OFF THE SCREEN!

Expanded Cinema Performances, New Media Installations & Salons

at the 56th Ann Arbor Film Festival  |  March 20 - 25, 2018

 

 

INSTALLATIONS

i am also We: the consciousness of decolonization

أنا أيضا هن: وصية بتفكيك الاستعمار

 

 

Radical Media//Radical Democracy: The Future Has a Past

David Olson | Ann Arbor Art Center

This installation builds on the activist-artist’s digital publishing project, Radical

Democracy: an inventory of transformational ideas, documents, quotes and

conversations, an interactive e-book that connects social and political movements

of the past 50 years with those of today. The e-book features shareable quotes,

graphic memes, interviews with activists and organizers, and a digital archive

of manifestos and other radical documents. The exhibition explores the dynamic

relationship between revolutionary movements and parallel advances in media

technology. From the revolutionary pamphlets of Thomas Paine and mimeo-

graphed manifestos of the Civil Rights and New Left movements of the 1960s

to the copy-shop ’zines of the 1980s and 1990s, advances in technology have

increased the ability to spread radical ideas and information. They’ve also helped

to create a unique aesthetic and context to frame public discourse during times

of change. Today, almost universal access to digital media production and

distribution have given such movements as Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives

Matter, Dreamers, and #MeToo an even greater power to raise consciousness,

organize people, and challenge and replace hegemonic establishment politics

and culture. Bridging art and activism, the installation is a participatory multimedia

experience that remixes artwork and text from print, social media, audio, and video.

Download the free interactive book and more at www.radicaldemocracy.net.

North Quad 2435

Towards a Six-Dimensional Cinema

Peter Rose | North Quad 2435

Continuing his long-standing interest in other dimensions of vision, Rose presents an anthology of the work resulting from his research into “six-dimensional cinema.” Topics include public spectacle, mysterious journeys, hyperdimensional space, and poetic metaphor.

 

Through You

Lily Baldwin, Saschka Unseld | North Quad 2435

This athletically vibrant and sensual experience explores love across a lifetime. Using dance to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned, and seemingly gone forever, Through You is a live-action VR experience richly infused with an atmosphere of passion. Dancers Joanna Kotze and Marni Thomas Wood, along with actor Amari Cheatom, take us through periods of time coursing from the 1970s to 2046 (and beyond) and harboring the question: Can love be found again?

Lily Baldwin is a filmmaker and dancer who makes visceral films with dance and stylized dreamscape. Saschka Unseld is a German-born director and writer whose work intertwines the magic and wonder of modern technology with the heart of a storyteller.

Screenings will occur throughout the week, 12PM-6PM on Tuesday (3/20) and

10PM-6PM Wednesday (3/21)-Sunday (3/25). Screenings are first come, first serve,

with registration onsite.

 

Through You is presented in partnership with the University Musical Society (UMS).


Education Partner

University of Michigan School of Information

 

Student Reels

This installation consists of videos made by students from the College for Creative Studies (Detroit), Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti), Edge Hill University (Ormskirk, the United Kingdom), the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design (Ann Arbor), and the University of Michigan Department of Screen Arts & Cultures in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (Ann Arbor).

Elsewhere


TEXTURES

Matt Wilken and Shane Law | Ann Arbor Brewing Company storefront

We are surrounded by textures—be it a layer of sound, the feeling of

the earth on our feet, or the visuals of a setting sun. Many of these

textures exist in nature, while others are created by humans. In any

given day, we are bombarded by a mixture of these visual sensations,

but how often are we aware of the connections between them? Art

mimics life, and vice versa. TEXTURES explores the harmony and

discord between the natural and the fabricated. We see patterns

emerge as we explore the micro to the macro. Through the

juxtaposition of images mixed with subtle sound, TEXTURES seeks

to show an interconnectedness between humankind and the world

around us.

