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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

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The Stargazer TV

" The images we shot for ‘We Would’ve Been Stuck Here Forever’ were originally intended for a music video. We were very pleased after the shooting, but for several reasons, the project was cancelled. "

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Aneikit Bonnel

" My work explores alternate states, unconscious processes, moments of transcendence and transformation. With SAMSARA, I sought to metaphorically visualize the after- death stages according to ancient philosophies. "

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Christos Marmeris

" The video On Human Rights deals with the status of a woman, who, in a way of selfpunishment, functions simultaneously as an abuser and a victim, by being a subject of confinement and routine, because of a choice she made in her life. "

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Lana Z Caplan

"When I was child, we lived in a converted 1870’s barn on an expanse of land, with trees to climb, edible berries to pick, pheasants walking free in our woods, and summer nights lit by fireflies. "

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Silvio Crisóstomo

" As creator of visual poetics, I used photography as an artistic medium and substance of my work, moving freely through photographic videos and finally reaching experimental videos. "

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Jody Zellen

" My current video work investigates the social dynamics driving contemporary communication. The concept of using a .gif file as a form of language, in text messaging and online forums, has become a method of ambiguous expression. "


Stephen Broomer

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"My interest in working with moving images is tied to my understanding of the evolution of perspective in the arts, and in particular, the impulse in modernism toward flatness and abstraction.".

Marina H.S. Pu

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“Alien Home” intends to interpret this poetry and the sorrows of Siberia story and Lithuanian identity. I discuss with Lithuanian professional dancer Denisas Kolomykis, we chat about this poetry, and doing the improvisational choreography. "

Zoe Chronis

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"While reading about the history of intertitles—also called titles or subtitles—I learned that anti-titling critics argued strongly against the presence of written words within a montage of images. "

Carmen Tiffany

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Using several mediums I attempt to reconstruct my memories and investigate the significance of childhood imagination in relation to the destitute and isolated regions of culture. Using fantastical characters I subtly blur the line between predator and prey in a haunting beauty.

Torsten Zenas Burns

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"I am interested in color as augmented character. Multiple inanimate or animate characters now reside within each other and begin a collaboration inside the video frame. We see a constructed body (and literal body) layered with saturated colors extend our senses. "

Steve Juras

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"Autopsy is a brief meditation on the self as it hovers between life and death. The video layers promotional material for a surgical camera system, first-person documentation of a gallery performance and audio from the opening of Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona."

Aaron Oldenburg

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"Efficient Body was originally an experimental game created for the 48-hour online competition Ludum Dare, with the theme Minimalism. In this game, the player stands physically in front of a Kinect motion camera to control an avatar onscreen that is slowly disappearing. "

David & Tara Gladden 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."

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The Stargazer TV The images we shot for ‘We Would’ve Been Stuck Here Forever’ were originally intended for a music video. We were very pleased after the shooting, but for several reasons, the project was cancelled. We didn’t throw in the towel though, and saw this as a chance to use these images for something even better. We decided to make a short film, based on our original idea for the music video. Although we didn’t work with a scenario or script, the film we wanted to make and especially the atmosphere we wanted to convey were clear in our heads. We dove into our archive to search for other images, sounds, music, … different elements to create the right atmosphere and make the film richer. All the images and a lot of the music and sounds we created ourselves, in the years prior to this film. We like to think that because of this personal approach, all the elements fit together so well. We also like to see our film as a canvas on which the viewer can project his thoughts, his view on the story. By combining and juxtaposing opposite elements, such as male/female, past/present, life/death, image/sound, … we created a tension that invites the viewer to fill in the gaps ‘in between’. We are always interested in what viewers see or don’t see in our film. Often, it tells us more about them than about the film itself.


An interview with

Wout Lievens & Jeroen Cluckers We Would've Been Stuck Here Forever is the first collaborative project by the directors duo Wout Lievens & Jeroen Cluckers, also known as Stargazer. From the first time we watched their videopoem, we were impressed by their surreal imagery and refined cinematography reminding us of Markopoulos's films. We are thrilled to present We Would've Been Stuck Here Forever for this special Videofocus Edition. Jeroen and Wout, how did you get started in filmmaking? Wout: We met each other when we studied media art at KASK in Ghent, where we both worked mostly with video. We were not really making similar work, but looking back on that time now, I think that we wanted to evoke the same kind of atmosphere in the videos we made back then. Jeroen: After we graduated, we worked together on a few music videos, and out of this collaboration Stargazer was born. We Would’ve Been Stuck Here Forever is the first Stargazer short film, and under that label our most personal collaboration to date. How would you describe your collaboration process? Wout: From the first day, the collaboration went very natural. On the set of We Would’ve Been Stuck Here Forever, we didn’t really have our own job. Jeroen: I think this film is a textbook example of guerilla filmmaking. We made it without a budget, and without writing down a scenario. The film we wanted to make was clear in our heads. We just grabbed our cameras and drove to the woods to shoot. We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for We Would've Been Stuck Here Forever? Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this project? Jeroen: A little while before we made the film,


I had this idea of a man dwelling through the woods, searching for something he possibly will never find. Wout: Basically we started out with the feeling of being lost in a world that has no way out, or certainly not a good one. But actually, this was an idea for a music video. After we shot the video, the project was cancelled for several reasons. We were very pleased with the images we shot, so we decided to make a short film, based

on our original idea for the music video. Jeroen: The idea was to make a film that serves as a canvas on which the viewer can project his thoughts, his interpretation of the plot. Wout: I think a lot of people know the feeling of being stuck in the same situation, an impasse with no signs of improvement on the horizon. That’s why we wanted to keep the plot open. I don’t like it if a film doesn’t offer space to pro-


ject your own ideas and feelings onto. Jeroen: We didn’t keep it completely open though. We offer the viewer suggestions, by combining and juxtaposing opposite elements, such as male/female, past/present, life/death, image/sound, … These elements create a tension, inviting the viewer to fill in the gaps in between. For us, it’s always interesting to hear what viewers see or don’t see in our film. Often, it tells us more about them, than about the film

itself. Some people see a romantic love story in it, others think it’s about fleeing from our technological society and going back to nature. Or some don’t like the fact that we leave room for the viewer’s interpretation, they expect to be guided more by a plot. Wout: Either way, the film reveals something about the way you look at it. We have been really impressed by the balance you have been capable of achieving


between classical sensibility and pure experimentation in your film. Can you tell us your biggest influences in cinema and how they have affected your work? Jeroen: As a child, I remember seeing cult classics like The Terminator, Mad Max and Total Recall, and being very impressed by the atmosphere in those films. I still feel very drawn to a lingering ominous atmosphere, and a dark, raw and grainy look and feel. These are recurring elements in my work and typical elements that can be found in a lot of cult films from the 1970’s and 80’s. Videodrome, They Live, Blade Runner, THX 1138, Angel Heart, Robocop, Miracle Mile, The Quiet Earth, The Fly, Altered States, … the list is endless, but for me it’s a (life-long) challenge to see them all. Later on, Andrej Tarkovski’s Solyaris and especially Stalker were real eyeopeners, as was Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth, Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, Akiro Kurosawa’s Dreams, and more contemporary Gus Van Sant’s Gerry and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Other contemporary influences are Nicolas Provost and Anouk De Clercq, who was my mentor at KASK. Wout: I was really impressed by the work of Nicolas Karakatsanis as DOP in Small Gods. It was so dark and raw. Bullhead and The Drop have that ominous atmosphere as well. The films of Jim Jarmush and Charlie Kaufmann, especially Synecdoche NY, also inspired me. Your film is marked by a refined cinematography and composition: each shot is pervaded by a unique atmosphere. How did you develop your visual style? Wout: I’ve spent a fair amount of time during my studies on experimenting with cameras. I tried to capture moments, spaces, the atmosphere of that moment. I started with dark situations, misty mornings in a forest next to my house. Darkness is something that has always worked for me. During that time, I shot some normal everyday life videos as well, which also worked pretty good to me because of the slowness I put in it. But mostly I use darkness and the light that is available. For me, it’s all about grabbing the atmosphere of the scene how it is. It took me a little while before I started grading my shots. In my first experimental videos I didn’t even edit afterwards. I edited while shooting. Jeroen: I began with filming and photograp-

hing self-constructed landscapes made out of everyday objects, such as towels and blankets. I used a smoke machine, a mirror and a desk light to create the illusion of a vast, desolate world. To me, l’heure bleue was inspirational because of its status between light and dark. I experimented a lot with creating compositions, consisting of different layers of images on top of each other to establish a dreamlike, often painterly style. Wout and I both have a background in music as well, which comes in handy when creating an atmosphere. It could seem a specious question, however we have to do it: what's the future of independent cinema, in your opinion? Wout: Nowadays it’s pretty easy to start shooting. You can even use your phone. So I think there will be a lot of independent filmma-


king in the future. Vimeo is full of good stuff. It’s up to people and organizations like you to ‘screen the internet’ and offer a nice selection of all the work out there. I think the curators of the internet will gain influence towards the mainstream players out there. Jeroen: The fact that it’s easier to make a film is fantastic, but it also means that there are a lot more films of questionable quality produced. To wade through all these thousands of minutes of film in search of a few pearls, could become an almost inhuman task. That’s why curators in different forms, ranging from individuals, magazines to film festivals, indeed still have a very prominent role in the future. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Jeroen and Wout. What's next for

Stargazer? Are there any film projects on the horizon? Wout: Stargazer is constantly evolving. We recently started a tiny art gallery in Ghent. It’s still secret, but we plan to put a music magazine together. And we are about to start planning a new film. Jeroen: I’m currently working on a video art album that will be released under the Stargazer label. Oneiria, the first video of that album, had its premiere this year at the Fronteira Festival in Brazil. The second video will be released in 2015. We’re also planning an exhibition in which Wout and I will confront our work with the paintings of JoÎl Schuurmans. And of course, I’m looking forward to our next collaborative film project.


Aneikit Bonnel


SAMSARA, a synopsis By Aneikit Bonnel Based on concepts related in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, SAMSARA is an interpretation of esoteric ideas, an experimental narrative in the vein of a trance-film. My work explores alternate states, unconscious processes, moments of transcendence and transformation. With SAMSARA, I sought to metaphorically visualize the after- death stages according to ancient philosophies. The project was propelled by a planned trip to Peru, a country of fantastical landscapes and ruins of early civilization. We shot with an untested Super 8mm Niko camera in several locations throughout Peru including Machu Picchu. With only 400’ of film, it was an exercise in economy. Conceptually, I employed Maya Deren’s ideas of geographical editing and used colored scarves symbolizing stages of consciousness to maintain continuity within the narrative. Since we were filming in tourist areas, we typically scouted and shot in quick succession. This was especially important in Machu Picchu where we began our ascent at 4am to arrive before the tourist buses. It was an incredible experience to watch the clouds rise from the river bed, surround the empty ruins and dissipate over the top of those craggy mountains. Sadly, the majesty was not captured successfully on film. When processed, much of the footage was uniquely affected by camera malfunction; the internal light meter had worked inconsistently. This led to experimentation with keys, mattes, and compositing during the editing process which ultimately allowed more ‘magical’ elements to emerge. I finished the edit during a residency at chaNorth, and was pleased to be given permission to use a composition by Redhooker, a Brooklynbased band who performed live during the first screening.

