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59th AAFF Salons and Performances Round Up

Catch up on some of the In the Screen! performances, workshops, and salons you may have missed during the 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival.



Live collage cinema and live collage sound! Legendary sound collage group Negativland teams up with legendary live cinema artist SUE-C to bring you a streaming audiovisual performance about our nervous systems, our realities, and the evolving forms of media and technology that inevitably insert themselves between them. Original music, found sounds, uniquely organic visuals, manipulated media, Boopers, and a few surprises are normal to come to your attention.

Thank you to our grantor who supported this performance: Arts Midwest

Pluriverse Conjunction

How can we reinforce the circular, pluralistic, feedback-driven nature of environmental symbiotic relationships and oppose the linear, anthropocentric modes espoused by neoliberal capitalism? What does joy look like in a time of environmental, economic, and social collapse? What light do academic theories like enactivism, posthumanism, actor-network theory, and decolonial theory shed on what it feels like to live in the world? Given our collective history, how might expressions of national grief manifest?

The Room Presumed by Scott Kiernan, a recorded performance from the 59th AAFF. The Room Presumed utilizes machine learning and real-time video processing to reveal the paradoxes inherent in the ways we speak about “immersive” media. The work is inspired, and the software partially trained on, an early 1980s thought-experiment at Atari in which a group of computer scientists envision “virtual reality” without any of the needed tools to do so. Through this exercise, the subjects become improvisational actors, speaking the roles of “user” and “interface.” Trained on these accounts, The Room Presumed distends and completes their unfinished acts—revealing the strings that support an illusory veneer of a so-called “technological immersion.”

Hecate’s Palladio

Hecate, the three-headed Greek goddess of sorcery, magic, and the keeper of the threshold that separates the living from the dead, emerges from her watery passageways to dance. Slowly, the stage comes to life and joins Hecate in this humorous and ritualistic performance. Set to an original score, Hecate’s Palladio experiments with live video, green-screen compositing, video projection mapping, and dance in this new work.

In Operation Jane Walk, the digital war zone of a video game is appropriated with the help of an artistic intervention. The urban flaneurs avoid combat and become peaceful tourists of a digital world, which is a detailed replica of New York City. Accompanied by two guests, the audience watches the performers promenading in the digital battleground, exploring the possibilities (and impossibilities) of new media technologies. While walking through the post-apocalyptic city, issues such as architecture, history, and urbanism are being discussed. This program is possible thanks to support from the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

Electromagnetic Environments: Sound Image Performance

Electromagnetic Environments is a solo performance by artist Paloma Kop, who works with expanded media processes to produce generative time-based work, combining electronic and digital systems with analog and material processes. This experimental performance will combine live video and audio synthesis, transmissions and interference, and echoing synesthetic landscapes, adapted to the medium of online streaming. Patterns and behaviors produced through video feedback systems can resemble natural phenomena such as fractals and fluid dynamics, while radio signals which pervade the space we inhabit are collected, made audible, and manipulated in space and time. All these elements combine to form an ambient, evolving audiovisual environment.


Make your own 16mm film loops with Sean Kenny of the Pickle Fort Film Collective. You will need: Clear 16mm film leader, and markers. What you might want: ink, glue, anything you can add to the film strip.

Watch and learn more about each artwork and the artists who shared pieces for the Virtual Gallery which is still available to view.

Alice Inside by Claudia Hart

Bamboocene: Memories of Synchronicity - Part 3 WebGL by Monika Czyzyk

Bot, by Aaajiao

Darling, Work 1 and Darling, Work 2 by Michele Monseau

Flipped Books by Marie Paccou

On a clear day you can see forever by Ian Haig

Chris McNamara sits down with Sean Kenny of the Pickle Fort Film Collective, Mary Hourani (GUTTER), Rena Anwake, and Akeema Zane to discuss their practices as performance artists.

In this Pecha Kucha-style event, ten filmmakers and other festival guests present 20 slides for 20 seconds each, resulting in a series of 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.

Panelists: Stephanie Barber, Jex Blackmore, Natasha Beste, Gerry Fialka, Katharine Fry, Ash Goh Hua, Virginia Lee Montgomery, David Opdyke, Victor Orozco Ramirez, and Deb Todd Wheeler

A short animation created during the Animation Connections Workshop that took place on Saturday, March 27 at the 59th AAFF. The workshop was hosted by Christine Veras and Steeve Leeper.

The workshop offered a playful opportunity for participants to exercise social distancing while interacting in a safe collaborative virtual space. Participants joined to create an original piece of experimental animation using pixilation to animate both humans and objects. Pixilation is an animation technique pioneered by Norman McLaren utilizing human animation puppets, giving them fairy-like movements similar to pixies. The workshop combined pixelation, stop-motion, and time-lapse photography across a Zoom interface to create a truly unique animation experience.

What the Hell Was That?

This panel discussion 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?” after viewing his film. An enlightening discussion ensued, and the idea for the panel was born. Join visiting filmmakers and other special guests for an opportunity to watch and discuss three short experimental films selected from this year’s festival lineup. Daniel Herbert is a media scholar and associate professor of the Department of Film, Television, and Media Arts in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. Panelists: Jacob Barerras, Camilo Gonzalez, Tish Stringer

Watch as the members of Negativland and SUE-C discuss how they work together to create their performance It’s Normal for Things to Come to Your Attention that streamed live on the opening night of the 59th AAFF. The group discusses their overall process and answers questions from the audience. You can watch the full performance here.

Thank you to our grantor who supported this salon: Arts Midwest


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