Swarm House

Laurie O’Brien | Lamppost in front of the Michigan Theater

A miniature cinema installation inside of a birdhouse plays a looped video which explores the psychological idea of “home” in our era. The tiny hole of the birdhouse exposes the viewer to anxious, nested birds who are invaded by silhouettes, airplanes, drones, giant bees, and other flying objects and animals, loosely referencing Plato’s allegory of the cave. The birdhouse becomes a portal of entrapment for the viewer, investigating contemporary ideas around voyeurism, distraction, flight, and home in our shifting world.

                                                                          

Senses of Time                                                                           

                                                                              Wenhua Shi | Michigan Theater Mezzanine

                                                                              A site-specific installation, Senses of Time depicts the lyrical and                                                                                 poetic passage of time. The work focuses on defining subjective                                                                                   and perceptual time with close attention to stillness, decay,                                                                                           disappearance, and ruins.

 

 

Shifting Waters

Lavinia Hanachiuc | Michigan Theater Grand Foyer

This installation evokes a dry estuary inhabited by biopolymer ghosts.

 

What We Saw

You, the Viewer

Blank cards are provided for you—the audience—to write down what you see at the festival, onscreen or off. Leave your card in the box provided at the What We Saw station in the lobby to be photographed and added to the ongoing slide show happening in the northeast corner of the main lobby. This slide show is an experimental remix documentary made possible by you and the rest of our smart, diverse, and experimental film-loving AAFF audience. All are invited and encouraged to participate!

 

Off the Screen! Installations Partner

University of Michigan Roman J. Witt Residency Program at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design


 

RECEPTIONS, PERFORMANCES, AND SALONS

Public Reception

TUESDAY 3/20

3:00 – 5:00pm | North Quad 2435

This reception for North Quad exhibitions features Lily Baldwin and Saschka Unseld’s VR artwork Through You, Peter Rose’s 3-D/6-D video Towards a Six-Dimensional Cinema, and select student work.

Experimental Film as Psychogeography

Salon

WEDNESDAY 3/21

10:00am – 12:00pm | North Quad 2435

Gerry Fialka

Gerry Fialka’s interactive discussion involves the participants as urban explorers (aka flaneurs) redefining cinema with new metaphors and questions. Guy Debord explained psychogeography in 1955 as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” As a group, we delve into the work of avant-garde filmmakers Dziga Vertov, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, Bill Brown, and Theo Anthony, investigating public environments, surfing the internet, and emphasizing playfulness and “drifting.” We probe the hidden psychic effects of film experimentalists via Marshall McLuhan, who observed: “A movie camera carries your eyes out on your feet into the world—it’s mobile.” As detectives and strollers, we can flip the internet’s immersive environment and socially engineer the global theater.

Film Art Forum

Salon

WEDNESDAY 3/21

3:00 – 5:00pm | North Quad 2435

Filmmakers and other festival guests present 20 slides each at a rate of 20 seconds per slide, resulting in a dozen six-minute talks by film artists. The subject matter varies, with all presentations aiming to promote an in-depth exploration of cinema as an art form and to encourage further discussion that nurtures the AAFF community.

High-Fructose Cinema and the Movie Industrial Complex: Radicalizing the Technology of Representation in a Domestic Kind of Way

Salon

THURSDAY 3/22

10:00am – 12:00pm | North Quad 2435

Bryan Konefsky

A protocinematic childhood memory leads to a major epiphany about the very nature of projected light.

Public Reception

THURSDAY 3/22

3:00 – 5:00pm | Ann Arbor Art Center

This reception for Ann Arbor Art Center installations features i am also We, by Razan AlSalah and Hyun Wook Seo; David Olson’s Radical Democracy project; and a performance by Good Evening Gumm.

Good Evening Gumm

Performance

THURSDAY 3/22

3:00 – 5:00pm | Ann Arbor Art Center

Good Evening Gumm performs a live musical score to accompany a collection of their short, experimental videos and animation. The performance incorporates costumes and props that extend the screen works and create a playful audiovisual experience centered around characters that appear both on and off the screen. Good Evening Gumm consists of three performers: Derek Andes, Eric Neuhaus, and Hubol Persson-Gordon. Together they create music on a variety of relatively portable electronic instruments and a $1.88 microphone.