Aneikit Bonnel


An interview with

Aneikit Bonnel Since the first time we have watched your work SAMSARA, we have really appreciated the way you have been able to adapt on concepts from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, reminding us of Thomas Stearns Eliot 's mythopoetic method. How did you come up with the idea for SAMSARA? Admittedly, I am intrigued/inspired/fascinated by death as the ultimate transformation. In months previous, I’d binged on Evans-Wentz’s translations of Tibetan doctrines and my mind was full of otherworldly vision i.e halo of rainbow light, the light body, etc. Excited by the prospect of using Super 8mm film to achieve a sumptuous and tactile image, I hoped to incorporate age-old, in-camera techniques to certain effect i.e. emerging from the ocean dry. The suggestion of a journey through an after-death environment provided a narrative, so the idea for SAMSARA evolved quickly, partly dictated by a planned trip to Peru which promised mythical landscapes and a spiritual history of early civilization. The 8mm format you have used here reveals impressive materic-painterly quality in your hands. How did you develop your style, Aneikit? By accident?! Samara itself was an experiment with S8… As an extension of my work with video, my edits typically involve saturation, layering, superimposition and ellipse. SAMSARA was innately structured by the concept of transformation. When much of the footage was improperly exposed, I felt that structure was compromised. Disheartened and convinced the narrative was lost, I simply experimented with the plasticity of the image in editing, selected the more interesting clips of the malfunction, the ones with distorted colors and overexposed elements, and played with keying, superimposition, mattes and

general post-production trickery. Something had to be salvageable, and I happily saw it was a narrative thread. It was an exciting process for me and, because of this experience, I now


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo

have a positive relationship with editing and a less exuberant one to filming! More importantly, however, I think my body of work tends to reveal more of a mood than a

style. I realize this as I delve further into aural creation and trying to visualize sound cinematically. Music, in particular, tends to convey emotion, and I am finding it more


compelling as a starting point. With ASCENSION, also S8 and shot by Jeff Bay Smith who did the camerawork for SAMSARA, I developed a soundtrack using instrumental and field recordings. And during a residency in Nashville, I established a personal sound art podcast to give voice to that aspect of my creativity. Yet, I cannot dissociate it from the visual inclination in my practice which is amorphous. There is a particular reason too linked to the "ephemeral" qualities of this rare 8mm format today to motivate this unusual choice? I don’t consider S8 ephemeral because, unlike digital media, it has a physical presence made of real material that endures. The decision was motivated by wanting to try certain camera techniques and achieving a timeless, though not nostalgic, quality. Because S8 is limited to 50' film cartridges, no single shot can last longer than 3 minutes. This economical way of shooting appealed to me as a traditionally trained filmmaker. Additionally, I was interested in a return to in-camera manipulations i.e. slow speed, double exposures, reversal of action, et al. The camera is quite user-friendly, actually. Along with being mobile and durable, it contains an automated zoom lens and internal light meter that, when coupled with lens filters and today’s high-speed films, make it easily adaptable. On the other hand, everything must function properly and you need a reliable lab to process it. SAMSARA has been filmed in various places in Peru: how did you choose the locations? Oyantatambo, Huacachina, Miraflores in Lima, Machu Picchu. These are all destinations along the gringo trail, a rather typical tourist itinerary. We shot whatever geography seemed appropriate during our trip. The two places I knew beforehand that I wanted to film were Huacachina’s vast, primitive sand dunes, and Machu Picchu for it’s particular legacy. I had no idea of the magnificence of these landscapes until we arrived and it was such a pleasure to discover and film it at the same time. I also took aural

field recordings which I later used in ASCENSION. Mysticism of ancient cultures is a fundamental aspect of your art practise and thinking. Can you tell us your biggest


influences in art and how they have affected your work? Unconsciously, I think I relate to the [concepts of] Other and outsider, probably because I grew up in heartland America as the only

person of East Indian descent. Not even my family was ethnic so I was a singularity in my community for a good part of my childhood. I think that motivated my adolescent desire to be an actress, which developed into writing and directing. I came late to the practice of art


making, basically in graduate film school where my first influences were foreign filmmakers: Godard, Bergman, Cocteau, Vertov, Maya Deren, Ozu. After moving to NYC, I learned of performance art and the explosion of creation that came out of the 60s. Artists like Laurie Anderson, Nam June Paik, Salvador Dali, and the Warhol Factory impressed me because they experimented across many forms and traversed various milieux. In my own work, these artists continue to be examples of a productivity to which I aspire. My biggest challenge is completion because I constantly have new ideas that take precedence over stuck-in-the-middle projects. What amounts to a lack of artistic discipline is my constant obstacle and probably the primary reason I need residencies; to isolate myself with tools specific to a particular work in order to finish it. Your daily experience is very important for your artist practise and thinking: could you explain this aspect? I live in New York which should provide fodder for my artistic ideas, but mostly I find the commercial art world distracting and discouraging. I work professionally in film/tv production here so I can go away to make art. SAMSARA was edited at ChaNorth, a residency north of NYC. This year, I spent 2 weeks at Proyecto ‘ace, a residency in Buenos Aires, revisiting the Secret Doctrine text as an audio installation. At home, I am plagued by finding the perfect studio arrangement for my multiple art activities: music/audio recording, film production, editing, performance and video projection. David Lynch calls it the ‘setup’: “It’s crucial to have a setup, so that, at any given moment, when you get an idea, you have the place and the tools to make it happen. If you don’t have a setup, there are many times when you get the inspiration, the idea, but you have no tools, no place to put it together. And the idea just sits there and festers. Overtime, it will go away. You didn’t fulfill it, and that’s just a heartache.” Since my ideas bounce from one project to the next, my daily experience is typically frustration! That said, I am making time for play in the studio and that has been very

important. When I notice one idea sticking, I know that is where I need to focus so I try to find a residency to help me isolate that work. Solitude is crucial for me, particularly when writing music. However, I think collaboration might be motivating, so I’ve enlisted a friend to help me develop a projection/performance piece based on my podcast, Maya/Deren Sound Recordings. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us, Aneikit . What's next for Aneikit Bonnel? What are your next projects on the horizon? Thank you! What IS next? Well, I haven’t set up


a new residency yet, but more than a few ideas are stewing‌ SLEEPING CHAMBER is the audio environment installation that I labored on in Buenos Aires. It remains a poignant and so-far epic project involving ice structures and creation of soundscapes, a real opus. For ATLANTIS, I want to create a submerged nocturnal city of building-mapped projections featuring underwater sequences of hypercolorized jellyfish, plants, and other manipulated marine-life, and tour it internationally. Currently in mid-production is L’ARTISTE DE SUICIDE, a dark humor, experimental

webisodic about a woman who plans to die in Paris on her 40th birthday. Finally, I am reconceptualizing the podcast as an art form. This involves curating a live event of sound, performance, and video projection that is reassembled into a stand-alone artwork using excerpted audio and video recordings from the live event. The idea is to have a dedicated viewing platform with a steady output and a social sphere to join artists from all mediums, a mash-up of form and content.


Christos Marmeris On Human Rights, a synopsis

simultaneously as an abuser and a victim, by

This video deals with the status of a woman,

being a subject of confinement and routine,

who, in a way of self- punishment, functions

because of a choice she made in her life. She


A still from On human rights, 2013 4min 30sec

has given up some of her basic rights, denies her happiness and insists on her choice, through which, nevertheless, she receives

something different,€unprecedented€and, for most people, completely unknown. Christos Marmeris


An interview with

Christos Marmeris and

Katerina Kalentzi

In Christos Marmeris 's hands the camera became a contemplative instrument. His works are marked by a strong effort to use cinema as an anthropological tool: film and anthropology share the same essential concerns with the nature of intersubjectivity. For this year's Videofocus Edition we have selected his short film On human rights, a short drama dealing with the story of a woman prisoner inside her house. Christos, could you introduce our readers to your film?

Christos Marmeris Conceptual artist, Scenario, Production

Christos: First of all I would like to thank you for choosing my work and giving me the opportunity to come up along with my collaborator Katerina Kalentzi who is the main director of this film. The film is about Human rights, as its title clarifies. It is an attempt to manage these very fine lines, defining the end of one’s rights and the beginning of the other’s. The “Hero” is a woman, who, in a way of self- punishment, functions simultaneously as an abuser and a victim. She is making a consciously choice and denies some of her basic rights and it is left to the audience to consider the rest. We have found really interesting your visual style: while your cinematography is marked by a sapient use of close-ups reminding us of Krzysztof Kieślowski's films, the most touching scenes are no doubt the wide shots communicating a strong sense of isolation: could you comment this aspect of On human rights? Christos: As far as the film direction is concerned, I will address the questions to Katerina, as she is the one responsible. I only had an opinion based on my artistic-aesthetic perspective. She was told the feeling I needed to express, she was coming up with the scene,

Katerina Kalentzi Director

and I was to decide if the needed sense was deriving from this scene. Of course, it was not necessary to make a lot of changes or to film many times the same scene! Katerina is a talented director with a keen perception to concept art, so it was easy for her to provide me the result I was looking for. I am really glad I worked with Katerina. It was a really nice moment for both of us and I would definitely


A still from On human rights, 2013 4min 30sec

work with her again if I were in need of film direction! Katerina: First of all, from my part, I would like to thank you for all these positive comments we received about the film. We are really flattered and excited! When Christos told me about the story of this woman and described in vivid detail her routine life, the images had already started to be created in my mind, and the visual style that I would follow, had already started to be shaped. I was really moved by his story and simultaneously, eager and enthousiastic to direct the film. Isolation, repetition and reality, constituted three essential aspects of Christos’s story. My goal was to use the cinematic tools in such a way that each of every shot would support Christos’s theme, that means, the decision of this woman to deny some of her basic rights and a normal

life out in the world, but at the same time, to remove the values of the outside world, inside her own house, and adjust them in her limited routine. In order to make the audience experience the emotions and feelings of our hero, and to avoid any detachment, I chose the frequent use of close-ups, and eye level shots, avoiding any sophisticated camera angles. Thus, the audience would not be just a simple observer, but would feel the isolation, the persistence, the willingness, and experience these specific chosen moments of our hero’s routine life, with her, inside her own house. Of course, the wide shots were used to express our hero’s isolation. There is only one medium close up shot, at the starting of the film, in which the camera “leaves” the house and is placed outside, creating a purely symbolically meaning of isolation.


Furthermore, emphasis was given to the sound of the film, which is used, so as to enhance the sense of isolation in our hero’s life. I removed the usual sounds that are usually heard inside the house, deriving from the outside world, and increased the sounds of the inside house, such as the sounds of the furniture, the sounds of her actions e.t.c. By this way, I tried to highlight her limited space. The sound of her house sounds unusual, as unusual her routine life is for the viewer. There is only one shot in the film, in the cuisine, where she hears children playing outside. The combination of the close up shot and the sound of the children from the outside world, expresses and externalizes her inner thoughts and her nostalgia. We want to take a closer look at the genesis of your film: how did you come up with the idea for this work? Could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of On human rights? Christos: It was actually a hole collection of short films, under the name “Stories on human rights”, responsible for inspiring me to conceive the idea. It was a project of the organization named “Art for the world” which, in 2009, commissioned a series of 22 short films created by some of the world's leading artists and directors, due to the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I saw the dvd and at the very next moment the idea was already clearly formed in my head. I was observing a situation such as these every day. Actually it is the way I am still living in my own home every day, thirty years now. It is the exact way I am seeing the relation between my mother and my brother! I needed to express the way I am feeling for this relation. It is a kind of a vital binding, like “spiritually Siamese”! This boy’s life depends on his mother’s hands, but on the other side, no matter the cost, there is no way for this woman imagining her life without her son. It is the perfect example on these extremely thin lines between human rights. Mostly for the right to live! Do any of them actually exert the right of living? And is it possible for him or her, to do live at no cost for the other? It’s something like a morality game still it’s anything but funny…!!!

A still from On human rights, 2013, 4min 30sec

How did you get started in experimental filmmaking? Katerina: To be honest, for me, experimental filmmaking is a not a conscious decision, when undertaking a new project. Filmmaking, experimental or narrative, is a combination of creative choices and fixed circumstances. To be more specific, for every single project, depending on its theme and its central idea, which I desire to communicate effectively to


the audience, I follow such a creative process, that will lead me to a specific way of shooting the film, that may be ended in experimental or not. Although, I always take into account the existing conditions, that is to say, the available limited budget and the correspondent equipment. However, it is possible that an issue, especially when dealing with human experience, can clearly be expressed with the most simple and direct means, and succeed in

touching or activating the viewer. For example, in our film “On human rights”, the participation of the real woman- the real hero, instead of an actress, in addition to the real location- her own house, the use of a camera that doesn’t beautify the image, the static eye level shots together with the “disobedience” of the narrative time, combined with the temps mort, enhanced the realism and the identification of the audience with the hero, and highlighted its central idea.


I strongly believe that, a creator, even with the fewest recourses, but with big visions, and an effective use of his cinematic tools during the film processing (pre production, shooting, editing) could reach his ultimate creative goals. A lot of great independent filmmakers have often proved this. Christos: Things are kind of complicated for me as well! I do filmmaking but I don’t have the eye of a director. The first time I needed to film was as a student in the Athens School of Fine Arts. I had never held a camera before! Not even my cell phone to make a funny video for youtube, or to capture a vacation memory! I had no need until then. Since then I made few “video works” when any other media is not sufficient enough to faithfully fulfill my artistic purposes. So, I do have the eye of an artist instead. This gives me the freedom to do whatever is necessary, in order to serve my art, but I like not to classify the kind of my work. I don’t really like putting my films in “boxes with labels” such as “video art”, “experimental film” etc. My work is my work and that’s all! Human experience is always the starting point of your filmmaking. What draws you to a particular subject? Christos: My entire work is tending to be anthropocentric. I guess this is what we call spontaneous choice. It’s one way thinking… I almost cannot control it! The truth is that I am interested in human existence itself. The way of thinking, the variety of perspectives, the cultural contrasts, the complexity of human nature, are some fields worthy to deal with. I love to create mind trapping situations, based on common assumptions or certain beliefs, structured by culture either west or east. Afterwards, I invite myself to think on these situations, trying to find a philosophical way to deal with it, to manipulate its root, to find a way to confront it, or to be fine with it, to fit in it. I love to play with balances, and thin lines between things. I love getting puzzled and mull, feeding my thought and try to feed others thought too. Most often, the contrasts I need are deriving from ethics. Good-evil, moral-immoral, right-wrong. Polarities that, no matter how many people or how hard have they ever tried to unravel the knot, are yet to be under discussion. These polarities seem to be my motivation.

