“Vegetal filmmaking is not concerned with the thematic or symbolic use of plants in cinema, What it aims at, instead, is the incorporation of the perspective of plant-thinking as a structural mechanism for the production of images.” Graig Uhlin, “Plant-Thinking with Film: Reed, Branch, Flower.”
As part of my research into the materiality of film conducted during a virtual summer residency with Project:Soils, I am creating a number of Arbor Film Loops. Found footage film stock is looped around trees and left to the elements to naturally alter. As rain and elements degrade and sunshine illuminates the filmstrip, twigs, leaves and branches become part of the image.
The Arbor Film Loops are meant to be experienced life as cinema, but are also documented in photographs and short video clips.
Arbor Film Loop No, 1, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, June 2021 featuring The Kirtland’s Warbler, 16mm color, produced by Walter and Myrna Berlet.
I’ll be moderating a panel on Speculative Futures in conjunction with Armando Lopez-Bircann’s solo exhibition, Arma the Oracle: Extended Reality (XR) at Transformer Gallery in Washington, DC.
FRAMEWORK PANEL #30: Speculative Futures Panelists: Huntrezz Janos, Jeff Kasper, Armando Lopez-Bircann, Jaimes Mayhew, J. Soto Moderator: Laura McGough Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 6-8 PM (EST)
Transformer’s ongoing FRAMEWORK Panel Series returns with FRAMEWORK Panel #30: Speculative Futures – a panel discussion with artists, educators, and activists that explores speculative futures, and the cultural, ethical, environmental, political, and economic systems that will all contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future. The world has experienced numerous major events, including ecological disasters, social unrest, human rights violations, and political turmoil, with increasing frequency within the past decade. As these disturbances occur at a higher rate, many artists, educators, politicians, and scientists have turned to consider the future and evaluate which components should, and should not, be included in this future.
In addition to exploring these components, the panelists will also discuss what the role of art and artists is in ensuring this envisioned future, as well as the impact of technology, surveillance, and social networks are to achieving these goals.
Presented in conjunction with Armando Lopez-Bircann’s solo exhibition, Arma the Oracle: Extended Reality (XR), in which the artist shares their vision of an ethical queer future. This exhibition is currently on view in Transformer’s storefront window, and is presented as a part of Looking In/Looking Out – a series of three solo storefront exhibitions by DC-based artists intended to encourage audiences to look within themselves and outward at the world.
The panel is free to attend, and will be held via Zoom. This program will include automatic closed-captions. You can join the panel here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86569717519… Panel ID: 865 6971 7519 Password: 783071
In June of 2021, I will be in residence at Project: Soils @ Swale House on Governor’s Island/NYC where I will continue my research on “soil cinema” and the materialist aesthetics of mud, dirt, earth and dust in contemporary experimental film and video. As part of this research, I will be burying exposed film stock and exploring the process of frame-by-frame decay of the image via soil’s living biomass.
I’ll be speaking today on my recent research into media, materiality and the coal industry as part of the UMass HFA “Five at Four” series. My talk will focus on my work to renarrativize silent cinema to reveal narratives of off-screen labor of coal miners, colorists, chemists and others who labored at the intersection of the coal and film industries.
Notes Towards an Infinite Film, an online screening series of video, film and digital media curated for Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center’s Virtual Video Viewing Room, continues with Program II: Signal, Skin, Pixel, Camera. The program will be online from June 22 through July 31.
Notes Towards an Infinite Film” is a series of online screenings that surveys four decades of film, video and new media work created by Buffalo’s extended community of media artists. The experimental works that comprise Signal, Skin, Pixel, Camera interrogate the material properties of film, video and digital moving images. The skin, or the emulsion, of film is reconsidered as cinematic image through hand-processing and chemical alteration. Software tools glitch and pixelate the digital image revealing its display elements. Image processing instruments foreground video’s noisy electronic signal. Rich, lush color is culled from the electronic eye of the camera. The resulting works offer viewers a richly sensual and haptic visual experience and entry into a unique conversation across decades of Buffalo film and video history.
Notes Towards an Infinite Film, an online screening series of video, film and digital media curated for Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center’s Virtual Video Viewing Room, launches on Monday, May 25 with “Program One: The Promise of Props.”
“Notes Towards an Infinite Film” is a series of online screenings that surveys four decades of film, video and new media work created by Buffalo New York’s extended community of media artists. Channeling the spirit of Hallwalls’ physical video viewing rooms of yore, each program will be online and viewable for two weeks before being archived. Visitors are invited to spend time with individual videos and films, following the program Laura has curated or self-curating their own version. The films and videos presented as part of The Promise of Props engage a quintessential and identifiable Buffalo media genre – the experimental narrative. Playfully transforming narrative through the use of props and costume, these works demonstrate how experiments in film and video can extend beyond cinematic form and structure to the storytelling process itself. Fisher Price toys and plastic cowboy figurines, photographs and Hostess snack cakes, accordions and playing cards, all become performative tools through which the artists create visual fables that are, in turn, whimsical and droll, farcical and poignant: a lonely spaceman finds himself lost and confused amidst the violent culture of gun-toting cowboys; a young woman searches for identity across a landscape of magazine covers; an array of dolls enact a story of class consciousness and envy; individually packaged cupcakes express gender politics; eggs and potatoes convey mystical qualities. Exploring issues ranging from gender construction and the environmental impact of tourism to memory, ritual and tradition, the films and videos that comprise this program demonstrate that the promise of props lies in their capacity to imaginatively convey a host of real-life concerns.
Featuring work by Emily Anderson and Jen Morris, Don Bernier, Dorothea Braemer and David Kluft, Ruth Goldman, Cheryl Jackson, Carl Lee, Lara Odell and Anya Lewin, John Saxe, and Kelly Spivey.
“We were called Arnait Ikajurtigiit – which translates to ‘women helping each other.’ Arnait was very loose, there was no need to be a member, whoever came was part of the group.”
“There was a fragility to the workshop. Everyone was so busy with their lives, their children and their life condition, and we didn’t have an office or much equipment, so to do this work was very delicate. It was strong, but delicate at the same time. It was something that we needed to really pay attention to because if we stopped, it would be nothing. People would still live and tell stories but it wouldn’t be on video. To make it work, it needed a lot of attention.”
– Marie-Hélène Cousineau on Arnait Video Productions