Your Homemade DCP

Workshop

FRIDAY 3/23

10:00am – 12:00pm | North Quad 2435

R. Thomas Bray

AAFF’s technical director presents this workshop for filmmakers. Almost every movie you see today is the playback of a digital file, and most of those are wrapped in a file format called a DCP, or digital cinema package. As an independent filmmaker, being able to create and deliver your work as a DCP has many advantages—mostly the assurance that it will be played back exactly as you created it. In this session, you will learn the basics of creating your own DCP.

 

Century of Progress / Sleep and Bed-Stuy to Beebe

Performance Salon

FRIDAY 3/23

3:00 – 5:00pm | North Quad 2435

Back-to-back media performances give way to an open discussion among filmmakers Paul Catanese, Lyn Goeringer, and David Bering-Porter.

Century of Progress / Sleep

SALON: FRIDAY 3/23 // Installation available all festival week

Paul Catanese

Century of Progress / Sleep is a cross-disciplinary performance

for voice, tuning fork, ship’s bell, sea drum, software instruments,

and live-cinema system. This work imagines that inanimate

objects, hyperobjects and hypothetical entities, having recently

acquired consciousness, immediately reject rational systems for

conceptualizing “the nature of things” and instead adopt an

intellectual posture of epistemological chaos emerging from

mutative half-truths, mischaracterizations of science, and

lawless theories of knowledge. This variable-duration work

navigates a geometric libretto—a terrain of texts—via

electronically processed vocals that energize a plurality

of software instruments resulting in a hypnotic, mirage-like

soundscape.

Bed-Stuy to Beebe

SALON: FRIDAY 3/23 // Installation available all festival week

Lyn Goeringer and David Bering-Porter

This improvised audio and video performance weaves urban environments

and landscape footage into early video art aesthetics, accompanied by live

accordion and electronically processed sounds and field recordings. Over

the course of approximately 20 minutes, the artists weave the video and

audio media together, working to create an experience where the two are

intrinsically linked and where the viewer-listener is immersed in a complete

environment of experimental video and sound.

Off the Screen! Artist Talks

Salon

FRIDAY 3/23

6:00 – 7:00pm | Michigan Theater Grand Foyer

Laurie O’Brien talks about Swarm House, installed on the lamppost in front of the Michigan Theater; Wenhua Shi discusses Senses of Time, projected in the Michigan Theater mezzanine; and Matt Wilken and Shane Law converse about TEXTURES, a storefront-window video projection at Arbor Brewing Company.

range

Performance

FRIDAY 3/23

8:00 – 11:00pm | Outside Michigan Theater

Mat Rappaport

range fragments the experience of the work of art, thereby creating multiple points

and spaces of engagement for viewership. It engages the transient and mobile

condition of much of our inter/action within the urban environment. Using a box

truck mounted with external cameras, Rappaport captures live images from the

surrounding environment, which are mixed with pre-existing video, and projected

onto a screen mounted in the back of the truck. Sitting in the passenger seat of the

truck, the artist “remixes” the environment in real time, performing a moving intervention into architectural space; range thus continues Rappaport’s effort to shape the experience of urban environments through media-based interventions. Rappaport’s work seeks to unearth the historically embedded psychological and perceptual contingencies of the built environment. He is a tenured associate professor in the Interactive Arts and Media Department at Columbia College in Chicago and a co-initiator of the international curatorial project V1B3.