A still from On human rights, 2013, 4min 30sec

We have previously mentioned in our interview the Polish master Krzysztof Kieślowski, however your cinema seems to be deeply influenced by the rarefied atmosphere of Chantal Akerman's films. Who among international artists and experimental filmmakers influenced your work? Katerina: Maya Deren’s cinema is a good example of experimental filmmaking, where


surrealism is depicted with a narrative and “grounded� way. Of course I have been influenced by Chantal Akerman, who is one of the most important representatives of personal and experimental filmmaking, who hides an entire world under the minimalistic surface of her image.

of them, narrative and experimental, fiction and nonfiction, low and big budget productions, with or without commercial success, had a common feature that is, the same native language. All creators have the same tools and, at the same time, their simple, varied and genius usage.

While studying filmmaking and analyzing important and influential films through the history of time in cinema, I found out that, all

Generally, many classical and experimental past and contemporary important filmmakers, have exerted significant influence on


my work. Some of them vary, from Orson Wells, Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Cocteau to Franηois Truffaut, Chris Marker and David Lynch, from Italian neorealism to Iranian new wave. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? Katerina: As I briefly described above, for directing “On human rights”, I begin from the central idea of the story, or the issue that is going to be filmed. Then I have a brainstorming session for how to use all of my cinematic tools ( mise -en -scene and camerawork) before and after shooting, with the purpose of supporting and highlighting the central idea that is to be expressed. Every single aspect of the final cut, (the props, the sound, the music, the colors, the aesthetics, the rhythm of the editing, the staging of the actors e.t.c.) should have a specific reason to be appeared or used in the film. I have many times heard that this process is followed with the aim of creating a narrativestraight - style of storytelling. But, as I mentioned previously, I think that even the most abstracted, minimalistic and experimental video project, stems from a serious planning of original, inspiring, challenging and thus, experimental uses of one’s creative tools. Although, the organized preparation I follow, leaves space for unexpected incidents, that, in my opinion, act like “white magic” during the filmmaking process and evolves the productive material. J I am one of those who hold a decoupage during the shootings, but seeking for spontaneous “magic” features to include. Christos: Well, when starting a new project, I really don’t feel it as new! The creative process is one “catholic, unified, ceaseless, route”, which begun when I discovered it in me and I feel that it will never stop forcing me produce art. Since I found this route, every piece of my work leads the way for my next one. I never know what will I do next, but I always know the way to follow it, to let it be shown to me. I simply “eavesdrop” to my work and it shows me the path to follow. I just do things I want to, or I feel, or I need, or I simply think and then there comes the revelation. It is this moment when I realize I am standing in front

A still from On human rights, 2013, 4min 30sec

of a “brand new-old” idea. I am suddenly dealing things with a new way. Thanks for sharing your time, Christos Marmeris, we wish you all the best with your filmmaker career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind?


Christos: Well, I want to thank you for your willingness to share my time! Actually I have never something on my mind… I just let things happen. Although at this moment, I need to manage a new polarity, which have showed up. It is about obligation and will. It is the

battle between “want” and “must”. This must be what I want to do next…


Lana Z Caplan An artist's statement

When I was child, we lived in a converted 1870’s barn on an expanse of land, with trees to climb, edible berries to pick, pheasants walking free in our woods, and summer nights lit by fireflies. Now a city dweller for many years, I experience nature differently, based on simulated versions such as water parks and sculpted gardens. Or as I prefer, traveling in search of the wild.

However, it becomes more like a dream or hallucination, something exotic, intensified, disconnected and non-linear, as we insert ourselves into natural habitats, and impact our surroundings. The Grand Canyon with tourist helicopters circling, the Rocky Mountains with roaring


Still from HedonHeathen 1 2013 2 minutes HD video with sound

snowmobiles, pitching a tent at a campsite next to a car, a day at the beach with algae blooming so thick the water looks like a floating green carpet, rivers running red from industrial waste. Add to this the changing climate around the globe, with unpredictable unseasonable weather patterns, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and increasing natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and wild fires. We have a strange new definition of natural, dark in subtext and fleeting in sustainability. This is the subject of my work for the past few years. I believe that art can create emotional

engagement with difficult subjects, beyond academic discourse, scientific research and news reports. I aim to create a metaphysical experience with these works and visual beauty is an important element, drawing the viewer in and guiding the journey. For example, the pulsing vibrancy of rainbow colors from an oil slick or the rhythmic swaying of sea life on a struggling coral reef in brilliant blue water, begin to expand and compress, overlap and dissolve, taking the viewer out of a thinking mode, and instead offering a sensorial experience, creating a space for pause, contemplation, care and change.


An interview with

Lana Z Caplan Since the first time we watched your short film HedonHeathen2 we have been struck by the painterly quality of your footage: you treat 16mm film with an organic feeling, its surface seems to be subject to a sort of pulsation, and the snow swept landscape shot assumes suddenly an abstract and at the same time material look. Could you introduce our readers to this work? HedonHeathen 2 is part of a series of three short experimental videos started in 2013. This series is reflecting on the impact humans are having on the environment and our strange relationship to nature. The first video of this series, HedonHeathen 1, is comprised of HD video footage I shot underwater and in the rainforest on a recent trip to Puerto Rico. There is fire in the forest, palm trees turning into kaleidoscopes, and a nude bather amidst a coral reef. By the end of the video, sharp sounds of alarm and soft sounds of sexual pleasure mix to create a hypnotic trance, while clear blue water rocks the sea life back and forth.

Lana Z Caplan

HedonHeathen 2 is made from 16mm found footage. Images of microscopic crystal structures forming and eventually receding are interspersed with images of snow and a polar bear coming in and out of hibernation. The film stock is pinked with age and makes a cold counterpart to the hot Puerto Rican HedonHeathen 1. There is a psychedelic swirling and slicing in the images of crystal formation. This is intensified by the sound, which was created primarily by morphing and changing a single digitally created frequency, shifting on the cuts in the film.

2D space. This footage looks like abstract paintings, with stunning colors and shapes, organically growing and changing. Snow continues falling like white dots floating in unison on waves of wind, into a black sky vortex, from which the polar bear emerges, upside down and retreating. We return to the crystals, exploding from the center of the frame in radial patterns, back to the bear, now making its exit, then back to crystals, now sharp shards, slicing in both audio and video, and eventually in reverse, receding like the ice of the arctic.

The film begins with an out of focus girl, dancing in circles in the warm last light of the day. We are then taken to abstracted snowdrifts, pink with the age of the film. The snow is blowing across the frame, expanding beyond the frame, into the space of HD video (16:9 rather than the 4:3 frame), then back to the film frame, in circular graphic patterns, the view through a microscope of the ice crystals forming, taking the viewer out of perspectival space into imaginary

HedonHeathen 3 returns to HD video and at six minutes, it is the longest in the trio. The footage is primarily shot from a moving car traveling on a mountain pass through the Colorado Rockies and while standing at the edge of Niagara Falls during a hot pink summer dusk. The camera becomes the nature tourist, on a dirt road that stretches so far into the distance to the mountains that the road appears as a split in the earth. The image is doubled and appears like a mirage


Still from HedonHeathen 2 2013 2:20 minutes HD video with sound, re-photographed from 16mm film

at times, accompanied by AM radio static. Passing evergreens and yellow aspen trees we continue, into clouds and magenta plumes of mist rising from the falls, stopping to watch the Maiden of the Mist boats traveling into the falls carrying tourists, leaving digital streaks of light and color, while an insistent drone and beat provide forewarning. Back to moving by car across the land, which becomes electric red and yellow, and eventually everything explodes into rainbow colors. The journey resumes, passing well-labeled commercial hot springs and a prison before ending back at Niagara Falls with children playing on the grass, tourists embracing at water’s edge, and a Ferris wheel in the distance. Digital effects and layering are used to create texture and color, grabbing, slipping and pushing against the edges of representation, similar to how the qualities of the physical material of the 16mm film is manipulated in HedonHeathen 2.

In these videos, the beauty of nature is inescapable. However, there is an ominous and conflicting undertone throughout. Along with the recurring presence of human intervention, the sharp and insistent sound helps drive this uneasy feeling. The exploration of this conflict between quiet beauty and the noise of people pushing against it is a theme that I am conti-nuing to investigate in new works. It is very rare to find artists using 16mm today. Why have you used 16mm footage for this project? There is a particular reason linked to the ephemeral qualities of this rare format today? HeadonHeathen 2 was made while I was at a residency in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts called “Woodshed�. It is a biennial event where a group of artists get together for a week and make work together based on the theme of collage. At the end of the week the work is exhibited for the following month in the gallery


Still from HedonHeathen 2 2013 2:20 minutes HD video with sound, re-photographed from 16mm film

space where we had been working. All of the artists use found materials for their collages and I used found 16mm film footage to make my piece. So the parameters of the residency was one of the factors that went into choosing 16mm to make this work. However, the theme of the work being the environment, using the medium of film worked to harken back to a time before the effects of climate change had been felt so acutely in the arctic. The materiality, the scratches, texture, aged pink color, the pulsing of the projection light and the shape of the film, small in the digital frame, make it feel like a relic of another time and that we have to look at archival footage because it is something that has been lost today. I also like working with film because I use the re-photographing of the film, in the transfer to video, as part of the piece. For example, when I project it, I play with releasing the gate on the film to allow it slide and slip, going in and out of

focus, letting more than one frame down at a time. When I splice the footage together, sometimes I’ll splice it backwards so there will be one scene that will run upside down (like the polar bear). At times, I use two projectors and re-photograph the overlapping of the two, recording chance encounters. And I also really liked film for this project because of the singularity of each piece of film, and the preciousness, the limited resource of the footage, it being different than digital where you can repeat a clip and manipulate a clip as many times in as many ways as you want. But here with found footage, with 16mm film, unless I made copies, there is a limited resource of each shot. It is just a singular piece of film. I like that idea for this piece referencing the arctic and our limited and diminishing natural resources. Could you tell us a particular episode who


Still from HedonHeathen 2 2013 2:20 minutes HD video with sound, re-photographed from 16mm film

has helped the birth of this project, or simply an epiphany, a sudden illumination? I have traveled a lot, to many different countries, and by returning to places I previously visited I have been able to compare to earlier memories. A big difference over the years has to do with pollution and the environment. Even in industrialized nations, there are piles of trash with no recycling and runoff of cleaning products into street sewers as restaurants wash their floors and sidewalks at night. On a trip to Asia last summer, I started to have respiratory problems from the air quality and skin irritation from the water while showering. This was the first time I felt the physical effects of pollution and it made the crisis feel very immediate. I decided I wanted to make work that addressed some of the environmental concerns that I have, including climate change, and how my relationship with nature has changed and shifted as a

result of living in cities. City dwellers have very little interaction with nature. We have built our environments in a way that pretty much excludes nature, other than little parks that have fences around them. But as a result, our relationship to nature has really become as tourists, seeing nature as something exotic. This disconnection in our daily lives makes it harder to care about the impact of our actions on the sustainability of the environment. I took this theme into my photographic work as well as into the HedonHeathen series of videos, both of which also explore the way nature is a surreal and sort of unnatural experience at this point. Could you describe your art process? My process really varies from piece to piece. Usually it starts with an idea and I will decide what form that idea will take, sometimes the form will influence the content. Once I have an idea of what I want to make, I do research before


Fiona Cashell

Stills from The Loveliest Mountain of China (the landscape, the tourists, the luggage carriers), 2014, 50 minutes,


Captions 2 details: year details: duration details: technique

3-channel looping HD video installation


Stills from The Loveliest Mountain of China (the landscape, the tourists, the farmer) 2014 50 minutes looping 3-channel HD video installation

space where we had been working. All of the artists use found materials for their collages and I used found 16mm film footage to make my piece. So the parameters of the residency was one of the factors that went into choosing 16mm to make this work. However, the theme of the work being the environment, using the medium of film worked to harken back to a time before the effects of climate change had been felt so acutely in the arctic. The materiality, the scratches, texture, aged pink color, the pulsing of the projection light and the shape of the film, small in the digital frame, make it feel like a relic of another time and that we have to look at archival footage because it is something that has been lost today. I also like working with film because I use the re-photographing of the film, in the transfer to video, as part of the piece. For example, when I project it, I play with releasing the gate on the film to allow it slide and slip, going in and out of

focus, letting more than one frame down at a time. When I splice the footage together, sometimes I’ll splice it backwards so there will be one scene that will run upside down (like the polar bear). At times, I use two projectors and re-photograph the overlapping of the two, recording chance encounters. And I also really liked film for this project because of the singularity of each piece of film, and the preciousness, the limited resource of the footage, it being different than digital where you can repeat a clip and manipulate a clip as many times in as many ways as you want. But here with found footage, with 16mm film, unless I made copies, there is a limited resource of each shot. It is just a singular piece of film. I like that idea for this piece referencing the arctic and our limited and diminishing natural resources. Could you tell us a particular episode who


