THIRD EDITION: ask the living

3.3

Ask the living
of poison and milk
of labyrinths and bliss.

Ask after the ocean
to learn of time
and the flow of wind and waves.

Ask after the tree and the mountain,
what has become of the moon
and the birds.

Ask after the tombstones,
what has become of the memories
and the rubble
and those who rule the cemetery.

program 3 of 12
November 1 – November 14

Vote for your favourite experimental film or video art piece between November 1 and the last day of the screening, November 14. Rules.

artist response

Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė, whose work appears in program 6 (December 15 – December 29, 2021), responded to our second program:

“Sea of Samsara” by Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė; featuring: Kajus Bernotas and Jurgita Žvinklytė, Lithuania, 2021

“When I watched the films in the program, I was left with the feeling and desire to talk about the concepts of reincarnation, rebirth and transmigration in a philosophical and religious aspect. I felt that all the films were talking about energy and its nature in one way or another. After all, remember how Einstein stated “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another”. That’s how SEA OF SAMSARA became my gaze, sense and response to this brilliant program.” – Miglė KrižinauskaitėBernotienė

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.

program

Otherness Feixue Mei

8:21 · China/USA · 2019

In the context of globalization, cultural manipulation, and language adaptation, how does the typographic landscape around the internet, fan-space, and shared online platforms influence contemporary interaction and shape cultural identity? A story between me and my internet persona.

“Bullet chats” is a new system of commenting that overlays “flying” texts onto video display and also synchronizes them to the video timeline. Chinese youth mix foreign languages and Chinese to create their own cyber-pidgin and use it in “bullet chats”.

How do they use “bullet chats” to create their own space and refuse outsiders from entering into space both linguistically and visually? “Bullet chats” is graffiti on top of the original. It is a unique way to reject the ownership and copyright of the original. It is designed to be “anti-designed” through messy, colorful text and overloaded usage of typography.

ALARA – Kounosuke Kawakakami

12:24 · Japan · 2019

A man applying for refugee status in Japan was told falsely that, “If you work in the decontamination effort, your visa will be extended,” following the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. ALARA was created based on this incident.

The definition of the “1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees” refers to the protection of persons from political or other forms of persecution. A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. Despite the above, Hossein Monie, whose situation is reported in this work, has been denied an asylum application for refugee status in Japan since 2013. While the number of applications in Japan has increased more than ten times, from 1,599 in 2008 to 19,628 today, the number of approvals has been decreasing year by year, with only 20 approved last year. In addition, foreigners are detained at the Tokyo Immigration Bureau under conditions which deprive them of human dignity because there are no legal restrictions on the terms of their detention. Japan’s national refugee policy is the most restrictive in the world, which places refugees in an ambiguous space of exclusion and inclusion, much like decontamination soil. After nuclear energy was discovered by Otto Hahn in Germany and confirmed and demonstrated as a fission reaction by Lise Meitner, the world’s first atomic bomb was manufactured by the Manhattan Project in the United States in 1945. In early August of that year, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. After that, nuclear power was incorporated into the capital. In other words, nuclear power was first used for military purposes, and the conversion of weapons of mass destruction into civilian use. Therefore, there has always been the possibility of catastrophic accidents. Furthermore, the Japanese nuclear power plant system was a project led by former Prime Minister Nakasone, Japan’s leading right-wing leader, as a neoliberal policy emphasizing cost and benefit. As an adherent of neoliberalism, he sought to continuously increase the potential of nuclear armament. The Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was destroyed by a natural disaster in 2011, covers an area of 14,000 square kilometers. The 1 million people living in this area were subjected to an annual exposure of 20 millisieverts, which is 20 times higher than before the accident. In addition, the working environment has deteriorated even more than before the accident.  The gap between regular employees and subcontractors has widened. In the name of the global economy, it has become labor imposed on migrants and refugees. 

The constellation of two normalized states of exception, “Nuclear Accidents and Refugees,” is highlighted by a pair of oral histories, text, fictional animation and realistic moving images.

The Tree – Oleg Chorny, Gennadiy Khmaruk

6:40 · Ukraine · 2019

The film tells the story of a craftsman’s creativity and his connection to a tree that extracts an invisible form from a material substance. The act of creating by a human being is subject to the power of the substance that governs the carver independently determining the result. The subjectivity of nature is also manifested in the film through chemical damage – images and memory are absorbed and disappear behind the veil.

The original story dates from the 70s and belongs to an unknown amateur filmmaker Victor Kyzyma from the village of Blahovishchenske, Kirovohrad Region, where a film studio operated at the collective farm. Found in 2017, the 16mm film was completely destroyed by lime. It was restored by the City Media Archive, and the directors Oleg Chorny and Gennadiy Khmaruk created their own editing. New music is written by composer Oleksiy Miryukov and sound director Andriy Ryzhov.

THE LABYRINTH – Sylvia Toy St. Louis

2:22 · USA · 2020

THE LABYRINTH by Sylvia Toy is an ongoing series of video performances about a woman in a void dealing with uncertainty and invisible obstacles and threats. The River of Everything flows throughout The Void; and its denizens, the Riverwomen are likely to appear anywhere at any time.

GEDE VIZYON – Marcos Serafim, Jefferson Kielwagen, Steevens Simeon

14:20 · Haiti · 2018

Gede Vizyon takes its viewer on an unusual tour of the Grand Cemetery of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While exploring the material and immaterial intricacies of the cultural, spiritual and historical space that is the cemetery, the camera takes on a life of its own. Running amok in the labyrinthine structure of its environment, it captures evocative sounds and images on its erratic voyage.

When The Androgynous Child – Melina Pafundi

9:00 · Argentina/Germany · 2019

When the child speaks from his or her androgyny – which is neither truth nor appearance, neither male nor female, but all at once – they will return to the places where they have belonged. He or she remembers and claims their identity as a foreigner, refugee, bilingual, rejected for not being a man or woman at all.

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Program 3 Vote: [Title of Work]

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