3.1 ephemera obscura
Take a look at what is around you. Now focus. Do you see it? Look closer. Zoom in. More. Look even closer. Crouch down, if you have to. Crane your neck. Hands on the ground. Do you see? This is important. It is there. Hidden in plain sight, but it is there. Now listen. Do you hear? Ears to the ground. Careful. Pay attention. You might miss it. There! Now, remember.
program 1 of 12
September 30 – October 13
Vote for your favourite experimental film or video art piece between September 30 and the last day of the screening, October 13. Rules.
Deborah Kelly, whose work appears in program 10 (February 16 – March 1, 2022), responded to our first program with Amphibious:
For this edition we invited selected artists to respond to one of the 12 programs in the medium of their choice. Thank you to all participants, we are endlessly humbled by your contribution.
An Apparition – Raju
2:29 · India · 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has made social distancing essential in waging a victorious battle against it. Consequently, the Indian national lockdown is intrinsic to fighting it, even though there still might be people indifferent to it. This short film draws attention to the same concern, and how not taking our quarantine with earnest intent might lead to disastrous results. It chooses the metaphor of an inconsequential insect to communicate the same.
Night and Day – Yanbin Zhao
13:51 · China/USA · 2020
Being trapped in the United States and self-isolated, I had a video chat with my family in China. Back in January, I shot a roll of film recording the sunset at Santa Monica beach, and rewatching it now, I decided to prolong the dusk as an attempt to erase the decisive boundary which separates night and day.
Program: Bodism – Piotr Kuszyński
1:00 · Poland · 2019
My project shows an attempt to cope with everyday existence and give it meaning. In the chaos of events, thoughts, issues, routine and everyday rituals become a safe haven that protects us from asking ourselves questions about meaning, etc., Treatments around the body, obsession with beauty and youth, excessive health care give us the illusion of controlling time and body. Bursting, splitting, striking out, alienating is not the result of a symptom, a disease manifestation of its existence. This is just because there is a crack, split, alienating fission in human nature.
Mitochondrial – Laura Kamugisha
4:21 · Congo/Rwanda/Canada · 2019
“Mitochondrial” illustrates the impact of black women’s unity regarding their representation in popular culture. Poetic and experimental, it connects, through an auditory allegory, black women and the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells.
Blue – Laura Magnusson
12:00 · Canada/Mexico · 2019
“Blue” is a short film shot entirely underwater, 70 feet beneath the surface of Cozumel, Mexico. It seeks to elucidate the psychological and emotional impacts of trauma from sexual violence. It is autobiographical, informed by my own journey as a survivor. Alone on an ocean “tundra,” wearing a protective clamshell-like parka and winter boots, I arduously move, exhale, and burrow through the afterlife of sexual violence. The medium of water, with its destructive potential and capacity to heal, in addition to the weight of an air tank, with its promise of survival and threat of impending emptiness, hold the fullness of traumatic experience. In this silent, psychic landscape, I bear witness to the complex nature of trauma and the ongoing process of healing. “Blue” is the impact statement that I was not permitted to give before the law. This visual testimony is produced by and housed within digital film. Visual metaphor and somatic expression become my voice. The screen becomes a proxy for me and my body. The viewing environment becomes a site for my testimony to be delivered and publicly witnessed.
Silence – Hidenobu Oishi
5:30 · Japan · 2020
As we become adults, we become buried in a world of uniform (given) interpretations. People then refuse to open their eyes, and their field of vision is closed off from the outside world.
Wild Grass – Shan Wu
19:45 · Taiwan/USA · 2020
Following the journey of a Taiwanese woman from humid and dense Taipei to the yellow sprawl of Los Angeles, the story reveals the conflict between her expectations and reality while she finds herself struggling with a new language and her lack of a car. She begins a romantic relationship with her American housemate rooted in an imbalance of power. The woman’s difficulties communicating lead to an awakening that forces her to look back on the culture that formed her, which she has been trying to escape. Through the protagonist confronting her own image and her failure at communicating, “Wild Grass” tells a story of reflection and an identity entangled with beauty, sexuality, nationality and two languages. We never hear from the woman on the screen nor see the narrator. As the correlation and mismatch between the image and the text become more unstable, the veracity of both the image and words comes into question. The woman’s struggle with her inner self plays out as she runs over and over again in an imaginary landscape—where her memory of water and sound from Taiwan is laid over yellow wild grass.
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Program 1 Vote: [Title of Work]
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