Stills from The Loveliest Mountain of China (the landscape, the tourists, the painter) 2014 50 minutes looping 3-channel HD video installation

has helped the birth of this project, or simply an epiphany, a sudden illumination? I have traveled a lot, to many different countries, and by returning to places I previously visited I have been able to compare to earlier memories. A big difference over the years has to do with pollution and the environment. Even in industrialized nations, there are piles of trash with no recycling and runoff of cleaning products into street sewers as restaurants wash their floors and sidewalks at night. On a trip to Asia last summer, I started to have respiratory problems from the air quality and skin irritation from the water while showering. This was the first time I felt the physical effects of pollution and it made the crisis feel very immediate. I decided I wanted to make work that addressed some of the environmental concerns that I have, including climate change, and how my relationship with nature has changed and shifted as a result of living in cities. City dwellers have very

little interaction with nature. We have built our environments in a way that pretty much excludes nature, other than little parks that have fences around them. But as a result, our relationship to nature has really become as tourists, seeing nature as something exotic. This disconnection in our daily lives makes it harder to care about the impact of our actions on the sustainability of the environment. I took this theme into my photographic work as well as into the HedonHeathen series of videos, both of which also explore the way nature is a surreal and sort of unnatural experience at this point. Could you describe your art process? My process really varies from piece to piece. Usually it starts with an idea and I will decide what form that idea will take, sometimes the form will influence the content. Once I have an idea of what I want to make, I do research before


Stills from The Loveliest Mountain of China (the landscape, the tourists, the farmer) 2014 50 minutes looping 3-channel HD video installation

and also during the process of making. And then in the editing, usually a lot changes, I will get other ideas that I want to incorporate, sometimes influenced by what happens with the piece as I am going along, sometimes through discussions with other people that I have about the content or the subject. If I am using film, I’ll cut and splice the physical celluloid first and then, like I mentioned before, I use the transfer to video as part of the process. I will work with the projector as a tool in the transfer, adding the element of chance with the possibilities of what can happen as a one-time event in the projection. Usually I work on the image first and then I work on sound separately. I often collaborate with musicians or sound artists. After we have a discussion about the content and what we want the piece to do, I will give them something half-way way edited and have them come back to me with something that they are thinking.

Then we will go back at it a couple more times, passing edits back and forth. If the piece is going to be interactive or shown in a certain venue or form, then I often will collaborate with a software designer or talk with the venue or distributor to see what is possible and try to figure out a way to make the piece the strongest it can be. For instance, some discussions need to happen to determine what kind of space or budget constraints I need to consider. Then I will make variations and see what works best. I often work in series. This allows me to stay with an idea or content for a while and gives me time to really experiment and explore different approaches. For me, it is always about going a little bit further than I’ve gone before and trying to create something new that surprises me and keeps me interested.


Stills from The Loveliest Mountain of China (the landscape, the tourists, the painter) 2014 50 minutes looping 3-channel HD video installation

You have been awarded artist residencies in the Woodshed, where this work have been conceived. How do residencies and travel influence your art? I think that one of the things about residencies that influences my work the most is the collaboration and interaction with other artists. With the Woodshed residency, I have been going there every other year for 8 years and it is mostly the same group of artists each time. Many of us are old friends, and it is a time when we work together, give each other feedback, bring each other materials, and share ideas. As I said earlier, it is a collage residency with an by sitespecific factors. While at a residency or traveling, collecting footage, photographs, materials, experiences, and stories, as well as immersion in a culture and even the weather, all really filter into the work and into the ideas in the work I make. It was a wintery January in the mountains when I made HedonHeathen 2, a

piece with snow, crystals and polar bears. In the summer of 2012, I was invited to do a residency in Beijing at the Inside Out Art Museum, which resulted in an entire body of work from China as part of a new direction focusing on the environment and our relationship with nature as mentioned earlier. Residencies are such a great opportunity to have time and space to think about the work you are making currently and the work that you want to make, and to research and try out ideas. So I find that after a residency, my work is usually profoundly changed. In you recent work The Loveliest Mountain of China, premiered at the Inside Out Art Museum in Beijing, China, you have used a 3-channel system, like a tryptich. Could you introduce our readers to this video? The Loveliest Mountain of China is one of the


pieces I made as a result of my residency and travels in China. It is a 3-channel looping video monitor installation, shot in a southern mountain region in China called Huangshan. The monitors are hung vertically like long scroll paintings. The audio comes from megaphone type speakers on both sides of the three screens. This piece upends the traditional format of documentary filmmaking in that we have three aspects of documentary playing at the same time. On the left screen, we have establishing shots in the form of landscapes. In the middle, we have b-roll in the form of tourists entering and exiting the frame having their picture taken in the landscape. And on the right screen, we have interview footage of local people who work on the mountain in the tourist industry being asked questions about their relationship to the mountain, growing up there and working there today. The screen on the left that shows the landscapes is undeniably spectacular. The landscape is familiar from Chinese landscape paintings, with tall spiky mountains, rolling fog, setting sun and changing light. The seven scenes are shot on a tripod for several minutes and play like moving paintings in a 25-minute loop. It is quiet and beautiful.

However, the sound coming from the speakers is noisy and aggressive. It is the synced sound from the right screen. There are tourists screaming, cell phones ringing, and construction of new hotels in the distance. This is the background noise to the interviews of the local people, in which they describe why they think people come to Huangshan and how their feelings about the place have changed after working there. The interviews, which run for a total of 50minutes, are with hotel employees, a tour guide, a sewer pipe worker, a farmer, a painter, and luggage carriers. Because of all the background noise, I chose to subtitle the interviews, which were conducted by me in English through a Chinese translator. You hear our voices, but both of us are off camera. Where the left screen is the landscape and the right screen is the tourist industry, the middle is the tourists. One by one they pose for a photo on a concrete perch, against the surreal mountain backdrop. It may as well be a painted backdrop as many do not even look

Installation view: The Loveliest Mountain of China 2014 50 minutes looping 3-channel HD video installation, three 42� video monitors

behind them as they descend, pose, smile, and exit. For me this work is addressing similar themes as HedonHeathen, speaking about our relationship to nature as tourists and how our experience of the natural world can be very unnatural. What's next for Lana? Any projects on the horizon? I am working on a few new projects. One of


and two wall mounted megaphone speakers.

them is a collaborative work with a choreographer, composer and set designer. It is a dance piece based on the images and ideas of Francesca Woodman. We have received some preliminary funding and are just in the early stages of production. I am also working on an immersive video projection piece that will hopefully be presented with live sound at a benefit for the Rainforest Action Network. And another project I am working on is using only found footage from the Internet, but that one I

am not ready to talk about yet. Check my website, www.lanazcaplan.com, to see the exciting new work as it rolls out!


Silvio Cris贸stomo

Toshiki Yashiro A still from frame white hair


An interview with

Silvio Crisóstomo The short video White hair by the talented Brasilian photographer and videoartist Silvio Crisóstomo reveals a remarkable effort to use the camera as a contemplative tool. The use of static shots marked by barely perceivable inner movements à la Bela Tarr highlights the dualism between movement and fixation. Silvio, how did you get started in filmmaking?

The realization of experimental films was a natural consequence in my artistic career. As creator of visual poetics, I used photography as an artistic medium and substance of my work, moving freely through photographic videos and finally reaching experimental videos. The finitude, displacement, territory, loss, melancholy and feelings derived from these issues are topics that are very close to my heart and vital for me. I am concerned about them. The transposition from one language to another had effectively occurred in 2012, when I arrived two years ago in Curitiba (southern Brazil), I understood that I was ready to deal with such personal issues as universal. I was born in northeastern Brazil, a region where the restrictions, drought and pains are a source of strength, wisdom and resignation. I raised by myself forged by a metropolis (São Paulo - Brazil), and as such, does not turn over in human affairs.

Silvio Crisóstomo

of view time is logically imbued with my subjectivity. I am fascinated by the finitude of things and all kinds: one of them arising from the construction, the other one as the erosion caused by time.

Curitiba gave me silence and reflection; either asked me answers about key questions and ancestors memories. I'm honored to see my name related to Béla Tarr and I am very grateful for that.

White Hair shows that there is not only one time, but perhaps multiple: one in which our matter and corporeality are inserted and another in which our desires and the inevitability reign, because this last happens in the unconscious.

Passing-of-time is the central theme of White hair. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your work?

The grid where the feather is trapped is a cutout of a real cage, where an animal (it or us?) has its time absorbed by others eyes looking its own prison.

The passage of time, its consequences and interpretations are raw material for a multitude of movies. From my personal point

The feather is metaphorical and creates the felling of despair evoked inside us before its arrest simultaneously the desire for freedom,


Struggle (Peleja)

which is released for a place incognito. A major enigma. You are a multi disciplinary artist, White hair present painterly qualities. In what manner your work as photographer influences your videomaking?

Over the past four years I have intensely dealt with the issue of isolation, lack of time people, immediacy, urban violence in all spheres (physical, architectural, political). I built myself as a photographer, autodidact, during the two years of exploration all over SĂŁo Paulo, I set out across the city. And this experience has led me to have issues in the previous question, on them that are dear to me mentioned in the previous question, but this time added to the practice of errancy.

São Paulo was built by migrants (like me) and foreigners of any country in the world. At that time I couldn´t understand that I was recording the numerous attempts to build an identity through the deconstruction of the same (ruins wears devaluation of the surroundings and memory architectural, visual pollution, neighborhoods being modified, oppression and system repetition). This lack of unity in the city; between what we were and what we never will be; was recorded by me. Only in the following years, I have the distance and detachment to make an analysis of all this photographic material. The combination of these practices and reflective experiences, plus the need for aesthetic expression referred me to produce videos. My country camouflages the reality, this symptomatology is in the Brazilian mindset


Toshiki Yashiro


Bauen

culture which does not confront the subjects in their origin and it is unberable to me.My pretension is to get the essential from the roots. The sensuality of the colours in White hair and a masterly use of available light make you able to achieve a stunning balance between a dreamlike atmosphere and natural environment. -Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project?

This is a complex and deep question. I started as photographer by the need to live. I was born in a place devoid of quitness of soul, quiet and it affected me directly. I have a plan to create, I have insights, anxieties and then, I discuss with my wife Clo Lainscek , who is my curator and intellectual partner, about all emotional and psychological aspects, practical and symbolic ways to improve the issues and its topics. Many works become materialized just because there has been a movement run by an emotion

on a subject. There is a concern always present inside my work: it happens when I try not to represent reality, but to present my poetic language, I make my creation extracting it from reality. Many of the places that I photographed, already as a professional, were recovered from my youth memory. From them I began to understand the social dynamics of São Paulo. Being Northeastern, I am emotional by nature. This is how it happens, by emotions. Who among international artists and directors influenced your work?

Imagination was a crucial factor for my survival during childhood and when the cinema was presented to me, I perceived that many people around the world spoke the same language as me. I wasn´t alone anymore! I'm an Anglo-Saxon´s creates movie because of our colonial structure in Brazil, and through this knowledge, I got to know other ways of thinking and express with more depth in


São Paulo Color

several European schools of film making. I prefer to say that I was and I am daily inspire by several artists , however, not influenced at least not consciously. I do not want to be, deliberately, a poorly made copy of thoughts or works of another one.

making. They are invisible companions in my journey.

I like what you said when you compare me as a multi dimensional artist and as you said I absorbed the transit of every work of art that the world offered to me: pop culture, music which I use daily for my work, I can´t live without music. The graphic design, architecture, comics, painting, sculpture. I have great appreciation for Nicolas de Staël in painting. In photography, Thomas Farkas and Alexander Rodchenko are examples of rigor. In the movie, Robert Altman taught me what is driving script, Ridley Scott my favorite esthete, Vittorio Storaro and Vilmos Zsigmond my great cinematographer, Kubrick my friend's dreams, and Michelangelo Antonioni who managed to translate the beauty of disenchantment pictures. These are the ones who always help me to reflect on the art

I thank and appreciate very much the invitation and the opportunity to show and talk about my work. At this very moment I'm producing two new videos: one of them is about the Psyche´s dissociation, and the other one is about Curitiba, the city that I live as a main character. Both will be much higher length videos than White Hair.

Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Silvio. What's next for Silvio Crisóstomo? Are there any art projects on the horizon?


Jody Zellen

Time Jitters, synopsis Time Jitters is a single channel animation that combines drawn and appropriated news imagery becoming a meditation on how the media presents world events. Created by tracing over news imagery both digitally and by hand, Zellen changes the original image in myriad ways. While these original images

are diffused, they never disappear. Images of war, man made and natural disasters, and the destruction they cause are ubiquitous in the media. Through her appropriation and re-presentation, Zellen changes the context, the way the images communicate, and how what they represent is understood.


