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There’s more to AAFF54 than film. Check out our installations in the Michigan Theater lobby and off- site at the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Aquarium Gallery, Encore Records, North Quad Space 2435, WORK Gallery and 111 S. 4th Street.

The art collective Flatsitter, from Buffalo NY, will return to the AAFF with their the newest installation THETA. Installed in the Michigan Theater Grand Foyer, viewers are invited to experience this new oculus rift virtual reality project inside of a giant inflated bubble. THETA is a Virtual Reality Experience - described as “an avant-garde guided meditation virtual reality spa experience founded on principles of synesthesia and sensorial decadence.” THETA collaborators include Frank Napolski, John and Carlie Rickus, Volker Einsfeld, and Noah Falck. Flatsitter presented SAFE WOR(L)D at the 53rd AAFF, and we are excited to have them back again!

Ann Arbor animator Martin Thoburn's Touch Tone invites the viewer to “dial in your musical spirit through the ghost of telephony’s past.” Installed in the former Michigan Theater phone booth, viewer activation causes telephonic sonic tones resonate at the push of a button and lights dance to the pulse of the tone.

Team members from GameStart school will be on hand in the lobby to guide participants in the creation of their own pixel art characters with their Digital Animation Community Creation project.

What We Saw, a project that relies on audience participation, returns this year and will be in the Michigan Theater Screening Room Lobby. Cards are provided for you to write ‘what you saw.’ Leave them in a box in the lobby to be photographed and uploaded into a rotating slide presentation called What We Saw, an experimental remix documentary by Everybody, with daily updates to the slideshow on the Michigan Theater box office monitor and beyond.

A very special presentation of Light Music by British artist and filmmaker Lis Rhodes will take place at the Ann Arbor Art Center. In this groundbreaking work, Rhodes plays with our preconception of film by presenting the soundtrack as a series of horizontal and vertical lines that were drawn with pen and ink on the optical edge of the filmstrip. These are projected onto two opposite facing screens in a hazy room. As the films roll, they appear as an ‘optical soundtrack’. The installation is on view for a short time only, on Friday, March 18th from 3-5pm.

Ah humanity!, a collaborative installation by Ernst Karel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, and Véréna Paravel reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the Anthropocene. Taking the 3/11/11 disaster of Fukushima as its point of departure, it evokes an apocalyptic vision of modernity, and our predilection for historical amnesia and futuristic flights of fancy. The video and four-channel audio piece will be at WORK Gallery from March 15-April 1.

Ernst Karel will talk about the work at a reception from 3pm until 5pm on Thursday, March 17th on location at WORK Gallery.

Artworks viewable from the street are:

Scott Northrup’s 8-Channel found footage video installation, Where the Boys Are at the Aquarium Gallery, Ashley and Liberty Street

Tom Carey’s Music in Heaven and Magic on Earth in the Encore Records storefront window

Miranda Dershimer’s Presentiments in the storefront window of 111 S 4th Street.

An exhibition of artworks by Manda Moran, Gary Schwartz, Jonie Wind, and Fidelia Lam at North Quad Space 2435, will be on view daily from 10am--6pm, March 15-20.

Come to the Festival this year prepared for expanded cinema experiences and the opportunity to contribute your own creative energy to the mix!

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