the credits are the least relevant cherry of the whole pie, that cherry that goes unnoticed more than often, but being Kubrick, every detail is worth of scrutiny.

Your art is rich of reference: can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? Influences is difficult to say, in this internet era I guess we’ve all become a mashed mess of influences or input that we ought to organize and dispose in the best possible way without


falling into constant serendipity. A very methodical artist that has the ability to dive into mazes of information, managing to get voluntarily lost and find back his way into his own logic and sense of things is the swedish artist Christian Andersson, I find his way of creating his own storyline and mythology based on history very amusing and clever.

Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over selftaught artists? Is hard to say, I think some people that go to art school might never find in it what selftaught artists have in them without putting one foot in the academia, and that is the verb artist.


A still from The end of a clockwork orange

Sadly enough, today much depends on the “networking” and some basic “marketing” instincts that a person has. Good academic artists might fall in the shadow, if they don’t nourish those instincts, independently of how much and good art they make, as if a selftaught artist with a cold mind/blood, could elbow its way forward.

Is ambivalent to say that one has an advantage over the other, but to put it in pragmatic terms, one advantage the selftaught artist has is not worry about paying back a study loan, while the constant discussion, questioning and argumentation around ones work and its context done in art


school is quiet enriching as well as the chance of failing over and over again and come out standing straight, for all the technical help that there is at hand. I would be anyway very thankful if I would have had some advanced technical instruction on video making together with high tech

equipment. By my own interest I did a lot of sitting in the schools media library room, watching lots of videos and movies and as consequence I started to find my way on how to work with video, and incorporate it into my palette.


A still from The end of a clockwork orange

As diplomatized as video and photography are nowadays, meaning that anybody can make something with some aesthetic quality without studying it, pure DIY and without expensive equipment. All the techniques, facts and so on are available for everybody out there on libraries or on the internet. Everything is one click away.

So there is no straight answer to this question. Thanks for sharing your time, Rafael, we wish you all the best with your artist career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind? Thank you for your initiative and interest. Thanks as well for asking this question, it


functions as a sticky note for a couple of things I have to do. I would like of course to finish and present the Kubrick works I have planned. It looks good… in theory. Then there is one collaborative work I have to edit. It is some interviews I made this summer in Ecuador, it is quite a lot of video interview material which can be tedious to work with. I have to make it

as entertaining and abstract as possible. It is planned as a three channel video, never done it before. I’m close to pay a professional to do it for me. And also I have to remake a video I made called “The death of the genius”, which didn’t go as planned in the first tryout. Make it again, make it right.


Benjamin Glas An artist's statement

The presented piece is a wonderful relic of my studies in contemporary media. This piece came into being during a time of great introspection and learning; the learning to simply experience and feel fleeting moments,

no matter what emotional value they hold, in the everyday mundane. The idea that our generation and various cultures are all moving towards a seemingly "rational" take on the everyday, while moving away from an overall perception of empirical phenomenon, is a growing theme for my artistic practice and lifestyle.


A still from Making The Time (to)

Just as happy instances occur in daily living, these also seem to take place when the artistic process and documentation of it all is running its course. The subject of the film is truly unimportant (His name is Charlie and I've received more knowledge from him than I can truly recall) The importance lies within the process of making this short piece. What started off as a strongly choreographed interview, controlled and crippled by myself, ended up becoming, in my mind, scratch footage for later experimentations. These later experiments came to be a strong focal point when I began

reading and interpreting the works of Marshal McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard in regards to new media and their effects on art and subsequently the masses who view, or don't view them. Using a strictly structuralist mindset I began metaphorically creating screens that differed, perhaps only in time and compositional placement, from the original clip; which was to be seen as the initial simulacrum. At some point, I truly can't recall when, this process became intuitive, rhythmical and even deconstructed. Benjamin Glas


An interview with

Benjamin Glas Benjamin Glas-Hochstettler manipulates the boundary of perception and release it from its most primitive parameters in its search for physiological sensations. Inspired by the essays of Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard, his film Making The Time (to) uses a structuralist approach. Ben, we want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for "Making The Time (to)"? The creation of this piece was purely experimental and a happy synchronicity! This piece of work is essentially a relic of the results of some experimentations I was undertaking in a video class. The idea itself came from an interview I was shooting for a completely different purpose. When I was reviewing the substance of the interview I was feeling very serene, very at peace due to some external circumstances. Through watching the initial clips with all of its humor and nuances, I began to see a pattern that I had never observed before- the Mundane in all of its nature and neutrality, a contrast to superstimulation. This idea of superstimulation I think is a key inspiration as of now. With contemporary media, be it news or Hollywood cinema, it is easy to fall into a rhythm of only having a basic awareness for "highlight" moments and to simply disregard or even fail to see a given mundane event, which is the contrast. To me the ability to accept the mundane in the midst of all of these technological and cultural advances our society makes is a real gift, and is not to be squandered. On that note I began to technically dissect, with the help of editing tools and processes, small pockets of time that held moments of laughter, confusion and a seemingly banal tone. I found it romantic to make a piece of art about something I had otherwise overlooked in my fastbrainRIGHTNOW youth. The act of slowing down, taking in the moment and having no true expectation of what the outcome was going to look like, or