An interview with

Jody Zellen Time Jitters is an ironic and at the same time very complex and layered video. The first time we have watched your work we have been really impressed by the balance between your visual style and the refined slidings of sense you are able to provoke in the viewer. How did you come up with the idea for this work? "Time Jitters" is the culmination of a project I have been working on for a long time. It all started with the concept of daily rituals. Beginning in 2005 I committed to making a daily drawing. These drawings are spontaneous-- a quick doodle using a black pen on a piece of A4 paper. In addition to the doodle drawings, for a number of years I also traced images from the newspaper. These newspaper tracings were featured in my net art project "Without A Trace." In that project I was interested in the relationship between my hand tracings and how the computer could be programmed to trace an image. This led to another daily ritual -- saving the source image the computer traced as well as capturing the webpage where it was displayed. I later began to explore using this archive of a year of images as source material for another project. I transformed the source image into a high contrast black and white photograph and collected the line drawings the computer generated. In addition, I also reduced the original image to a grid of large pixels. To create "Time Jitters" I drew from this archive of imagery. First I animated the 365 source photographs (one for each day in the year) and all the iterations I generated. I later created a series of digital collages where I superimposed my hand tracings of news images over the pixelated backgrounds. For "Time Jitters" I created a grid of twenty-five animations that includes each sequence of this imagery. The large grid functions like a bank of television screens similar to what might be seen in a newsroom where different events from all over the world are presented simultaneously. Each animation starts with a sequence of colors. Because they are all

Jody Zellen

different lengths they loop at different rates so the colored sequence appears at different instances within the grid of twenty-five. I wanted the work to present a bombardment of pulsating imagery in contrast to the quieter linear sequence that occurs in the second part of "Time Jitters". In the second part of Time Jitters you explore the way media present world event crossing the boundaries between reality and representation: in this animation each information element is decontextualized and then recontextualized inside the new scenario, a technique provoking continuously slidings of sense. Time Jitter has not a diegetical aim, but tend to sabotage the common perception mechanisms. Could you introduce our readers to the second part of your animation? The linear sequence in "Time Jitters" runs about eighteen minutes. It combines drawn and pixelated images that are derived from photographs found on news websites. The work is a meditation on how the media presents these news worthy events. The animation is a sequence of over forty separate fragments each using a different news photograph as its point


of departure. The original images are scaled back, diffused and subtly manipulated, yet what they reference never disappears. Images of war, crowds, man made and natural disasters are prominently featured in the work. I want the viewer to recognize the tenor of the imagery yet also appreciate the way I have taken it apart and recontextualized it, see it as a sequence of moving elements that coalesces in readable imagery that then breaks apart becoming another in an endless flow, just like the news. It is important to note that "Time Jitters" is also a free iPhone/iPad app. For the app, I selected 12 clips from the longer animation and added a sound component. In the app users can scale and reposition these clips creating a collage of overlapping visual and sonic elements. Please visit www.jodyzellen.com/apps to learn more about these projects.

Could you introduce our readers to the multi-disciplinary nature of your art practice? I never wanted to commit to a single media or way of working. I tend to gather raw material -like saving a year of images -- and use that source material as interchangeable building blocks to create many different projects in a multiplicity of forms. For example, the "Time Jitters" project encompasses hand tracings of a newspaper image that have been scanned and used as elements in digital collages, which then become templates for paintings, pages in an artist’s book, images in an iPad app and the basis for an animation in which the drawing process is made visible. It's important to me that my work be available to diverse audiences, especially those that exist outside a conventional gallery setting. I have created large scale permanent public art projects as well as net art and iPhone and iPad apps which can be downloaded for free and looked at on a


hand held device. I also make artists books and try to have a book component in conjunction with every installation I create, so viewers have something small they can take away with them. The different aspects of my practice inform and play off one anther. None could really exist without the other. To see the range of what I have created please visit my website: www.jodyzellen.com. In your work we can recognize a deep introspection: do you think art’s purpose is simply to provide a platform for an artist’s expression? Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? Could art steer or even change people's behavior? While some of my work -- specifically a body of stream of consciousness drawings-- is very personal and stems from whatever is inside my head rather than what happens in the world, the majority of my work uses mass

media as its source. I want all my works to be visually and formally appealing at first glance but it is important to me that the works resonate on a more social and political level. I do think art can change how people think and how they interpret what surrounds them. I hope my works engage many different types of audiences on multiple levels. How did you get started in animation? I started animating my still images when making my first website, a net art project entitled Ghost City (www.ghostcity.com). My first animations were simple GIF animations where an image would oscillate from positive to negative or change orientation: up, down, left, right. I also tried to make more complex GIFs but at that time (mid 1990s) the internet was slow and animations that developed across hundreds of frames bogged down the browser. When I discovered the program Flash things got easier as it was an animation program


designed to produce low resolution files that could be viewed on the web. I continue to use Flash for all my animations as its a program I know well. I use it to create frame by frame -drawn animations as well as to create movement and changes to photographic imagery. Often times my animations are a process of reverse engineering a finished still image. I bring the elements into Flash layer by layer and have them start out of the frame and end as the finished photograph. I never

studied animation but came to it via a web based practice where an animated component added a dynamic element to the page. I eventually began to make the animation a stand alone work, rather than a part of a webpage. What draws you to a particular subject? I am drawn to all things animated and interactive. I am an avid gallery goer as I write monthly art reviews and the work that catches


structured container of ever changing information and have used both its form and content as the basis for my work. In my use of appropriated images and texts I gravitate to images of architecture, crowds, demonstrations, shadows and silhouettes and poetic texts about the urban experience. In these images, it's the contrast between light and dark, the density of a mass of people and the elegance of the shape of a silhouette. Thanks for sharing your time Jody, we wish you all the best with your artist career. What's next for you? Have you a particular video in mind?

my eye is often video, photo or installation based. I respond to work that is content driven yet is also visually appealing. These same principals apply to my own production. I want my work to be both visually and conceptually compelling. I am not necessarily drawn to particular or specific subjects as much as to a methodology of working that stems from transforming a given element in some way. I have always been interested in newspaper reproductions and the newspaper as a

I am conceptualizing my next project which I hope will be an interactive installation with multiple video projections. In this installation, I would construct two semi circular walls out of a translucent material so that the projections could be seen inside as well as outside the environment. Suspended from the ceiling would be a motorized platform that is in continual rotation that houses a number of projectors (enough to span the entire circle). As the projectors rotate from wall to wall the projected imagery would become an ever changing cityscape. I would use a combination of hand drawn animated imagery, live-action video and footage culled from myriad historical sources, and weave together these different forms and formats to create a narrative about an imagined city. At this point as I am conceiving it the projection would tell the story of an unspecified place that is an amalgamation of actual and proposed futuristic cities. In conjunction with the large-scale animations, I envision a set of of floor based projectors displaying smaller vignettes as overlays creating a video collage. These vignettes will function as windows into new or imagined worlds contained within the cityscape panorama. As of yet I do not have a venue for this presentation but usually I make the work first and then adapt it for a specific space.


Stephen Broomer Pepper’s Ghost

In the late sixteenth century, the Neapolitan scientist Giambattista della Porta gave us the earliest description of an optical illusion later

known as Pepper’s Ghost. In Magia Naturalis (1584), he describes the circumstances that create this ghost: a light-blind chamber is sealed by glass, partly polished; the spectator gazes upon it without realizing that the glass conceals a sealed, hidden chamber. Light,


and forward path, the objects visible “as far from the glass inward, as they stand from it outwardly, and clearly and certainly, he will think he sees nothing but truth.” I have used variations of this statement to establish the terms of my film Pepper’s Ghost (2013), and its roots in renaissance thought and the crisis of perspective in art. Della Porta was dedicated, in his text, to the value of the undisclosed illusion. He concludes, “if an ingenious man do this, it is impossible that he should suppose that he is deceived.” For Della Porta, this phantasmagoria was an act of natural magic; it can be explained, but in the domain of perception, it casts doubt on reason. This ghost had entered into our knowledge of optics in the renaissance, alongside the camera lucida, also described by Della Porta and later named by Kepler, a device that shares some qualities with the ghost. In the nineteenth century, the illusion would at last be named upon its entry into the conventional grammar of stage theatrics. Henry Dircks, an engineer, had tamed it for public spectacle, through his Dircksian Phantasmagoria. John Henry Pepper later popularized it, when he adapted it from magic lantern performance to theatre, and the press gave the ghost his name.

Pepper's Ghost (2013)

passing within that chamber, causes objects to appear or disappear and to become transparent. “For what is without will seem to be within, and what is behind the spectator's back, he will think to be in the middle of the house,” the distance collapsing background

In my work to date, much of it in Super8mm and 16mm film, I have explored perceptual enigmas, primarily through techniques of superimposition, frame alternation, and colour and line treatments that transform the image, flattening the picture plane, annihilating depth. When I began to work with video in 2013, I did so with a determination not to record realist images, but to either record or construct images of perceptual and perspectival difficulty. My interest in working with moving images is tied to my understanding of the evolution of perspective in the arts, and in particular, the impulse in modernism toward flatness and abstraction. In late 2012, I was appointed the Scholar-inResidence at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University. When I moved into my office, I discovered that it was one half of an observation room, the remains of a psychological testing unit. This is a unique


site for exploring the relationships between the camera eye and the place of the observer, the role of the cameraman and the role of the audience. Throughout the film, the camera sits mid-screen, the camera eye looking directly at the viewer. I realized that I could create simple optical illusions in this mirror by playing with ceiling lights, gel filters, and curtains. I could create obstructions to vision, and I could slowly reveal both sides of the divided space. The mirror is thus transformed into a mysterious tunnel. It is not a perfect approximation of the illusion of Pepper’s ghost, but it begins from the same materials – glass, light, and darkness. Relationships of observer and observed begin to change. Those behind the camera are also always in front of it. Together with my collaborators, fellow filmmakers Eva Kolcze and Cameron Moneo, we assist the camera in its illusions by performing around it. We move about the room, raising Venetian blinds, putting mood-altering coloured gels in different combinations and shapes over the mirror on either side. The three of us move between the two rooms, the other room a series of infinitely repeating mirror images of what goes on before us. The rooms are revealed in a changing light. On the soundtrack is a recording of the Tantras of Gyütö. This record, of Buddhist monks chanting, allows our gestures to take on a monastic dimension, as if we were building a mandala. Our actions also mirror the soundtrack in our construction of multiple images, against the polyphonic throat singing of the monks. Pepper’s Ghost arises from concerns of depth and the visual plane that have dominated modern and postmodern art, in particular, the avant-garde films of Canadian artists Michael Snow and David Rimmer. This work extends those concerns, muddying the realist vision of video by creating dense layers of colour, light manipulation, and movement. It also represents a departure in my work, a move away from programmatic constructs (of mythology, of history) that have informed my past work, to involve an improvisatory and performative process.