RGB.VGA.VOLT HD and DJ set by Aaron Batzdorfer 

Performance

FRIDAY 3/23

10:00pm – 2:00am | The Club Above

James Connolly

RGB.VGA.VOLT HD is a DIY audio-video synthesizer that hybridizes analog and

digital systems to combine the control and precision of digital programming,

the clarity and vividness of high-definition, digitally projected light, and the

organic spectrum of analog video. Digitally synthesized complex waveforms

are improperly bent into the red, green, and blue pins of a hacked VGA cable as

an analog signal and then converted into full-quality HDMI. Digital light, usually

generated through predetermined algorithmic calculations, is liberated through

the spontaneity of raw analog signal processing to generate an intense

synesthetic experience of light and sound. 

Beyond Resistance: Seizing the Revolutionary Moment
Salon

SATURDAY 3/24
11:00am – 12:00pm | Ann Arbor Art Center
Moderated by David Olson
Radical Democracy activist and artist David Olson leads a public discussion with a panel of media makers, activists, and organizers, including Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers of Weather Underground, Alan Haber of Students for a Democratic Society, and Moumita Ahmed of People for Bernie Sanders and Millennials for Revolution. Other panelists and in-gallery media-making opportunities are TBA.

Lily Baldwin

Salon

SATURDAY 3/24

1:00 – 2:00pm | North Quad 2435

Join guest artist Lily Baldwin and members of the Detroit women’s filmmaker collective Final Girls for a discussion about pushing the boundaries of storytelling and, in particular, how you can use VR to engage your audience in new ways. Baldwin will talk about her latest work, on display at Space 2435 and at the Power Center, titled Through You—a virtual reality narrative that she describes as a “visceral poem, filled with saturated colors, bold score, and dance to inhabit a common mortal story of love: born, lived, lost, burned, and seemingly gone forever.” We will view the work and respond to it together with the filmmaker, in person—learning about her approach to the medium as a practitioner of both film and dance.

Presented in partnership with Final Girls

Chris McNamara and DJ Chad Pratt

Performance

SATURDAY 3/24

10:00pm – 2:00am | Red Room at Necto

A live audiovisual set.

What the Hell Was That?

Salon

SUNDAY 3/25

11am – 12pm | North Quad 2435

Moderated by Daniel Herbert

This panel has been an Ann Arbor Film Festival favorite for more than a decade. It began when a filmmaker overheard an audience member declare, “What the hell was that?” about his own film. An enlightening discussion ensued, and the idea for the panel was born. Join us for an opportunity to watch and discuss three short experimental films selected from this year’s festival by visiting filmmakers and other special guests.

Bitch, Thunder!

Performance

SUNDAY 3/25

Various times starting at 4:30pm | The Michigan Theater

Bitch, Thunder! is an all-female drumline from Toledo, Ohio. Led by accomplished percussionist Jess Hancock, the group consists of eight women committed to inspiring young female musicians while proving the power of drumming in public spaces. The members are Jess Hancock, Kelly Thompson, Kate Komuniecki, Amanda Belt, Megan Marissa Medley, Janelle Nunnally, Kelly Johns, and Megan Tyson.

saajtak

SUNDAY 3/25

8pm – 12am | Babs’ Underground

saajtak performs live music.

 
 
 

Razan AlSalah and Hyun Wook Seo | Ann Arbor Art Center

i am also We at AAFF 2018 is generously supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and Temple University Theatre, Film, and Media Arts.

i am also We: the consciousness of decolonization is a docu-fiction media installation, a series of three video works on settler colonialism, displacement, and the intersectionality of ongoing Syrian, Palestinian, and indigenous American struggles. The bunker-like structure is made of cardboard—material usually used by refugees to build their first shelter. Ducking into it, audiences arrive at the intersection of the three narratives before choosing which to watch first. Headphones on, each viewer is now at the center of another intersection. Two videos are projection-mapped onto a corner screen, merging them into one visual perspective—that of the viewer, (dis)connecting different places, times, and peoples. The personal narratives of three women recontextualize found and archival images of virtual and physical spaces. An “i” and a “We”—an immersive experience, yet a collective one; a singular perspective and an intersectional view; a personal narrative and a (dis)connection, with questions on time-place and belonging.

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