Benjamin Glas

even how the work was to be presented struck me very hard. I felt I had to dig deeper and let go even more ground. A structuralist mindset definitely helped with this goal. The editing process was baby-bottom smooth and all details and loops and occurrences simply found their place in the overall composition. Your work reveals a remarkable effort to get under the skin of film like psychologists investigates the subconscious dimension: how did you get started in experimental cinema? Thank you kindly. I began my learning journey in experimental video, sound and cinema about 3 years ago. I was coming from a place of unawareness, a place of apathy. Through a leap of faith and courage I found myself removed from external obstacles and with more free time than I could shake a stick at. So I began reading art books to fill the time and found myself in love with moving images, no matter how simple or complex. When I was first introduced to editing software I saw the possibilities of new media and the message a moving image could convey at the tip of a hat. The collective works of Bill Viola, Nam June Paik and John Baldessari's video works introduced the concept of simplicity. From there on out I was fueled with ideas and inspiration to go on further. I have yet to truly regret it. I have also found that making art in general is very therapeutic and forces me to reckon with myself and my subconscious. My gears started turning and have never stopped since.


A still from Making The Time (to)

In your refined film we can recognize a a masterly work of editing: what kind of technology have you used in producing it? Thank you again. I used a Rebel T-9 camera to shoot the interview and Final Cut Pro for the rest of the work. The editing process in this case carried the heaviest load. I typically don't put too much emphasis on the technology used. Most work that I end up creating is a direct result of not being prepared, or when I get out of my own way. I know I can't plan any results as an artist, yet I can surely put in the effort...That typically happens within the editing process. Can you introduce our readers to the concepts of Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard that have so deeply influenced your art research? In regards to McLuhan's writing; the extension of mankind's self and an awareness of media are key here. McLuhan thoughtfully dissected different forms of media used in our everyday communication with gusto. What struck me as important was the concept of medias residing and functioning within other medias. In his book "Understanding Media" he takes time itself and the construction of

human made parameters to be a media that humans function within and depend on dearly. With that in mind, and after I had experimented with the initial results of time based collages in "Making The Time (to)", I began using this idea of "time as media" to bring a simple awareness to the passing of time itself. In the video a man, named Charlie, is laughing at something banal we were talking about in the studio during filming. To me that laughter is itself a media, without a true reason, within the human parameters of McLuhan's take on time and how we as humans perceive it. Retrospectively and introspectively- the naming convention of this piece is a tribute to the act of slowing down and reframing this mundane moment between two humans. (Maybe there was something I missed?...There always is!) Baudrillard prompted a response of a different nature for me; a more loose and symbolic take at best. One of the ideas I always take from his writing is the honesty and violence that an image may hold, the story it tells and the emotion it sells. Through reading and inhaling Baudrillard's work it has become quite clear to me that "art acts as the punctuation of reality's sentences". Also there's always something to be said


A still from Making The Time (to)

about simulacra and simulation when talking about digitally created and rendered artwork. And there's definitely a relationship between simulacra and "MTT(t)". The act of duplicating and processing these different clips in time, for me, points to a well rehearsed global conversation regarding awareness of the moment and the act of being present with it while it inevitably passes into the next. With this particular piece I hoped to visually and sonically narrow moments to a point of awareness by restricting the range of visual information.

You want to make the perceptual process the subject of his films by emphasizing the medium's material form: the Gestalt theories by Rudolph Arnheim are fundamental for your vision. You eschew traditional storytelling and opt instead for an associative methodology. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? I typically start from a literal statement. Perhaps it's something I read, or an advert I experience, or some other mundane event that happens in public. When it comes to actually


sitting down and undertaking an experiment, the process always looks a bit different. Sure, I have some preset modes to beginning the editing process, some older artists who I aim to shoulderstand on and a result that I truly want to plan and fulfill. Typically it all starts when I give up trying to plan the result of a piece and just put in the effort to explore different forms of representation of ideas. When thinking about abstract narratives and the use of Arnheim's theories, I am trying to find a link to the present moment and a sort of gift to the viewer and myself. Now, the tricky part is that I surely don't know what it's

supposed to look like, this gift. Simple visual illusions, slowly fading over time and careful sound curation and composition are all a part of this process. Above all of the aforementioned techniques comes the idea of meditation through repetition. In terms of Gestalt theory, I find the process of repeating an image or a sound over and over again gives the audience, and of course myself, more and more opportunities to examine and observe, to sit with and analyze an event that may be overlooked in other circumstances. I am careful to not claim an objective outcome in the majority of my videos because I feel that would


be limiting to all persons involved in the act of perceiving. From a visual and technical point of view, Making The Time (to) is a complex work . How long does it usually take to finish a piece? I don't think I can claim to ever have truly finished a piece. If a true finished piece could be presented, the creative process could be defined by a beginning and an end. Maybe I'm being romantic.This piece though was created in about 3 months, give or take. Visually it may be complex, but my leaning on a structuralist setup made the editing process quite simple. For other projects it depends on what idea and how expansive it is in the present moment, or technology I'm working with at the time. Also- life happens at life's own rate. That's something I am learning more and more. Thanks for sharing your time, Ben, we wish you all the best with your artistic career. What's next for Ben Glas? Thank you very much for the opportunity to present my work. As of now I am working on a sonic release for a local record label (http://blnkstrs.com/, soundcloud.com/soundportfolio), and still attending school at PNCA in the Pacific Northwest for Video and Sound. Not sure what comes after that. I can be certain that I am here to learn and will continue to do so.

A still from Making The Time (to)


A still from Making The Time (to)

Profile for Stigmart Artpress

Stigmart Videofocus Special Issue NRT  

Stigmart Videofocus Special Issue NRT  

Advertisement