Pepper's Ghost (2013)


Spirits in Season (2013)


An interview with

Stephen Broomer Stephen Broomer's short film "Pepper's Ghost" is what we can define a "Chamber work" for cinema. Many experimental filmmakers have attempted in the past to face the simplest subject of the history of cinema: in a sense Stephen Broomer had many precursor in this intellectual journey, just think of Carmelo Bene's Hermitage, entirely shot in a hotel room. However, the layered experience of spectatorship Stephen is able to create, along with the use of inexpensive tools such as gels and filters, is absolutely new. Where do you get the ideas for this film, Stephen? Pepper’s Ghost is the first in a series of films that involve environmental portraiture. This piece started from an immediate fascination that I felt for the qualities of light in these two rooms; it didn’t come from conceptual conceits, those came after. Once I encountered the mirror, I did some research on the effect that was being created and learned about its history. I used that as a baseline to inform our experiments in the space. What we were able to achieve mirrors the visual aspects of my earlier work, almost all of which dealt with superimposition, effected either in camera (in 16mm) or by way of a digital intermediate. Pepper’s Ghost is different in that the layers are created through tricks of light, using our bodies and gel filters to obscure and augment the image. Pepper's Ghost has been often compared to Slidelength by M.Snow. Apart from Micheal Snow can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? I’ve enjoyed very flattering comparisons to Slidelength, although there is another work of Michael Snow’s that has a greater correspondence to this piece, his photograph Immediate Delivery (1998). A lot of my other work comes up through the lyric tradition in film, primarily the work of Marie Menken and Stan Brakhage. This influence is not evident in

Stephen Broomer, photographed by Michelle Louise Wilson

Pepper’s Ghost, for that work has its roots in a pre-determined structure, but those are influences that I carry around with me. This work also emerges out of my interest in the flatness of video, in undermining that by generating depths within the composition. In your film you are able to create a sort of metacinematographic spiral movement involving the filmmaker himself and the spectator. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your work? Yes, I see what you mean. In this work, there is this channel that we’re standing in, a path of light tricks that runs from the camera into its own reflected eye and just beyond that reflection. As the piece starts, my collaborators and I are irrelevant in that path, just obstacles taking actions that have unpredictable effects. Later, when we become sensitive to the camera and its responses, we interact with it in a more informed way. What the spectator sees is a true experiment in this sense, one that builds slowly and that draws them into this dynamic, to our side, caught in the channel of the apparatus. In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer? I consider myself a filmmaker and, despite my admiration for video art, my aesthetic debts lie in the experimental film tradition; that said, I have almost always employed a hybrid form, shifting from film to video and back again. I believe that material difference will remain


Queen's Quay (2012)

important in aesthetics, even as we enter the vacuum of digital imaging, and that it is a great thing to have as many options as possible in image-making. Frontiers are vague and pliable. We need to try to extricate our understanding of mediums from our understanding of traditions, in the pursuit of something new. The Canadian scene is often underrated, nonetheless we have found it very interesting and rich of young experimental filmmakers, often working with no budget, but with great results. What do you think of the Canadian artistic scene, from a filmmaker's point of view? In Canada, there is a diversity of forms, so diverse, even disparate and lacking in unity, that it becomes difficult to think of it as the work of a community. And it’s true that some of us are really struggling to get work made, with very few resources. But under dire circumstances, strongly individual bodies of

work can emerge. That is what I see in the work of those I admire, and I hope that is the direction of my work. What are your upcoming projects, Stephen? I am currently working on several projects. Two of them extend the aesthetics of Pepper’s Ghost, in that they’re conceived around predetermined structures. One deals with the inducement of mental and physical relaxation through hypnosis, extending, in a way, the Canadian artist John Hofsess’s approach to making underground films as Reichian therapeutic experiences. Another project continues a series of films that deal in extended self-portraiture, which began with Pepper’s Ghost. This work is my attempt at staging Diego Vel·zquez’s Las Meninas in a flickering light.


Balinese Rebar (2011)


Balinese Rebar (2011)


Marina H.S. Pu


Alien Home By Marina H.S Pu Carmo

“Alien Home” is an experimental dance film and video, which is inspired by Lithuanian poet Sevetini Namai, born in Siberia Camp during Soviet Union time. This poet describes his city, home and identity. Personally I collaborate with ERA Film Company based in Lithuania, and finish this film in capital city Vilnius at one summer. “Alien Home” intends to interpret this poetry and the sorrows of Siberia story and Lithuanian identity. I discuss with Lithuanian professional dancer Denisas Kolomykis, we chat about this poetry, and doing the improvisational choreography. After few days, this young and enthusiastic dancer follow the poet’s thinking, and make this film with us. In my memory, it’s a cold morning, we film into the river. He brings his dance works towards me, and I conduct this image through the beauty of motion pictures and editing cut. There are 3 artistic materials to combine together: dance and film-making and poetry. It’s a great experience to work with dancer, record the movement of body through the vision of filmmaker, approaching the interesting stages within aesthetics. Meanwhile, we discover the parts of special history and atmosphere in Vilnius city.

Marina H.S. Pu

A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo


An interview with

Marina H.S. Pu Movement is the essence of cinema. Marina H.S. Pu's original approach to choreography reveals a remarkable effort to get under the skin of cinema, conceiving the camera as an anthropological tool to explore the incommunicable. We are pleased to present Marina's film Alien Home for this Videofocus Edition. Marina, how did you come up with the idea for this experimental film?

Thanks for your comments. Dancing film is truly my lucky points on my career. I made 2 dancing films in my life so far. The first one ‘Dance in Taipei’ makes me award the prize and push me on this way towards occupations, start my journey with film-making. The 2 nd one Alien Home, through your comments and Venice art festival: ‘Hidden identities’ experimental film events this year, I see myself much more clearly with my characters, my films, and my life journey. I made this film in Vilnius city of Lithuania when I join the filmmaker-residency with local documentary company. My original project is related to Siberia camp history and poetry. I spoke to producer online in Vilnius, and then, she agrees to support me partly for this film. So, I start to pack my stuff in London apartment at late summer time. When I fly to Vilnius city, my first impression: this city is small, cozy and mysterious, comparing to London or Taipei within my residential area. Since I arrived, I feel touched by certain mysterious and interesting energy there, it’s sad and beyond the languages-speaking. It’s clear but abstract, which contradicts the principles of narrative and traditional films with my logics. It’s from my instincts. So, I consider making one film with experimental

Marina H.S Pu Carmo

style, even I was not sure what it is exactly. As a girl, I always fancy being a ballet dancer; however, my family does not allow me to learn ballet in my childhood. During 18 years old, I passed the exam and enter National Taipei University of Arts in Taiwan, it’s the gate for my creative life. My first friend is a student in dancing department. She is one of the best students in the department, during that moment; I already see her potentials when we were so young. I like the way she dance, especially on the stage in public shows. Somehow I love their dancing movements, and I like to research the paintings of Edgar Degas. I fall for the positions of ballet dancers before the moment they start to dance behind the stage, it’s beautiful for me. Probably I have emotions towards dancing when I was child; this expectation or regret keep me to conceive more films for body movements. I keep this hobby and nature after I moved to Edinburgh of Scotland, filming refreshingly for my projects. To recall ‘Alien Home’, the second motivation for filming is the poetry of Sevetini Namai. I search for necessary information for my films at random midnight in Vilnius city, then, I discover his poems. It’s incredibly amazing when I read it.


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo

It’s very close to the vision what I read this city , and how I look into my personal inner emotions during that time. That night, I read his poem “Alien Home “continually, and I search for his backgrounds. When I understand he writes about himself through Siberia Camp experience at Soviet Union time, I combine his personal life experience with this poetry, I realize more. Meanwhile, this poetry also connect with my experience, something is more inner stages, eventually I did not have similar difficulties like Sevetini Namai in life. This poem inspires me. Consequently, I decide to make film about his poem “Alien Home” through determinations in my mind. We have been really impressed by the original way you explore the movement of body in Alien Home. For this project you have collaborated with Denisas Kolomykis, a

professional dancer. Could you describe this collaborative experience?

Yes, I met Denisas through the assistant director Justina in the film company based in Vilnius. She is my AD. We are very happy to work together, basically Denisas and Justina are much younger than me, I’m like their older sister, since I born in 1980,they might born in 1990. I enjoy a lot to chat with them about my script, my thoughts and my inspiration from their home town and this poet. Also, my actress Olga spends a lot of energy to search for English version for 'Alien Home' poetry, obviously Seventini Namani wrote in Lithuanian languages. We chat about this poem 'Alien Home', and I show English version to Denisas, however, he also reads the Lithuanian version what we offer. We try to find out similar cognitions through visual senses between choreography and


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo

film-making, specifically for cinematography and editing. It's pleasure to have communications with Denisa , sharing the ideas and their cultures and histories in Vilnius coffee shop by Sunday afternoon. After couple days, Denisas finishes his choreography ; we start to shoot his part at the river scene next day. He impressed me because he puts clay on his face, for the homeland image what he sees in the poetry. This is classic.

performance from New York and other places. For me, it's a great collaboration experience; I like improvisational dance and filming. Everything is so spontaneous, through your original relationship with your own arts and materials; it shows your skills and the quality of your arts precisely. If it's not good enough, it's so easy to tell in the film. Especially we only have 15-20 misn to finish his part, for me, it's crazy. So, it’s really the good opportunity to test me and his working qualities.

On the other hand, we film him alongside the river, he gets down to the water without my requirements. Actually, I was thinking that he should get down, but the water was so cold, however, he gets down to the water without my expectations, as a director, his attitude shows his profession and good potentials as a good dancer and performer, I almost can see his great career during that time. After this film , he seems to get luck on his career, there are more and more invitations for his

The poems by Lithuanian poet Sevetini Namai are incredible. When did you get in contact with his biographyworks for the first time?

Initially would like to make the topics with my original plan, which is Siberia railway. When I arrive this country, I realize how sensitive issues between people and Siberia camps. It’s a tragedy of their history, and it’s controversial. Poem has the simplified storyline but complex, this character attracts me a lot to make film


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo

with poetry. I search on the internet, and I discover Lithuanian poet Sevetini Namai,I got his contact ,but I did not call him in the end.I did not expect this poetry and film Alien Home might get any attention one day. When I make this film. I think freely, without any fames or finance burden in my heart, I just want to make it purely, keep the film quality as original as possible.. Now, after this interview, I might try to find Sevetini Namai again, send this articles and film to him by post. I think he would be very happy for this. The recurrent use of static shots marked by barely perceivable inner movements à la Bela Tarr highlights the dualism between movement and fixation. Could you introduce our readers to this aspect of your filmmaking?

Personally,I like “Bela Tarr’,I watch film in Taipei film festival when my film was selected by that year also, it’s around 2003.I was really young, by 23 years old. It’s my first time to

watch this type movie, I sit in the cinema all day, watching his ‘Satantango’in darkness,it’s a long film, with black and white color and long takes. For cinematography and directing, it’s very unique and energetic. My first thought is, who does have this courage to make feature film like this, and with 7 hours? Bela Tarr gives me the brave mind to try my potentials more in experimental way. Actually, my film ”Alien Home” intends to interpret Sevetini Namai’s work, so there is a girl in the film, she reads poem ‘Alien Home’ continually, dancer Denisa gets into his spiritual journey in the poems world. They create dualism spaces between silent and dynamic world. In the meantime, they try to build up connections in the reality; even they live in the far sides from each other in the story. The cinematography tries to catch their psychological conditions, which is hard to speak in any drama formats or dialogues.


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo

How did you get started in experimental filmmaking?

It’s nature. I fall in love with filmmaking when I was 19 years old. And I start to play different camera and editing ways .I was BA degree for fine arts subjects, So, my educations encourage me to do different things, carrying on experimental style. Eventually I am a Tv director afterwards, but I still try to defend this part of me. Your refined cinematography reminds us of Gregory J. Markopoulos's cinema. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?

Indeed. Gregory J. Markopoulos’s film is beautiful, and I see the similarity with my film on motion pictures style, and I feel grateful that my work could remind you of Gregory J. Markopoulos. I have fine arts backgrounds; this training affects me a lot on filmmaking. I decide to

make film when I study fine arts in Art University, so filmmaking challenges me a lot and my tutors, but I insist to continue my journey. By the end, I met some right people in Asia and Europe, particularly in UK, France and Italy. They encourage me, and give me support through film competitions or project proposal competitions in the reality. It makes me focus on my dream, but I never say it’s easy to work in tv industry for livings with such a long time without any frustrations. My favorite filmmaker is Christopher Kieslowski initially, when I go to Britain, I also have significant influence by Ken Loach. I love European films and arts history,such as Italian renaissance ; it’s inevitable to give me a lot of energy and reasons to be who I am today. So, I really appreciate of these parts. I feel like myself alive in the paradox place, which in between European and Eastern Asian cultures. I don’t feel that I belong to any cultures or homeland as an artist or filmmaker, frankly, I


A still from „Alien Home“ Dancer: Denisas Kolomykis, filmmaker: Marina H.S Pu Carmo

feel like my soul is closer to European arts and films than anything else. My concepts and ideas of my films stay at the very mysterious stages, it’s hard to understand for people. Probably I go to Europe when I was very young, then I move back to Taiwan for University education. In Taipei,I majored in European art history, shortly after, I worked in TV industry here, and then I move to UK for master degree trainings. So, all of my up brings has many influences from European visual arts .Filmmaking brought me to the journey I never imagine, and give me everything what I want in my life, it’s amazing, such as my life guidance or teacher. Thanks for sharing your time, Marina, we wish you all the best with your filmmaker career. What's next for you? Have you a particular film in mind?

Thanks!!My next step is to make 90mins feature film, I plan to finish script before next

summer, and then I would start to plan more things. Probably it would be the film called ’Lost .Identity’ based in UK, there is a city called Bournemouth, Dorset, near the English Channel. It’s a story describes the Portuguese chef and English murder, true story on BBC news. Hopefully, this film can find out a good crew and good producer…Then, this year, I would still teach film and tv productions in Takming University based in Taipei .Your interview intensions and my film festival also show in the news media based in Hong Kong and Shanghai, it’s interesting phenomenon for me. At the moment, the most important thing is to make first 90mins feature films ’Lost .identity’, and move to next stage of my life with filmmaking. So, next February in 2015 , I would have some collaboration with Japan or Thailand, developing my film script there. Thanks for the contact; I really enjoy a lot for this interview and your intelligible questions.


Zoe Chronis

“After a while we learned that many companies had these titles made up in thousand foot lengths as an economy in money and time and incidentally, in originality. And if the ‘That night’ title happened to be used up, a piece of ‘The next day’ title was used to meet the situation. Daylight savings meant nothing in those days” –Peter Milne, 1925 I recorded this series of Title Cards in Delaware County, Pennsylvania on 16mm film (black and white and color) and digital video. These short movies feature a handlettered card based on title-writing conventions from the silent era; twist endings reveal the entire card in wide shots. While reading about the history of intertitles—also called titles or subtitles—I learned that anti-titling critics argued strongly against the presence of written words within a montage of images. I shot these stills when I viewed the first 16mm prints in October, 2014, and am continuing to work on the project.


Still from Title Card Reel 2 Projected in a Fireplace, digital video of 16mm film, 3 min.


An interview with

Zoe Chronis The history of intertitles is a fundamental starting point of your research for Title Cards. How did you come up with the idea for this work? In 2013 I was an office assistant, recording and editing video interviews in the context of social work. A friend and I came up with an intertitle joke during an everyday conversation, which I’d rather not describe in detail since I haven’t yet been able construct the right prop. Developing the idea started out as a kind of escape. Each film begins with a close-up on the text and ends with a zoom out: could you introduce our readers to this important aspect? The zoom reveals the card’s place in the world. Titles are traditionally non-diegetic (existing outside the world of a movie), after the zoom, they become diegetic. It’s like voice-over narration suddenly becoming dialogue in a scene. I recently watched Saul Bass’s opening titles for The War of the Roses

Still from Title Card Reel 2 Projected in a Fireplace–Fro

(1989): close-ups on “bed sheets” are revealed to be a handkerchief. That’s similar to what I’m going for. I think of my Reel #2 as The Wizard of Oz of titles since it begins on a

for Photoplay magazine. He argued that conventional title card writing was a waste of

close-up of white text on a black board then

space and, to make his point, referenced the

zooms out to colorful leaves. Another camera

studio practice of recording common phrases in

move I tried was a tilt-up to an airplane.

thousand-foot reels for later use. I still haven’t

When did you discover Peter Milne's statement?

confirmed if this was an actual studio practice; but I like his joke either way, even though I’m

A few months before shooting the movies I

pretty sure I don’t share his opinion. Other

read Milne’s statement in an essay he wrote

critics argued that titles alienated viewers who


nt View, digital video of 16mm film, 3 min.

could not read, or could not read English. And

writing conventions are not well-documented,

I can see where they’re coming from.

and most cards have been destroyed. I corresponded with an archivist who told me he

Could you take us through your creative

had seen a fly land on a title card in a film he

process when starting a project?

was restoring. The colors of the fly were

Once I have a basic premise, I start making

inverted, implying that the original card was

drawings and prototypes, and then generate

white with black text, which they later

more ideas by reading about the subject. For

reversed. The size of the fly would have given

this series I tried to learn how intertitles were

me a good idea of scale for that card, but I

historically constructed and filmed, but title-

didn’t get a chance to see the shot.


Still from Title Card Reel 3, black and white, 16mm, 3 min.

I collected publicity photos of artists posing

from that site like the pile of leaves. I didn’t

with their title cards or hunched over drafting

plan on filming traffic until I was on the third

tables—I tried to embody their attitudes. I

roll of film.

tested different types of paint on cardboard and practiced the lettering style I wanted to use. I

I am still in the middle of the whole project, and

constructed two cards sized for different aspect

don’t usually think of work in terms of a single

ratios. The phrase I reproduced on the card is

version. I recently viewed the first prints and

from Daddy-Long-Legs (1919), a movie

recorded a video of the fireplace projection. I

featuring written text in numerous forms.

had just moved to new apartment with a fireplace and decided to use it.

I shot the movies near an abandoned auto shop thinking it would feel like a film studio exterior

From the first time we watched Title Cards

(this was a backup location after my fantasy

we were impressed by the painterly

location up the road was demolished

qualities of your analog footage. Why have

unexpectedly). I incorporated other materials

you used 16mm film for this project?


Still from Title Card Reel 3, black and white, 16mm, 3 min.

I based the structure of each reel on Milne’s

recording the detail of white text on black

claim that studios parceled out mass-produced

cardboard in close-up.

phrases from “intertitle reels”; I wanted a clear beginning and end point provided by each roll

Can you tell us your biggest influences and

of film. I also recorded digital video versions

how they have affected your work?

with their own reveals.

I think a lot about Joyce Wieland’s short film 1933 (1968), since it complicates the

Since I was going to zoom to a wide shot, the

perception of words and images so well.

camera needed to be some distance away from the card during the initial close-up, making it

Anita Loos’s work has helped me understand

nearly impossible to record the monochromatic

how expectations for the presence of written

texture of the paper with the digital cameras

words in movies were formed in the silent era.

available to me on a small budget. 16mm film

She wrote a film treatment in which the

happened to a more accessible format for

presence of cards influences the characters’


Still from Title Card Reel 3, black and white, 16mm, 3 min.

behavior. This seems like her joke about

card, they all jump up quick and gnash their

intertitles, so it’s worth quoting here:

teeth; when he shows the “Jealousy” card, they all draw daggers and go for each other. Murder

“Professor Bunk runs a school of acting. He has ten or twelve pupils he lines up in a row. On some large cards, about two feet square,

is just evaded by the professor quickly flashing up the “Hope” card.” —Anita Loos, “The School of Acting” (1914)

he has printed in big type the names of the different emotions; such as “Anger,” “Jealousy,” “Love,” “Hope,” etc. One by one he flashes the cards in front of his pupils and they oblige by portraying the emotion. When

Of course I have also been inspired by famous zoom-users throughout film history such as Michael Snow and Robert Altman.

he flashes the card reading “Love” they all sink to their knees and put their hands on

How did you get started in experimental

their hearts; when he flashes the “Anger”

cinema?


Still from Title Card Reel 3, black and white, 16mm, 3 min.

I’m not sure about “experimental cinema,” but

Thank you for the interview. I hope to

I started editing short videos in-camera when I

eventually try out every possible titling

was sixteen. I liked recording split-second

method, especially laser-etched subtitles.

shots and playing them back, hoping there would be funny juxtapositions. One of my favorites was a person pushing a stroller across the street interrupted by the sound of a sink garbage disposal. That’s basically how I got started. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Zoe. What's next?

Zoe Chronis primarily uses drawing, video, and film to focus on the role of written words within still and moving images. She studied film and anthropology at Vassar College and visual art at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received an MFA and a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. She most recently exhibited work at Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Carmen Tiffany


Hearts are Dead An artist's statement

Using several mediums I attempt to reconstruct my memories and investigate the significance of childhood imagination in relation to the destitute and isolated regions of culture. Using fantastical characters I subtly blur the line between predator and prey in a haunting beauty. I focus on a bright color palette mimicking the aesthetics of childhood fantasy and fables. Three paper doll characters travel through a land filled with fallen friends, foes and abandoned objects. For this short I had the idea of the audio track first. The lyrics are about a place that has been left in ruin and the paper dolls have been left behind to deal with the aftermath. They decide that they must leave and have little hope for the world outside their disheveled home. Balloons at times representing the traveling trio show that the outside world is just as desperate as their home. There are abandoned bottles and witch feet sticking out everywhere representing that there is no one left. The three towards the end walk into a fire. Layering several types of animation I use a mixture of 3D and 2D techniques layered into one another. I like to use bright colors in dark enviroments. Some elements are appropriated from existing content while other are hand drawn or modeled from scratch in 3D applications. Ambiguity in linear storytelling is important to me because the work is also about texture and color, so they narrative leaves many questions while eyes are busy bouncing from object to object. Carmen Tiffany


An interview with

Carmen Tiffany Carmen Tiffany's effort to explore childhood imagination reveals a sophisticated and personal reinvention of the visual identity of the rural American west. We are glad to present Hearts are Dead for this Videofocus edition. Carmen, could you tell us a particular episode who has helped the birth of this animation? I spent a majority of my time and energy as a youth trying to get away from where I grew up. I am not special and I think almost every other kid experiences this angst. Where I derail is how I dealt with not being able to leave. I remember going through a phase where I would go to bed really early to escape and fantasize about who I would be in another life, what I would do with my time if I lived in a city with the culture I wanted. I tortured myself with these other childhoods filled with art and people, that I thought I could have had. Hearts are Dead features three doll children traveling through a landscape similar to my home terrain. Though I leave this ambiguous to the viewer, they really are kids just trying to get out of town. Witch legs stuck under rocks are metaphors for less than admirable authority figures who have fallen to their own devices, leaving these paper dolls on their own to figure out their next move. As they try to leave they are confronted with the perils of a rough landscape and fall victim to the elements. Balloons represent the three traveling out somewhat successfully in spirit, later to find they are stuck back at the beginning. When we are young our emotions are intense and unbridled. I think this energy is exciting and I try to channel this in my projects. Other videos are more specific to a memory, but Hearts are Dead speaks to the general state of emotion from my youth.

Carmen Tiffany

A recurrent characteristic of many of your artworks is experience as starting point of artistic production: in your opinion, is experience€ an absolutely necessary part of creative process? Experience is not necessary, however I think anything created is indicative of that person’s life in some way. It is impossible to create something without having a connection to it. How did you get started in animation production? I entered graduate school as a sculptural ceramicist- basically making life sized anthropomorphic ceramic toddlers. This work seemed cold and stiff, and failed to encapsulate the narratives I had in my head. During that time I reluctantly agreed with my now husband that we needed to buy a computer to share between us. I also had an installation set up and decided to dress up and film myself telling one of my stories. After editing this first video, I started animating with in that week. My husband never got his hands on the computer


A still from Hearts are Dead

he convinced me to buy for both of us. After I saw my sculptures come to life digitally, I never looked back and ditched the clay. The monstrous mouth telling the story is a peculiar visual aspect of Hearts are Dead: how did you come up with the idea for this? In the opening scene the mouth is featured singing into a microphone alone in front of some red curtains. This is heavy and intentional reference to David Lynch’s characters that sing lonely ballads on stage throughout many of his projects. In addition the mouth is animated to move with the words, but there is no movement or life in the head or the hair. I feel like many supporting characters in David Lynch films are similar to the way I styled this monster. He often features background characters that pop in and out of scenes. They seem to warn main characters of impending doom and hope they pay heed to their puzzle talk. They lack emotion and seem disconnected from the

characters in the film, like they have seen it before. This “narrator mouth” is a thread in many of my videos. This character knows the whole story already, is detached and stuck retelling the story every time the video is played. Animation is a complex process. Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? Some ideas for new projects come quickly and others develop over a period of time, and then I have done seem to fall out of the sky on a rainy day. A character will pop into my head and I will fit it to a memory, or the other way around. Animation takes longer to create than anything else I have done. It is a hard process to be really spontaneous in the middle of a project. It is funny to me because animation can create the most bizarre things imaginable and bring life to them, but the process is logical and very structured.


A still from Hearts are Dead


A still from Hearts are Dead


I certainly have changed direction in the middle of a project, but it is difficult. When I start a new animation it is usually an idea or brainstorm that has been sitting in purgatory for a long period of time. My ideas usually have a shelf life of about six months or more before I animate them. If they make it through that waiting period and I am still excited, I create them. Depending on the nature of the project I will make the audio first. For the last few I have been recording these sort of slow melodic lyrics with the simplest chords imaginable. I am not a musician, but I like to sing and write lyrics. After the audio is recorded I draw sketches for what the characters will look like and go through a typical animation process of storyboarding from there. From the first time we watched Hearts are Dead we had the impression that your use of color is not merely aimed at achieving extremely refined composition: your imagery seems to be deeply influenced by the emotional potential of color: could you better explain this aspect of your shooting style? Garish color and imperfections are intentional. I like to use bright color in contrast with dull palette and dirty textures. Some animators try to make their work with an aim of believability, both in structure and narrative. I think this is impossible and I try to embrace the artifice that is intuitive for me using computer-generated animation. I think having a long relationship with materials like clay, fibers and found objects allows me to make a mess on the screen. Layering and compositing different types of animation styles are important to me. Breaking conventions and creating unstable and loose aesthetics reflects the conflict I am interested in between childhood imagery and painful complications of life. Artists are often asked about the inspiration for their work... can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? My first inspiration was a series that featured animated shorts called Liquid Television that

A still from Hearts are Dead

aired in the early 90’s. I loved animation and watched cartoons all the time, but it was late at night on MTV that I realized you could animate adult content in an experimental nature and with obscure stories. I didn’t get around to actually animating until later on in art school for some reason, but that influence stayed with me no matter what I was making. From then on they’re too many animated shows to name but ones that remain strong influences have been Nickelodeon’s Aaahh!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life and MTV’s Aeon Flux which started as a short on Liquid


Television. Tim Burton of course completely captivated me during my teen years.

What’s next for Carmen Tiffany? Are there any new projects on the horizon?

Contemporary visual artists that are long running influences are Mike Kelly, Paul McCarthy and Mathew Barney. They all have the ability to make you feel uncomfortable with familiarity, which is very exciting to me. Other artists that I adore are Ivan Albright, Hans Bellmer, Egon Schiele, Hieronymus Bosch and Jan van Eyck for the way their interpretation of the human body communicates a deep struggle that connects to many who view their work.

I have a few exhibitions coming up here in Miami, but I also just started a new project found at beforeinternet.org. This work is actually a website that will be filled with drawings, gifs and webisodes explaining what it was like to be a teenager before the internet and cell phones existed. Dark humor and sarcasm will heavily coat all aspects of this project. The site is a work in progress and I will be adding components to it over the next year or so.


A still from Hearts are Dead

I love .org sites, as they are usually associated with some kind of public duty or informative approach to their existence. I have collaborated for years now with April Childers (a New York based artist) on an ongoing project. We call our collaborative Destineez Child (destineezchild.org). It is filled with a lot

of humor of this same nature. It is mostly performative and we act as flawed entrepreneurs trying to make a quick buck with undesirable business models. Creating social commentary dealing with class, commoditization, and self-made entrepreneurship is our goal. We are planning


a large performance called Kuntry Fair that will happen in Miami, FL, where I live, in the spring. It will be a public event and the attendees are in for a strange experience and a laugh to say the least. I am also looking to collaborate with a musician or other animators to create a full

narrative short with multiple contributors. I feel the best work comes out of collaboration and I am excited to see what comes my way.


Torsten Zenas Burns


From DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON

A synopsis A re-imagined survival portrait with embedded improvisational bodies, Immersion Suit Doubles, mobile architecture, etheric smoke signals and variable landscapes. Collabotronica Demoformances Texts: Construction Yellow Mobilers / Ressurectables / Spectralography / Cloaca Snow noises & O'Malley Objects & Nelson Black pool

integrations / Analog Memory-Packets / (((((Choreographica)))))) Macro-Memory Chunks / Custom Fit Slippage Vehicles / Free-Range Nano-Bautica / Mobile Geography / Communicorp / Furnatrav-Travelture Wood Exo-Skeleton / Seasonal Fluid Training / Tulpoidal-vision / Re-scanned Demijon Fusion Glass‌. Special Thanks To: Michael O'Malley, Chris Nelson, Neil Young / Cloaca, Kari Gatzke and Hanne Burns.


An interview with

Torsten Zenas Burns DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON reveal painterly qualities reminding us of Francis Bacon's early works: could you introduce our readers to this stunning work? I am really happy with the painterly comment. My first experiences with captured video was in the late 1980’s and it was all about realtime processing of the recorded video signal. Hours and hours standing (never sitting) in front of constructed artist media machines. Inserting multiple cords inside of multiple holes producing kaleidoscopic color bursts. Rescanning sculpted video scenes as if made with cracked clay, hot oozing metal welds or zinc plates dropped in an acid bath. I have been videotaping improvisational bodies and their relationships with mobile architecture and variable mixed media sculptural forms for over twenty years. I am very interested in post-human interfacing and choreographic tulpoidal fictions. The speculative DEMOFORMANCE videos have focused on a series of self-portrait BODYBANKS delivery systems interacting + communicating with grotesque, humorous and ambiguous pressure suits, sculptural skins, ecto-plasmic discharges and a 46 year old humanoid. Have you used an analogue filter in DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON? Could you describe your creative process for this work? The physical APP I used for rescanning the HD video footage was created in the 19th century. Hand blown pearl-clear glass oval demijohn with ellipsoidal body, short slightly protruding neck with cork, wide flat ring laid on below tooled lip, mold line running continuous from one end to the other along center of underside and embedded with micro bubbles of negative VHS space. The demijohn “filter” was on loan from my mother’s cabinet curio collection.

Torsten Zenas Burns

From the first time we watched DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON we had the impression that your use of color is not merely aimed at achieving extremely refined abstract composition: your cinematography seems to be deeply influenced by the emotional potential of color: could you better explain this aspect of your shooting style? I am interested in color as augmented character. Multiple inanimate or animate characters now reside within each other and begin a collaboration inside the video frame. We see a constructed body (and literal body) layered with saturated colors extend our


From DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON

senses. Real time video processing memories fused with digital editing software can activate a kind of synesthesia within the maker, performer and viewer. I need to reremember tasting Lego bricks. Collaborations are fundamental for your art practice: with Darrin Martin and another with Anthony Discenza (under the name HALFLIFERS). Collaborations are critical to my art making practice. I believe in sideways biological tethered creation strategies. I would also describe my collaborative exchanges as visiting a parallel earth HOME DEPOT that is not glued to any one location. Its always variable and unstuck, its store props are unique and intuitively present themselves to the current collaborative partners and unfolding media project. Currently a solo version of myself would be securing some hot pink & construction yellow spray paint for a series of micro tele-ressurectable sculptures. A HALFLIFERS trip might include a trip down

the industrial cleaning aisle securing protective overalls, plastic first aide kits and karo syrup. If I went with Darrin I am sure we would be thinking about crypto-humanoid sized inflatable balls, latex monkey masks and appropriated flesh bodies. In this way collaboration has and will continue to extend my current life. As an artist, how important do you think it is to teach what you practice? Wunderkammern: cabinet of media curiosities is a film history class and interview I am currently writing and teaching offsite at The University of Hartford. Our first screening was the wonderful documentary INHALING THE SPORE followed by SYNTHETIC PLEASURES. I have been very fortunate to have had some really dynamic and inspirational teachers over the years. I love school. I believe in a cradle to grave certificate life degree program.


From DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON


Teaching is curation research fused with performance art. I love activating improvisational collaborative student video shoots related to visual media themes. Its exciting to see critiques unfold for the first time. Its also interesting to talk to students about their ((RESEARCH- CONSTELLATIONS)) to understand that this activity is lifelong, endlessly inter- connected, infectious and not based on grades or money. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Torsten . What's next for Torsten Zenas Burns? Are there any film projects on the horizon? VIDEO INSTALLATION: I am very excited to premiere a new multi-screen collaborative video installation called ARK3: THE WORKSHOP SCENARIOS at Alfred University’s Fosdick Nelson gallery in October. The year long piece was made with Darrin Martin and reimagines an obscure TV show called Ark 11 from our 1970’s childhood. It will include speculative pool workshops, life size inflatable balls, and video cameos from a simulated slim good body, anatomical human flesh characters, Cronenberg fly head, mirror face and a pair of projected spirit guides in the form of a wiccan mother and dead gay cop father….. EDU PROJECT: Creating a variable R.E.C.O.M.B.O. syllabus revolving around energistic transport Between water-bodies. Class time will focus on micro residencies re-enacting key temporal experiences associated with a new motion dazzled Eldrich from the Philadelphia experiment. Participants can play with a Sandine machine embedded in its bulkhead for physical RGB communication. There will be daily viewing of the film HOLYOKE TRANSFER partially completed in 1915 and finished in 2015 taking place on the Connecticut river. This is all part of a new low-low res P.H.M.F.D.A. Summer program at PARSONS HALL PROJECT SPACE. An application will be provided in our next magazine project called THE UNCANNY PIONEER VALLEY: TWO. If interested we probably have already contacted you.

From DEMOFORMANCES: DEMIJON


Steve Juras Autopsy, a synopsis

Autopsy is a brief meditation on the self as it hovers between life and death. The video layers promotional material for a surgical camera

system, first-person documentation of a gallery performance and audio from the opening of Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona. Within this framework the character of the physician/artist/viewer performs procedures upon anesthetized or lifeless bodies for the


A still from Autopsy

sake of concrete knowledge. At the same time, these personas expose themselves to the unflinching eye of the camera and become separated and disembodied from themselves. Autopsy, then, authorizes you to participate in this ontological shifting between the bodied and

the disembodied, the knowing and the unknowing. Here you may sense for yourself a subtle oscillation between life and death.

Steve Juras


An interview with

Steve Juras From the first time we watched Steve Juras's Autopsy, we were strucked by the way he explores the blurry bundaries between death and life, subjectivity and representation. Rarely we have seen such a cinematographic effort to explore the Self-concept amoung contemporary experimental filmmakers. We are pleased to present Steve Juras's Autopsy for this Videofocus Edition. Steve, how did you get started in experimental filmmaking? I got started with experimental filmmaking while in graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was exposed to and assisted with a lot of video and performance work based on late 1960s, early 70s endurance art. I responded to this influence in an anti-heroic and self-deprecating manner. I amassed source material by filming myself sharpening pencils, jumping and falling over storage lockers in my studio and stumbling into towering stacks of books taken from my own library. I then edited footage of these mundane yet absurd activities into short films using an elementary language of jump cuts, speed changes and dropped frames. At best, these early pieces experimented with narrative logic and started to play with the relationship the body and found objects. Your video Autopsy is marked by a remarkable performative approach. We have been really impressed by the balance you have been capable of achieving in this work between classical sensibility and a futuristic vision. Could you introduce our readers to this work? Autopsia is a contemporary work built with contemporary tools addressing contemporary issues of self, representation and performance in mind. A crucial thing to know about the work is it’s roots in the history of autopsy practice, specifically the end of the Renaissance. During this period, Classical ideas of the body as a representation of the divine yielded to a secular and mechanistic view of body as distinct from the self. This transition reflects my interest in how ideas of

Steve Juras

self and selflessness are constructed by our ability to see ourselves as physical bodies. And for me, this idea of embodied seeing is directly related to performance. Within the anatomical theatres of the late Renaissance, anatomists taught new ways of seeing through public performances of autopsy. Autopsy contains a clear reference to Bergman's masterpiece Persona. When did you get in contact with this film for the first time? Casey Smallwood, a Chicago-based video artist, recommended Persona to me after seeing an early cut of Autopsia about 6 months ago. Admittedly, I was a bit blindsided. And pleased. Blindsided because I had not found the film before even though I had seen my share of Bergman. But pleased because it was the right time. I was ready for it. I was ready to really see it for myself in the context of my work.


A still from Autopsy

You are a multidisciplinary artist. We daresay that Autopsy reveals both the architectonic and gestural nature of the artistic act. The audiotrack from Persona in your video reveals a precise choice: let the images suggest imaginative sounds. In this sense, your choice is no doubt a synesthetic one. Would you introduce our readers to this aspect? There are aspects to this piece that escape me, specific moments of synthesis being one of them. So bear with me as I attempt to address your question: Autopsia presents three layers of content. Each layer has it’s own logic which is displaced by the others. For example, the logic of the surgical procedure, an effort to fix an injured hip, is knocked askew when combined with visuals of sculptural materials being aggressively torn asunder. The unedited audio from the introduction to Bergman’s Persona then

punctuates and amplifies the synthesis of these displacements. Being the son of a doctor and a nurse have really influenced your art research: you have spent many hours in St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. How has your history influenced the way you produce art? Allow me to answer this question by turning the question around on itself. My history has not influenced the way I produce art. Rather, the way I produce art has influenced my history. It was only after months of researching autopsy practices that memories of growing up around hospitals and doctors and patients emerged. The more I work, the more specific these recollections and influences become. These experiences don’t help me understand, however, what the work is about. I don’t consciously insert them into this piece or that.


They do provide insight into why I’m engaging in this type of work; it’s good to know there’s some basis to your intense fascination with life and death!

A recurrent characteristic of many of your artworks is experience as starting point of artistic production: in your opinion, is experience an absolutely necessary part of creative process?


A still from Autopsy A still from Autopsy

The absolutely necessary part of my creative process is silence. Silence allows me to reflect on experience and listen to what it has to say. We have previously quoted Ingmar Bergman, even though your filmmaking

style is very far from what is generally considered 'academic'. Who among international artists and directors influenced your work?


Here’s a few things that have stuck with me for a while: Artists and works: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s “The Happiest Man”; Richard Tuttle’s “Systems III”; Goshka Macuga’s “The Nature of the Beast” Writers and texts: Ben Davis’ “9.5 Theses on Art and Class”; Eyal Wiezman’s “Forensis: The Architecture of Truth”; Slavoj Zizek’s “Event: A Philosophical Journey Through a Concept” Directors and films: Von Trier’s “Melancholia,” Kieślowski’s “Decalogue”, Herzog’s “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser” It could seem a specious question, however we have to do it, Steve: what's the future of experimental cinema in your opinion? Hahaha. Yes, quite the mischievous question! I have no idea what the future of experimental cinema is and have no problem admitting that. I simply do not know. And this condition of not knowing, of not knowing the end or future of the activity, is, for me, the very basis of any experimental art. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts, Steve. What's next for Steve Juras? Are there any film projects on the horizon? The very generous mother of a good friend recently gave me the video footage of her cataract surgery. I’ve got video documentation of blind contour drawings made while wearing fragments of wood, bubble wrap and chicken wire from past performances. And I’ve got a 50ft roll of mylar and a tank of helium. I don’t know what’s going to happen but there’s a new piece coming in the future…

A still from Autopsy


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